Colerain Parks & Rec Squad
We cannot have regular summer camp this year...but we will still have fun!
All ages welcome!
CHECK OUT WHO WE ARE
Due to safety concerns, Colerain Township is unable to have the yearly 4th of July Spectacular event this year. But don’t worry! We’ve created a video that takes you back through the past 3 years of the 4th of July Spectacular Firework Show. Plug your phone or computer into the TV, sit back, and enjoy having your own firework show in the comfort of your home. We hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!
Where am I Wednesday: A behind-the-scenes look of a firework show!
Go behind-the-scenes and see what it takes to put on a spectacular firework show! How are so many fireworks let off at the same time? What does the set up look like? Click the video (picture) to find out.
The images below are part of the set up for Colerain’s 4th of July spectacle. Without our Summer Events Committee, we wouldn’t have had our beautiful firework displays these past years. Thank you Summer Events Committee, we are very grateful and appreciate you!
Today we are salt painting! You will need 3 items: paper, glue, and table salt. There are SO many designs you can make made - and many ways you can color the salt if you’re feeling extra crafty! You can put paint or food coloring in the salt and mix them together (we saw the paint dry quicker). You can also wait until the salt dries and paint over it with watercolor paints, food coloring mixed with water, or paint.
Have fun with your Thrifty Tuesday salt paintings! #coleraincares
Welcome to Week 3: Party in the USA! Let’s kick off Motivational Monday by introducing our "sparkling" week:
- Thrifty Tuesday: Salt Painting
- Where Am I Wednesday: Behind the scenes look at how our township prepares our fireworks show
- Turn Up Thursday: BucketBall Neighborhood Challenge in YOUR neighborhood
- Fun- Friday: Township Firework Montage
*Registration for BucketBall is OPEN. Sign up ASAP to secure your spot - open to 10 FAMILIES ONLY*
Turn Up Thursday: Microwave S’mores Cooking Challenge!
You can’t have a camp out and not have the sweet-tasting treat of a s’more! Watch this video as we show you how to make a s’more using your microwave.
**Adult supervision is required. The s’more will be HOT**
We want to see your s’more creations! Tag your s’mores on the Colerain Township’s Facebook page using the hashtags #coleraincampout and #coleraincares - we can’t wait to see what your s’mores look like!
Welcome to Week 2’s Where am I at Wednesday! Today, we are virtually visiting our National Parks around the U.S. Explore our National Parks in 360 degrees. Be sure to look out for canyons, mountains, waterfalls, and more! (click on picture)
Take a virtual hike around the world. Choose from 16 different places and tour your destination. Ever want to hike in Hawaii? Now you can! (click on picture)
There are MANY activities you can do during your camp out. To see activities we have done, click on the picture. Here are some of our other favorites:
- A scavenger hunt (themes- nature, colors, household items)
- Glow in the dark bowling (using glow sticks)
- Having a picnic
- Listening to nature sounds
- Telling stories (funny or scary)
- A movie or tv show marathon
Check out this new addition of thrifty Tuesday (click on photo) where we will share with you how you can decorate your tent with at-home items for this weeks #coleraincampout.
Items you will need to decorate your tent:
- Construction Paper
- Blankets and Pillows
Welcome to week 2’s Motivational Monday! The theme this week is The Great Colerain Township Camp Out. Friday (6/26), will be our great camp out. This can be done anywhere - your living room, in a tent, even outside. Each day this week, we will be showing you activities that can be included into your at-home camp out. Stay tune for more!
RingCentral chat link for June 19 at 1 PM:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://meetings.
Meeting ID: 148 527 7201
*Users will need to download the RingCentral phone app or computer desktop app to join our chat. Click the link above and it will direct you to everything!*
Welcome to the first week of Where Am I Wednesday. For our first virtual field trip, check out these live cameras of different aquariums around the US!
Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey, California)
Watch 10 live cameras of your favorite ocean creatures from the comfort of your own home! Note that live cameras are in Pacific time (3 hours behind us). Read about the animals and habitats as you explore the aquarium’s website.
Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, Georgia)
Watch 8 live cameras of your favorite aquarium animals at Georgia Aquarium. To learn about the aquarium’s animals and exhibits, explore the website. Learn about what a penguin eats or how many teeth a beluga whale has!
The National Aquarium (Baltimore, Maryland)
With a click of a mouse or the use of your finger, look around 5 different scenes in one of the exhibits at The National Aquarium!
Welcome to the first week of Thrifty Tuesday with Bre (click on picture to access video). In today’s activity, she will be teaching you how to make an octopus out of a toilet paper roll at the comfort of your home.
All you will need are:
- Toilet paper roll
- Markers, crayons, etc. for decorating
Stay tune for more activities!
FOR THE FIRST 10 FAMILIES TO SIGN UP! We come to your neighborhood! Open for the first 10 families living in Colerain Township that sign up. Times will be given to the family members that are chosen through email.
You can access the registration form here:
Welcome to Week 1: Under the Sea! (Click on picture to access video.)
- Motivational Monday: Under the Sea weekly introduction
- Thrifty Tuesday: Octopus paper roll craft
- Where am I Wednesday: Aquarium virtual field trip
- Turn up Thursday: Hula Hoop Neighborhood Challenge
- Fun Friday: Marine Biologist Presentation
Don’t forget to sign up for "Turn up Thursday’s" Hula Hoop Challenge. Sign up ends Wednesday at 12:00 pm! Families chosen will be posted and emailed by 5:00 pm Wednesday. Let’s have a GREAT first week!
Bored? Need something fun to do during your summer? Colerain’s Park & Rec Squad brings the fun to you! Join us for weekly themes, arts & crafts, virtual field trips, special guests, and neighborhood challenges! ALL IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME AND FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and this year your child’s teacher didn’t have them make Mom a cute craft at school, stores have not reopened yet and you cannot take her out to eat at her favorite restaurant. What are you going to do????
Above is a photo of a vase with hands that represent flowers, showing mom all the reasons why you love her. Below is a photo of a card you can make by tracing your child’s hands. Both are very, very cute. However, I have attached a link that gives some good ideas to show mom your appreciation while celebrating at home during a pandemic, just in case you are not the crafty type! https://www.theactivetimes.com/featured/mothers-day-home-celebrate-ideas-coronavirus/slide-10
It’s Public Service Recognition Week!! Public Service Recognition Week has been celebrated the first week of May since 1985 (beginning on the first Sunday of the month) to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees, including teachers! Public service is a calling. For those of us who are blessed to serve the public, we do it because we directly make a difference to the populations that we serve. I have been in the field for almost 24 years, 21 of those with Colerain. I have been so incredibly fortunate to work with and meet some of the neatest people and so many of them have left an indelible mark on my heart that I will never forget. And I know without a doubt, that I am not the only one who feels this way!
If you would like to show your appreciation to a professional in public service that has touched your lives, here are links to some activities you can do with your children:
Art! At my daughter’s middle school, they split the year up into thirds for specials. She had 1/3 of the year in gym/health, 1/3 was music, and now she is in art. I have been so worried about her homeschooling academics, that I completely forgot about checking on specials! She has been doing art projects that I have given her, and some she has just done on her own, but she apparently has a drawing that is overdue by a few weeks. Oops! If your school isn’t assigning art like my daughter’s school, here is a fun project we were going to do, salt art painting, but now I have to put it on hold until the assignment is complete: https://www.facebook.com/agirlandagluegun/videos/142629030497859/
Do you remember where you were during major historical moments? Here I go aging myself again, but I remember exactly what classroom, and what seat I was sitting in, and I remember generally how I felt when I watched the space shuttle explode. Most of my knowledge, though, is a mixture of a young memory and what I have learned from watching specials as an adult. I don’t have anything from that time that shows what the child version of me thought. Call me a geek, but I think it would be really interesting to look back to see what my 7th grade, just turned 12 years old self actually understood. We are living in unprecedented times. The world that we will live in after this is history will be different. Call me a weirdo, but I think it would be interesting to look back many, many years from now, and see not only what I thought in the moment, but what my 8 year old and ’turned 11 during a pandemic’ year old had going through their minds. Battalion Chief Steve Conn shared with me a link to a website that will help you make your own family time capsule. I hope you have as much fun making this as I will (even if my kids do it kicking and screaming, telling me their ’real’ teacher didn’t assign this work)!
When schools first closed, I saw the meme above floating all around Facebook. It made me giggle, but in all reality, Fire Drills and Fire Safety at home are very serious subjects. Below is a link to a virtual fire drill you and your children can review at home! http://virtualfiredrill.esfi.org/
Happy Earth Day! If you and your family are looking for nature themed activities to celebrate what is our 50th Earth Day, I have compiled a few ideas:
- Great Parks of Hamilton County has created Parks@Home, an online hub for nature activities you can do from home.
- Certify your yard as a Wildlife Habitat. Wildlife habitat gardens are a haven for local birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife. Tell the National Wildlife Association how your yard or garden provides habitat, and they will certify your yard!
- Visit Hamilton County’s The Green Classroom to get activities and read more about Earth Day.
- Visit the National Geographic Kids website to read about more ways you can help: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/celebrations/earth-day/
Borrowed idea from Rifle, Colorado - can you jump six feet? To help educate children on social distancing and just how far 6 feet is, the City Manager of Rifle challenged his residents to see how far they could jump.
1. Parents: Measure out 6 feet on the floor with 1-foot increments. For fun, go outside and mark off the measurements with sidewalk chalk!
2. Kids: Stand at one end of the measurement and jump as far as you can.
3. Measure how far you jumped. Can you jump 6 feet?
Read the full article here.
Slime...carpet...two things that do not go well together. How do I know? I’ve spent all morning trying to scrub a very large patch of it from my daughter’s bedroom carpet. If you would like to share the joy I am currently experiencing, slime is easy to make! You just need school glue, some type of activator like liquid laundry detergent, and food coloring. Mini chemists can also use glitter, lots & lots of glitter, Crayola model magic, and a ton of other things that I am too annoyed to list. Google it, you will find a never ending list of ways to make your own. I have to go back to scrubbing, now....
After dinner tonight, we are having family game night! No, we are not playing my kid’s usual favorites (although, if you are looking for a new mass-produced game to try that will bring lots of laughs, their favorite is Not Parent Approved. Contrary to the title, it is a game for adults and children to play together, and my kiddos love it. But I digress...squirrel...). It come’s from the school counselors at my daughter’s school, and as soon as I read the email they sent out with the game, I instantly asked if I could share! You have to make the game on your own, but I think it will be worth the little extra effort!
- Today’s activity is ME Bingo.
- Print the attached blank bingo card or draw a 16 square grid.
- Using the list of positive traits on page 2, every member of the family fills their card with the 16 traits that they think best describe them.
- Once everyone is done with the list of positive traits, cut apart the words on the list.
- Select someone to be the Bingo caller, and they call the traits for Bingo.
- When someone wins, they have to repeat what spaces they covered to get Bingo, and it’s fun to hear them read off their traits “I am…” !
- Included are some sample discussion questions, to help you process the activity and make it a little more educational!
Today, my son had his first Zoom Meeting with his class. He was so excited! He asked me every five minutes for two hours if he should go ahead and log on so he didn’t miss it. He set up a corner of the living room, with a little table for his laptop, so he would be ready. Most of the meeting was social, but the teacher did lead a game they played together. His smile after it was over (he is trying to be "cool" in the photo), was absolutely priceless.
Social connections are so incredibly vital. Our kiddos, young and older, are really missing it. Virtual playdates, FaceTime with family, and Zoom school meetings, no matter how silly or serious, help to beat the boredom, help ease fears (which may are attempting to bottle-up or hide), serves as both a comfort and an outlet at once, and helps them cope with these very uncertain times. USA Today has a helpful article about the benefits of these connections, and if you read to the end, gives a list of age appropriate on-line activities to connect with others: USA Today article
Being home more has created more everything - more together time, more cuddles with my dogs and children, more chances to appreciate my children’s teachers, more opportunity to play referee between my arguing children, more dishes, more trash... Speaking of trash, now is a good time to review your recycling and learn along with your children. Hamilton County Recycling & Solid Waste District’s blog, The Green Classroom, is full of fun and educational activities and lessons for elementary, middle, high school students as well as adults!
The last few days have been beautiful. The next few are not supposed to be as nice. If you can’t get outside but want to do something physical? Here are a few ideas from Fatherly.com:
- Turn over a kitchen chair, grab a couple baseball hats, and throw the hats onto the legs of the chair. Want to add math into the game, assign each leg a different point value!
- Set up chair volleyball with a balloon or beach ball. Turn it into tennis if you have rackets, a fly swatter, or some similar object to swat with.
- For more ideas, visit: https://www.fatherly.com/play/activities/best-indoor-games-for-kids-and-families-coronavirus-quarantine/
- Most of us are fortunate enough that we live with another person, making social isolation a little more bearable! Not everyone is as fortunate. Many of our older population are retired and live alone. Under normal circumstances, they are very connected to family and friends and still get out and about to do things. Now, they are alone and completely cut off from everyone, making the isolation very lonely. While you should not visit, you can send a hug - on paper! Trace you or your children with arms stretched out. I used butcher paper left over from a project, which made it easy, but you can use the back side of a roll of Christmas wrapping paper, tape a bunch of blank paper together - get creative! Decorate and write a message to your loved one, friend or neighbor and deliver it to their mailbox or porch. It is not the same as a real hug, but it will still bring a much needed smile to their face to know how much they are loved!
Great Grandma Joyce loved hers!
- We would love a community egg hunt right about now, but we will need to wait for next year to make the rounds to our favorite egg hunt sites! But there is something we can do: hang colored paper eggs in your windows for neighbors who are walking, or driving around the neighborhood to spot on their own hunt! Use cardboard, recycle colorful junk mail, or just standard paper. How many will you find in your neighborhood?
- Although summer is my favorite, spring is the season I look forward to the most. The drab brown of winter is giving way to the vibrant green of spring. There is a promise of warmer days ahead. Flowers are starting to bloom, grass is growing, and trees are "springing" back to life. Spring also brings us new sounds - kids playing outside, mowers buzzing in the distance, and birds! Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a wonderful web page full of birding resources and, check out this link to a guide to 50 common bird calls.
- Yesterday was amazing! I hope you enjoyed some time outside with your family! I tried to disguise child labor as gym class, and my kids lasted about as long as gym class would have, but my landscaping is mostly weed free (maybe I also covered science?) and my mulch beds are 90% covered. If I had added math class in and taken measurements, I would have had the correct amount of mulch delivered!
- Since today is not nearly as perfect out as yesterday, I thought I would share a fun link to art activities that you can do inside (or outside if you like) by a local artist: https://www.facebook.com/mrsbeyersart/ Have you tried any of our projects? If so, please share your pictures with us by emailing email@example.com!
- I taught myself something new yesterday! Don’t forget that you are never too old to learn a new skill, and now that we are staying at home, what better time to jump on YouTube and learn a new skill!
- Along those lines, play school and let your child teach you! This reinforces what they know, and maybe you’ll remember something you had completely forgotten about (I relearned the area of the Louisiana Purchase this week). Use a sidewalk or the driveway as the whiteboard/chalkboard for added fun!
My April Fools Day started out by serving my children their favorite cereal - which I had prepared last night, complete with the spoon in the bowl and stuck it in the freezer for a fun surprise this morning! To get me back, my son made me a tumbler of flavored water for the morning, complete with every type of water flavoring I had in the cabinet. Needless to say, it was terrible and I almost spit it across the room, which got me to thinking about old comedies like the Three Stooges, and my personal favorite, Carol Burnett.
- Binge watch classic TV and movies from a wide range of decades. Talk about how life has changed, and what remains the same. They will soak up history lessons without ever knowing it! Watch old musicals, or anything Elvis, and music class, maybe even gym class if they try to dance along with Gene Kelly or John Travolta, are covered! Watch Will Roger’s silent movies – cover film history, technological advancements, life in the wild west, learn some seriously cool rope tricks, and then do research on the great philosopher Will Rogers was. Throw in some classic Carol Burnett (my 11 and 8 year old’s favorite, not just mine), Three Stooges or Marx Brothers for laughter so hard that it counts as cardio!
- The last day of March. When this month started, did you ever expect life to change this much in such a short time? If you or your child are having any fear or anxiety, please know you are not alone. Colerain native and McAuley alumni Julie (Jarnot) Nguyen, life coach, creator of Guided Towards Greatness coaching program for teens, and freelance dance teacher and choreographer who is now based out of Boulder, Colorado, has recorded a series of short videos with her daughter that addresses calming and relaxation techniques to help process the new, and sometimes scary feelings many of us are experiencing. Here is a link to her first video with her daughter, but you can find several more they have recorded together on her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDKVotUZoos
- Neighborhood scavenger hunt! I saw this cute list posted on Facebook and it gets us outside, but adds a little fun to a walk around the neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10163400766285486&set=a.110960480485&type=3&theater
- I am sure you have probably seen this suggestion floating around the news and internet - display a heart in one of your front windows to show your support for essential workers like nurses, first responders, grocery workers, etc. You don’t need to have fancy colored paper. Use the empty cereal box you just emptied, a colorful piece of junk mail or some other recycled item! Do you have a neighbor that is a first responder, nurse, or the like? Leave them a heart on their front door saying thanks! It is the little things that mean a lot.
- The weather is beautiful. Go outside! Enjoy a walk at a park. Visit a park you have never been to. How many have visited Coleraine Heritage Memorial in front of the Administration building at 4200 Springdale Road? Go and read the historical information, read the monuments. Learn something about your Township!
- I’m stealing this idea from my children: build a fort! I don’t understand the ’challenges’ my kids and their friends always want to participate in with each other (thank you, YouTube). Today’s is kind of a fun twist - build a fort and have a virtual challenge while connecting on FaceTime to see who can last the longest inside their fort. How is this educational, you ask? Well, the fort has to stay standing so there is some very basic engineering and design involved, it encourages creativity, it fosters spatial awareness, they have to plan what supplies they will need over a span of time, and they are connecting to friends. Social connections are vital, and they are really missing that! Here are two resources for other ways to make fort building educational:
We want to see your forts! Share with us on social media at #ColerainCares
Opening day (insert sad sigh). I found a funny baseball meme I was going to steal, but I didn’t want to offend any Astros fans that might live in the Township. Today should be Opening Day. The weather would have been perfect. The parade, the fans and Opening Day itself will unfortunately have to wait. But, we can still enjoy what would have been, and what will hopefully eventually be! Major League Baseball is encouraging fans to post photos wearing clothing supporting their favorite team with #OpeningDayAtHome. How else can we celebrate the day, because you know, Cincinnati always goes way over the top compared to the rest of the MLB cities?
- Have your own ’social distancing-family only’ parade – enjoy the beautiful weather, wear Cincinnati Reds clothing, and decorate your bike, stroller, wagon, or dog in red or Reds paraphernalia when you go outside with your family and enjoy this amazing day. MLB wants you to share - use #OpeningDayAtHome to show your Reds activities!!
- Color one of these coloring pages and share it! http://www.mlb.com/documents/2/3/8/259158238/15_Reds_FanClubs_ColoringSheets_MLBAM.pdf
- Research Opening Day history in Cincinnati. Here is a link for parade history: www.findlaymarketparade.com
- Are you a player and miss the game? Here are links to some great videos with tips you can do while your season is on hold.
- Eat ballpark food! We’ve all blown our diets anyway, what is another day of hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, ice cream? Maybe not for breakfast, but dig in later in the day (Colerain Township is not responsible for any tummy aches this may lead to)!
- The Cincinnati Reds has a wonderful Hall of Fame Museum. Back in the good old days of the beginning of this month, my family and I enjoyed a day at the museum. One of the new interactive displays that I could not peel my daughter away from let you record your own broadcast highlighting a winning game. Watch an old game, record your kids doing the play calling or highlighting a game. You could even have them come up with their own “…and this one belongs to the Reds” ending to a game! It will be fun to look back on, and maybe it can lead to planning a field trip to the museum once it reopens!
- The sun is shining - get outside! Imago Rangers is posting a new activity each day that families can do together in their own backyard. Visit: https://imagoearth.org/imago-rangers/ and get outside!
- I don’t know how many times I have seen friends post that we need to bring back home economics to schools. Guess what? NOW is the perfect time to do that! Have your kids prepare a meal. Food is full of opportunities! Measurement, fractions, conversion of weights, budgeting, chemistry, and so much more depending on the age of your children. And not to mention, they gain a very important life skill! And don’t forget, washing the dishes and cleaning up after cooking is an essential part of Home Ec!
- Don’t forget about shop class! Have your kids help you fix something on your “To-Do” list around the house, check the oil level in the vehicles, fill the air in tires of the car or bicycles, do yard work, or, just give them a scrap of wood, a nail and hammer and have them practice driving a nail and removing it (if age appropriate).
- My favorite meme from this weekend read, "If you see my kids outside today, mind your business. We’re having a fire drill!" It was a little lighthearted humor to cope with our current situation, but it does bring up a great topic - fire safety! Bennett-Watkins Fire has amazing resources for fire safety for younger kids. Find educational videos, activities, coloring pages, home fire escape planning tools and more here: https://bennettwatkinsfire.colorado.gov/kids-corner
- Practice letter writing – whether it is to a stranger at a local nursing home, grandma & grandpa, or the next door neighbor, the recipient will love to receive it! For added bonus, write a letter to your teacher. This is hard on them, too. They miss your child. They were not prepared to watch them walk out of their classroom that last day.
- Keeping in the same tone as letter writing, send a message to your Colerain Police Officers and Firefighters thanking them for their service to our community. Last night, an officer from Springdale lost her life doing her job. This is a reality they face every time they put on their uniform, but it really hits home when something like this happens so close to home, and it wasn’t that long since we lost our own Officer Dale Woods. Their job isn’t easy, especially right now. But they still come in for their shift so the rest of us are safe. Show appreciation. Write a letter, send an email, draw a picture on paper to mail in or draw a picture on the sidewalk and take a picture, post it on social media and tag them! It is a nice reminder of what makes their job so important!
- Sidewalk chalk messages – draw a picture or write an inspirational message on a sidewalk in front of your home or in a local park. Anyone can do this! Additional ideas - draw a hop scotch, or write out a full "challenge" of silly things for people to do like hop like a bunny 6 time, roar and stomp to the next sidewalk block! Don’t have chalk? Here is a recipe for DIY chalk paint you can make with ingredients around the house: https://www.makeandtakes.com/sidewalk-chalk-paint
1. Scavenger Hunt: send your kids outside for a scavenger hunt. No time to find a list, write a list, or no access to print a list? Send them outside and have them complete an ABC scavenger hunt – find an object representing each letter of the alphabet. They will be gone for a while, breathing in fresh air, active, and creativity will abound. Are your kids older? Send them outside with their phone to take pictures of things in nature or around the neighborhood that look like the letters in their name, your last name, or their school mascot. If you prefer a cute printed list, you can find one in the links below.
2. Experiments: https://ulxplorlabs.org/ is an educational platform designed to encourage students to “solve through science.” It is especially focused on engaging middle-school students during a time in their educational lives when interest in science is shown to decrease dramatically. Through interactive videos, instructional experiences, hands-on classroom activities and creative classroom challenges, this free, STEM-focused experience:
• Builds scientific knowledge, passion, and commitment among students
• Teaches key concepts related to the Next Generation Science Standards disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting and connecting concepts
• Makes it simple to implement hands-on exercises in the classroom
• Shows students that by using scientific inquiry to ask why a phenomenon happens, that they can solve real problems and help create innovative solutions for a safer world.
Colerain Parks and Recreation is here to stay. Check here for weekly content, recreational activities, neighborhood visit information, and more!
Has your family tried any of these activities? If so, post pictures or share stories on social media with
- Ohio Department of Health Activities and Guide for Parents
- Hamilton County Parks@Home
- On-line educational resources
- Scavenger Hunt
- Science Experiments for Middle School Students: ulxplorlabs.org
- Virtual Field Trips: https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html