Tuesday, July 26, 2016

British Party

Last summer, I did a super-fun program called Aussie Taste-Test. The kids loved it, I loved it, and the parents loved it. Basically, it was an all-around win! So I thought that this summer, to piggy-back off it, I'd try a similar British Party! Unfortunately, though, I was not met with the same success.

Here is the craft we did:

It's one of the Queen's royal guards! Thanks, Pinterest!

It's made from old fashioned clothes pins (these from Amazon), clothes pin woodies (these from Amazon), red and black paint, 1.5" black pom-poms (these from Amazon), 1/8" white ribbon, and gold fabric paint (this from Amazon). And I did the eyes in Sharpie.

When the kids first arrived, I told them to paint the bottom half of their clothes pins black and the top half red and then let it sit, with the hopes of giving the paint a chance to dry. Then later on, they could add the details more easily.

Welp, the kids painted super-fast and some actually made the entire thing, despite my instructions and despite how gross and wet the paint was. Off to a good start! By the time we were 10-minutes into the program, everyone was already itching for the next activity. And eyeing the food.

But it wasn't snack time yet! First we had to play "Guess The British Slang," downloadable as a PDF here! This was a PowerPoint presentation I made that consisted of  words like "sausages," "elevator," "sweater," "ice pop," and "flashlight," followed by their English equivalents ("bangers," "lift," "jumper," "ice lolly," and "torch.")

Last year's game of "Guess the Aussie Lingo," downloadable as a PDF here was such a success, I assumed this year's would flow similarly. But it didn't.

I will say that, while this seemed less exciting than last year's equivalent, it was still probably the best part of the program. It was definitely enjoyable and absolutely held the kids' attention. Plus, they did the same funny thing they did last year which was to guess each word by using our word, but saying it with an accent. Example: "Sweatah."

Anyway, it was fun, I just felt like it lacked the overall enthusiasm that last year's Aussie Lingo game had. Maybe I should have started with the snacks.

Once I made sure everyone had clean hands it was time. Finally. On to...

THE SNACKS (aka "sampling of the English sweeties"). Here's what we sampled:

This was fun and, if the kids weren't so sugar-crazed, it would have been the best part of the program for sure. They went absolutely WILD for the Cadbury Fingers--so much so that I actively cut them off even though we still had an unopened box--and they said the Refreshers were too sour, which struck me as odd because I honestly don't feel like they are sour at all. But it was fun and everyone tasted everything.

After the snacks, the kids finished the details of their crafts (ahem, those who hadn't already done so, finished the details of their crafts): the pom-pom hat, the ribbon belt, and the gold, fabric paint buttons. This took about 60-seconds and mostly came out messy.

And then I was fresh out of activities.

I'm usually a better planner than this! I felt mad at myself as things slowly slid to chaos. THANK GOODNESS for Mary, the clerk who stayed in the room with me, who quickly decided we should play "Pin the Pence on the Flag."

If you haven't guessed, this game is Pin the Tail on the Donkey but with an English coin and a Union Jack napkin. Make shift? Yes. Life saver? DEFINITELY. The kids were giggly and surprisingly less cheaty than they usually are with pinning games. It worked! By the end of the game we only had about 10-minutes left in the program and I was perfectly content with letting them scoot out a bit early.


What worked least: The craft. I think it just required too much meticulousness, a trait that kids in grades 1-5 just don't yet possess. And it was this lack of meticulousness that made them rush through the craft and got my timing all wonky.

What else worked least: I feel sort of embarrassed that I did such a bad job with timing in this program (although we're blaming the kids for that, right?). I'm usually a really good planner with these things but I just did NOT prepare enough stuff to occupy an hour of time. And it totally showed.

What worked best: The PowerPoint game of "Guess The British Slang," though even that wasn't as fun as Guess the Aussie Slang last year.

What worked too well: The food. Man. It was ALL about the food.

And on that note...you win some, you lose some right?

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