Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time flew during summer activity week!

I took a week long break after the last day of school, and tried to sleep in for a few days. But the dogs, ducks and chickens next door don't have the sense God gave geese. They would join in the call to prayer at 4:30AM with howling, quacking and crowing. So I'd get up too, make coffee and read the news on the internet.

I spent that week preparing for Summer activities for 10 and 11 year old kids at my school. That meant finding some easy-to-teach games that require minimal supplies. As much as I'd love to purchase paint, markers, paper, yarn, crayons, etc for these kids, I decided they could learn a few games to play when I'm no longer here. Also, to me my school kids are especially weak in team-playing. Most focus on individual sports and accomplishments rather than playing as a member of a team.

Although I used a Games for Girl Scouts book, I got the best assist from PCV Elaine who stayed with me for a week. Each afternoon we plotted how to fill up 3 hours of time for the following day. Each morning we'd arrive at my school at 9:30 wondering how many kids would show up. There were about a dozen kids each day, but 22 different kids over the entire week. Three boys were quite surprised the first day when we told them not to come back because they were particularly rude to me and Elaine. That was an unplanned lesson: that there are consequences for bad behavior.

Each day started with the name game. That was followed by "Who's the Leader", 4 Corners, and the daily favorite, "Down by the banks of the Hanky-Panky . . ." Outdoors the kids practiced throwing and catching frisbees, played relay games, London Bridge, and gently tossed water balloons. Indoors, Elaine provided marshmallows and spaghetti for tower building by teams. One day they made origami helicopters, and another day colored cards depicting summer activities to give to their mothers!

Of course, the best part was having another PCV to unwind with, and beer and chips seemed the best way to do that! Elaine also made sure the cow and calf in my yard had water.