Magical Book Week Camp in Center City was intimate and indeed magical. With a small but mighty handful of kiddos, we delved into books, crafts, games, and more. Throughout the week, learning from, sharing imaginative ideas with, and playing one another in creative ways made for a special week for all!
We started off the week with a day of Magic School Bus activities. After reading The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie, kids depicted things inside them, including:
Fighting blood cells
Kids considered how literal and figurative things inside us might be holy. During the elective block, we cut out and painted snowflakes, and did friction science experiments (related to weather and friction-themed Magic School Bus books.)
Kids were impressed by a trick in which two books become stuck together by friction, and also enjoyed building ramps for hotwheels cars that were faster or slower due to friction. A highlight of the day was making and playing with galaxy slime while reading The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System, using glue, baking soda, saline, and glitter. In between all of these structured parts of the day, kids especially enjoyed playing with legos and kinetic sand.
On Tuesday, we turned to Dr. Seuss. We started with reading The Sneetches and The Zax. Kids reflected that although changing your appearance doesn’t change your holiness or who are “inside,” there are still legitimate reasons you might want to change something about your appearance (like your hairstyle). Kids also reflected that they’ve had times when they feel really stubborn like the Zax, and there isn’t much anyone can do to help them. Then we played more with hotwheels, read and did watercolor with My Many Colored Days, creating really deep, rich, multicolored watercolor paints that reflected the days the kids were having. Later, we got a little messy with bright pink oobleck, and read Bartholemew and the Oobleck.
On Wednesday, kids enjoyed Where the Wild Things Are and found the video to “Pierre” very silly. We made “Wild Things” puppets and put on a puppet show in which the puppets had to learn to get along.
We also enjoyed baking cupcakes. After reading “Little Bear Goes to the Moon” (which was illustrated by not written by Sendak) we played the movement game “Earth, Moon, Sun,” which involved walking, skipping, or running to different posts in the alley designated as different Celestial Bodies.
On Thursday, we read The Mixed Up Chameleon and considered how we are both ourselves and shaped by the people around us. We did a series of crafts, starting with one in which kids were asked to make creatures with scraps of fabric. We made sensory bins with multicolored beans and rice and used them as habitats for toy lizards. We also did an Eric Carle-style art project throughout the day in which we started by painting patterns on squares of tissue paper, and then used them to make collages once they dried.
Finally, on Friday we read The Castle on Hester Street, made our own castle out of craft sticks, and magical animals out of paper plates. Kids added extra elements to our castle like flowers and a trap using tissue paper and pipe cleaners. In the book, a girl listens to her grandfather tell a fancified version of his life story, while her grandmother keeps bringing him back to reality. Generally speaking, kids thought that their grandmother was right to give the more realistic version, and thought that they would probably tell realistic versions of difficult times in their life (like the pandemic) to their grandkids. However, kids also noted a lot of Jewish stories have elements that might not be told exactly as they really happened.
This week has been eventful and so much fun! We can’t wait for January 3rd for 1-Day school’s Out Camp.