I have three active grandsons that I love to babysit several days a week, and I like to keep them busy with lots of activities that are enriching and possibly educational. This summer I will watch the grands, Tigger (8), Kona (6), and Tahoe (4), for several weeks before the two older ones return to school in the fall and I wanted to create an in-home day camp experience for them. I decided to plan a variety of day-camp-type activities by choosing a theme and planning activities for each of the eight Multiple Intelligences when designing the day camp. I also wanted some academic focus embedded in the activities I chose.
I have planned four weeks of day camp activities and will make each week a separate post. Here are the four themes that I will offer in this series:
Week One Theme: Ice Cream Dreams
Week Two Theme: The Game Plan
Week Three Theme: We Like Bikes
Week Four: Water, Water, Everywhere
Week One: Ice Cream Dreams
The weekly schedule: Each day I will “dip into” the Read Aloud Book (see Linguistic Intelligence), have the grands (or day campers) make ice cream using a different recipe or method (see Mathematics Intelligence), and offer a craft project (see Spatial Intelligence). I will prepare at least one activity from the other intelligences sometime during the week, so that all eight intelligences are covered by the end of this day camp unit. I will also mention any academic focus I plan on integrating into any of the activities.
Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Read and discuss books- It’s always nice to include books as part of the day camp experience. I usually get my books from the library. During the week these books can be used to go along with the theme:
Nonfiction: How to Make Ice Cream by Tom Greve is a book that gives directions for making ice cream using zipper type plastic bags. There is also some information on the science used in making ice cream. It is especially good for grades 1-3. Academic focus: Following Directions or Sequencing-If I use the method for making ice cream described in the book, then the academic focus will be on following written directions. Otherwise, I will use this book as a sequencing activity. Since there is also a table of contents and picture glossary in this book, I will make sure to point those features out to my grands as well.
Fiction: Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis: This is such a cute story of a little boy who writes a letter to his grandfather about all his adventures during the summer. Interestingly, all of his summer activities seem to involve ice cream in some way. He practices his math, spelling, reading, and even learns about other countries and some history…all in the pursuit of his favorite pursuit: ice cream. The pictures are adorable because they use the ice cream cone motif in the illustrations of sand castles, airplanes, and even maps. Academic Focus: Details-I’ll have the grands give me a few details from the story.
Read Aloud: The Boxcar Children-The Chocolate Sundae Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner explains the story of four siblings (Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny) who help out at a local ice cream shoppe during the summer and solve several mysteries regarding missing parfait glasses, chocolate syrup, broken windows, and spoiled whipped cream. My grandsons love this series already, but this story is certainly a favorite since it deals with ice cream. I love how the Alden children enjoy helping others and the thought processes they use to solve the mystery. This is a great read aloud book, and is also available as an audible book (which is great to use when traveling in the car with children). Academic focus: Making Predictions: At appropriate points in the story, I will have the grands make predictions on the solution of the mystery in the story.
Storytelling or Writing Prompts: I will give my grandsons at least one of these prompts and have them tell me a story (or write it down depending on their interest or age level.) Academic focus: Main Characters and Plot (Complete sentences if used as a written activity.)
- The Ice Cream Shoppe down the street was having a contest to see who could make the yummiest new kind of ice cream. The winner got free ice cream sundaes for the whole family. I decided to enter the contest and went right to work…
- Yesterday afternoon, I accidentally left a carton of ice cream on the kitchen table and went out to play. When I returned two hours later, I couldn’t believe what I saw in the kitchen…
- The ice cream truck was parked next to the playground so I asked my dad for some money to buy an ice cream. But when I walked up to the ice cream truck, there was no one inside…
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
Make Ice Cream: There are many ways to make ice cream, even if you do not own an ice cream maker. Even if you have an ice cream maker, I think it is fun to have the children learn different ways of making this cold and yummy treat. Why not make a different recipe or method each day? Academic Focus: As part of making ice cream, day campers have to use measuring spoons, measuring cups, etc. so they are using math as part of the process.
Using coffee cans: http://www.food.com/recipe/homemade-ice-cream-in-a-coffee-can-244054
Using Zipper type baggies: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/ice-cream3.htm
Using a blender: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-blender-ice-cream-recipes/coconut-bliss
Using an ice cream maker: There are plenty of recipes on the internet for making ice cream with an ice cream maker. Some require cooking first, but I like to use recipes with my grandsons that are easier than that. Here is one of my grandsons favorite ice cream recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/140877/easy-eggless-strawberry-ice-cream/
Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)
Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)
Where do the ingredients for an ice cream sundae come from? This is a great discussion or research topic for the grands (day campers). I’ll have the grands list the ingredients for ice cream and some of the other foods that might be used to make an ice cream sundae and then either tell them or have the oldest grandson look this information up on his computer. Academic focus: Use a map or atlas to identify the origins of some of these foods used to make ice cream.
Here are some ingredients we might discuss:
Cream: Cream can be produced by cattle or goats. Cattle that grazes on natural pasture usually gives cream with a slight yellow tone. Indoor fed cattle or goats produce cream that is more white.
Vanilla: This delicious spice comes from the vanilla orchid, a vine that grows up in trees. It originally grew in Mexico and Central America, but now is grown around the world.
Sugar: Most sugar in the United States comes from sugar beets. Modern sugar beets were first cultivated in Prussia. The sugar is made in the leaves of the sugar beet plant during the photosynthesis process and then stored in the taproot of the sugar beet plant. Another popular source of sugar is from sugar cane which is a tall grass native to tropical and subtropical areas of South Asia.
Chocolate: This comes from the seed pods of a small tropical tree, the Theobroma cacao, which is native to Central and South America. It is grown in many places in the world now, with about 70% of the world’s chocolate being grown in Africa.
Strawberry: The garden strawberry can be grown in many places in the world, but was first cultivated from wild strawberry plants in France. This compact plant can grow in small areas that get at least eight hours of full sun. (Another project could be to plant some strawberry plants in the backyard to grow strawberries to use in recipes or to top ice cream sundaes.)
Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)
Craft projects: The grands love to do art projects, so I always have lots of activities in this intelligence. Lot of materials that you already have around the house can be used to make the crafts including egg cartons, cotton balls, paper plates, and playdough.
Here are links to some crafts that I will use for the day camp:
I will be using a few more craft ideas from these links:
Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)
Circle Storytelling: Sit in a circle and start a story. Have the day campers take turns going around the circle and contribute to the story. An example of a story starter is: The ice cream store down the street has so many new flavors. Each day last week I went to the ice cream store and tried a different flavor. On Monday I ordered……
Dramatic play: Running an Ice Cream Parlor-I will have the grands pretend that they own an ice cream shop. Besides using household objects to create their ice cream parlor, I will have my three grandsons design a menu of ice cream cones and sundaes for this shop. Besides having them plan their own special items for the menu, I will encourage them to name each of the items using the names of book titles or storybook characters, such as “Pete the Cat’s Too Cool Banana Blast.” Then the grands can work together to make a poster of the featured items at their ice cream shop.
Ice Cream Social: Plan a party for friends, family, or neighbors using ice cream that the day campers make themselves.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)
Racing for Toppings: In this physical activity, the grands (day campers) will have to run back and forth a few times to pick out the toppings they want on an ice cream sundae. The winner, of course, gets their ice cream sundae made first. To prepare for the race: Find a place to hold the race, whether it is in your backyard, playground, or playroom. Make pictures of the different toppings and/or ice cream flavors from which the day campers can choose such as chopped walnuts, chocolate syrup, strawberries, cherries, whipped cream, etc. (The day campers can make the pictures or you can find pictures on the internet and paste them onto paper. I will make multiple pictures of each item so more than one grand can choose the same topping during the race.) Spread the pictures out at one end of the racing lanes. Then decide how many toppings you want the day campers to have on their sundaes. The object of the race is to run and pick up one topping each time the day camper runs to the end of the lane. So if you have allowed each child to have three toppings on their sundaes, they will have to run back and forth three times.
Ice Cream Exercises: To prepare ahead of time: Cut out eight paper circles (to represent scoops of ice cream). On one side of the circles, write a letter from the word ice cream. On the back of each circle, list an exercise. Put these circles in a container such as a bag or basket. To play: I will have the grands take turns picking a circle out of the container. They will read the letter on one side and then read the exercise on the other side. Then all the grands will do the exercise before the next child gets to pick out another circle. Here are suggestions of exercises I will use for my grands (day campers):
- Ten jumping jacks
- Two forward somersaults
- Run in place for 20 seconds
- Hop on one foot ten times
- Ten mountain climbers
- Hold plank position for ten seconds
- Hold downward facing dog position for ten seconds
- Do a crab walk for ten feet
Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)
- Discuss individually with each grand: What is your favorite ice cream? Why?
- I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.
- Journal: I will give each day camper a little booklet, and have them write or draw their favorite experiences from this day camp theme.
For more activities and books based on an ice cream theme, look at these links from educators:
I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.
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