Summer Camp At Home: Around The World

by Mackenzie on July 7, 2013

summer-camp-at-home-around-the-worldThis week’s theme is Around the World in honor of World Population Day on July 11th. Through activities, field trips, crafts, music and reading we will explore what different countries and cultures are like all around the world.

Each summer thousands of children head to different summer camps throughout the country. This year create your own summer camp at home through themed weeks that include learning, projects and just plain fun. Each week I will showcase a few ideas for educational and fun projects along with great reading material and great activities for your family all based on a theme each week. So save a little money this year and create your very own summer camp and have fun! Check out the entire Summer Camp at Home series for more ideas.

Activities and Field Trips

Cook and Bake
Making foods from other countries is a great way to introduce the kids to different cultures, new foods and allow them to explore their cooking skills. Go beyond the basic items and try something fun and new.

Get Your Passport
Have the kids create a simple passport of paper stapled together or even use a notebook and have them decorate the outside cover. Inside as they learn about a new country this week have them draw what the country looks like, the country’s flag and “stamp” it after they have completed an activity or book on the country. That way they can travel the world without ever leaving home!

Visit A Museum or Art Show
Some of the best ways to learn about different cultures is to examine their different art or music. You can visit a local art museum or if you are lucky enough to have a multicultural museum near by you can explore many different countries all at one location.

Around The World Crafts

Mexican Maracas

Materials

  • two paper plates
  • Popsicle stick
  • glue
  • stapler
  • clothespins
  • rice or dried beans
  • markers

Directions:

Take one of the paper plates and place dried beans inside the plate. Line the lip of the plate with glue and place a Popsicle stick on the plate. Next place the second plate on top to form a seal (with the inside of the plates creating a void).

Mexican-MaracasPlace clothespins around the plates to help secure them while the glue dries. I also recommend stapling the plates together and also stapling the Popsicle stick.Mexican-Maracas

When completely dried let your child decorate the plates (both sides) with markers or crayons. I gave my daughter green and red so the paper plates would have green, red and white for the Mexican flag.

Mexican-Maracas

Questions to ask:

  1. What are the colors of the Mexican flag?
  2. What do the colors mean?
  3. Where is Mexico located on a map?

African Rainstick Craft

Materials:

  • empty paper towel roll
  • rice or dried beans
  • aluminum foil
  • shipping tape
  • construction paper
  • markers
  • scissors

Directions:

Using the foil and shipping tape seal off the bottom of one of the paper towel roll’s ends. I doubled the foil over and then taped that on the end to give it a double barrier (so when shaken the rice and beans wouldn’t fall out).

African-Rainstick

Once sealed have your child place the rice or beans into the other end of the paper towel roll. You can also use a funnel especially with the rice since it can get messy.

African-Rainstick

After placing about 1/2 cup of rice or beans into the tube seal off the other end exactly like the first end. Next cut construction paper to fit the tube and either glue or tape it onto the outside of the tube. This is your child’s canvas.

African-Rainstick

Let your child decorate with markers, crayons, glitter, etc.

African-Rainstick

Questions to ask:

  1. What are rainsticks used for in Africa and South America?
  2. How are original rainsticks made?

Chinese Snake Craft

Materials:

  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • peel and stick googly eyes
  • stapler
  • glue
  • tape

Directions:

Cut strips of construction paper about 3/4″ to 1″ in width and about 6-8″ in length. Using a stapler, glue or tape begin with one strip of paper to form a circle.

Next place a strip of paper through the completed circle and staple/glue/tape it shut. Repeat the process until your snake is long enough or you run out of paper strips.chinese-snake-craft

Cut a triangle out of construction paper that will be big enough to fit on one of the circles. Glue the triangle on the circle to form a head. Flip over and glue a tongue on the snake by using a tiny piece of construction paper (different color).

chinese-snake-craft

When dried place two peel and stick googly eyes on the snake to complete the look.

Questions to ask:

  1. When does the Chinese New Year begin?
  2. What other animals/creatures do the Chinese use for the New Year?
  3. What does the snake mean?

Books To Read This Week

Each week we head to the library and pick out books that fit our theme of the week and I have to say, this week was GREAT for books. There was a wide range of books to read to the girls to help expand on this week’s topic. In fact I had so many I couldn’t read them all before the week was over. Here are a few that we found at the library:

Music To Listen To This Week

This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love, LOVE listening to music from other countries and cultures even if I don’t know the language. There is just something soothing about music and to hear other types of music can expand your love of music. There is one in particular that is outstanding for children and in fact we have three of the CDs in our car and the kids request them over anything else. Here is an video from Putumayo World Music which creates songs from all over the world, often using children from that country to sing the beautiful music.

Asheba – No More Monkeys from Putumayo World Music on Vimeo.

Here are some of the albums available and if you are like me you will listen to one you will want them all.





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This post was written by

Mackenzie is the mother of three beautiful little girls and the wife to a wonderful man who is a Navy Reservist and lives in New Hampshire. She enjoys bargain hunting, photography, and working outside! Above all, she enjoys family life and soaking up every moment. She shares her tips on parenting, saving money, green-living and more on her blog The Centsible Family.

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