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kfeusse

Grrrrr!!!! 3rd-5th graders...help please.

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I am the librarian of a small town.  every Monday after school I offer an After School program for the elementary kids.  (1st and 3rd Mondays are K-2nd grade and 2nd and 4th Mondays are 3rd-5th grade).

This thread is concerning the older group.  On average I have about 6-8 kids...mostly girls.   I need some ideas to keep these kids busy for about 1 1/2 hours.  These kids are actually causing me a lot of trouble...they don't listen well, they are rude and disrespectful (to say the least)...and this might very well be the last time they are welcome to come for a while if they don't shape up this week.  

I want to do something fun with them...but I am at a loss for what.  I have really had only one really successful time with them...and that was decorating pumpkins for Halloween.  We tried making animals out of pony beads (kept them busy, but they complained the whole time...and when they finished one, they were back to causing trouble) and last time we made and decorated cupcakes...but that was horrible too...they did ok mixing them up...but while waiting for them to bake and cool, they didn't want to play the game I bought for them (at their request) and then while decorating, they ate more of the frosting and candy than putting it on their cupcakes.  I expected some of that...and was ok with it...but taking spoon fulls of frosting and eating it or dumping the colored sugar in their mouth was not ok.  Climbing on the tables, running outside and not doing what they were told is not ok either. 

Now, before you say..."call their parents' or "make them leave" or whatever...know I agree with you 100%.  

I meet with them on Monday...and right afterward is my library board meeting and they are on the agenda.  

I plan to go into Monday with a list of all of their parent's names and phone numbers, telling them that they are on the agenda at the meeting that night and their behavior will determine whether or not their parents are called and they will be asked not to come back.  OR, if my board says, cancel the program for that age group for a month or 2 and then try it again. 

BUT, I still need an activity to do with these guys on Monday...so that is really what this post is about.  So if you have any ideas for me I would greatly appreciate it. 

Thank you so much!!

 

 

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Board game(s)?  Uno?  Charades?  Creative writing?  What about a service project e.g. pick up the toy area or whatever age-appropriate help they can give?   If you have an outdoor area, how about races, statutes, etc?

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Origami? Card making? I had great success with a similar age group making and playing with geoboards - I used thick cork tile and lots of push pins, the kids had to push all the pins into the grid design and then I had picture cards with rubber band designs to copy. 

For origami/cards, I would have a couple of example designs made up, some explicit instruction sheets printed off (so they can take home if they wish) and I would also be there making with them at the same time- to demonstrate any tricky steps.

Does most of the bad behavior happen when there's a lull in the activity? Is there one or two ring leaders?

I might try having a couple of activity stations set up, so that there is something to go to if the planned activity lulls. It doesn't have to be related. If there's some definite trouble makers, I might intentionally split the group up, 1 small group to explore the activity station or do a treasure hunt for books in the library (find 1 interesting book on x, find a book with a picture of y on the cover etc) while you go through the more intense directions with group 2. 

Do you have any helpers available? I might start giving good-natured trouble makers helper jobs, to get them on your side and taking ownership of the success of an activity.

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4 corners is a good for that age.  It also uses a lot of time.  Do they know each other?  You could play the name game or do other ice breaker if not.

I've had some success with funny Reader's Theatre stuff for that age.  (where they are assigned parts and read a play).  It has to be funny, though.  At church, we use stuff by Steven James.  I don't know what you'd use at a library.

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What about mini-challenges, like minute-to-win-it games or open ended ones?  DS just participated in a test challenge where they were seeing what would be an appropriate activity for a LARGE group of kids.  They were given sets of 3 objects (blocks, cups, popsicle sticks) and had 5 stations to choose from: build a chain reaction, build the highest structure, build something on a single block base...it was simple enough in instruction, but kept their minds busy for about 40 minutes.

An hour and a half is long, especially with a group that is disrespectful and rude.  If there was any way to shorten the time by creating 20-30 minute blocks, I definitely would.

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First : how super kind of you to be pouring in the time and effort to offer this to the students!

My guess is that the kids are just *done* with sitting still and following directions (having just done that for 6 hours of school), and desperately need to be physically active and blow off steam before they can do anything else. I think to have any success with actual art projects, you'll need to have some way to get the kids physically/aerobically active for a good 40-45 minutes *first*. Then take a 5-10 bathroom break/cool down break, and THEN minute do a project or art activity in the remaining 30-40 minutes.

Physical Activity Ideas for pre-crafting:
- jump roping solo and group, and do routines to music -- pre-choreographed at first, then kids create a choreographed routine (see this website, and this one -- and the chart linked below)
- dance, aerobics, callisthenics to music
- multiple relay races of various types
- free play running around on a playground with play structures

More "indoor recess/active games" here and here.

Once they've burned off that pent-up energy in some way, then when they sit down for the activity, you just lay down the law, whatever it might be. Example: "This is a class with rules to help us all have fun and enjoy one another, while respecting the furniture, supplies, and one another. It's a small room, so we need to stay seated and speak with in-door voices. Just like in your school classroom, raise your hand if you have a question, or need to get up to stretch your legs or go to the bathroom. The furniture and supplies were donated to the library for the free use of everyone, so please treat things with respect. If you don't want to do today's art project, that's fine. Please tell me, and you can pick a book to read, and the librarian in the children's center and he/she will sign you out to your parent when your parent comes to pick you up."

jump rope routine.jpg

Edited by Lori D.
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What is the goal of the program?  Why are the kids attending? What do they want to be doing?

Maybe you will get more buy in from the kids if the purpose of the club is clear.  ETA, even better buy-in if they help plan what they will do.

Academic? Literary? Social time? Crafting club?  Or simply providing childcare?

If your role is child entertainer for kids who don't really want to be there, then I think you're in for trouble no matter what.

 

 

Edited by wathe
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Lori’s spot on about pent up energy. When my son was that age he did a library Minecraft program. They all had iPads provided by the library and worked together or did player vs player challenges on a closed server in a separate room with one of the librarians. They were very loud (you could tell when someone opened the door to leave) and raucous and had a great time. There was always a wait list for that program. 

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Honestly, I think you're being way too hard on the kids. If you consider that they've been cooped up in classrooms all day long, their behavior is if not appropriate, certainly not abnormal. My older dd's GS troop is that age range, and they act the same way at our evening meetings. Expecting an eight or nine year old to sit quietly and do crafts after sitting in school all day probably isn't going to happen, and isn't really developmentally appropriate. Some might be able to manage it, but not all.

If I was in your place, I'd sit down with the kids and ask them what they'd like to do. Odds are they're going to want to go outside and do something that involves a lot of noise and running around. 😉 Try to remember that the program is supposed to be for them, so forcing them to do activities they don't want to do is a lose-lose situation.

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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

My guess is that the kids are just *done* with sitting still and following directions (having just done that for 6 hours of school), and desperately need to be physically active and blow off steam before they can do anything else. I think to have any success with actual art projects, you'll need to have some way to get the kids physically/aerobically active for a good 40-45 minutes *first*. Then take a 5-10 bathroom break/cool down break, and THEN minute do a project or art activity in the remaining 30-40 minutes.

This.

When my kids were in ps, they came home W.I.R.E.D. They were sooooo good all day (for that I'm thankful) and bless their little hearts they just did not have it in them to be quiet and calm for one more second. They needed physical activity and a snack and a break from any type of planned activities whatsoever. After that, they were able to sit down and do homework and talk to me about their day and whatever else, but not before.

I get why after school activities are attractive for parents, and I think you're a really great librarian for offering them, but the last thing ps kids really need after school is more others-planned activities.

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I was going to suggest a Harry Houdini theme where you put them all in straight jackets and see who can escape first, but you've already gotten some way better ideas.

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How about Instant Challenge/Team Building games or drama games?  Those would be active and creative.

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Oh my...I thank you so guys so much!   I will try to address some of the things you guys have said or asked.

The purpose of the program?  to give the kids something different for the kids to do after school.

For those who said the kids need something active to do, I agree 110%...I wasn't set on a "sit down" "be quiet" activity, really....I was just grasping at straws as to what to do with them.  It is cold (like 8 degrees with 10 inches of snow on the ground) so going outside is not an option right now.  Also, we don't have a very large space for the kids to do super active things...so that limits us too.

I have asked them what they want to do....and I have tried their suggestions...and it hasn't changed their behavior.

I love the jump rope ideas....but I will have to buy jump ropes before doing that....but I will try that.  I also LOVE all of the other inside recess games.  Wish I would have thought to google that. 

I wanted to try doing some minute to win it games...but I wasn't sure what to do with the kids who are not playing the game at that moment.  I will try some of these other games on Monday...

OH THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Google youth group games like fruit basket. They are fun.

You could do a photo mini scavenger hunt in the library--they divide into teams--(you choose) and are given a list of things to find and snap a picture of. Give them rules but expect laughing and maybe some running (tell them fast walking is ok). First team back wins first choice of two equally nice treats. 

Then you could do a little service project. One of my favorites is to print along the edge of old towels (have them bring one) with fabric paint--for the animal shelter. Do you have a dog to read with program at your library? Perfect to have someone bring in one or a service dog. Give a 5 min talk, esp about how to act if you see a service dog, take the harness off, pet the dog, make the towels. Prob 30 mins to 40 right there. 

Edited by Chris in VA
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Make hopscotch boards with masking tape. We have done this at Girl Scouts with girls about that age and they enjoy it. First, I made a traditional hopscotch and showed them how it worked. Then I split them I to groups to invent their own hopscotch game. The masking tape pulls right off the floor after you are done. 

Edited by Caroline
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Sometimes our librarian will hide things around the children's section of the library and make a scavenger hunt. 

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our library is so small that I am not sure how that would work...but maybe it would...I will play with that in my mind some.

I just found the cup song thing...wondering if the kids might like that...could be fun...

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Go STEM.  There are literally hundreds of activities on the internet for activities that deal with science, technology, engineering and (mixed in with the other things) math.  I teach a STEM class to these ages, and they all go crazy for this stuff.  

Make slime
Create a claw/hand out of tongue depressors, straws, and string
Create a brush bot with electric toothbrushes and scrub brushes
Make hot air balloons using dry cleaning bags, tape, and blow dryers
Make Rube Goldberg machines out of recycled materials
Make a domino run (falling dominoes) -- you'll need at least three sets of dominoes
Test different foods with iodine to discover which are carbs
Make a volcano


 

Edited by Suzanne in ABQ
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Before calling parents and escalating to the board...

Does the group have a clear point and clear behavior expectations?

Personally, I'd want to take a new direction to the board.  "I'd like to change the focus of the group to xyz.  And our new rules are a, b, and c."

Just my two cents.  

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I think there are a lot of great ideas in this thread.

Does the library also have a teen group? Can you offer the teens the chance to earn some community service hours by being helpers during the elementary program?

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8 hours ago, Suzanne in ABQ said:

Go STEM.  There are literally hundreds of activities on the internet for activities that deal with science, technology, engineering and (mixed in with the other things) math.  I teach a STEM class to these ages, and they all go crazy for this stuff.  

Make slime
Create a claw/hand out of tongue depressors, straws, and string
Create a brush bot with electric toothbrushes and scrub brushes
Make hot air balloons using dry cleaning bags, tape, and blow dryers
Make Rube Goldberg machines out of recycled materials
Make a domino run (falling dominoes) -- you'll need at least three sets of dominoes
Test different foods with iodine to discover which are carbs
Make a volcano


 

I thought about this direction...but I was told last year sometime that kids are getting "STEM"ed out at school and the last thing they want to do is more of it someplace else.   I will have to find out if that is still the case.

I also fear trying this sort of thing because it requires them to listen and follow directions...which they have shown they don't want to do.   It ends up being an exercise in futility because they end up doing what they want anyway....

but maybe some active games first will help...which is my plan on Monday....active games first...then something else. 

Edited by kfeusse

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Would they enjoy something like cup stacking or building domino chains to knock down?  The kids at church in those grades like those as fun activities - you could start them off with a youtube video.  It's active but only needs a table's worth of space.  

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21 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

I think there are a lot of great ideas in this thread.

Does the library also have a teen group? Can you offer the teens the chance to earn some community service hours by being helpers during the elementary program?

I agree...I have found some ideas that I hope will work.  We don't have a teen group because around here most of the teens either work or play sports...or both and have no time for anything else.   But I am also fairly new...so I am still trying to connect with people.

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4 minutes ago, ClemsonDana said:

Would they enjoy something like cup stacking or building domino chains to knock down?  The kids at church in those grades like those as fun activities - you could start them off with a youtube video.  It's active but only needs a table's worth of space.  

I will check those out on you tube...could be fun.

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7 hours ago, happi duck said:

Before calling parents and escalating to the board...

Does the group have a clear point and clear behavior expectations?

Personally, I'd want to take a new direction to the board.  "I'd like to change the focus of the group to xyz.  And our new rules are a, b, and c."

Just my two cents.  

I agree...I don't want to resort to this...I truly don't..that is why I haven't even though this has been going on for months.

My hardest part is enforcing the rules....so...what might be some rules for this group that are reasonable (because I think maybe I am expecting something impossible, thus being disappointed by the outcome)....and what are the consequences for not following the rules?  

There are about 2-3 kids especially who are the ring leaders...several followers who would follow any leader...and a couple kids who do the right thing, no matter what. 

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30 minutes ago, kfeusse said:

I agree...I don't want to resort to this...I truly don't..that is why I haven't even though this has been going on for months.

My hardest part is enforcing the rules....so...what might be some rules for this group that are reasonable (because I think maybe I am expecting something impossible, thus being disappointed by the outcome)....and what are the consequences for not following the rules?  

There are about 2-3 kids especially who are the ring leaders...several followers who would follow any leader...and a couple kids who do the right thing, no matter what. 

For larger groups, I have basic rules and cues.  You know those service bells at registers?  I have one.  For a group, when they hear the ding, it's time to stop, look, and listen.  We practice with a game of it at first and then it's just kept with me.  Any misuse of materials or actively antagonizing others results in them being handed my phone with directions to call their parent and let them know why they are calling and to expect to take a few minutes with me at pick up so we can discuss the situation.  And I make all parents leave their phone numbers with me for easy reference.  For a kid, having to call their parent and tell them what they are doing is often the worst punishment ever. LOL  It's one thing for an adult to say something, it's another to have to tell on yourself.  Continual issues with staying on task or goading others means the child in question is kept closer to me.  They are watched more carefully and enlisted as helpers, giving them direct tasks to keep them busy (pass out this, collect these, move those chairs) during transitions and downtime.

Most times I don't have any real problems after the first few weeks. The times there are I need to seriously think about my activities/direction and the kids' behavior and find something that crosses both.  I make a chart giving positive attributes to the problem behavior (instead of sassy, I try using a word like 'independent') and see what I can do that focuses on bringing out those attributes.

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One more thought...do they have snack?  Is there a budget for snack or can they bring their own?  Having a few minutes to eat and recharge might help, too.  Or not, lol.  I had a group of boys once that could take carrot sticks and turn them into swords and rockets.

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1 minute ago, HomeAgain said:

One more thought...do they have snack?  Is there a budget for snack or can they bring their own?  Having a few minutes to eat and recharge might help, too.  Or not, lol.  I had a group of boys once that could take carrot sticks and turn them into swords and rockets.

yes...we have snack....popcorn...pretzels....that sort of thing. ..

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9 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

For larger groups, I have basic rules and cues.  You know those service bells at registers?  I have one.  For a group, when they hear the ding, it's time to stop, look, and listen.  We practice with a game of it at first and then it's just kept with me.  Any misuse of materials or actively antagonizing others results in them being handed my phone with directions to call their parent and let them know why they are calling and to expect to take a few minutes with me at pick up so we can discuss the situation.  And I make all parents leave their phone numbers with me for easy reference.  For a kid, having to call their parent and tell them what they are doing is often the worst punishment ever. LOL  It's one thing for an adult to say something, it's another to have to tell on yourself.  Continual issues with staying on task or goading others means the child in question is kept closer to me.  They are watched more carefully and enlisted as helpers, giving them direct tasks to keep them busy (pass out this, collect these, move those chairs) during transitions and downtime.

Most times I don't have any real problems after the first few weeks. The times there are I need to seriously think about my activities/direction and the kids' behavior and find something that crosses both.  I make a chart giving positive attributes to the problem behavior (instead of sassy, I try using a word like 'independent') and see what I can do that focuses on bringing out those attributes.

I need to get a bell, I guess....huh??  I have a whistle...but that was to be used outside when the weather is nice and we can go to the park...

Did you sit them down and give them the rules...or did you have them create rules for the group?  

 

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6 minutes ago, kfeusse said:

I need to get a bell, I guess....huh??  I have a whistle...but that was to be used outside when the weather is nice and we can go to the park...

Did you sit them down and give them the rules...or did you have them create rules for the group?  

 

It depended.  There have been groups that were not in a mind frame to create rules.  If I had asked them I would have immediately gotten snarky answers meant to make the rest of the group laugh, the ones that could have participated would have been too embarrassed to say anything, and the chaos and lack of self discipline meant that I was having to make rules so that they could make rules as a group.  Nope.  They got my basic rules: be safe, respectful, and make moral decisions.  They were expanded as needed with expectations: at this time, I expect this.  During this activity, I expect that.
At the end of the year, if you have a group going well, you can have them create a set of rules and poster for the next year's group and reflect on what worked or what didn't.

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3 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

It depended.  There have been groups that were not in a mind frame to create rules.  If I had asked them I would have immediately gotten snarky answers meant to make the rest of the group laugh, the ones that could have participated would have been too embarrassed to say anything, and the chaos and lack of self discipline meant that I was having to make rules so that they could make rules as a group.  Nope.  They got my basic rules: be safe, respectful, and make moral decisions.  They were expanded as needed with expectations: at this time, I expect this.  During this activity, I expect that.
At the end of the year, if you have a group going well, you can have them create a set of rules and poster for the next year's group and reflect on what worked or what didn't.

yeah....this group will do the snarky making kids laugh type rules...so I think I will just create them...

would it be reasonable to add "listen the first time directions are given"...or is that just setting me up for disappointment again?  And what rule does climbing on the tables and running outside fall under? Is that being respectful? 

thanks so much for your help!

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One of the toughest things to do is to try and change the dynamics of a group that isn't going well. It might be a good idea to take a "winter break" with the group for a couple weeks, and then start over with a new theme. It's much easier and a lot more effective to start up a group with a firm foundation. 

I'd also divide the afterschool program into blocks of distinct themes for 3 - 4 weeks. After each theme block, make adjustments, and start a new theme. 

Keep in mind that if you try to make major changes to how this current group is functioning right now, you'll probably meet with less enthusiasm and compliance than if you officially stop this group, and offer an entirely new type of group that people can choose to attend, or decide it's not for them.

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I think you got good suggestions. I just want to say I feel for you. I stopped volunteering at a similar sounding sort of program for kids this age because I felt it was wrong to have them cooped up inside doing "quiet" things when they'd been in school all day. And the people who ran it didn't seem to get why that was a problem.

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58 minutes ago, wintermom said:

One of the toughest things to do is to try and change the dynamics of a group that isn't going well. It might be a good idea to take a "winter break" with the group for a couple weeks, and then start over with a new theme. It's much easier and a lot more effective to start up a group with a firm foundation. 

I'd also divide the afterschool program into blocks of distinct themes for 3 - 4 weeks. After each theme block, make adjustments, and start a new theme. 

Keep in mind that if you try to make major changes to how this current group is functioning right now, you'll probably meet with less enthusiasm and compliance than if you officially stop this group, and offer an entirely new type of group that people can choose to attend, or decide it's not for them.

I totally agree with this!  Great idea!

 

Edited by happi duck
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1 hour ago, kfeusse said:

yeah....this group will do the snarky making kids laugh type rules...so I think I will just create them...

would it be reasonable to add "listen the first time directions are given"...or is that just setting me up for disappointment again?  And what rule does climbing on the tables and running outside fall under? Is that being respectful? 

thanks so much for your help!

Any rule like *always* raise your hand to talk or listen the *first* time are going to make rules ineffective because they're impossible and not really enforced.

We don't really raise our hands *every* time we speak.  Would a teacher really *never* repeat the directions?

My two favorite rules are "listen when others are speaking" (adult or kid) and "follow directions".  Sometimes I have a third "keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself".

"Follow directions" is key.  It covers anything.  "Stop standing on the table."  "Only squeeze out an appropriate amount of glue."  "I'm going to ask questions.  Raise your hand and wait to be called on."  Etc.

Ime, rules need to be limited and concrete.

A pp mentioned "be safe" as a rule.  It must work for her but I find it too vague and open for interpretation.  I know a kid who would love coming up with ways to challenge that.  "Don't balance your chair like that it isn't safe."  "It's safe.  I won't fall.  I do this all the time at home."  Better, imo, : "put down your chair" "I won't fall!" "Follow directions and put down your chair."

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I find these three rules cover a wide range of problems:

We don't hurt ourselves.
We don't hurt other people.
We don't hurt things.

Most problem behaviors fall into at least one of these categories.  (ie. "Tipping the chair will weaken the chair, possibly break it, and may result in injury to you.")

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Protein based snacks.  ?

Improv theater games ? 

Push ups, jumping jacks.

Scavenger hunts for books in library.  Two teams.  They can also make up a hunt for other groups, or for the younger kids. 

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I would feed then and put out nintendos, whatever is popular that is just totally recreational. Put out coffee if kids that age drink it. Might calm down the ADHD ones. 

What did you like to do after school? All I wanted to do was eat and veg. Show movies and call it a book club. Don't show trash but maybe the hot classics or something with lotsa popcorn.

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23 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I would feed then and put out nintendos, whatever is popular that is just totally recreational. Put out coffee if kids that age drink it. Might calm down the ADHD ones. 

What did you like to do after school? All I wanted to do was eat and veg. Show movies and call it a book club. Don't show trash but maybe the hot classics or something with lotsa popcorn.

I thought about movies...but then I thought that making them sit still to watch a movie, after they have been sitting for school was a bad idea.

I also looked in the cup stacking thing...didn't realize I would need to buy special cups...I can do that...but not by Monday.  Thanks.

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One thing you could try before settling down to something else might be an exercise video.  Youtube has some good ones for kids that take about 15 or 20 minutes.

Another thing you might try is to get them to plan and prepare for something fun, like a party.  Thing of some kid of event if it is just for themselves or also others, and get posters made, games and food planned, and so on.  Ideally with some sort of theme.

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There was a game I recall as fun that I don’t know name of and can’t quite recall how it’s played.   It it’s a good ice breaker, with some, though not a lot of movement, and some smiles and laughs.

One person is in center of circle.  That person turns and communicates in some way (can’t recall details) with each outer rim person in turn (perhaps getting to ask one question? Which outer rim person has to answer?)   Goal is for middle person to get an outer rim person to smile or laugh. As soon as someone smiles or  laughs that person becomes  the new middle person and the former middle person takes that person’s rim spot.  If the middle person gets all the way around with no smiles or laughs, the person who was formerly next to the middle person goes to the middle.  

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Freeze tag.  Statue tag..  Team tag.  Etc.  

Simon says.

Red light, Green light.  

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Keep the balloon in the air.  

Balloon dodge ball, and reverse dodge—goal is to get touched by the balloon .  

Balloon Minton (like badminton with a balloon), using hands not racquets and creativity for a “net” equivalent.  

Idea of balloon is indoor safety.

 Could possibly be a Nerf ball.  

 

——

Balance book on head walking races

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20 hours ago, kfeusse said:

I thought about movies...but then I thought that making them sit still to watch a movie, after they have been sitting for school was a bad idea.

I also looked in the cup stacking thing...didn't realize I would need to buy special cups...I can do that...but not by Monday.  Thanks.

 

My kids love doing cup stacking for fun and we've always used the mini solo cups you can get from any Walmart or grocery store. Even Dollar Tree has them sometimes. The mini ones are sturdier than regular size solo cups and stand up to the abuse better. Of course if you are thinking of entering them in competition, yeah, you might want to get competition grade cups but if you are just trying to find an activity they might like, I would just get the mini solo cups. If they really like the activity and want to compete, then invest in competition cups.

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Hope your class was better this week. I am a volunteer at an afterschool program for this age group and we started this program this year. We are in season 2. The kids enjoy it and we keep it pretty loose. They do have time afterschool though for a snack and free time before we start. It's completely free and they send all the main materials. 

Thought I'd pass it along in case you're interested in it for another time.

https://crazy8s.bedtimemath.org/home/what

 

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4 hours ago, Toocrazy!! said:

Hope your class was better this week. I am a volunteer at an afterschool program for this age group and we started this program this year. We are in season 2. The kids enjoy it and we keep it pretty loose. They do have time afterschool though for a snack and free time before we start. It's completely free and they send all the main materials. 

Thought I'd pass it along in case you're interested in it for another time.

https://crazy8s.bedtimemath.org/home/what

 

this looks cool..but I dont 'have enough kids...it says I will need 12-16 kids...I only have about 7.  However, my K-2 grade group I have more...so that would work with them...thanks so much for sharing.

 

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https://www.breakoutedu.com/

You could try something like this. It’s like an escape room, but you have to break into the box by solving clues. Purchasing the stuff from this site is expensive, but you could probably make something similar very cheaply. 

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