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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Keeping a 5 yo DCG Busy
Josiegirl 04:01 AM 06-08-2018
Many days this summer, I'll only have a 1 yo dcb, 20 mo dcg and her 5 yo sister. 5 yo is not a girly girl but loves to watch and catch bugs, do puzzles, playdough, color, make mud pies. But there are only so many hours you can fill with those types of things. Not to mention no matter what she does, lil sis *has* to be in on it too. Any ideas for unique and fun stuff for an active busy 5 yo girl?? Or for combining 2 small dcks with her?

Thanks!!
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Pestle 05:33 AM 06-08-2018
I'd say, pick a subject you're extremely familiar with and spend some time planning ahead for learning and activities that can be approached at different levels of capability.

I like to do art with mixed age groups--I've got one today. You can spend several days focused on color mixing and color palettes, sending the kids around the room to find objects of each color on the color wheel, then giving them a color wheel and primary-color crayons and helping them layer the primary colors into secondary colors. (I also have transparent plastic color paddles, which help with the conceptualization.) You can mix primary-colored finger paints, primary-colored watercolor, and primary-colored food dye, either one after the other, or once per day, to reinforce the concept and to show that it's not limited to just the first medium you used to introduce it to the kids.

I pull out an art book and show them several paintings with different color schemes. Then I give the little kids a limited set of colors to work with, and I give the big kids their choice. For instance, I gave a board book of Degas paintings and a board book of Cezanne paintings to a kindergartener, and asked her to go through, pick her two favorite, and then go through the crayon bin and find matching colors. She was occupied for quite a while making two drawings, each using the same color palette as the painting she chose, but each with her own subject.

You can go through the art books in advance and bookmark paintings that have the same color scheme but different emotions, or paintings that represent landscape/portrait/still life, or paintings that have thick defining lines vs. paintings with blurred shapes, etc.

Another favorite multi-age activity is an Alphabet Walk. I give the big kids a sheet of paper with the alphabet written in big letters down one column (if they're old enough, I have them write the alphabet themselves). Then, while on a walk, I ask them to look around, say aloud what they can see, and try to find one object for each letter. When we get back, we tally up to see who found the most letters.

Baking from a box mix or making a simple recipe--the big kids can read the recipe and learn how to measure and mix; the little kids enjoy dumping ingredients and stirring. Even squeezing orange juice is fun for multiple ages.

I'll get out a book on musical instruments, then use my Chromebook to play a short clip of each instrument in the book. (Select those clips ahead of time.)
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Pestle 05:37 AM 06-08-2018
Do you have any friends with older kids? Can you borrow some outgrown toys and activities from them?
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storybookending 06:17 AM 06-08-2018
Any girl that Iíve met that age loves fuse beads and can stay occupied for hours. When I worked at a school aged summer camp they were by far the most used toy/craft item among the 5-9 year old girls. The boys even liked them too!
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LysesKids 06:47 AM 06-08-2018
Originally Posted by Pestle:
I'd say, pick a subject you're extremely familiar with and spend some time planning ahead for learning and activities that can be approached at different levels of capability.

I like to do art with mixed age groups--I've got one today. You can spend several days focused on color mixing and color palettes, sending the kids around the room to find objects of each color on the color wheel, then giving them a color wheel and primary-color crayons and helping them layer the primary colors into secondary colors. (I also have transparent plastic color paddles, which help with the conceptualization.) You can mix primary-colored finger paints, primary-colored watercolor, and primary-colored food dye, either one after the other, or once per day, to reinforce the concept and to show that it's not limited to just the first medium you used to introduce it to the kids.

I pull out an art book and show them several paintings with different color schemes. Then I give the little kids a limited set of colors to work with, and I give the big kids their choice. For instance, I gave a board book of Degas paintings and a board book of Cezanne paintings to a kindergartener, and asked her to go through, pick her two favorite, and then go through the crayon bin and find matching colors. She was occupied for quite a while making two drawings, each using the same color palette as the painting she chose, but each with her own subject.

You can go through the art books in advance and bookmark paintings that have the same color scheme but different emotions, or paintings that represent landscape/portrait/still life, or paintings that have thick defining lines vs. paintings with blurred shapes, etc.

Another favorite multi-age activity is an Alphabet Walk. I give the big kids a sheet of paper with the alphabet written in big letters down one column (if they're old enough, I have them write the alphabet themselves). Then, while on a walk, I ask them to look around, say aloud what they can see, and try to find one object for each letter. When we get back, we tally up to see who found the most letters.

Baking from a box mix or making a simple recipe--the big kids can read the recipe and learn how to measure and mix; the little kids enjoy dumping ingredients and stirring. Even squeezing orange juice is fun for multiple ages.

I'll get out a book on musical instruments, then use my Chromebook to play a short clip of each instrument in the book. (Select those clips ahead of time.)
You don't happen to have the board books that are called Mini Masters by some chance; my older babes love those. I also own the bigger board books where you can "touch" the art. I love that they show the actual museum pictures for each artist, along with having a poem
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Pestle 07:18 AM 06-08-2018
Originally Posted by LysesKids:
You don't happen to have the board books that are called Mini Masters by some chance; my older babes love those. I also own the bigger board books where you can "touch" the art. I love that they show the actual museum pictures for each artist, along with having a poem
That's them! I love them so much.

I use Sister Wendy's Story of Painting for supplemental images; it's super-cheap used on Amazon and you can probably find it at many used bookstores.
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Pestle 07:26 AM 06-08-2018
Oh, if you're into art, let me wholeheartedly recommend Philip Yenawine's books: Shapes, Lines, Colors, People, Places, and Stories. Each book takes an element of art and shows different depictions in traditional and modern art. You'll probably have to find them used on Amazon.
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LysesKids 07:50 AM 06-08-2018
Originally Posted by Pestle:
Oh, if you're into art, let me wholeheartedly recommend Philip Yenawine's books: Shapes, Lines, Colors, People, Places, and Stories. Each book takes an element of art and shows different depictions in traditional and modern art. You'll probably have to find them used on Amazon.
I also have these... you think along the same lines so add these to the collection; Imagination, Dance, Counting
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Cat Herder 07:53 AM 06-08-2018
Google "5 year old only child summer".

That has helped me plan for my one young school ager. Here. All. Summer.
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Josiegirl 09:43 AM 06-08-2018
Thanks so much!!! You'd think, after all these years of caring for children I could do this in my sleep. But usually I have more than 1 in this age group and there lies the dilemma. I talked with dcm a bit this a.m. about it and she also gave me some good hints. I'm very lucky in that this dcg is really great about occupying herself too.
She loves anything art so will definitely focus on that a lot. And focus on ways to help her with her writing; 1 impromptu game I played with her during winter break outdoors was writing from A-Z all over the fence, outdoor toys and even the snow and trees. She had to find each letter in its order. Kept her busy for awhile. Time to cruise google and pinterest.
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Cat Herder 10:00 AM 06-08-2018
Originally Posted by Josiegirl:
Time to cruise google and pinterest.
Just avoid the "stomp it out" frustration model with this age group. That backfired to the tune of $85 worth of wooden train set here today. https://www.bjclearn.org/resiliency/PDFs/002106.pdf

I should have gone with "stomp it outside".

Lesson learned.
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Tags:one child alone, school age daycare kids, single kid
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