All About Schoolagers

Schoolagers love to play games!! Click HERE for some really fun games for this age group!

Or read on for some other ideas.

On the first day of Vacation, we decorate special jars for each of them, and then they spend the summer trying to earn Reward "Tickets" to fill their jars and spend on different rewards. (Everything from a choice of stickers, candy or small dollar store toys from the Reward Bucket, to being allowed to bring their Video Game System one day to play during quiet time.) The big kids all LOVED this, AND my house has never been cleaner! *LOL* (They can earn tickets for things like vacuuming, cleaning the table, etc.)

Another activity that I plan on doing this summer is getting everyone to decorate plain canvas string backpacks. Then we will use their backpacks all summer long so they can carry their own water bottles, snacks, picnic lunches, etc. for when we go to the playground or on Nature Walks.

~Submitted by Leanne

I had school-aged children last summer and even the older ones 4-6 graders love to put on puppet shows for the little kids. The little kids loved it too. They all liked structured games where there are rules to follow such as soccer, kickball, and board games and card games. My older girls loved dressing up the little girls in our dress up area. They would play tea party with them or store. And they all still like to color(girls). I had them help me make some books for the younger kids to look at. Older boys would play ball with my preschoolers. (You have to remind them the kids are smaller than they are though.) And playdough and painting is still a big hit with schoolagers. Sidewalk chalk is great too. Also, arts and crafts that take several days to complete. They work on it a while then put it up until the next day. Like some kind of sculpture, give them different materials to work with. Newspapers, wood pieces, pipe cleaners, cloth scraps, etc. Let their imagination run wild.

~Submitted by Sandy

One new thing we are doing that ALL THE CHILDREN love is, once a month, we let off balloons. We go outside and everyone gets a balloon (even me, the biggest kid of all!!) We attach a note with our name, daycare name, age, address, etc. on it.

I am starting something new for my schoolagers this year. My themes will stay the same as for the preschoolers (I am not THAT crazy) and we will expound on them during nap time. They will get more intense projects and we will be working on gathering information on different countries each week. I have been collecting numerous amounts of beach/ocean/island information and we will be finding a beach to "set up in" each Friday. Friday this year will be picnic day so I can make up some kind of traditional snack or dessert from that country for all to try. (or maybe the older kids will help me prepare it during nap time and we will all eat it at snack. Anyway, Fridays are relaxed days around here as I am trying to tie up next week's agenda before the weekend starts and I THINK this will help in that area. The kids are already looking into different countries while in the computer lab to decide on countries so I can prepare the "new" stuff in files as much as possible beforehand.

Sand Art - Create a work of art to remind you of sunny summer beach days! This is a simple craft that is appropriate for a wide range of ages. All you need is sand, food coloring, glue, and heavy card stock or construction paper. Put a small amount of sand in Ziplock plastic bags. Add a few drops of different colors of food coloring to each and shake and massage the bag until the sand is the desired color. Transfer the sand to a paper plate so that it can dry. Now use the glue and sand alternately to make a multi-colored picture or design. Allow to dry and hang! You can also create a sand greeting card by taking a 9"x12" piece of colored construction paper, folding it in half, writing your message in the inside fold, and then making your design on the front!

Here is a link that a member of another provider board had sent in. She had recommended it as a way to keep school-age kids busy. It's a great idea, but not only for kids. For those of us who journal and would like to leave a bit of legacy behind for your kids/ grandkids, this would be an ideal way to start. Gifts In A Jar: Journal Jar.

Here's another idea for schoolagers: A Journal Jar. I use a plastic jar and in it, I put questions on slips of paper. The kids each have their own notebook to write in. I have the kids copy the question down in the notebook then they answer it. For example: What would you do if it really Did rain cats and dogs? Or it could be as simple as What is your favorite summer activity and why? Parents and teachers will be amazed by the skills they are retaining over the summer. Just another thought!!!

You could have her entertain the younger ones by blowing bubbles. You can make a wand with a stick and string to make HUGE bubbles. I have school age right now and they like playdough (if you make your own you could have her help) They love stickers. You could get some cheap stickers and fold construction paper in half and have her make her own sticker book. If she is old enough to write have her write letters to a pen pal. Jello jigglers would be fun to make for all the kids and I use little cookie cutters and let them cut it out. If she can read have her read to the younger ones. (got to keep up the reading skills!)My kids drive me crazy to do art. Just get a bunch of stuff together in a box for her and let her make her own pictures. Maybe she could make cards for her mom or grandparents saying she misses them, I have a lot that are going in K or 1 and we work on handwriting, reading, cutting, etc

I was dreading the summer months because I knew I was going to have school-agers but it has not gone too bad. They have been willing to "play" among the little guys in the AM. I have been very fortunate to live 1/2 block from the library. They run a great summer reading program. Every Friday they have a puppet show or magician or some kind of show in the Am. During the week they offer all kinds of things for the older guys to do. In the afternoon when the younger ones are napping I try to do something special with the older ones. They have had a great time working on a little puppet show of their own to perform for the little ones. They made up the story and practice every day. I also cook or bake a lot with them. Usually I let them make snack for everyone. We made Monkey bread and muffins or cupcakes. One day they made smoothies. They do enjoy that. I have let the older girls play "beauty shop" and do the little girls nails and hair. I've been printing word search puzzle and crossword puzzles off the internet for them. They enjoyed making lei's. That was very inexpensive. I hope I can make it last until school begins! Good luck!

One summer I watched 4-5 school-agers. Their fav was going outside to pick up some rocks, then painting them. Younger kids love to do this too. You can buy acrylic craft paints at Wal-mart for .44 each. They can make the rocks look like bugs or paint flowers or just smear the paint around!

Kids also like rubbing cleaned rocks with crayons. Put them on brown paper in an oven at low (200-250) for a couple of hours, let cool, then buff with paper towels till they shine. Kids can also "paint' design on smooth rock with white glue, let that dry, then do the crayon process. When cooled and buffed, soak them in cold water to release the white glue and the original color of the rock is back as the pattern the child put on.

Get cheap sandpaper, the kids draw a design with crayons, use up a lot of the old crayons. Then put down newspapers, out a paper they want the print on, lay the sandpaper face down, then brown grocery bag paper over that. iron on this layer and the design from the sandpaper will transfer to the plain paper in an interesting way. Kids can make many prints of their design by going over the original again with the same colors and repeating the process. it's cool and can keep them busy for days. the iron requires adult supervision (nap time works) BTW-- but it's so cool!

My school kids usually buddy up with a younger child during art/craft time, as well as help prepare meals, set the table, clean up after, help with my laundry, weeding the flower beds & garden, they help little ones who are potty training, water the pets outside (we have dogs, rabbits, chickens, duck & geese), wash my van once a week, take out trash, etc. I have a goodie basket & each Friday, the big kids' goodie basket comes out for them to pick from. We also paint t-shirts, cut fabric strips & ties onto flip flops, headbands & even taught a couple of 10 yr olds to crochet. The free patterns at Wal Mart usually have a lot of neat stuff for the older kids.

My kids draw & write on my fridge with dry erase markers, they clean up great! I just had a field day for my school agers they loved it. we set up little stations in the back yard. tug-of-war I got the big thick rope from Home Depot. The water bucket relay with the sponges, jump rope contest, potato sack race 1.65 a piece at the Farmer's Exchange store like a TSC store. and then bought the great sport ribbons at Pat Catan's for 97cents.

Origami - great for fine motor skills and following written directions.

Obstacle Courses - using a timer, they love to challenge themselves. And include crazy things like running backwards or hopping or skipping, etc.

Scavenger Hunts - they love making them up as well as following them.

Scrapbooking - Staple together enough pages to give them 1 (or 2) pages per letter of the alphabet. This could be a summer-long project. They could use this format to represent what they did that summer. For example, for P - picnic or F - friends and add photographs or illustrations or journaling.

Here are some ideas I use with my before and after schoolers! Latch Hook Kits and everything crafty!! Card games. My "big kids" love the new Crayola color wonder kits better than the preschoolers!!. A book of short skits or plays (they love to incorporate the little ones). Word search/ Cross Word books. An art box.......all kinds of leftover craft items, kool paper, teen magazines for them to cut out pictures, etc.

Craft Ideas

1. Take a notebook - any kind - and use tacky glue to affix pipe cleaners in stripes down the front so they are side by side covering the entire thing. Fold the sharp ends over the cover and then cover the inside cover with paper. I'm thinking scrapbook thick paper, but construction paper may work, too.

2. Take a 3-ring binder. Wrap it with braided pony holders, lots of them. Then the kids can use this to hold supplies like pencils, ruler, notes, etc.

3. This one is just for fun, not for school, and for girls. :) Take pipe cleaners, wrap them around each other to make a halo - it will sit on her head. Then use a contrasting color and wrap those around the halo. In the back, hot glue an artificial flower or bow or whatever. Then tie on lots of curly ribbons, and curl it. Very girly and fun! Turns out to look like one of those medieval hair things, if that makes sense.

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