Summer is here, which means that kindergarten is fast approaching! It’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the weather while engaging in activities that will help your child get prepared for school in the fall. Take advantage of your summer surroundings by experimenting with these early learning activities, or make up your own. Above all, make it fun and follow your child’s interests!
Sand WordsWhen the weather is hot, it’s sometimes nice to take a trip down to the beach. Identify different animals and things that you see at the beach. Each time you find something new, help your child write the letters that make up that word in the sand. Sound out the word, and if you want to add something, have your child think of another beach-related word (e.g., pail goes with sand and shovel).
Summer VacationIf you plan on going anywhere this summer, whether it is a picnic at the park or a trip to see grandparents, have your child help you pack. Emphasize the sound of the first letter of each item being packed (e.g., “sss…Socks”). Following this, ask the child the name of the letter that makes that sound.
Window ArtDo your windows look like they need a cleaning? Why not have some fun with it! Gather some non-adhesive foam shapes, numbers or letters, a bowl of water and a paintbrush. When water is “painted” onto a mirror or window, the foam letters and numbers are able to stick to the glass, creating opportunity for children to make words or sequences of numbers. Having a variety of colours that the letters and numbers come in is also useful for children to sort into categories.
Alphabet HopscotchMake a hopscotch grid and add different upper case letters in the sections. You could even have your child draw the letters. Using a beanbag to toss onto one of the letters, ask your child to identify the letter and then count the number of hops it takes to get to it. You could make this more challenging by adding both upper and lower case letters so the child becomes familiar with the different letter forms.
On a sunny day why not go to pick some berries? Once you have collected them, set up a clean spot where you can dump them all out. In that space, encourage and assist your child to create letters by lining the berries up to letter formation. For example, start by spelling their name. Each time they take a berry away from the letter to eat it, have your child name an item that starts with that letter.
Animal Number SongsYou may encounter some frogs this summer. A great song that can be used to practice numeracy skills is ‘5 Green and Speckled Frogs’. This song is useful for working on numeracy skills by counting how many frogs are left after they start “jumping in the pool”. If you have internet access, check out the song on youtube - you will probably recognize the tune! www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVPmtaHmL4g
While this is the classic version of the song, you could do it with any variety of animals that you see during your summer activities.
For Example:“5 brown and fluffy dogs drink from a drinking well, wagging their tales back and forth, swish swish. One saw a frisbee fly, which made him follow by, now there are only 4 brown fluffy dogs.”
Coming up with different versions helps children identify different characteristics of the animals, in addition to enhancing their counting skills. Cut out the frogs below, or make your own to have a visual when you sing the song together.
“5 brown and fluffy dogs drink from a drinking well, wagging their tales back and forth, swish swish. One saw a frisbee fly, which made him follow by, now there are only 4 brown fluffy dogs.”Coming up with different versions helps children identify different characteristics of the animals, in addition to enhancing their counting skills. Cut out the frogs below, or make your own to have a visual when you sing the song together.