Day Camp at Home Week 8: Where the Wild Things Are

Welcome to the eighth and final week of Active for Life Day Camp at Home! All summer, we’ve provided you with activities, crafts, and book recommendations for you and your kids to do at home. Here you’ll find a variety of games and activity ideas, using little to no equipment and materials, that will keep your children active, engaged, and having fun!

Welcome to Week 8: Where the Wild Things Are

This week, we’re inspired by the book Where the Wild Things Are! These games, activities, and resources will take you on some wild adventures with some wild creatures. 

Did you know that the early years are critical in children’s development? When children spend significant time in exploratory play and movement, they build the foundations for long-term physical, mental, and emotional health. So let’s explore our wild side this week!

You decide how you want to use these activities: pick one thing to do each day of the week, plan a full day of fun, or just scan through for inspiration and do what sounds fun to you! 

Here’s what we’ve got this week:

Other weeks

Week 1: Animal Planet

Week 2: Music Makers

Week 3: Exploration

Week 4: Olympic Games

Week 5: Going Green

Week 6: Under the Sea

Week 7: Splish, Splash

  • Independent play: Move through ocean waves and do the monster stomp.
  • Arts & crafts: Get wildly creative and make your own monster feet and fairy potion.
  • Active family fun: Run from a beast and tiptoe around a sleeping dragon.
  • Quiet time: Take a walk on the wild side with these book suggestions for all ages.

Independent play

Activity: Ocean Waves

In the book Where the Wild Things Are, Max sails across an ocean and ends up in a place where the wild things live. Can you move across the ocean waves just like Max? Check out these tips for learning how to jump.

What you’ll need:

  • Sidewalk chalk

How to play:

  1. Using sidewalk chalk, draw 10 wavy blue lines in a row with space between each one. Ask for your child’s help to determine how spread out the lines will be.
  2. Your child will jump over each wavy blue line, trying their best not to land on any lines.
  3. Jump over all ten waves and go back to the start to repeat!

Add more movement:

  • Move as fast as you can through the waves
  • Try different types of jumps and movements (i.e. one foot, two feet, frog jumps, star jumps, skipping)

Make it easier:

  • Use fewer wavy lines
  • Shorten the distance between the wavy lines
  • Draw straight lines instead of wavy lines

Increase the challenge:

  • Change the way you’re jumping: can you jump sideways or backwards?
  • Increase the distance between the wavy lines
  • Stagger the lines so you jump between the left and right sides of the sidewalk 

Activity: Monster Stomp

What you’ll need: 

  • Two empty Kleenex boxes (or you can use your Monster Feet from the craft activity in this post)
  • Items to stomp on and crush (i.e. paper cups, bubble wrap, crumpled-up paper balls)

How to play:

  1. Place the items all over the ground
  2. Put your feet into the opening of the two empty Kleenex boxes (or put on your homemade Monster Feet)
  3. Pretend you’re a wild beast and stomp around crushing each item with your super-strong Monster Feet!

Add more movement:

  • Ask your child to search around the house and collect items to stomp on
  • Try kicking or moving the items with your feet
  • At the end of the activity, practice throwing all items into a bin

Make it easier:

  • Lay out items for your child to stomp before the activity starts
  • Use just your feet instead of putting on the Monster Feet
  • Try stomping around without the items and have a monster dance party

Increase the challenge:

  • Increase the number of items to stomp
  • Use larger and different items to stomp (i.e. balloons, cardboard boxes, etc.)

For more ideas to entertain your little ones and keep them active, try these activities for kids.

Arts & crafts

Craft: Make your own Monster Feet  

What you’ll need:

  • Construction paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut three triangles out of one end of a piece of construction paper (this should leave four triangles that will become your monster toes).
  2. Repeat Step 1 on a second piece of construction paper (use the same colour).
  3. Cut eight small triangles from construction paper in a different colour.
  4. Glue a small triangle (toe nail) in the centre of each big triangle (toe).
  5. Fold each monster foot in half, on the long edge.
  6. On the fold line, cut a slit just large enough to fit your foot through. Keep it small!
  7. Tear little pieces of tissue paper, crumple them up, and glue pieces to the top of your monster feet.
  8. To wear your monster feet, slide a bare foot through the slit and allow the extra paper to sit on top of your foot.

Make it easier: 

  • Pre-cut construction paper shapes for your child
  • Use markers and crayons to decorate your monster feet

Increase the challenge:

  • Allow your child to safely practice cutting out all shapes
  • Use paint to colour toe nails and decorate your monster feet
  • Make matching monster hands

Craft: Fantastic Fairy Potion

What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Food colouring 
  • Glitter 
  • Glass jar
  • A spoon (for your magic wand)
  • A tray or large dish to collect potion overflow

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar half way with vinegar, then stir in a few drops of food colouring.
  2. Add a big drop of dish soap and a sprinkle of glitter. 
  3. Add a spoonful of baking soda and stir.
  4. The sparkly potion will bubble and froth, fizzing out over the jar.
  5. Keep adding more baking soda, dish soap, and vinegar to your potion and stir.
  6. Change the colour of your potion by adding drops of different food colouring.
  7. Make a wish or cast a spell while stirring your magic fairy potion!

Active family fun

It’s important to schedule regular play into family life. Try out these wild things-themed activities that your whole family will love. 

Activity: Beast Feast

What you’ll need: 

  • Large outdoor or indoor playing area

How to play:  

  1. Choose one person in your group to be the Beast.
  2. The Beast is at one end of the playing area with their back toward the group.
  3. All other players are at the other end (the start) of the playing area facing the Beast.
  4. To start the game, the group says: “How many trolls can you eat, Beast?”
  5. The Beast picks a number between 1-10 and says something like, “I can eat 7 trolls” (for example).
  6. The group of players must take the same number of steps toward the Beast.
  7. Steps 5 and 6 continue until the Beast answers the group with “Time for dessert!”
  8. The Beast turns around and tries to tag players before they get back to the start.
  9. If a player is tagged, they’re out until another round is played.
  10. The game is done when either all players are tagged or one person has beat the Beast back to the start.

Ways to get moving more:

  • Change up the type of movement for each round (i.e. running, gliding, skipping, etc.)
  • Tagged players can still participate from the side of the playing area by completing a movement (i.e. jumping jacks, frog jumps) every time they hear the word “trolls”

Make it easier:

  • Change up the size of the playing area and use a smaller space
  • Change the pace of play by using slower movements (i.e. heel-to-toe walking, etc.) 

Increase the challenge:

  • Change up the size of the playing area and use a larger space
  • Change the pace of play by using faster movements (i.e. running, skipping)
  • Players must do a jumping jack before moving to a new spot

Activity: Don’t Wake the Sleeping Dragon!

What you’ll need: 

  • 3 small objects (i.e. balls, stuffed animals, folded pair of socks, etc.) to be the precious stones

How to play:  

  1. Choose one person to be the dragon. We recommend an adult doing the first round!
  2. The dragon will choose a spot within the playing area to place the precious stones, lay down beside the stones and pretend to sleep (eyes closed—no peeking!)
  3. The dragon’s job is to protect the precious stones and make sure they’re not stolen
  4. Players must quietly sneak around the dragon and try to bring all of the stones back to their “safe zone.” Each player is allowed to take one stone at a time.
  5. If the dragon hears movement close to the stones, the dragon can try to tag a player but must keep their eyes closed the entire game.
  6. If a player is tagged while holding a precious stone, they must return the stone.
  7. The game is over when all stones are stolen from the dragon.

Add movement:

  • The dragon can crawl around the stones (with their eyes closed) instead of pretending to sleep
  • Players must do an active movement if they are tagged (i.e. spins, jumps, skips, etc.)

Make it easier:

  • The dragon sleeps further away from the stones
  • Use larger objects for the precious stones, so they’re easier to grab
  • Use a bandana or blindfold to assist the “sleeping dragon”

Increase the challenge:

  • Add more precious stones to steal
  • Increase the size of the playing area so it is harder to get back to the “safe zone”
  • If one player is tagged, all players must do an active movement

Activity: Soup for Max

In the book Where the Wild Things Are, Max got into some mischief and his mom sent him to his room without supper. Help Max by making him some yummy garden soup!

What you’ll need: 

  • Flowers, grass, leaves, and various things collected in your backyard or on a family nature walk
  • Spoons
  • Pots and bowls
  • Soup ladle
  • Bucket, cup or plastic jug (used for transferring water to make the soup)
  • Measuring cups, funnel (optional)

How to play: 

  1. Take a family walk around your neighbourhood or visit your local green space to collect natural items to put in your soup. Bring a container!
  2. In an outdoor space, set up all materials and the container of natural items.
  3. Work together as a family to make a delicious garden soup for Max.
  4. Allow your child to take the lead for this activity. It’s all about imagination! 

For some more ways to be active each day, use the free, printable Recipe for an Active Day [PDF] and check out the Active for Life Playbooks.

Quiet time

Here are some recommended reads about some wild creatures (and links to read-aloud videos on YouTube!).

0-3 years: There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

3-5 years: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

6-8 years: Larf by Ashley Spires

9-12 years: The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors

Bonus activities

As the summer comes to a close, so does our Day Camp at Home series. We hope you and your family have enjoyed the themes, games, and activities over the past eight weeks. New adventures are right around the corner. Always remember the power of play!

Monster Feet photo courtesy of Jen Smith.

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