Week 7 of summer camp was an outdoor adventure inside, and week 8 was music to our ears! We wove camping and music themes into activities to help campers continue practicing language, social, emotional, and sensory-motor skills.
Here’s a peek at our fun:
Morning Circle Time
Campers continued to use Zones of Regulation® and Social Thinking™ visual supports and vocabulary to strengthen emotional regulation and social communication skills. “Social Wonder” questions included Have you ever been camping? What is your favorite forest animal? What is your favorite song? and Which musical instrument do you like?
Our circle time lessons were:
- “The Size of the Problem” (from Social Thinking™) — Campers improved their ability to analyze a problem and categorize it as big, medium, or little (for younger campers simply big vs. little). Older campers also discussed “Size of the Reaction,” exploring whether the size of a person’s reaction matches the size of their problem. They also talked about what happens when someone has a big reaction to a little problem.
- We reviewed the Zones of Regulation®, which help campers determine how they are feeling, the level of control they have over their bodies and actions, and simple strategies for regulating emotions.
Campers practiced following directions, sequencing, collaborating, and using fine motor skills while making daily crafts. Our camping-themed projects included bear paintings, paper towel roll binoculars, and a paper towel roll and tissue paper campfire. The binoculars and campfire came in handy when we used our imaginations to camp out and roast marshmallows in our darkened sensory gym! During music week we made maracas with paper tubes and beans, and collaborated to create a banner and decorations for our end-of-week ICT Talent Show. We’ve had great success using recycled materials for our crafts since we launched “ICT Loves Mother Earth!”
Yoga songs, poses, and guided relaxations continue to help campers increase body awareness and learn how to calm their minds and bodies. Campers used creative camping and music poses, pretended to be sleeping in a tent under the stars, and tried to identify the sound of different musical instruments.
Daily movement activities, led by our occupational therapists, help campers practice motor planning, sequencing, spatial awareness, strengthening core muscles, and teamwork. Camping activities included navigating obstacles during a “bear hunt,” practicing a variety of animal walks, and playing “hot potato” around the campfire. During music week they moved their bodies to various songs and instruments, and played musical chairs.
Sensory activities are a chance for campers to explore different sounds and textures, improve fine motor skills, share materials and space, work together, and follow through with clean up. Activities included using hands and binoculars to explore “snow,” sand, and dried beans, and putting beans in various containers and shaking to listen to their sound.
Interactive listening activities help campers understand and follow directions of increasing complexity, attend to auditory stimuli in background noise, use whole body listening, and wait their turn. Listening activities including the books “Going on a Bear Hunt” and “I got Rhythm,” and Hearbuilders tasks on the iPad.
Campers love music sessions with Ms. Julia, so dedicating an entire week’s theme to music was a huge hit! To close out the week, every one of our campers was brave enough to take to the stage for our ICT Talent show. We were so proud watching them sing, dance, draw on the whiteboard, and even do gymnastics while their friends cheered them on. Staff showed off their talents, too, with juggling, magic, belly dancing, and more! We ended with a big group dance party and award photos.
Science is an exciting way to practice making predictions, following directions, describing attributes, and practicing self-control. Our camping-themed experiment was to combine oil, water, seltzer tablets, and food coloring to create a lava lamp.
Free play is an opportunity for campers to practice social communication skills while playing alongside and with their peers. Therapists offer help when needed, encouraging campers to use expressive language, share, combine ideas, and work together to set up and clean up.
We love seeing the continued progress our campers make every week as they learn, practice new skills, and make friends!