June 2022: Too Cool for “School”?
Too Cool for “School”?
It’s summer, the school-aged kids are out of school and in your care. However, sometimes, you will have one who thinks they are WAY too cool to be there. They are usually right at the age cut off for your center or maybe just a little more mature for their age. Of course they would rather be at the pool or running around the neighborhood with their friends. So how do we make them more comfortable? How do we give them a summer to enjoy while in child care?
It is important to remember that just like you, they are “confined” to mostly one room for several hours a day, everyday. So, give them some responsibility! Giving them the idea that they have some kind of authority is an ego booster for school-aged kids. It gives them the feeling of accomplishment and something to be proud of. Even if it is something as simple as sweeping the floor after lunch, being responsible for watering the plants or flowers in your classroom or reading a book to the younger school age children in your classroom.
Speaking of responsibility, let them pick something to be responsible for during their time there. Encourage them to plant a flower, fruit, vegetable or herb at the beginning of the season. You can even come up with some way to track and predict how their gardening skills are. Something else that they can be responsible for is a reading log. You could reward them for milestones that they reach throughout the summer, giving them something to look forward to.
When you run out of ideas, because it happens to all of us, have a “Bored Jar” handy! This is exactly what it sounds like, a jar full of ideas. You can find 32 ideas in the link at the bottom of this blog and even let them come up with their own ideas. It is as simple as encouraging them to draw one idea from the jar when they claim to be “bored” or have “nothing else to do”! Let them write the ideas on popsicle sticks or cut them into strips of paper.
Next to safety, having fun is the GOAL for the summer. Just remember, it is important to try to understand their frustrations with being in childcare when they believe that they should be home. Listen to them, ask them what they would like to do, and encourage them to try new things!