Monday, July 27, 2015

2015 Cowboy Camp - Day 1

In my last post, I announced that this week has been declared "Cowboy Camp" here at our house as we celebrate our last week of summer vacation!

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Today was Cowboy Camp Day 1, and it has been a BLAST!

To help get in the camp mood, Big Brother slept in a sleeping bag last night. He got up at 7:00 a.m. and Cowboy Camp officially began!

First off, he dressed up in a cowboy hat, bandana, t-shirt, vest, jeans, cowboy boots, toy gun, gun belt, and holster! I joined the fun by wearing braids, a checkered shirt, jean skirt, cowboy hat, and a bandana. Little Brother also wore a cowboy hat for awhile. :)

For this week, we have renamed our kitchen/dining area "the chuckwagon." Big Brother's first duty was to help make scrambled eggs for breakfast. He did a fine job!

After breakfast, we sang some fun songs. We sang "I'm a Little Cowboy," "I'm in the Lord's Army - Cowboy Style," and "Happy Trails." We incorporated fun motions and sound effects for each song, and Little Brother even joined in the fun!

Then we did a simple devotion. We talked about all the things a cowboy wears and the purpose for each part of his gear. Then we read about what God tells Christians to put on in order to do our jobs in Ephesians 6:10-18. After prayer it was time for "chorin'."

We talked about how cowboys had to work hard all day long. Big Brother worked on his daily laundry load and then helped wash up some dishes. (Because, hey, even chores are fun when you are dressed as a cowboy!)

Our next activity was some reading time. We decided to start reading in The Wild West: An Interactive History Adventure. This book is so neat! You choose how you want to learn about the west: as an outlaw, a lawman, or as a fortune seeker. Then throughout the story you make various choices, all with different outcomes. There are real people, places, and facts in the stories; and the maps and pictures are great! Today Big Brother chose to explore the wild west from the perspective of an outlaw. We took turns reading paragraphs, and he loved getting to make choices in the story! He is really looking forward to learning from the perspective of a western lawman tomorrow.

Next it was game time (with some sneaky spelling and vocabulary practice thrown in!). I found this neat little Wild West Hangman magnetic game at Dollar Tree over the weekend.

We both took turns several times choosing words related to our cowboy theme having the other try to guess. It was fun!

After several games of Wild West Hangman, it was time to go outside for awhile. While we were outside we had a gun fight...a squirt-gun fight, that is! I cannot think of a better way to cool off and have fun on a hot day!

Little Brother got nice and messy (and tired) playing outside, so when we came in he was ready for a bath and a nap.

After lunch, I challenged Big Brother with the following word problem I had written on the dry erase board:

You are a trail boss on a cattle drive. You are 100 miles from the rail head, and you have 10 days left to get the cattle there. How many miles do you need to move your herd each day to get to the rail head on time?

(It took him about 5 seconds to come up with the correct answer: 10 miles per day! That actually would have been about the fastest a cattle drive could have travelled.)

After our easy little math challenge, we sat on the couch and I read the book Cowboys and the Wild West aloud to Big Brother. It was very interesting with quotes from real cowboys and plenty of great pictures. We consulted our US Map anytime places were mentioned for a quick geography lesson. We spent well over an hour absorbed in this little book.

In our reading, we came across a part of a poem about the life of a cowboy, and Big Brother copied it down on notebook paper to put in a little booklet we are making about cowboys.

For his piano practice today, Big Brother played "Home on the Range," and we sang it together.

He spent the rest of the afternoon either browsing DK's Wild West Eyewitness Book or playing and making up stories with his cowboy LEGO pieces!

Little Brother LOVES horses and cows right now; so he was pretty happy looking at pictures of them in our books, riding his rocking horse, and playing with his Little People Farm set!

And that was Day 1 of Cowboy Camp! What do you think? Big Brother told Daddy that he had lots of fun, so I guess that means it was a success! Stay tuned for Day 2!

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