July 22, 2015

July is Picnic Month!!!

It’s the month of picnics! July holds many favorable sun-filled days. We have ice cream day, hot dog day, dance day, but best of all, the whole month has been dedicated to picnics! So if you need an excuse to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors… here’s your ticket!

Picnics bring the family together and form lasting memories. However, since youngsters continually soak up their environment and never stop learning, why not throw a little lesson into the picnic basket?! There are plenty of fun activities and short lessons to engage in while enjoying ham sandwiches in the park.

The Education Department of Guam has a great website with lesson plans for early childhood education. Click this link for a PDF of terrific picnic activities and picnic-themed skill builders!

July 9, 2015

Road Trip Games Galore!


Once the miracle of actually getting everyone in the car for the road trip is achieved, the next miracle is trying to keep the peace in the back seat.

Here are some of the top picks from The Pencil Grip to keep the car (and your sanity) running smoothly.

1: Thinking of an Animal

This one is pretty straight forward, yet quite entertaining. One person in the car starts the round by stating “I’m thinking of an animal”. Then, each participant in the car takes turns asking one ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question to the personal who is “thinking of an animal”. Depending on the age of the people on the trip, the animals can range from a Cow, to a West African Black Rhino. Be warned, the tougher the animal, the more knowledge of that animal is needed!
2: Fortunately – Unfortunately
This game can get pretty wacky, but when you are 2 hours in with 12 hours left, wacky may just be the ticket! The game starts off with someone stating an Unfortunate sentence. “Unfortunately, all my chickens flew the coop.” Then, another person states a Fortunate sentence to combat the Unfortunate one. “Fortunately, I have an army of chicken catchers!” The wackier the sentences are, the funnier the game can be!

3: Team Storytelling
This is a great game for letting the creative side of the mind run free. There are 2 variations that can be done when playing. The first one is where the team of storytellers takes turns telling the story word by word. For example, one person says “once” the next says “upon” then next says “a” the next says “time” and the story bobs and weaves from there. The other variation is where one person says “once upon a time” and the next person says “there was a princess in a castle” and on it goes.

4: When I go camping
This game is pretty insane in the membrane! This memory based game not only burns time, but it also builds memorization skills all at once. The game is played where each member of the ride takes turns adding to the mental list of items you bring while camping. But the trick is that each person needs to recall what was previously said before they can add to the list of camping items. For example: One person starts the game by saying “when I go camping, I bring a flash light.” The next person needs to recall the previous items stated before they can add-on to the list. “When I go camping, I bring a flash light and a fishing pole”. The next says “When I go camping, I bring a flash light, fishing pole, and a tent.” And the list grows and grows until someone forgets an item on the list.
5: Concentration
Similar to ‘When I go camping’, Concentration builds memorization as well as thinking on your feet! This game has a rhythm as well as a rhyme to start the game. The rules of the game dictate that a category must be chosen, such as ‘clothing’, and then each person of the game begins saying articles of clothing to the beat of the game. If the person does not say an article of clothing in the designated time, or repeats an article of clothing that has already been said, that person is eliminated until a winner has been crowned and the game restarts. Once a person is eliminated the category switches to something else. The rhythm of the game goes (Thump, Thump) (clap clap clap). The rhyme at the beginning of the game goes: “Concentration (clap clap clap) 64 (clap clap clap) no repeats (clap clap clap) or hesitations (clap clap clap) category is (clap clap clap) clothing (clap clap clap).” Then the articles of clothing begin to rattle off to the beat of the game.

Have fun with these games and may the traffic be in your favor!