It's hard to believe we only have two weeks left of our summer program. I guess it's true that time flies when you are having fun! The kids continue to run right in and are so excited to see each other and the grownups waiting for them. Today we welcomed two new team members to the TMH Juniors family. High school volunteer, Hayley, began with us today and will be with us in the fall. Her brother is an alumni of ours and we couldn't be more excited that she has chosen to be part of our family. We also welcomed Steven, the new social worker who will be part of the TMH team. We've been really impressed with how flexible and curious the kids have been with new faces.
This week we introduced a new rule for snack time and we are very proud of how the kids took this change. In the past, we have let the kids have two snacks during the whole afternoon. What we realized was that many of the kids would wait to grab their second snack right before our meeting/kite club and it ended up being a distraction and prevented them from participating as actively as they otherwise might. Today, we let everyone know that snack time will only be during hangout/play time; if snacks weren't finished before then, they would get thrown away. What we found was that everyone ate their snacks quickly, played harder and participated more fully in the meeting.
As some of our children need to hear new ideas more than once, we reminded them a few times about the new snack rule during hang out so that they could get used to the new rule and have a successful transition to our meeting time. This could be a strategy that you can use at home when introducing new rules with your children.
We read the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds today. The lesson of the book is that sometimes we have to try new things that we don't think we will be good at. They may be hard and we might be scared to not do it perfectly, but we may learn we are better at things than we think we are. Again, we made a point of having everyone look at the expressions on the character's faces throughout the book.
We kept with the dot theme by playing a big body game with hula hoops. This color game was actually a sneaky way to work on improving body awareness and understanding personal/shared space. We played the Thank You song from Moana and had the kids dance around; when the song stopped, they had to run to the color hula hoop that was yelled out. The trick was that they could not touch each other. This meant that they had to plan out what part of their body (all of it, their hand, finger, foot, etc.) they had to put in that wouldn't bump into their friends. The best thing was seeing the kids encourage their friends to join their hula hoop and sometimes even share their strategies.
We ended the afternoon with a super fun dot painting activity with Vin. Everyone made their own dot painting using paints and coffee filters. We then made a big group dot using paints and cut up potatoes. It was great seeing them work together, sharing the materials and encouraging each other to participate.
We look forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday and hope that we see you all at the Ice Cream Social.