Aloha LIttle Hoku families! We had a wonderful second week of our summer camp program. This week we explored the different zoo habitats, and the children enjoyed learning about the many animals that live in these habitats. On Wednesday, we were going to have our Tortoise and the Hare day (which includes bringing in a live tortoise and bunny), however, we made the decision to wait until next Wednesday (June 23) to have this day so that more students can enjoy the experience. We are excited to have this day next week! 

Summary of Our Summer Camp Week 2

Monday- June 14  – Day 6

Today we focused on Grassland/Savanna Animals, and specifically on Zebras and Giraffes. We could spend a whole week on this habitat with all of the well-known zoo animals, however, we enjoyed our day learning about these two animals. For our craft today, we looked at the different patterns of these Grassland animals, such as a tiger’s stripes compared to a zebra, compared to a cheetah, compared to a giraffe, and so on. A simple craft that reinforced this pattern was using white chalk on a black piece of paper. This was such a simple way to demonstrate the pattern of a zebra. To take it a step further, and to encourage fine motor work, the students glued some leftover pieces of white tissue paper on the white lines that they had already drawn. Though simple, the students learned a lot about the pattern of a zebra and worked on creating their very own zebra art.

For our second craft today, we created our own giraffes! I really enjoyed this activity, as did the students. I cut out yellow cardstock into the shape of a giraffe, and the students got to add the brown-color design to their giraffe cutouts. We then added googly eyes (the students LOVE these, and ask to use this any chance we can), and we also added a brown mane. These crafts were so fun to create, and I enjoy seeing how each giraffe and zebra pattern came out unique to each students design.

Tuesday – June 15 – Day 7

Today we started a morning “workout” activity which includes acting out different animal movements. This is a fun routine in the morning. It gets the students moving, and the students enjoy acting out each animal. Today we explored Woodland animals in their habitat of a forest. The most popular woodland animal that the students knew was a bear. This was perfect because we created our very own “Going On A Bear Hunt” map! We read the book during circle time, and we created our map right after. We went through each of the steps in the map. This was great at encouraging memory recall and order as the students had to remember what the environments were on the map, and they created the map in the specific order they were in. What was great to see, after we had created the map, was the students playing outside with their maps before lunch. They actually went in circles around the play yard using their maps, saying things like “Oh no! A river! Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, we have to go through it!”. They truly enjoyed their maps, and it is joyous to see that it was more than a craft- it was a whole activity! 

Wednesday – June 16 – Day 8

Today we were planning on doing the Tortoise and the Hare for the habitat of Desert Animals, however, we only had a few students show up to class today. Since today was going to include live animals, we decided to reschedule the animal day until next Wednesday. So instead, today was more of an independent day, following more of the Montessori curriculum than a group craft. The students got to choose their own artwork for today, and Eliana actually ended up leading her very own “Art Class”. The students used the stencils to trace out different zoo animals (it is wonderful that she chose to do art class based on this week’s theme), and they colored their stenciled animals, cut them out, and then glued them on a big piece of paper. This art piece is now famously hanging up on the art room wall. Though we did not do the craft and activity that we had planned for today, it was great to see the students explore the theme of zoo by their own means. 

Thursday – June 17 – Day 9

Today we explored the habitat of Farm Animals! I have noticed that the students are really enjoying horses, so for our craft today, we created handprint horses! The students loved this craft, and just like the Bear Hunt Map, they played with their horses outside, creating their own stables and horse camp.

For this craft, we traced out our hands and then cut out the tracing. Some of the children needed help, so Ms. Christy and I walked around helping the children trace and cut out their handprints. Next, we got “horse brushes” (a toothbrush) for each of the students. I put the paint on the top of the horse’s body, and the students used a downward motion to brush the paint on the horse. They thought this was a cool way to paint the horse because it was more of an activity in brushing the horse than just painting it. Next, while the paint was still wet, we put some yarn on the horse for the mane and the tail. We added the finishing touch of a googly eye, and the horses were complete. The students loved their horses, and they couldn’t wait for them to dry. 

Once they were dry, some of the students asked to put some string on the horse so they could “walk” their horses. I thought this was such a wonderful idea, and it is always so inspiring to see their imagination so vibrant. 

Friday- June 18- Day 10 

Today was Rainforest day! I really enjoyed this day, because we basically live in a rainforest. Many of the students knew of the animals that live in rainforests. I especially enjoyed the creativity in today’s crafts. 

For the first craft, the students cut out a paper plate in a spiral to create the body of a snake. The students did very well at cutting the spiral, but as the turn got tighter, Ms. Christy and I helped the students cut. Next, we painted our snakes green. This took a lot of green paint, but it was so neat seeing the transformation from paper plate to looking more like a snake. Since they were full of paint, we put the snakes aside to dry.

For the second craft, we created our own Chameleons. This craft was so neat (I wanted to create more myself!).  I drew out a figure of a chameleon on paper towels, one for each student. Then, I had the students color inside the chameleon with different markers. Next, we “painted” the chameleon with water! We added just a little bit of water, and it was so cool to see the colors blend into each other and expand. The children loved this, and really saw their chameleons changing color!

Overall it was a wonderful week learning about all of the different animal habitats and animals. 

We look forward to more fun next week as we explore Nature (Seeds, Flowers, & Butterflies).

Thank you all so much!

Ms. Kirstan