A few weeks ago, we kickstarted our first ever ‘Summer Camp’ programme for a few of our kiddos who were on school holidays over the summer break. We created this programme as a means for our intermediate children to have social interactions with their peers and to build meaningful friendships. On top of that, this programme provided our kiddos with the opportunity to learn and generalise skills such as social skills, peer interaction, life skills, and overall flexibility, all through fun and interactive activities!
Over the course of 5 weeks, we conducted different activities on each day of the week, which included science experiments, sports and water play, cooking class, as well as community outings. Here’s what took place during our EAP Summer Camp programme:
Monday: Science Experiments
Each week, our kiddos learned about different science experiments with their peers. The goal of this activity was for the kiddos to learn abstract and academic concepts in a fun and interactive manner. Our kiddos also had to do some group work, by conducting the science experiment with their peers.
Tuesday: Sports and Water Play
We conducted sports and/or water play activities once during the week. The kiddos were grouped into teams in order to teach them the skills of cooperation with a group, negotiation, compromise, and teamwork, and to play according to the rules in order to achieve the goals. Some of the activities we conducted included football, and water balloon fights!
Wednesday: Community Outings
We conducted community outings in order to teach our children basic life skills, such as going to the grocery store, picking out items, and paying money at the cashier to buy the items they needed. Community outings also provided the kiddos with the opportunity to generalise learned skills in a natural manner out in the community, whilst teaching them to stay together in a group.
Nonetheless, due to the recent outbreak of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in the country, we at EAP decided to put all community outings on hold as a precautionary measure for our kiddos. But that didn’t stop our team! Our creative team of therapists simulated a grocery store within the confines of our EAP centre, to ensure that our kiddos still had the opportunity to practice and learn the basic life skills. Our team even simulated going to the cinema, by setting up a snack counter and a mock-cinema within our centre!
Thursday: Cooking Class
We even conducted cooking classes, where our kiddos had the opportunity to make simple snacks such as fruit tarts, bread pizzas, and even Oreo milkshakes! Each child was given a role within the cooking class, where some of them were the chefs who prepared the meals and some of them were the waiters who took orders and served the meals. This activity was a fun way to teach our kiddos imaginative play, flexibility, social skills, safety around the kitchen, money skills, and basic independence skills.
In addition to the thematic activities above, our kiddos were also required to complete a journal at the end of each day, where they would paste photos from the day and write down what they had learned. It’s a great way to help our kiddos recall the events from the day and to be able to describe it to the other people in their lives!
To ensure the success of the 'Summer Camp' kiddos, our team utilised several key strategies during the various activities, which included:
- Powerpoint Slides - To present the learning topics and materials in a visual and interactive manner, through the use of pictures and videos
- Written Schedule - To list down the flow of each day, in order to give the kiddos predictability of what will take place each day
- Rule Cards and Token System - To communicate the rules and the behaviours we are expecting the kiddos to demonstrate throughout the day, and reinforcing their expected behaviours with tokens, which they can then exchange for rewards at the end or once they have accumulated a certain amount of tokens
- Checklists - To communicate the steps/instructions the kiddos have to take during a specific activity, such as during cooking classes
All in all, the Summer Camp programme has been a hit with our kiddos, and we sure hope it was the highlight of their school break! We can’t wait till our ‘Winter Camp’ programme at the end of the year over the Christmas break!