Thursday, May 28, 2015

American Girl Club: Summer Fun

For our last American Girl Club of the school year I decided to focus on summer. I figured this would be a fun way to close out the program until fall. Like the "Best Friends" theme, this theme also helps me to stretch a limited number of American Girl characters over the greatest time period possible. It also is a theme that allows a wide variety of options as far as activities, games and snacks.

Image courtesy of

  • One session of 12 kids were registered. 
  • Age group: 3rd-6th graders. 
  • Length: One hour
  • The only cost involved was for our snacks (less than $10)

What we did: 
  • As usual we started out with a discussion about the American Girls characters. This time we focused on how they spent their summers. I tried to get the kids to think a little about how these character's summer plans were similar and different from their own. 
  • For our first game we focused on Rebecca, our American Girl from 1914. In Rebecca's summer story, she went to Coney Island. I had to explain to the kids that this was a place with rides and games, and in fact not just a restaurant. I set up a simple carnival game for them to play. I stacked five cups on our meeting room table and had the kids try to knock them down with a ball. Once that was done we tried turning the cups over and throwing marbles into them.
  • Next we played a little game of volleyball with my beach ball (purchased from the dollar store). I figured this was a fun summery game that they would enjoy. It was definitely a hit, because the kids didn't want to stop playing.
  • Our final activity was a beach themed game of pictionary. I found a word list at The Game Gal and picked the words I thought would be easiest to draw. 
A little record of our Pictionary fun :)
  • We ended the program with a craft related to Julie, from 1974. She is very into environmental issues, so we made bird feeders. To create them I we started with paper plates with the center cut out and holes punched on either side. The plates were prepared beforehand, and I left it to the kids to string yarn between the holes. Next time I make this feeders, I will do this step for them too, because some found it a little difficult. The plates were then covered on top with shortening (an allergy friendly alternative to peanut butter!) and sprinkled with bird seed. They can then be hung from the yarn. 

How it went:
This was a great end to my regular school year programming. Definitely a good way to usher in the summer before the craziness of summer reading hits! 

What we learned:
The attendees learned a little about different historical periods, in particular how the summer activities done in various time periods were often very similar to what they do in the summer. Through our craft, they learned a little about environmental issues. The games in general gave them valuable practice with teamwork.

For information on my other American Girl related programs go to these posts:

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