I’m kicking off my Play it Smart series with chalk!
So, let’s take it to the sidewalk.
In the summer we seem to spend inordinate amounts of time playing outside on the sidewalk with bubbles, bikes, and of course sidewalk chalk.
Of course, we aren’t going to fill all of our time with “learning” activities, but my goal this summer is to read lots and lots and do at least one daily learning activity with each kid in addition to all our trips to the pool, summer movies and water balloon fights. Not too stressful and very doable I think? Especially when I can make it fun. 🙂 …Which means we will actually do it.
Reid is almost five and has been picking up a few sight words as we read. So, I thought this fly swatter sight words game would be perfect for him. It helps with his sight word recognition and is a lot of fun.
Simply write out a few sight works in chalk, call out a sight word, and let them smack the words as hard as they want!
Our fly swatters came in a two pack from the Dollar Tree. Simple, easy and way more fun than a worksheet. 🙂 “Play” with your child along to help amp up the pressure and fun!
This can easily be adapted to letter recognition, letter sounds (what makes the “ta” sound, etc.), or use numbers instead!
Or…bust out the water guns!
You can have them soak it until it’s gone (which is actually harder than it sounds) to add another element of fun.
Speaking of squirting water. Why not bring out your spray bottles and spell…
…with water? You can you use your squirt guns but we found that it didn’t work as well.
If you touch the spray bottle nozzle to the ground and squirt while your write, it works best. Do spelling practice, math problems…the sky’s the limit!
Since the water dries quickly, your child might have to race the sun depending on how hot it is where you are!…which = even more fun.
For my four year old, I had him trace letters. I drew it with chalk first and then let him copy with the water bottle.
You can talk about all the things that start with that letter and the sounds it makes while he works as well.
Another fun and easy thing you can do is make a sun dial. Write your day’s schedule and the clock out in chalk. Add a can of pebbles with a stick in it in the middle, we used our paper towel roll holder, and you’ve got your organizer for the day.
Your kids will love checking the “clock” to see what comes next.
Next, how about a math race to the finish?
Take those timed math problem tests, and write the problems out on a looong sidewalk. See how fast he can solve them as he bikes or scooters along. Have him do them again and again to improve his time.
I used math problems for my second grader. For my four year old, I wrote numbers and shapes down for number and shape recognition and very basic equations. You can easily personalize any of these activities to your child’s age and abilities, or use sight words, colors, letters, etc.
For the last chalk activity, I wrote out numbers and and letters and we played sidewalk Twister.
I tailored each question (off the top of my head) to each child. For my oldest, I asked him a complicated math problem and asked him to put his right/left, hand/leg on the right answer. For my four year old I made it simpler with number recognition and letter sounds.
This was a great game for tailoring the difficulty level to each child while still making it possible for them to play at the same time.
I admit that this was the least liked game though, probably because it started to rain (it’s still technically Spring here). My youngest also didn’t like twisting his body into uncomfortable positions. 🙂 We’ll have to give it another go when it’s warmer. 😉
That’s it for today! Come back tomorrow for some fun science!
And if you have fun learning ideas for summer, please comment or leave links in this post. I might include your ideas in my round up. 🙂 Thanks!
Katie Lewis says
So many great ideas! And so fun!
Great ideas! I will definintely have to pick up some fly swatters and squirt bottles 😉
Great ideas! I especially like the activities sundial.
Delia, I am an elementary school teacher and these are great ideas for parents! Well done!
Mie Brindle says
Wow, I never thought of ANY of these ideas and I totally love them all.
My oldest is starting Kindergarten after summer and these games are perfect for her now.
great ideas delia! and natalie is getting hair! how cute!
So many cute things to do with the kids. Your little girl is getting so big.
Sabra at Sew a Straight Line says
Totally doing the sight word fly swatter thing with my almost 5 year old!! He's all about reading these days, and hitting things, so he'll love it! Awesome ideas!
A Lemon Squeezy Home says
Great ideas! I bet Bailey would love these especially.
Mandy Byron says
This was a wonderful helpful post for me! I can't wait to do these with my son. Last year, I drew a boardgame on the sidewalk with chalk where I had us do silly things at different shapes I drew. You can have them learn shapes this way, and practice counting if you use a die. http://wethreemothers.blogspot.com/2012/08/summer-afternoons.html
Such fun ideas!
Crafts For My Critter says
Instead of a squirt bottle which the kids were having a hard time with, you can use a paint brush, like the kind they use on big easels that get dipped into the color pots. One of our favorite activities is "painting" with water on the driveway or sidewalk. Looks like your kiddos are going to have an awesome summer!