Summer Camp has begun, and we are so excited to be back together with our friends once again! We have spent the past week getting to know one another and trying to beat the heat as we celebrated the wonderful country we live in!
Canada is filled with all kinds of wonderful animals, people, places and things and we have learned a lot about them all this week. We celebrated our 10 provinces and three territories, our over 3000 lakes, our two official languages and the beauty of the four seasons we have. Our caribou, moose, beavers and bears made their way into our art work as did the red and white of our flag and our national symbol, the maple leaf.
We had a ton of fun learning about some of Canada’s Inventors, Heroes and Creators, as we found out about the invention of basketball by James Naismith, the Cancer Fighter, Terry Fox, “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky, the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell and other such Heroes as Laura Secord. That’s right, her name is way more than just a chocolate shop! Outside, we enjoyed some time in the sprinkler, plenty of group games and creating with chalk and paint. Week one has flown by and we can’t wait to come together next week for our explorations of Bugs, Butterflies and all other little critters!
Our Summer Campers were bugging out on the second week as we spent our time together hunting, learning about and creating our own creepy, crawly critters together.
We came up with different ways bugs move and made a chart to include the critters that jump, squirm, fly, walk and “inch”. Creatively, we made up all sorts of bugs of our own using various kinds of printed paper and other art materials. The results were creepy, fun, adorable and even a little beautiful.
We learned that arachnids all have eight legs like spiders and ticks, insects, such as wasps, ants and dragonflies have six legs and three body segments and that those millipedes and centipedes we find are called myriapods and they have no wings but lots of body segments and legs.
Our bug hunting was rather successful as were able to find different beetles, millipedes, caterpillars and inch worm and even a cicada! We were really luck to find one that had just come up from underground and hadn’t changed yet. Did you know that they live underground for 17 years before they come up, latch onto something like a tree and then “come out” of their exoskeleton to become the beautiful, loud buzzing bug we hear on hot, sunny days?
When we weren’t going bug crazy, we spent our time outdoors creating with blocks, playing group games and making our own obstacle courses. We even took some time to enjoy the sprinkler and freezies one afternoon. Another full week behind us with an exciting week ahead at summer camp!
Our third week of camp was a wet and definitely “wild” success with the “Water You Think of That?” week!
We enjoyed learning all about the importance of water in our daily lives and to our planet, the animals that live in water and plenty of cool facts about water and how it works.
Did you know that the earth is over 70 percent water? We learned that the Nile is the longest river in the world, that it is made of hydrogen and oxygen, it is found in three states (liquid, gas & solid) and that it expands when it cools which explains the damage to our roads after the winter months!
We conducted some fun experiments with ice and salt, bubbles and even learned how salt is removed from water through an evaporation experiment we conducted. We had a taste tester to prove that our experiment worked and the water, while warm from the sun, was not salty at all! We played bubble tennis and water balloon dodgeball outside but, the best part of the week was our Field trip to Tiffin Conservation Centre, hands down!
We were kept very busy and active as we learned about how animals behave in the forest through an interactive game in which we were either herbivores, omnivores or carnivores searching for food and water while trying to elude predators, disease and even a hunter!
We had a picnic lunch before throwing on some rubber boots and heading to the pond to search for critters that live there. We were mindful of our presence at the water and careful not to step in too deep as we scooped at the fantastic, yet fast critters beneath the water.
We forgot about all the mud around us instantly, as we became completely engaged and excited with each new-found critter, sharing with our friends and learning about their identifications. We managed to capture and observe minnows, orb snails, gild snails, dead crayfish, one leech, one turtle egg and, most exciting, a very prehistoric looking dragonfly nymph! We saw all kinds of frogs and fish but left them to do their thing in the pond.
Beside the water, we also found an owl pellet! The day flew by and we were a very dirty and tired but happy group of campers by the time we hopped on the bus to head back to Discovery!
Now it’s time for some Food for Thought!
We closed off the first half of summer together learning about food, the four groups and how food helps our body to grow and work well. We learned how protein, found in the meat and alternatives group is good for building our muscles, how dairy products help our bones and teeth to be strong, that the carbohydrates found in whole grains give us the energy we need to get through all of the activities we enjoy in a day and how our bodies take different vitamins from the fruits and veggies we eat.
We made a graph outlining our favourite healthy snacks in which apples came out on top with bananas coming a close second! We spent some time recognizing the four food groups in our own lunches and then took that knowledge with us on our trip to Zehrs where we met with a dietitian. She showed us how to identify the healthy products in the store using their star system and, with a little practice, we realized how easy it is to find out how healthy (or not) the foods we like may be. We played some games, had a scavenger hunt and then tried some freshly squeezed orange juice.
Our walk through the forest, though, was our favourite part of the trip! Back at the centre, we teamed up to make some healthy snacks together including fruit salad and protein balls! We finished off our week with some delicious treats to celebrate the month and to say goodbye to some of our friends.
Bonus: See What Our Infants Were Up To!
The infants had the opportunity to explore large pieces of coloured ice outside in our yard. We froze some water with food colouring and added large paint stir sticks, so we would have a good handle and grip while we used them. As we brought them out to let the infants explore the ice, they were instantly drawn to picking them up, and eating them like popsicles!
After a couple of minutes, the children started to explore, seeing what they could do with the ice sticks. C.E began rubbing the cold ice on her hand. It quickly began to melt as it touched her hand and she squeezed her hand together, watching the water drip off. G.C took his ice stick and began sliding it on the grass. He noticed that blades of grass were sticking to the ice.
He lifted it up and brought it over to the paper and started rubbing the grass off onto the paper. R.S chose the yellow piece of ice and put it by her mouth. She looked at it closely and commented “Ohhhhh,” and began waving it around like a wand. L.P took his ice and walked over to the playhouse. He started brushing the ice up and down on the window as if he were painting the house! The infants enjoyed this experience and we can’t wait to see what we can do next with ice!
Our Summer Camp will continue and so will the excitement and learning. Thank you everyone who has made this month of July a creative, and adventurous time! We’re looking forward to next month, especially as our 20th anniversary and Fun Fair will be help on August 21st- see you there! If you have any questions about our Summer Camp program for next year or want to enroll your child for the fall season, please call us at 705-733-2052 or fill out our contact form http://www.discoverychild.on.ca/contact-us, and we will get back to you.