One Crazy Summer

>> Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wow. Where has the summer gone? We got back from Japan and I had to jump right into making stuff for a studio tour, then I taught camp after camp after camp.
We started with Japan Camp - loads of fun. I had just enough kimono, hapi coats, and yukata for every kid to get to wear one and they loved them. We made Japanese food for lunch every day - yakisoba and ramen were the biggest successes. We made kokeshi dolls (mostly ninjas), five stones games, mini zen gardens and more. We read stories set in Japan and listened to Japanese music. We bound our own little books and learned how to write haiku.

All in all a very fun week - followed immediately by Playing with Picture Books - a camp for the littlies where we made art inspired by fabulous picture books. My favorites were monster drawings inspired by Leonardo the Terrible Monster. The kids' favorites were mixed media art where they cut out photos of themselves and pasted them onto backgrounds they had drawn and painted. Inspired by every book by Lauren Child - and we read them all. We also ate snacks inspired by picture books. My favorite was the orange twiglets, green drops, and moonsquirters inspired by I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato. The kids' favorite was popsicles inspired by The Good Humor Man.

Then there was Sewing Softies - one of my favorite camps of the summer. I started them all on the same project - a simple bunny. They learned how to embroider the face, applique on a tail, make lined ears, and attach body parts in the seams. After that the sky as the limit and they could make anything they imagined - and make they did! They made birds, fish, sharks, dogs and cats - some of the kids made more than one softie a day. I really wish I had taken pictures of the piles of softies - but they kept me hopping. I did find Jo's bird in her room and snapped a quick photo. That long black mark on his face is not a mistake - that's his eye. Jo said she made it really big because he's a night bird - how can I argue with that?
Then I had a week off - and I needed it because the last camp was a doozy. Sumer Camp with the American Girls. I asked the girls ahead of time who their favorites were and - luckily - there were a clear five. We spent one day living in the world of each girl, playing games, making crafts, and cooking food from that period.

We started with Felicity - a Colonial girl. The girls all made mob caps (oh how I wish a I had a photo of them all in their mob caps!), baked Sally Lunn bread, and learned how to dance the minuet. We also cut quill pens out of actual feathers and they wrote letters with them.

Next up was Josefina from New Mexico (before it was part of the US). We made fringed rebozos (used all week to carry dolls around - so cute!), took a tour of the weaving studio, and did our own weaving on simple cardboard looms. We made corn tortillas from scratch and quesadillas for snack. Yum!

For Samantha we made gigantic hairbows and fancy paper fans, and decorated petit fours for snack.

The frosting looks really grainy because they added TONS of liquid food coloring to tint it and it made the buttercream frosting separate. Happily - they didn't care a bit and it still tasted fine. We also played lots of parlor games that day.

I think Kit may have been everyone's favorite. We made banana bread, decorated tin cans to use in their rooms, listened to an episode of the Little Orphan Annie radio show while they worked jigsaw puzzles, made embroidered dinner napkins out of scrap fabric, and played lots of games.

We ended the week with Julie - from my own childhood in the "historical" seventies. We made layered Jello with canned fruit cocktail in it (yuck!), painted pet rocks, made beaded macrame bracelets, and learned to dance the hustle.

All in all it was a really successful bunch of camps and a fun summer - but I'm looking forward to our more relaxed routine of the rest of the year. I've already got plans to teach a Harry Potter Camp next summer - and I'll probably do another sewing camp - but I think that's it. I'm planning to make more time for reading, napping, and general lazing about.


Michael Kline August 1, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

Yea, but I still have the right to call the next month summer even though school starts next week! ;-)

It has been a roller coaster ride.

Kristin Tubb August 1, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

wow! What a wonderful summer! Can I come to camp next year? :)

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