Summer is now in full swing, and our first entire week went fabulously. We are having so much fun!
Week before last, Lily, our oldest daughter, and I sat down in front of my Pinterest boards and came up with some of her favorite things she wanted to do. I split our "learning activities" into 4 categories.
Letters & Writing. Letters for our 3.5 year old, writing for our nearly 7 year old.
Numbers & Math. Again, one for the younger and one for the older.
Science Experiments. Basically anything fun and exciting and bonus points if it involves pretty colors or something exploding.
Art. Because well, I love art and what kid doesn't either? Express yo-self!
Then, because I do best with lots of guidelines, I put together this daily schedule. Now, it isn't exactly what we do everyday. Sometimes we'll have something in the morning, so our learning activities come later in the day. Some days Field Trip day is on Tuesday, and we go to the Library on Monday and Friday. But this is our basic structure and it's working super well. I made it so it could be a "free printable" of sorts, but mostly I just wanted to share what's working for us, and maybe help anyone out that might be looking and drawing a blank as to 'what to do all day?'. Also, below our schedule I posted all of the different activities we have for each category for the month, and any Pinterest links accordingly.
What our days generally look like:
Click HERE to print your own
1. Put alphabet flashcards in order
2. Salt Tray Writing. Pour salt in a tray and have them write with their finger letters or numbers in the salt.
3. Chalk & Spray bottles. Draw on a fence or sidewalk with chalk and then have them spray certain letters or numbers you call out.
4. Use upper and lower case alphabet flashcards to play a "memory" game
5. 'Write' letters in play dough
6. SesameStreet.org, PbsKids.org these are great and FREE!
7. Roll an alphabet die and color or paint which letters you land on
8. Use a q-tip to paint/trace letters onto paper
9. Put a print out with letters your are working on in plastic sheet protector and trace with dry erase marker
10. Play with magnetic letters. Example:Pull letters out of hat and name them as you stick them to a cookie sheet. Or this idea.
11. Build letters with blocks
12. Use water to draw on a chalk board and have your child 'trace' the water lines
13. Draw and cut out a large letter(s) from construction paper and then decorate with glitter, tissue paper, cereal etc.
14. Write letters on Easter eggs and have an Easter egg hunt. Have them say the letter as they find them.
15. Try and make the letter with your body. We have a great book that inspired this called
16. Make pages for an 'ABC' Book. Have your child write the letter and then color and paste a picture of something that starts with the sound. When you've done the whole alphabet, make them into a book with a hole punch and ribbon.
(A lot of these will be the same as Letters, just adjusted for age)
1. Write fan mail to celebrity of choice (we wrote to Selena Gomez). I wanted to write, 'Quit talking to that douche!' but I refrained.
2. Salt Tray writing vocabulary words. We started using these but any Google search of "1st/2nd/3rd vocabulary words" would work.
3. Chalk & spray bottles. Write a sentence and have them spray erase the subject noun, verb, adjective, etc. Or if they are just learning to read, write sight words and have them spray down the words you call out. The possibilities are endless
4. MobyMax.com This is hosted through her school but it looks like you can register for a free account regardless. She really loves this site and it has lots of subjects and great feedback the parents can check.
5. Spell vocab/spelling words in play dough
6. Write a story using a writing prompt. I don't have as many ideas for the "Writing" category because multiple days involve using writing prompts. Here are some I found via Pinterest that are super easy to print and use: Free Writing Prompts
7. Q-tip painting vocab and spelling words
8. Vocabulary prompt I found via Pinterest here
9. Spell words on your spelling list with magnetic letters
10.Write spelling list words on chalk board. Bonus if they make them artistic looking
(A lot of these are the same as letters, just subbing in numbers and math concepts instead)
1. Sort color teddies into groups, count them, make patterns. Teddy activities can be found here
2. Chalk & Spray bottles again. This time identifying numbers, shapes, or spraying '2' of something, etc.
3. Put number flashcards 1-10, or even harder 1-20 in order
4. Print number sheets out and put in plastic sheet protectors. Trace with dry erase markers.
5. Number "memory" game with flashcards
6. Draw the head of a caterpillar, then make it's body with colored cotton balls arranged in a pattern
7. Count with pennies. Not only counting but early introduction to money and the names of coins.
8. Beads on pipe cleaners. Idea found here
9. Make cards (just cut pieces of paper) that have corresponding dots to written numerals. Count and match them.
10. Play 'How many blocks tall?' Let them pick an object and measure it using blocks.
11. Make a row of numbers, then underneath, draw columns and have your child stamp in the column for the amount written at the top
12. Color the shapes activity sheet found here This one isn't free, but it's only 50 cents.
13. I also use the same websites, Sesamestreet.org and PBSKids.org for math, too
1. Worksheets. This covers addition/subtraction, word problems, money, time, etc. While not exciting and hands on, my oldest loves to do 'homework' so these are great practice for her and cover a lot of bases for math practice over the summer. *affiliate link* These books are awesome.
2. Chalk and Spray bottles. This is a favorite here so we use it for everything. For the older ones, write multiple equations out, and then give them one answer. Have them spray erase the problem that the answer belongs to.
3. Count Money. Sort money, then ask them to give you a "x" amount. This can also be tailored in so many ways depending on the level of the child.
4. Pattern caterpillars. These can get pretty complex. Make those little noggins work!
5. Cut out shapes and have your child draw and then cut the shape into 'halves' 'thirds' 'fourths' etc.
6. Can you buy it? Give your child 'x' amount of money. Put toys in front of them with prices written on paper or stickers. Have them count to see if they could 'buy' the object or not.
7. Beads on pipe cleaners. Idea found here. For the older kids you can write equations at the top and have them put the answer in beads below.
8. Makes graphs. You can graph how many yellow, blue, and orange toys you find. Again, the possibilities are endless.
1. Sink or float? Exactly what it sounds like. Grab a pot and have your kids pick objects and guess. Can also make a graph out of this and kill two birds with one stone!
2. Baking soda and vinegar volcano. An oldie but goodie. Have shot glasses you'll probably never ever use again in your life? They make great inserts for the volcanoes to hold the baking soda.
3. Ivory Soap cloud. They thought is was SO cool. Instructions found here.
4. "Walking Water" Place water with food coloring into a glass and place the end of a paper towel into it. In an empty glass next to it, place the other end of the paper towel. The water will "walk" into the other glass. Works best if the glass of water is slightly higher that the empty one.
5. Sprout beans in bags. Put in a few beans and a slightly wet paper towel. Hang in a window and presto.This was a neat idea, too.
6. Grow rock crystals in eggs. I cannot wait to try this! Instructions found here. Yeah, we're gettin' a little Martha Stewart with it.
7. Make a rainbow jar. Add all different colored oils and liquids to make a rainbow in a jar. This is another really cool one. Find out how to make it here. Sidenote: PlaydoughtoPlato.com and PlayAtHomeMomLLC.com are two of my favorite learning sites
8. Make bouncy balls from borax and corn starch. Just make sure these stay away from little ones prone to try and eat them. Borax is no bueno! Recipe found here.
9. Write with 'invisible ink' using lemon juice. How to do it here.
10. Dancing Ooblek. Ok, this looks so awesome. I had no idea that something could be liquid when touched gently and hard when force was applied to it. Then you put it on top of a speaker and watch it dance to music. This blog has cool videos of it as well as instructions.
11. Transparent egg. Soak an egg in vinegar and the shell will disintegrate in a few days but leave the egg in tact.
12. Sparkly Rainbow Crystals. Found here
13. Shaving Cream Cloud. Put shaving cream over a glass of water, place food coloring drops on top and watch it "rain" into the water below.
14. Get an Ant Farm! We plan to order *affiliate link* this one
15. Exploding chalk. Again, anything with the explosions. Find it here.
16. Stab a water bag with pencils. I think they'll have the most fun pulling them out. This is so simple but I had never done this before, I got the idea here.
(Tired yet?? hehe)
1. Tie-Dye snowflakes. This is a big hit because A) lots of color and B)OH MAH GAHHHHHH FROZEN!!!! I would never have thought of this for little hands to cut. Find it here.
2. Oil pastels and water colors. Color with oil pastels first and then watercolor over. Creates fun texture.*
3. Marble drawings. Put a piece of paper in the bottom of a box. Place a few drops of tempera paint and then a few marbles. Let the kids have at it moving and shaking the box creating their masterpiece as the marbles roll through the paint
4. Jackson Pollock Splat Art. I heart Jackson Pollock. If you don't know who he is, here's his wikipedia bio. His art is awesome. And it really does look like a little kid did it, so it's a win win.*
5. Tape painting. This is so many places I can't site the one that originally gave me the idea, but put tape on a canvas and let the kids paint. Once paint is tacky to touch, pull the tape and have a crazy negative space painting.*
6. Water color and salt. Again with the nifty textures.*
7. Kandinsky circles*
8. Potato prints. Cut a potato in half and use the raw end to carve any type of design, use it as a stamp in tempera paint.*
9. Nature rubbings. These are another favorite here. Put leaves, flowers anything under a piece of paper and rub the side of a crayon over it.
10. Bubble painting. Find it here.
11. Glue prints. Use glue to 'draw' a picture. Let it dry completely then paint over the paper. Place another paper on top and lift to reveal the 'print' from below.*
12. Make sculptures with tin foil.*
13. Multi-media collage. Get ALL the craft materials. Let them have at it.*
14. Fabrege Eggs. Blow out an egg (I will make scambled eggs with them!) and then paint them with nail polish or acrylic paint. Since these are typically not washable, this is best outside in old clothes.
15. Buttermilk chalk. Soak chalk in buttermilk and use them on black construction paper. Makes chalk really creamy.*
16. Still life drawing. Make it crazy, creative, whatever you want and let them try their hand at drawing it!
* Denotes that I found all of these ideas in *affiliate link* this book
So that's the plan for June. A lot of these I came up with off the top of my head. Things that I've seen our oldest do over the last few years in school, or things that we did back when I taught preschool, etc. It's been quite a few years though now, so I'm relying more and more on other blogs and especially Pinterest to jog my memory or give us new and fresh ideas.
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Happy Monday! <3