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- Make-it-Monday (craft, experiment, any project they can dream up with items around the house)
- Take-a-trip-Tuesday (car trips, long hikes, etc.)
- Wet Wednesday (sprinkler, parks with water play features, rivers, the shore)
- Think-it-Thursday (learning about something new, or delving into something they’ve been exposed to)
- Friend Friday (play dates galore!)
The 3rd grade boys reconvened their chapter of the Daring Boys’ Club on October 2nd with a high-energy nature photo scavenger hunt. They were a little more focused on just being together and being 8 and 9-year-old boys than doing any serious learning about nature on this particular occasion. They had fun taking silly photos of the two groups and goofing around then really hunting for the things on the list, but we did get it all done, and hopefully some boys learned a few things.
Due to the leaders other obligations, we’ve pushed the start date back to October 2, 2012.
This also helps us keep the fees down.
Sorry for any confusion.
Welcome to Summer! Since there are no official Daring Boys Club meetings over the summer, I’m going to add a few of my own adventures to keep the blog current and perhaps inspire a few Daring Family activities.
As a mother of 4 boys, I consider us to be our own little club. I’m always looking for fun activities that keep the boys entertained while using their body and mind. I was inspired by a post about a DIY Summer Camp on Power of Moms. We’ve tweaked it a bit to suit our needs, but it is pretty close to how she laid out her summer. Our morning are filled with the “have-to’s” (chores, reading, working toward a summer goal, doing something physical, and getting in the baby’s nap). Our afternoons are generally structured like so:
Today was our first Make-it-Monday. We threw eggs off our deck onto the driveway. Well, first we constructed containers to absorb the impact in hopes that our eggs wouldn’t break. I found a great set of guidelines here.
Egg Drop #1: A hard shell with padding. He also attached a whirlygig propeller to the top to slow decent, since we outlawed parachutes.Egg Drop #2: A small box filled with sponges to absorb the impact.Egg Drop #3: A cardboard frame wrapped with rubber bands to suspend the egg.The impact, dropped from a height of 15 feet onto concrete:The results:
None of the eggs survived unscathed. We’ve decided to re-think our designs and have another egg drop at the end of the summer. Now YOU go drop some eggs off a deck!
Red Rover, Red Rover let Daring Boys come over!
Remember all those games you used to play on the playground during recess. Most of them are deemed “too dangerous” for our kids today. We thought our Daring Boys were up to the challenge.
We met at the park for our Wednesday meeting. I purposely picked games with little to no equipment, so the boys could repeat them easily in their summer play. After a snack, (which seems to be getting bigger and bigger for these growing boys) we got right into game playing.
We started with a quick game of telephone, which surprisingly was not familiar to a few of the boys. We threw in two siblings, both 4 years old, to make the game even more fun. My first phrase was, “You’ve got to learn the rules, if you want to play the game.” I can’t remember exactly how badly it got jumbled, but I believe the end result was something about a cheesecake. The second phrase was “Play fair so everyone has fun” which turned into something like, “Play with air and have some fun.”
Telephone: This game is one in which most people end up laughing quite a bit, so if you’re in the mood for silliness, give it a go. Players sit in a circle. One person thinks up a sentence or phrase and whispers it to the next person. That person repeats it to the person on their other side. This continues around the circle. When it finally reaches the last person, that person says the sentence out loud. Hilarity ensues. The ending sentence is usually quite changed from the beginning sentence, since errors tend to compound as they go around the circle.
Number of Players: A small group.
We moved right into Red Rover. I have distinct memories of playing this as a kid. Hardly any of the boys knew this one. I divided the team by counting off the boys, “One, Two, One, Two…” The teams quickly turned lopsided as boys learned the strategy of the game, and chose the smaller boys (including our 4 year old siblings). Gretchen, Michael and I helped out but we still lost.
Red Rover: Divide everyone into two teams, each forming a long line, holding hands, facing the other team. The two teams should be around 20 or so feet apart. The teams take turn calling out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let <insert child’s name> come over!” That child leaves their team’s line, runs as fast as they can toward the other line and tries to break through the held hands. If they break through, they get to take someone back to their team. If they don’t, they join the new team. When a team only has one person left, that person tries to break through the other team. If they do not, then their team loses. If they do, they gain a player and play continues.
Number of Players: Any decent size group.
Next was a classic that most everyone knew how to play – Capture the Flag. We divided up the teams and split the park across the middle. I insisted they keep the flags visible, but I did allow what the boys called “Puppy Guarding” of the flag and jail. I also allowed free walks back across the dividing line if you tagged someone out of jail. The first round was over pretty quickly, but we had to call the second round so we could have time for our last game.
Capture the Flag: This game is most fun when played with a large group. Split the group into two teams, each team having a flag or other marker at the team’s base. The object of the game is to run into the other team’s territory, capture their flag and make it safely back to your own territory. You can tag “enemy” players in your territory, sending them to your jail. They can be sprung from jail by a member of their own team running into your territory, tagging them and running back, with one freed person allowed per jail break. It is sometimes played that all the people in jail could hold hands and make a chain back toward their own territory, making it easier for members of their team to tag them. We also played a similar game called Steal the Sticks. It had almost the same rules, but several sticks were used instead of one flag.
Number of Players: A large group.
Equipment: Two flags or other markers.
Our final game was one I played all the time as a kid, but no one I know seems to know about it. We called it “Sardines”. It is the opposite of Hide and Seek. The “it” person hides and everyone else seeks. Once you find “it” you hide with them until the last person finds everyone squeezed together like sardines in a can. The boys enjoyed this one a lot. We had eight boys squeezed under a park bench at one point. This one was quick and needed no equipment, so we’ll likely repeat it during other meetings.
Sardines: Sardines is a variations on Hide & Seek. One person is “it,” that person hides. Everybody else counts to twenty then seeks “it”. Once you find the person who is “it” you squeeze yourself into their hiding place with them, like a can of sardines. The last person to find “it” will be “it” in the next round of play.
Number of Players: Ideally at least three.
This is my favorite photo from the day. It seem to describe how awesome it was to let loose and have fun with your friends, even if you get hurt a little. Plus, he’s wearing his Daring Boys shirt that he silk screened at a previous meeting!
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Today was a feel great day! We took six of our Daring Boys (and one extra daring 4-year-old) on a long walk. Along our walk, we performed random acts of kindness. We also talked about compliments, how to approach people and how it feels when people are kind for no reason. It brought out the best in all of us!Our acts of kindness included leaving bus fare at multiple bus stops around the neighborhood, distributing small tire patch kits to bicyclists and giving away large homemade chocolate chip cookies. It took the boys a few block and 2 bus stops to really understand what we were trying to accomplish.
We had a hard time getting started. Folks were resistant to accept our offerings. We had to adjust our approach. We tried yelling and ambushing people and quietly offering our goodies as they rode by on their bikes, but those didn’t work out well. Gretchen explained that being confident and using a preface (rather than accosting people) would probably do the trick. While we worked on our technique we stopped at bike racks on the U of O campus leaving tire patch kits along the way.
We tried to deliver some of our cookies to the local firehouse, but no one was home. Gretchen had the wonderful idea to head over to student financial services, so we could cheer up students paying their bills. Unfortunately, we still faced resistance. It was our extra daring 4-year-old who had the most success at first. It seemed illogical to him for anyone to refuse a cookie.
Once the boys perfected their approach we gave away about 30 cookies in a 3 block walk across the campus. The boys gained a lot of confidence and it made me very proud of each of them. Luckily, they were still goofy enough to keep us from getting too sentimental.
When our walk was over (about 2.5 miles, by my calculations), the boys sat down to write a letter of thanks or recognition to someone they knew. Two of our boys wanted to say thank you to LaMichael James for scoring touchdowns, but Gretchen and I limited it to people who actually knew the boys. We’re always the party poopers!
To Br: (From Gretchen) Thank you for being such a good big brother figure to the extra daring 4-year-old. You really watched out for him and were sweet and helpful. (From Caitlin) I saw how hard it was for you to approach people at first, but you didn’t shy away from the task. By the end of our walk you were a master!
As: (From Gretchen) I love your charming sense of humor. (From Caitlin) You were a great listener. Your energy was contagious and you never complained once.
Be: (From Gretchen)You were very conscientious and focused on the activity. Also, I really appreciate how you offered to help me on multiple occasions. (From Caitlin) As always, you were respectful, helpful and enthusiastic.
K: (From Gretchen) Thank you for being a good listener and giving eye contact and knowing how to approach people in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm them. Also, you have really lovely handwriting. (From Caitlin) I loved how well you approached people, even though I know you were nervous. You kept your eyes open for opportunities.
Ai: (From Gretchen) I was really impressed that you did not whine at all about having your big backpack along for the whole journey. And you didn’t even ask anyone else to carry it, very responsible of you. (From Caitlin) You were full of energy, outgoing and entertaining. I was impressed by how your approach to people mellowed and you gave away so many cookies!
N: (From Gretchen) I was proud of how polite you were to people you approached and for focusing on writing a quality letter. (From Caitlin) I know you struggled with the rejections, but you bounced back and gave away tons of cookies. I’m proud that you didn’t let the small setbacks stifle your enthusiasm.
When we wrapped up our inaugural meeting of the Daring Boys Club the boys were asked to tell us a few things that they would like to do during the club meetings. They had a lot of great ideas about electricity and basketball, but the one that I heard loud and clear was scavenger hunt.
We met at my house after school on a Thursday afternoon and had a snack of carrots, cucumbers, pretzels and hummus. The boys showed up with a big appetite and lots of enthusiasm for our planned scavenger hunt.
I had prepared a few quick lessons about reading a map, using a compass and using a cipher wheel. I introduced the essential parts of a map; the legend, the compass rose. We talked about landmarks to help orient where you are on a map, which led to a great conversation about how landmarks are not just anything you see lying around, but more permanent objects.
Next, we talked about compasses. I had drawn a diagram of a compass on a large sheet of paper so we could review the parts and talk about how to line up the red needle with the ‘N’ on the rotating wheel. The last of my tutorials was about the cipher wheel. We established our cipher key and talked about words like “encrypt” and “decipher.” With a little help, all the boys worked together to decipher a phrase I had encrypted for them. Once the tutorials were completed I had one more activity for the boys to complete. I randomly distributed maps of the first floor of my house each with a color dot in a specific spot. I asked them to use the landmarks on the map to orient themselves and they did a great job. I was really nervous that the tutorial portion would not go as quickly as I hoped, but the boys were attentive and asked great questions.
With the help of a few other parents we broke up into 3 groups of 3 Daring Boys (plus a few siblings). Each group was armed with maps of the park, a compass, a cipher wheel, a pencil, a camera, a small clipboard and a set of clues. We walked over to the park and broke out into our groups to set off on our adventure.
The clues were broken out into four locations. The boys had to navigate to each location with their map. Once they found the spot, they had to use the compass to figure out the direction of another landmark close by. Each group had to take a picture at each location; this part was mostly so we could document the fun we were having.
Hidden at each location was a shiny black rock, but the hint about where the rock was hidden was encrypted. The boys had to decipher the clue and find the rock. Everybody got a turn using the map, compass and cipher wheel.
It took us all about an hour to complete the scavenger hunt and get back to the house for a quick wrap-up with the boys before they were picked up or whisked off to baseball practice.
The response was really positive from the boys and the parents. The boys were told that if they worked on the skills they learned at home that they could earn a carabiner with a compass. Each of the group leaders talked about what the boys did well during the hunt.
I was really pleased with the level of enthusiasm and cooperation from all the boys.