Summer Camp Recap: My Five Senses

by Melissa Harding

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Summer Camp Recap is our Friday seasonal segment featuring our summer camp programs. This is the place for camp parents to find pictures of their campers in action and see all the fun things we did all week. It’s also a great place for educators to pick up craft, story and lesson ideas for their own early childhood programs!

Some camps are so nice that you have to run them twice. Our Little Sprout programs have been so popular that we actually extended our typical camp season for an extra week just to add more Sprouts! Little Sprouts: My Five Senses is based on touching, smelling, hearing, seeing and even tasting. Campers learned what their five senses are and used them to explore the natural world. They spent the week smelling herbs, feeling plants and listening for nature sounds.

Day one focused on sight. Campers made a pair of binoculars out of recycled toilet paper rolls and decorated name tags. They learned about their sense of sight and why it is important to look closely. Next, they went on a walk around the Conservatory, using their binoculars to observe and practicing their skills by looking at plants with magnifying glasses. They saw lots of colorful flowers and even a few bugs!

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Day two focused on smell. Campers used smelly Kool-Aid paint to color in pictures of fruit, matching the picture to the smell. Next, they smelled different fruits and veggies – citrus fruits, strawberries, nectarines, pears and even onions. They also took a walk to the Edible Garden to hunt for smelly herbs. Campers smelled different herbs, flowers and leaves as they toured around the Conservatory.

Day three focused on touch. Campers decorated T-shirts with fingerprint daisies, feeling the cool paint on their hands. Next, they made their own salt dough, with help from their grown-up. Campers felt salt, flour, water and mixed it all up with their hands; they also added silky soft leaves and hard seeds to make a sculpture. The lesson focused on touching different leaves and flowers; campers took a walk around the Conservatory looking for different textures.

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Day four focused on hearing. Campers made seed shakers from repurposed materials.  They then learned about their ears and hearing, singing songs about their senses and reading a story with silly sounds. They took a walk in the Conservatory to find different “shakers”, each one filled with different seeds, along the way. Campers listened to the sound of each shakers and tried to guess what size and shape the seeds were. They even planted a scented geranium to take home; they can practice their observation skills all year long!

Want to talk to your Little Sprout about his five senses? Here are some of the books that we read this week at camp:
Here Are My Hands Bill Martin
My Five Senses Aliki
Listen to the Rain Bill Martin and John Archambault
Nosy Rosie Holly Keller
Meow Said the Cow Emma Dodd
Who Says That? Arnold Shapiro
Growing Colors Bruce McMillan
You Smell Mary Murphy
Can You Growl Like A Bear? John Butler

Check out the slideshow below!

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While our summer Little Sprouts camps are full, we are offering even more programs this fall! Our first, We Heart Trees, is offered both September 19 and 20 from 10:30-noon. Contact 412-441-4442 ext. 3925 or see the website to register!

For more pictures, check out the Flickr page as well.

The above photos were taken by Science Education Staff.

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