Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Camp I: Colors and Tie Dye

Remember my fabulous idea to create a summer camp in our neighborhood? Well, I'm happy to report that it is AWESOME!
I thought I'd share with you some of things we did a couple weeks ago when I was in charge. I chose to do tie dye because I love tie dye. It all stems from my summer spent as a camp counselor. We had each group of girls for a week, and at some point in the week we would always tie dye. Usually campers don't pack their cutest clothes, so it was never a big deal to tie dye an old T shirt. And, as often happens with young teenage girls, things would get a little crazy until we were tie dying socks, underwear, and bras. And leaving them flapping in the breeze on the Quakie outside our cabin to dry.
So I love tie dye.
 I decided to do a full-on colors theme for my summer camp group. We started out drawing rainbows, then read "A Bad Case of the Stripes" by David Shannon. This story is so cute and the kids loved seeing Camilla Creme's skin change on every page.

 Then we did a few science experiments. The first was to observe how quickly the color comes off candies like M&Ms and Skittles. Fill a little saucer with water, place a candy in it, then dip a strip of coffee filter in the water. The book I checked out from the library made it sound like the color would creep up really fast, but it actually took some time.
We also did a fun experiment where you fill a pie dish with milk, then add drops of food coloring all over the place. Don't mix it! Just add a drop of dish detergent and see what happens. The colors mix on their own and it really was pretty impressive. The kids also had fun blowing on it to make the colors mix more.

 Finally, time for tie dye! I just bought a kit from JoAnn, which included squirt bottles. These were great because they helped the kids control where they wanted the color, and it cut down on the mess. I had them tie rubber bands on their shirts too, to create those fun tie dye lines. 
 Squirt, squirt, squirt!

After they finished, I wrapped each kid's shirt in a plastic bag. They were supposed to dry for 8 hours then go in the washer, which I did at home to save all the moms the headache. They turned out so cute!

You can also make tie dye cupcakes, but beware, they may change the color of your kids' potty messes for a few days!
We did a scaled down version of this color theme for my little one's birthday party later that weekend and it was also a hit. I think tie dye works best for kids over 5, but littler ones love to color, paint, etc.


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