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Week 1

Exploring the Cosmos Together!

Welcome to Camp Yakety Yak first-timers and welcome back to veteran camp-goers! We're doing the space theme again, this time as Cosmic Explorers! We will learn about  stars, planets, and other spectacular space stuff. It is time for campers to grab your astronaut suits and time to blast off into fun with all the amazing people at camp!

Day 1

Depsite the summer heat outside, the first day of camp was successful! New friends were made and old friends were seen again, it was time to get into our teams and set a course for our classes. Today in Play, campers played hot potato, or ‘hot planets’. If the music stopped while someone was holding the beach ball, no problem! This astronaut got to become the ‘sun’ sitting in the circle while the planets orbited around them. In Projects, we read Incredible Me and made “conversation starter” crowns that had our names and things about ourselves like our families and interests. In Games teams Green, Silver, and Purple, along with Explorers Red and Blue played cooperative icebreaker games. We took turns passing a ball introducing ourselves and sharing our favorite color, then again but only using our feet to pass the ball. We then held hands and completed the hula hoop wave where were maneuvered our bodies through the hula hoop. We finished with everyone taking turns being callers in Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cone. In Friendship we read a new story called Mousetronaut. We learned that everyone is unique and special in their own way and that we need to have a growth mindset to persevere through difficult situations, just like Meteor the mouse up in space. Then did an activity called 'what makes you a star' which has us decorate a star cutout and wrote one special thing about ourselves on it.

In Cooking Class, the Yak Apprentices and the Silver Team mixed oatmeal, sun butter, and other delicious ingredients to roll them into balls to create Cranberry Chocolate Chip asteroids.

In Mindfulness, our astronauts learned our daily routine: stretches and breathing followed by playing the name game and everyone told their favorite facts about space. We decorated our “Space Kids” which we are using throughout the week to check in and emotionally regulate before class has started. We ended class with stretches led by the astronauts. We are so excited to welcome our buddies, both new and previous campers! Today in Buddies, we played with playdough and made a space wreath.

Lots of people sang their favorite songs at the end of day talent show! And many more will partake in the show on the following days this week. All of these campers are super talented indeed, they are fearless superstars!

In Discovery the Cosmic Explorers on the Red, Yellow, and Blue teams got to know one another by introducing themselves to their team and sharing the one thing they would take to outer space if they were to go. We then decorated moons that would become our Name Tags for the week. At the end of class we read Kid Scientist: Astronauts on the Space Station which taught us some out-of-this-world facts about a few of the topics we’ll be covering this week. Explorers Red bonded and forged friendships through a series of exhilarating games and team activities. Explorers Blue made an awesome planet craft and galaxy bags! We read Dash Dinosaur in the Race to Space and sang songs together. We are excited to welcome our Purple, Green, Orange, and Silver teams to our astronaut training program in Chit Chat! Today, our crews got to know one another in a few different games. Campers moon jumped all around the room to answer questions about themselves. Then, teams passed a moon (ball) around and told their crew all about their favorite things.

Day 2

Our course continues to be more fun on our second day of camp, with more crafts and games with our amazing friends. In Projects, we read Raccoon on the Moon, we could choose to make one of three different crafts: toilet paper roll puppets, raccoons, aliens, or a rocket ship. In Play, Campers had a blast playing the game ‘Four planets.’ Campers took turns being designated as the leader who was blindfolded. When the leader called out ‘Four planets’ campers scrambled to pick one of the ‘planets’ (corner of the room) to visit, hoping the leader would not pick that planet. The leader called out the name of a planet of their choosing. All campers who chose that planet lost a ‘life’ to stay in the game. The game repeated with a new leader. In Games, Teams Green, Purple and Explorers Blue had fun making friends and playing board games. The Orange team started this week off strong with the same activities the other teams did yesterday. Friendship class we learned about personal space by reading the book Personal Space Camp, then discussed what personal space means to them, and decorating their own personal space bubbles. Explorers Red had their turn at making Cranberry Chocolate Chip asteroids. In Discovery the Cosmic Explorers came together to take their best astronaut deep breaths before blasting off to decorate telescopes after learning about them. In Projects, we read Raccoon on the Moon, and for the craft, the kiddos had a choice of making one of three different toilet paper roll puppets, raccoons, aliens, or a rocket ship.

Today in Mindfulness campers got to see their finished “space kid” projects and got to put them on the board telling others where their energy levels were at. We went through our stretches and breathing and then we were in the gym and played Space Freeze tag with pool noodles. The campers were either being chased, an alien (the tagger) or an astronaut (the un-freezer). We ended class with our stretches. Today in Explorers Red we learned about identifying emotions and observed the feelings wheel. In Explorers Blue we made name rockets and read Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket! This day in Buddies, we made paper plate aliens and got to play with stamps! Today in Chit Chat, our astronauts practiced identifying different emotions and how to manage them, in themselves and others. We explored some stressful scenarios set in deep space and thought about how we would feel. I was impressed beyond measure- the astronauts kept level heads and read the situation, correctly identifying how they and their crewmates would feel!

Day 3

Next stop on our fun space cruise is to see our friends again and trying new activities. Games class was filled with smiles and laughter for the Green, Silver, and Purple teams. We passed a ball down the line of campers alternating the passing over our head and under our legs for the best time! Campers enjoyed working together to beat the clock. We then participated in a cup tower stacking relay and Flip cup tic tac toe! The Friendship class continued to explore outer space by reading a book called Luna Muna. Just like Luna, they got to make their own magical space helmets out of paper plates, pipe cleaners, and other craft materials. Today in Cooking Class, the YA chopped lettuce and chicken, grated parmesan cheese, and mixed ingredients to create a fabulous Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap they can recreate for lunch or dinner at home! In Discovery the Cosmic Explorers came together for some rocket ship breaths so that we could explore craters in today’s Crater Chat. Next, we explored a chemical reaction through some baking soda and vinegar planetary artwork. Each camper misted colored vinegar onto their baking soda planets and watched the fizzy reaction occur. When these dry they will form craters just like real planets! These planets will then be attached to a cosmic background.

On the third of Projects, we read We're All Wonders and colored in our own helmets, some decorated them with stickers and other embellishments, while others opted for pretty drawings. They then either cut them out and put them on a popsicle stick as a mask or just left them 2d! Today in Explorers Red we experimented with watercolors and drew a picture that expressed our feelings. We then painted a space-themed picture. We had a lot of fun with Games with Katy! In Explorers Blue we made moon scenes out of aluminum foil and did sensory play with shaving cream. Our Buddies got to create a UFO craft, as well as paint on big paper. In Play, campers played a team vs. team game called ‘Save the planet.’ Teams worked together to build a planet out of blocks, and worked to keep it safe from the incoming asteroids (beach balls). Today, our astronauts in Chit Chat prepared for take-off! We learned about the importance of personal space for safety and comfort. Then, each astronaut made their own “personal space” - their own room on their crew’s very own spaceship!

Day 4

We're wrapping up our space adventure soon, but still having our cosmic fun! In Play, we worked together as a team to keep all of the beach ball planets within our parachute solar system. It was a blast! The Green and Purple teams played board games together in Games class. Our focus was on being good winners and losers. The energy in the gym was great and everyone had someone to play with. Today was an explosion of fun for campers in Friendship. We learned about how to contain our volcanoes (mouths) and not to interrupt others by reading the book My Mouth is a Volcano. There was a chance to practice a new breathing technique called volcano breathing. Hands went together in the shape of a volcano and we breathe in, hands go up, and breathe out, hands go out like a volcano. The explosively fun activity was painted paper plate and tissue paper volcanoes. In Chit Chat, a real-life astronaut visited our class today, and read to our astronauts-in-training about all the important work astronauts do. Today in Cooking class, the Explorers Red chopped lettuce and chicken, grated parmesan cheese, and mixed ingredients to create a fabulous Chicken Caesar Salad Wrap they can recreate for lunch or dinner at home!

Today in Discovery the Cosmic Explorers rocked their way around the solar system with an interactive music lesson. We started with a Listen and Draw activity where campers listened to space songs and drew the sounds or themes they heard in the songs. In this activity, we worked collaboratively with our teammates to create, write, and play music. Campers were invited to share their musical masterpieces with the team at the end of class. The fourth day of Projects we read A Place for Pluto and the campers used their imagination to create their own planet with tissue paper and other materials. They had a chance to name and introduce their new planets to their fellow campers. Explorers Red continued identifying emotions on the feeling wheel. We were given a destination imagination challenge where we had to work together as a team to complete it. Today in Explorers Blue we created our own constellations! We also played Battle of the Songs. In Buddies, we created a rocketship headband. Our campers also had a blast creating scratch art.

Day 5

The last day of our space exploration wrapped up and had everyone go home with lots of fun memories! In Play class, we spent time on the playground equipment playing together as a team. After a fun filled week of large group activities and board games Campers have earned Open Gym time in Games! Campers were given the choices of basketball, hula hoops, board games, or flip cup tic tac toe. I love watching new friends play together. An alien visited Chit Chat class today! With the training they received all week long, these astronauts were more than ready to welcome our extraterrestrial friend. After such an excellent week, the astronaut crews at Camp Yakety Yak will be making new friends to infinity and beyond! Today in Cooking Class, the Yak Apprentices and the Silver Team made Planetary Pizza Rolls using the air fryer. They were very yummy! To wrap up our first week in camp, Buddies decorated rocketships and played with shaving cream. Our campers had a great first week!

Week one came to a close with a friendly discussion about all the things we learned in Friendship Campers were able to finish up any project they needed or wanted more time on. Once they were done or felt they wanted to move on, we did positive affirmation planets. They got to come up with kind words and phrases to decorate on a planet and give to a friend, volunteer, instructor, or family member. It was a nice way to practice being a kind friend and seeing people for their strengths. We had a blast returning back to earth today! In Projects, we read Your Alien and learned about a special friendship between an alien and a human. For the craft, campers made their own alien buddies, made out of paper bags and embellishments! It was fun to see the aliens they came up with using their imagination! Explorers Red worked on their Expert Exploration and shared with the class. We designed a game as a table group and then shared the rules with the class. We then played each others game. We enjoyed popsicles at the end of the day! It was a great day! Today in Explorers Blue we made marbled planets! We played space bingo. We played games with Katy and learned about mindfulness with Miss Maizie.

Today in Mindfulness we had a snake infestation! Our friend Chris brought his two pet snakes, Pixie and Egypt. Campers learned about these snakes and got to pet and hold them. Campers who were not interested in meeting the snakes were given the option to have free play in the gymnasium. We had a sssssuper fun time!

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