Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer camp at home: Week 5 -- World Traveler

With our patriotic "America, the Beautiful" themed week of summer camp at home a couple weeks behind us, it seemed natural to have a week focused on other countries of the world as well.

It's never to early to teach little ones about the world they live in, and that includes different cultures. Even if my four- and two-year-olds don't get everything we might explore this week, I think they will still learn something -- and they will have fun.

Each day, we'll focus on a different country. That's the goal, anyway -- we had an unusual day yesterday because of a doctor appointment and having family from out of town, so we didn't do any special projects at all. The boys were wiped out! But I plan to make them a little passport-type booklet to have "stamped" when we "travel." I'd also like to make a little suitcase that we can cover in stickers featuring various lands the way they used to. (That's where Google Images comes in and I can print out a little picture on sticker paper, then cut it out and use it like any old sticker.) We'll pretend to travel by airplane, train or ocean liner.

Other ideas for this week:

- Make simple costume props, and/or projects from Michaels craft store Passport to Fun craft projects from around the world.

- Listen to foreign music

- Do any coloring pages we have that feature other countries, or this It's a Small World coloring page.

- Have an “It’s a Small World” party with friends and dress up in traditional clothing from our favorite countries! (Please let me take this moment to acknowledge the extreme annoyance and even hatred some people have for this Disney ride, and the song, despite the fact most little kids love it. I'd also like to suggest that Disney sell toy dolls from this ride, as apparently it once used to. I found one Small World toy the last time my family went to Disney World, and it was a bathtub toy boat. One toy. If Disney can take the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and turn it into a popular four-movie series, just think what a Small World movie would be like for the preschool set. Come on, it would have to be at least as good as The Smurfs!)

- Read Country by Country Guide: Our World; A World of Wonders; Travels of the Zephyr and other books from the library about the countries we are going to learn about this week.

We have a busy week ahead in addition to learning about other countries. Playdates, invitations, playing in parks, running errands.... It seems we've just gotten used to it being summer, and after this week it will be half over already. How's summer going for you?