Getting paid to play

I don't know if I've explained my job yet on the blog, but I get paid to play with kids after school. Yes, we still do the boring stuff like homework, but we spend the rest of the day playing playground games, discovering nature, and learning new skills that the public schools don't have the budget to teach. These kids, who I now think of as my kids, are predominantly 2nd generation Mexican kids between the ages of 5 and 12, and there's about 16 on average each day.

The age group is difficult because it spans over a huge difference in interests and capabilities so I constantly have to plan each day with the age thing in mind. We also have a very limited budget, which actually makes it easier to get creative with thinking and inventing games and activities. That being said, here are some of our favorite games/activities.

Capture the Flag
Ultimate Frisbee (just taught this one, with a playground ball though)
Fitness tests

Learning computer skills
Nature hunts
Cutting up paper and throwing it all over the floor
Cooking...and eating!

And the funniest to me, Memory. They go nuts over memory. I took the video of it on Friday, but here's a pic...the kids get down right vicious playing Dr. Suess memory. Just wish my brain was as bright as theirs' are.

Playing Money Management (do any las vegas kids remember this? I created my own, less-cool version of my 5th grade teacher's game, and these kids go crazy over it!) Actually, I'm going to just talk about this one really quick. Every Friday, I count up the "money" that the kids have earned during the week by doing their homework and helping out with tasks around the club like cleaning or reading to the kindergarteners. Then they gather around the game board which is just a poster board split in half between "Busy City", and "Rikaville". Their goal is to save up enough money to eventually move out of the child-laboring factories and live on the magical islands of Rikaville, while getting an education, working, and paying bills.

Quick story, I draw names each week to select 4 kids who have an event happen to them. One girl, who just graduated from fake law school rolled the dice and ended up having a baby. She bothered me all afternoon about it, because she was adamant that she was not ready for children and had a career to focus on. I told her that this is just a game, but sometimes in life, parents have kids that they're not really planning for and at first they're upset but usually (and hopefully) come around and see how beautiful and sweet this precious baby is and are changed forever. She didn't buy it and asked if she could give it away. I eventually told her she could put it up for adoption for $5000 (the price of a house). We'll see what happens. She's 10, and says that the baby idea is giving her nightmares.

I have two more weeks with these kids and then I'm not sure what I'm going to do for a job. I have some photography jobs and weddings over the summer but am actively looking for the full-time deal. Five different part time jobs just aren't cutting it anymore.

1 comment:

kessia reyne said...

Yeah! That sounds fun. I worked at B&GC for awhile. I have some good memories :) Also, Rikaville sounds AWESOME! I want to move there too.

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