Help your kids maintain the skills they learned over the school year (and maybe even learn some new skills) by sneaking learning into their summer… they will be having so much fun they won’t even realize their fun is educational too!
Here are nine delightful activities that also build great mental skills.
1. Balloon Math. Reinforce math skills with Balloon Math. Blow up plenty of balloons. Write numbers on some balloons and math symbols (+, −, ÷, ×) on others. Throw a bunch of number balloons in the air. Have your kids catch two each. Then throw the math symbol balloons and have kids catch one. Then your kids solve the math problem using the two number balloons and the math symbol balloon. The first child to get 15 right gets to pop the balloons.
2. Sidewalk Geography. Turn your driveway into a practice pad. Have your kids grab a map of the US. The first child picks a state and draws his best rendition. The other kids have to guess which state was drawn. Then, draw the next state that borders the first, and keep drawing til the whole map is done.
3. Ball Bounce Spelling. Take that sidewalk chalk and draw 26 boxes each containing a letter. Then, call out a word for your child to spell, and have your child spell the word, by bouncing a ball onto the appropriate letter-boxes.
4. Make a City of Bags. Help your wee ones learn about community helpers (i.e. firemen, policemen). Introduce one group, explaining what they do, what kind of uniforms they wear, why they are important, etc. Then, have your kids make community helper buildings using small brown paper lunch bags. Turn the bags upside down and color/decorate them into 3-D buildings. Open the bags and attach them to a big piece of cardboard to make a 3-D city.
5. Spelling Race. Make a starting line at one end of your yard. Put one clipboard and a marker for each kid in the race at the other end of the yard. With the kids at the starting line, call out a word. The first kid to run to his/her clipboard and correctly spell the word wins the race.
6. Synonym/Antonym Catch. The child who starts with the ball calls out a word and then throws the ball to the other child. The kid to whom the ball is being thrown must call out a synonym or antonym to the word before the ball reaches him/her.
7. Measurement Scavenger Hunt. Even young kids who have not yet been introduced to standard units of measurement can still learn measurement skills. Cut paper into strips of various lengths. Then have your kids search for various objects that are the same lengths as the strips of paper. Reinforce the concepts of longer and shorter by having them also search for objects that are longer or shorter than the strips of paper.
8. Clothespin Alphabet. Hang a traditional clothesline outside, low enough for your kids to reach. Buy a huge bag of clothespins and write individual letters on each clothespin. Children can practice the alphabet or spelling by hanging clothespins.
9. Coin Toss. Practice money skills by filling your kiddy pool with water and a plastic container. Give your kids a handful of coins and have them try to throw the coins into the floating container in the pool. Once all the coins have been tossed, have your kids add up the coins that landed in the container to determine how much money is in there.
We hope you and your kids a fun (and shhh don’t tell the kids…educational) summer!
School Year Finals
Whether or not your child is having an actual graduation ceremony this year, Calendarforkids.com has come up with a few fun ways to celebrate the end of the school year.
- Make a Graduation Certificate – Include the child’s name, age, fun facts (such as his/her favorite food, favorite color, favorite school subject, favorite book, biggest accomplishment this school year). If your child is old enough, type up the categories and have them fill in the blanks. Also include your child’s hand print and special picture.
- Make a picture slide show – Gather pictures of various activities your child has done throughout the school year. Make sure to take pictures of some of the great school work he/she has done throughout the year. Make a slide show and present it to your child, who is bound to love re-living the year while watching it.
- Build a Time Capsule – Brainstorm with your child to come up with ideas that remind him or her of the school year. Make sure to include things like play, movie, and sporting event tickets, programs from a play, sports schedules, samples of his/her handwriting, pictures of special events and friends throughout the year, a string or yarn cut to the height of your child. The ideas are endless!
After you do all the work to remember the school year, celebrate by making a delicious treat. Make cupcakes using your child’s favorite cake and icing flavor. Top it with an upside down mini Reese’s peanut butter cup and a small square of chocolate to make it look like a graduation cap. Enjoy!