Monday, July 12, 2010

Inclement Weather

Seems like an unusual time to be talking about inclement weather—especially if we think about this in terms of rain and snow. However, summer can have its own share of weather challenges—heat and humidity. If you are running summer program it is important to stay tuned to the “weather channel” so you know whether it is a “bad air” day or not.
The challenge of course, is what do you do with a group of young people who need to expend some energy when you are stuck inside. You can certainly give them a break by playing board games, or group activities like Jeopardy, but that does not always burn the kind of energy you’re needing for them to burn. Two activities that you might find worth considering are Cups Up—Cups Down! and Group Juggle.

Cups Up—Cups Down
  1. Play indoors in a multipurpose room that has the tables, chairs and/or benches put up. With blue painter’s tape create the boundaries of the playing field. You can simply mark the four corners.
  2. Divide class into two equal teams.
  3. Each member of both teams gets 2 cups.
  4. One team is designated as Cups Up (this means that the cup is standing on its bottom), and the other team is designated at Cups Down (this means that the rim of the cup is on the ground).
  5. Before play begins, both teams place the cups either up or down inside the playing field.
  6. The rules are simple:
  7. Using only one hand, and not moving or stacking cups, the Cups Up team tries to turn all cups up. At the same time, the Cups Down team tries to turn all the cups down. Students may move from location to location but they must walk and cannot push or bump into anyone else.
  8. The game is played in four quarters. Each quarter lasts approximately 3 minutes. Teams return to the end line and count the number of cups that are up and the cups that are down. If a cup is neither up or down, it does not count at all.
Group Juggle
  1. Play indoors in a multipurpose room that has the tables, chairs and/or benches put up. Have students make a circle.
  2. One student is designated as the leader.
  3. On the ground beside the leader are 10-12 soft objects. Stuffed animals or soft baby toys that you can pick up at the Dollar Store are perfect
  4. The leader picks up one object, selects another child (who is not right next to him/her) by looking at him/her, SAYS the person’s name, and gently tosses that item to him/her.
  5. Then the person catching the item repeats the process of selection but also can not throw it to the leader until everyone has had a chance to catch and toss.
  6. This process continues in a PATTERN, until the last person has the item and then tosses it back to the leader saying his/her name.
  7. A second round should be played exactly the same, and in exactly the same order.
  8. Once round 2 is played and students understand what is going on, the game progresses.
  9. The leader starts with object #1, repeats the toss pattern. However, this time when the person he/she has originally tossed to has tossed the first item, the leader then tosses a second item, saying the person’s name, simultaneously with the other players tossing and saying names.
  10. Play continues until the leader has had all items returned.
Both of these activities are engaging and will help youth use energy and still be inside where the weather will not have much effect.

Not so usual celebrations…

July 12th is Pecan Pie Day.
Here are some Fun Facts about pecans:
  • Pecans are the only major nut tree that originated in North America.
  • Pecan is an Algonquin Indian word meaning “nuts requiring a stone to crack”.
  • Pecans are easier to shell than other nuts.
  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both enjoyed eating pecans.
  • In the 1700s, New Orleans became important in marketing pecans. The French created
Pecan Pie in New Orleans.
  • It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end to reach the top of the Empire State Building.
  • Albany, Georgia has over 600,000 pecan trees.
  • There are over 500 varieties of pecans today.
  • Every pecan pie uses 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb of pecans.
  • Pecan pie is a sweet custard pie made primarily of corn syrup and pecan nuts. It is popularly served at Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday meals.
Pecan Puzzle
  1. Using 8 ½” x 11” cardstock, have students divide the paper into a minimum of 10 puzzle pieces.
  2. In each puzzle piece, students write a Fun Fact about pecans.
  3. On the other side of the paper, students draw a picture of a pecan or pecan pie.
  4. Students cut the puzzle up and give it to another student to put back together, looking at either the picture side or the fact side of the puzzle.

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