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Do-It-Yourself Summer Camp at Home

Blast Off to Space

9 A.M.
COLORING SHEETS
To keep kids busy as everyone arrives.

9:15 A.M.
BOOKS AND CIRCLE TIME

9:45 A.M.
ART PROJECT
Space scene: Let the children use light-colored crayons to draw planets, moons, and spaceships on thick white paper. Then have them paint over their work with watered-down black tempura paint. The crayon will show through.

10:15 A.M.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
Moon-rock hunt: Create a scavenger hunt using a bag of those smooth, shiny rocks you put in the bottom of a vase. (I got mine at a dollar store.)

10:45 A.M.
SNACK IDEA
Edible solar system: On black paper plates, let kids create a solar system with a Ritz cracker (the sun), Froot Loops (planets), and marshmallow asteroids.

11 A.M.FREE PLAY

11:30 A.M.
INDOOR ACTIVITY
Memory game: The first player in the circle starts by saying "I went to the moon, and I took_," naming an item that starts with the letter A. The second repeats that and adds an item that begins with B. When someone can't remember the whole list, they bow out until only one kid is left.

12 noon
LUNCH

12:30 P.M.
FREE PLAY

1 P.M.
SCIENCE ACTIVITY
Sunburned balloons: Tape one balloon per child to an outdoor wall or fence in direct sunlight, and give each kid a magnifying glass. Have them focus the sun's rays into one tiny, intense spot. After a few seconds, the balloons will pop. (Don't let the kids hold the magnifying glass over skin.)

1:30 P.M.
FREE PLAY

2 P.M.
SNACK IDEA
Star treats: Cut pieces of toast into star shapes. Explain that scientists can tell how hot a star is by its color: the coolest are red, the hottest are blue, and the yellow or orange ones are in between. Let the kids spread strawberry jam, grape jelly, or orange marmalade on their toast.

2:15 P.M.
BOOKS AND CIRCLE TIME

2:45 P.M.
ART PROJECT
Moon view: Have the kids pretend they're in orbit and draw what they'd see looking down at Earth.

3 P.M.
PICKUP

Creepy Critters

9 A.M.
COLORING SHEETS
To keep kids busy as everyone arrives.

9:15 A.M.
BOOKS AND SONGS

9:45 A.M.
ART PROJECT
Egg-carton insects: Give each child part of an egg carton. Put out red, brown, yellow, green, and black paint, as well as googly eyes and pipe-cleaner pieces for the antennae and legs. Encourage the kids to create ants, grasshoppers, caterpillars, ladybugs, and more.

10:15 A.M.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
Bug hunt: Gather some nets and containers and set off to find grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and more. If you can, collect some critters (alive and dead) in advance and have them on display. Then let the kids examine all the creatures with a magnifying glass. Help them identify which are insects (i.e., have three body segments, three pairs of jointed legs, and antennae) and which aren't.

10:45 A.M.
SNACK IDEA
Worms and dirt: Put three Oreo cookies in a bag for each child to crush. Dump bits in a Styrofoam cup and add gummy worms.

11 A.M.
FREE PLAY

11:30 A.M.
INDOOR ACTIVITY
Bye-bye, fly: Divide the kids into teams and give each team two rolls of toilet paper. Designate one person per team the "fly." Tell the "spiders" they have to use both rolls to wrap up the fly they're eating for dinner. (Be sure to explain they can't wrap around the head or throat.) The team to finish first wins.

12 noon
LUNCH

12:30 P.M.
FREE PLAY

1 P.M.
SCIENCE ACTIVITY
P-U Ants: Give the children mint leaves. Find some ants outside and lay the leaves in a circle around a few. Tell the kids to watch: Ants don't like the smell of mint, so they should stay in the circle. Repeat with other smelly foods, such as onions, garlic, or cinnamon.

1:30 P.M.
FREE PLAY

2 P.M.
SNACK IDEA
Ants on a Stump: Have the kids put peanut butter on apple slices, and then sprinkle with raisins.

2:15 P.M.
BOOKS AND CIRCLE TIME

2:45 P.M.
ART PROJECT
Bug hotel: Have each kid cut two large holes in the sides of an empty oatmeal or milk container. Place the container at the bottom of a cut-off pantyhose leg. Start collecting!

3 P.M.
PICKUP

Under the Big Top

9 A.M.
COLORING SHEETS
To keep kids busy as campers arrive

9:15 A.M.
BOOKS, SONGS, CIRCLE TIME

9:45 A.M.
ART PROJECT
Make clown hats: Have the kids decorate a piece of construction paper and roll it into a cone. Fasten it with staples, tape a streamer on top, then add elastic thread, for a chinstrap, to hold it on. Another piece of paper can be a big bow. Just have the kids fold it accordion-style, wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, and fan out the sides. Fasten it to their shirts with a paper clip.

10:15 A.M.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
Play circus: They can wear their clown hats and bows in a circus parade, walk a tightrope (use sidewalk chalk or masking tape), balance balloons on their noses like seals, and jump through a Hula-Hoop like lions. Light the hoop on fire by hanging red and orange streamers from it.

10:45 A.M.
SNACK IDEA
Cookie carousel: Have the kids frost the bottoms of two oatmeal cookies, then stand up animal crackers on one in a circle. The other cookie goes on top, lightly, with the icing down.

11 A.M.
FREE PLAY

11:30 A.M.
INDOOR ACTIVITY
Pin the Tail on the Lion: Draw a lion on a poster board (you can find a model online) and make one tail for each camper.

12 noon
LUNCH

12:30 P.M.
INDOOR ACTIVITIES/FREE PLAY

1 P.M.
PICKUP

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