Teaching Time–Their Time To Shine

I love the idea of having the kids teach a little mini class. They can choose what they want to teach: maybe an art project, or a craft, or a lesson on the stars. Sometimes, while they teach their cousins, I step away for a break. I get them started andthen let them interact on their own. It gives me a rest and them time to be the leader.

This part of the camp started when one of my grandsons in the third grade had just learned about Jackson Pollock, and suggested we do a Pollock art project for Grandma’s Camp.  I decided since  he knew  how and what to do, then he should to be in charge of it. He told me what supplies we would need: poster paints, big pieces of paper, brushes, and old shirts to wear backwards, and everything he would need for this lesson. During Grandma’s Camp, I assigned him some time; he got out all of the supplies and took us outside for the demonstration (The only place to do Jackson Pollock projects). He told the kids what he had learned about his artist, and showed them how to do one of his techniques–throwing and splashing paint onto the paper. The kids loved it and so did I, and so did he!

So now each year, I remind them that each of them can bring something to share and teach. Often they bring supplies with them.  They sometimes team up with siblings or cousins for their teaching time. They love being in charge and having their own project. They are often asking if it is their time to teach yet. I put their name and a time on the itinerary I send out so everyone knows when their turn is coming


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    Make fish out of rocks. Each child gathered a few rocks about the size of a walnut–any shape. Then they painted the rocks and put stripes or half blue, half yellow. Next they put eyes on them  (small google eyes) and feathers for fins and tails, and they had the most stunning collection of fish to be found in a reef.

  • Star gazing at night with a telescope, and pointing out some constellations.

  • Little bug boxes to paint and then go on a bug hunt.

  • Play a new game

  • Tell an interactive story where each person is assigned a word and a movement to do when they hear that word. These can be found on the Internet.

  • Picasso. Draw a picture of a face or person, and then cut it up and paste it back together placing parts of the picture in different places.

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    Scorpions in their insect boxes.

    Bugs and Insects–What bugs are good for your garden?

  • We live on the desert, so one of the activities for Dr. Bug Guy was to go on a  scorpion hunt. The girls absolutely refused. So he just took the boys, giving them details of each part of the scorpion and how cool they are. This little guy knows all about scorpions and how to be careful around them. (Scorpions in our area are very small and are not dangerous. They will sting you, but the sting is not dangerous.)

Teaching Time has turned out to be a great idea on many levels. It also gives them a chance to be front and center, and help with their communication and teaching skills. These moments always turn into fun memories. Lessons from that age will never be repeated; the next year the child is older.  I cherish each paint splattering, star-gazing, scorpion hunt moment.


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