Camp Creativity Whiteboards

I’m going to start out today by just showing you guys the list of literally everything that I had planned for camp on each day, because I think that’ll give me a touchpoint to go back to as I break it down into what each play invitation was and why I did it and how it went and how they interplayed and all of that.

I wrote out these whiteboards the day before each day of camp, so before we had set up anything at all in the field outside of our offices. Only one activity that I pre-wrote didn’t end up happening, and that was “sling paint with a slingshot” on Tuesday — the slingshot just didn’t work out. So we quickly erased “with a slingshot” before anybody arrived, because slinging paint around was still definitely a part of the camp. 🙂

I posted these whiteboards because I knew the kids’ adults would be coming with a “What are we *supposed* to do?” mindset, rather than knowing or understanding that they could freely explore materials and make up their own ideas. Indeed, I did hear a few adults saying things like, “Let’s check the board to see what we have to do today.”

I did a bunch of advocacy in this area over the course of the week and enjoyed it so much, letting them know that they could truly be creative and make up their own ideas, and that the only “no” they were going to hear from me would be for legitimate health or safety concerns (which really only came up once or twice).

One time, I overheard a child saying to their adult, “What am I supposed to do with this?” and the adult replied, “I don’t know, let’s ask Ms. Kelsie.”
I said “Hmm…do you have any cool ideas?”
Their face lit up as they realised they did have cool ideas and they could use the materials to make them happen!

Image Transcriptions:

For each of the images, the title on the whiteboard says “What’s happening today at Camp Creativity?” in hand-written letters with a whiteboard marker. There are circles all over the whiteboard, each with different activities written in them, and each in different colors so they can be quickly visually distinguished.

Monday’s board says:
-Dig in the sand for buried treasure
-Solve paper mazes to learn some silly jokes
-Make bracelets, magic wands, bowls, or whatever you imagine
-Paint with a big pendulum
-Play in the squishy water beads, or chia seeds – safe for explorers who still mouth toys 🙂 [i.e., specifically the chia seeds]
-Play a musical instrument
-Find ABCs hidden and match them to the big mat
-Explore glue, tape, and tons of fun materials
-Make a path for rolling marbles down
-Draw on or in a big box
-Make fluffy pom-poms or weave friendship bracelets
What else can you imagine?…


Tuesday’s board says:
-Stick tissue paper to a stained glass window
-Smash paint powder to make colorful creations
-Recycle dried markers into new watercolors
-Scoop and pour blocks, pompoms, colors
-Mix colors and see what they make
-Sling paint with a slingshot
-Make a boat and see if it floats
-Cut up flowers and leaves to make a nature soup
-Make tissue paper flowers
-Melt crayons with a hairdryer
-Solve a number code
What else can you imagine?…

Wednesday’s board says:
-Make a bubble blower cup
-Explore wind and fabric
-Make stamps and ink patterns
-Dig for gemstones or dino bones
-Make a life-size self-portrait
-Learn some hieroglyphics
-Roll cars, balls, and paint down a ramp
-Help paint a rock snake
-Play with B I G bubbles
-Explore bubbles with lots of tools
-Connect the dots to find a secret message
-Paint with everything *except* a paintbrush
What else can you imagine?…


Thursday’s board says:
-Go fishing for magnets
-Make slime
-Make up your own secret potion recipe
-Practice cutting with noodles
-Solve a secret spy code
-Paint with ice
-Complete an obstacle course
-Excavate dinosaurs from the ice
-Make a magic potion
-Make play-dough from scratch
-Follow a wizard’s secret recipe
-Paint with scented spice paint
-Zip planes down a zipline
What else can you imagine?…


Friday’s board says:
-Make swirly marble paintings
-Complete a BINGO scavenger hunt
-Paint in “midair” on clear shower curtains
-Play with dirt and flower toys
-Build giant cardboard creations
-Make a cloth scrap bracelet or wall decoration
-Paint a flowerpot and plant a plant
-Paint some “icing” on some big giant “cakes”
-Draw and climb on cubes, toys, and big blocks
-Wash toys with sponges and soap
-Build, glue, paint, and cut anything you want
What else can you imagine?…