By Chasidy Celestine, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2018 Nominee/Winner
Chasidy Celestine and Co-Presenter Toni Candis smiles after their successful STEM workshop “Engineering for the Non-Engineer” a workshop created to encourage OST professional to bring out the inner engineer within their students by putting on their kid hats for a hands on learning experience!
I am a proud supporter and product of afterschool programs. Growing up, my mother worked after the school bell and needed a safe, secure place for us to attend afterschool. Thankfully, she was intentional in finding programs that included diversity in students, afterschool activities, summer camps and fieldtrips. These experiences with afterschool enrichment centers and programs gave me exposure to places, people and activities I would not have received otherwise. For example, one of the greatest influences of afterschool for me was being apart of dance team in high school. As someone who had no formal dance training, I learned the skills necessary to be a great dancer and compete in local and state dance competitions. Being a part of dance afterschool gave me a sense of belonging, built my self-esteem and reinforced the importance of building relationships and physical health. Continue reading →
Get your residents up and laughing this April Fools’ Day! Incorporate a few of these 12 activity ideas from notjustbingo in your facility on April 1st.
Tell Jokes – Use a joke book to tell jokes and riddles to residents.
Host a Comedy Show – Encourage your funny residents to participate in a comedy show where they can share their comedic talents and funny jokes with others. If needed, provide residents with comedy material to use.
Play Pranks – As a fun one-on-one activity, recruit your resident to assist you with playing a few pranks on your co-workers, like turning up the volume or changing the mouse speed on their computers.
Organize a Riddles Contest – At the beginning of each mealtime, ask residents a different riddle to see if they can solve it by the end of the meal. If residents enjoy the activity, consider making this a weekly event, like Riddle Mondays.
Spring is coming and we are ready to welcome warm weather. Now is a perfect time to think about incorporating activities into your program that relate to gardening, nature, and of course, birdhouses.
Benefits of Including Nature in Your Program
Observing nature has proven benefits to the mind and body. There are a growing number of studies that suggest bird watching and creating outdoor habitats for birds can increase morale and reduce stress. Spending time outdoors is also important for today’s youth with the increased use of digital technology and video games. By planning some nature activities along with building and decorating birdhouses, both kids and adults can learn more about the importance of birds in our ecosystem, their unique features, and even incorporate STEM by discussing the aerodynamics of flight.
Use a variety of decorative and functional wooden birdhouses, bird feeders and butterfly houses for your group to create and decorate. In addition to the benefits of a group craft activity, these projects can help to create a home for birds and butterflies in a garden, along a walk way, and in the trees. Continue reading →
Are you looking for ways to involve family in your PE program? By inviting parents and other family members to attend PE class at your school, it helps encourage students to participate. Scheduling family time is a great way to inspire both family and students to stay physically active and learn different activities together as a group.
PE teacher Mary Cluley shares some great ideas below, including Playing with Pops in PE, Movement with Moms, and Gigglin’ and Groovin’ with Grandparents.
Family Time for Physical Education
To make sure we have attendance of the parents and grandparents, I create a flyer that goes home in the student Monday folders about a month before. View the samples here.
I choose the games for each of these activities for many reasons. First, different activities are for different age groups. I also like to choose active games, and take into consideration space requirements regarding safety. And lastly, it must be FUN for all!
Playing with Pops in PE
About 90% of the dads in our school come during their child’s PE class! Some of the activities include Build Up, Hot Potato Tag, Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, Mushroom Ball, and Oogedy Boogedy Tag. The dads all seemed to have such a good time! Continue reading →
Celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, with your residents during the weeklong event from May 13th-19th. Choose activities that fit the 2018 theme “Celebrating Life’s Stories” by featuring activities that help residents document, share, and create stories.
Invite residents to help document their life stories to share with their family members. As an activity, encourage residents to make tie-dyed journals for them to begin recording their stories that can be given to their children and grandchildren. For a less messy option, provide residents with kraft journals that they can decorate using crayons or markers. Continue reading →