Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PeeWees: Baily Goes Camping (week 1)

Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes is one of my very favorite children's books in our whole library.  There's something about the rhythm plus the parenting plus the symmetry plus the illustrations that almost makes me swoon with literary perfection.  Perhaps I exaggerate.  But I really love it.

Synopsis:  Bruce and Betty are Bunny Scouts, so they are going camping.  Little brother Bailey is too little to go, but he wishes he could.  Bruce and Betty try to console him by telling him it's not that great.  "All we do is eat hot dogs and live in a tent and go swimming and fishing and hunt for bears and tell ghost stories and fall asleep under the stars.  And best of all, roast marshmallows."  (A PeeWee lesson plan practically writes itself off this list.)  After they leave, Mama and Papa try to distract Bailey, but all he wants to do is those camping things.  So Mama says, "You can do all those things right here."  And they proceed to do them at home, ending with roasting marshmallows at the stove burner and falling asleep under a star-covered quilt  by the open window with stars in the sky.

When I told Hazel and Ginger yesterday we were doing this book, they wanted to help, so they made "Bailey Goes Camping" banners to welcome the PeeWees.

Arrival:  We started the day with some painting.  We painted cardboard tubes that, once dry, we will make into binoculars for our bear hunt next time.
While they painted, I played some bluegrass background music.  I told them it was called "bluegrass" or "mountain" music, and was distinguishable by its quick fiddle (a special way to play violin) and sometimes banjo, like a round guitar.

Circle Time:  We sang our welcome song, and reviewed the alphabet and the letters in our names.   For counting, I had 20 pictures of camping things that we laid out, named, and briefly discussed.  Things like hiking boots, campfire, mosquitoes, and pocket knife.  Got the pictures from here
Then for reading the book, we went out back into the tent Ed had set up for us.
Our carpet squares were already in there, along with prop bags similar to the ones we had with Harry.  Everyone got their bag, and we pulled things out one at a time to see what we had - a plate, a cookie cutter, a bear, sunglasses, etc.  Then we put everything back on our bags and read the story.  Almost every page had a corresponding item, so we paused to take that out and see how it related to the story before going on.

 After reading Bailey through one time, it was back into the house to wash hands and have snack.

Snack:  One thing Bailey does is go fishing in his bathtub, so our snack had a "Gone Fishin'" theme.  A "pond" of goldfish, with a fishing rod made of pretzel stick and string licorice, with a gummy worm tied on the end.  It also helped that everyone likes goldfish and I remembered what a hit gummy worms were when we did Grumpy Bird.

Art:  For art, we made paper collage campfires.  Yesterday the girls helped me tear/cut up red, orange, and yellow cellophane, tissue paper, and construction paper.  I drizzled glue all over black paper, and the PeeWees stuck the paper pieces on.  At the end, we glued some twigs along the bottom.  These will probably take awhile to dry.  Many of the kids didn't like having sticky gluey fingers, but since this was the activity, they didn't have any choice, and pushed through.
Activity 1:  Ghost Stories.  One of the things you do when camping, is tell ghost stories.  At home, there is a picture of Bailey on his Dad's lap, and Papa and Mama with scared looks on their faces as Bailey spins them a tale.  I wanted to bring in this concept, without (hopefully) actually scaring our children.  We went back in the tent, and with the flashlights from our prop bags, I showed them how to turn them on and shine them up from the chin to look "scary."  Then, while we all held our flashlights this way, I read them a 2-page story called "Never Kick a Ghost."  It was pretty benign, so hopefully no one will be really scared.  We just were supposed to pretend to be scared, but really it was just silly.  Did it work?

 Afterward they made their own game of jumping to see who could touch the tip top of the tent ceiling.

Activity 2: Camping Bingo Back inside, we used the picture cards we had counted earlier, and of course some marshmallows for markers, to play Bingo.  This is at least the third time they've done bingo, and they've really gotten the hang of it.

Activity 3:  Marshmallow Stacking.  Next I brought out a tray of large marshmallows, and we tried to see how high we could stack them before toppling over.  Pretty hard to get more than three.  Short-lived activity.

Re-read:  Back out in the tent, we re-read the book, but this time took our Camping Bingo cards with us to see how many of those things we could find in the story.

Activity 4:  We had time for one more marshmallow activity, so I put them in two teams.  Each team got a bucket of marshmallows, an ice tray, and two pairs of tongs.  Anyone who's played at my house knows I love to do this activity with pompoms.  Each team had to pick up marshmallows with the tongs and put one marshmallow in each section of the ice tray.

Activity 5:  Closing/water table.  We quickly did our goodbye song, then outside to play in the water table.  We put fish in the water, but I didn't have enough fishing poles, so we did mostly watering cans and cups - dump and fill stuff.  I tried to do this at the very end so they wouldn't get too wet, but Poppy still managed to completely soak herself.  Super awesome PeeWee day!

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