Rhyming Dominoes and Speedracer Game – Learning After School

rhyming game for kindergarten The school year has started and that means that some of our longer activities get shortened into smaller bite sized pieces of hands on learning that won’t compete with homework or my son’s need to just chill out after a long day at school.  Our whole Learning After School series is all about how to have fun with learning without stressing our school age kids. My son gets out of school early once a week so that is usually when we do one of these types of activities. I want to support his learning, work on any areas he might need a little work on but more than anything I want to have fun with him. This rhyming activity is simple but so adaptable. For my son I noticed that he was starting to confuse rhyming and word families. They are similar yes but rhyming is all about sound, spelling doesn’t come into it. This game helped him remember that. For children not yet reading you can skip the words and use clip art pictures instead.

 

Gather your materials. You will need some card stock ( I used sentence strips from the dollar store), a permanent marker,  and scissors. If you want to get all fancy you can use a ruler so the lines are exactly in the middle of each card too.  It’s also helpful to come up with a list of rhyming words to have on hand. rhyming bingo

Start by cutting your sentence strips in half.

 

Draw a line down the middle. rhyming bingo game for kids

Write two words on the card that do not rhyme with each other. Make sure you have used all your rhyming words at least once.  I was specifically trying to find words that rhyme but are not spelled using the same spelling patterns like bear and care. Choose words that fit YOUR child. rhyming game for kindergarten

Play!

rhyming game for preschool and kindergarten

Dominoes – For our version of Rhyming Dominoes we split the deck into 2 and hand each player half. The younger player puts the first card down and the other player sees if they can put down a rhyming match. If not the other player goes. The first player with no cards left wins.  Simple and quick enough to keep moving so players are engaged. rhyming dominoes and speedracer game for kids

Speedracer.

rhyming dominoes and rhyming match game

My son LOVES this game. It’s simple and always seems to end up in major trash talk ( in the nicest way) , which means my 7 year old loves it. The rules are easy. You lay two cards down to start and leave the pile as one. You flip the cards and if it rhymes with your card you grab it and add it to your line. If the card has a rhyme that works for both players it’s whoever gets to it first. The only thing you need to watch out for is that when you choose the first two cards that they don’t rhyme. If they do you could end up with a stale mate. rhyming game for first grade

First person to the end of the table ( or any line you make) wins. speedracer rhyming game

 

Books That Rhyme

 

Another fun way to work on rhyming is to read great read alouds that rhyme. Here are some of our favorite books to read together that rhyme. For the full list of 25 Books That Rhyme Click here. All our book lists include affiliate links.

 

Granny Went To Market

Granny Went to Market by Stella Blackstone is a book I got to know very well when writing lessons for Itty Bitty Bookworm preschool curriculum using it. This a a really fantastic book that is filled with language arts, geography and math lessons. Granny is a traveler and everywhere she goes she picks up a number of souvenirs. Not only are a number of countries like Switzerland, Mexico and Peru visited, but the souvenirs she buys relate to the country’s culture and offer even more learning opportunities for interested kids.  The rhyming text will enchant even the youngest world traveler , this is a must for any jet setting family!

My trucks is stuck

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis is a fun book full of great rhymes and funny illustrations from Daniel Kirk. The story is simple a truck is stuck and even though other vehicles come to help, nothing budges until a tow truck arrives. The best part is the cargo of bones in the truck are slowly stolen by hungry gophers while the others work to free the truck. It’s got a great message about helping people and the illustrations make me giggle, especially the guy in the moving van who is blowing bubbles. I have never understood that but it makes me laugh.

Flashing Fire Engines

Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton is a favorite at our house. The book is a rhyming masterpiece, somehow keeping up the rhyming pace as it explains how firefighters fight fires and rescue people! Details like what gear they wear, and how hoses and hydrants work are included as well as ladders and sirens. My son loves this book and as an adult who has  read it hundreds of times it’s fun to read,  even over and over again . We also love all the other books in the series like Cool Cars   and Terrific Trains   it’s completely worth checking out anything they do!

 

 

 

 

Twig & Bead Fairy Wands

twig and bead fairy wand craft for kidsI love exploring in the woods and while my children enjoy it they take it for granted. I love finding new ways to get them exploring their own environment and finding creative ways to use what we have in our yard. These twig and bead fairy wands were so much fun to make. We brought some of our favorite art supplies down to create with twigs. My daughter was all over this idea and I think this was the longest she’d ever beaded anything without asking me to take over. Beading is a fantastic fine motor activity and beyond that it often leads naturally to counting so you can slip some math in there too.  We also had a friend over who is 11 and she used the same materials to make her own funky twig and bead fairy wand.

Gather your materials. You will need some twigs, pony beads, yarn or cord, markers and scissors. bead fairy wands supplies

Before sitting down to create explore and find some twigs. I had found some that would work before inviting the girls to create in case they gathered the wrong size. twig hunting fiary wand tutorial

Break off any of the little bits and bobs on the twig and color it if you want to. I loved how much concentration this required. We used smelly markers because you can’t really see the color on the twig but the scent stayed and made it extra special. twig and bead fairy wand craft for preschool

Bead! Most twigs will naturally get wider at the base but if they don’t you can put a little dollop of hit glue to create a wider base. I just love how many great skills she is using by doing this fun activity. Her fine motor skills got a great work out!beading with twigs and beads

Wow look at all those beads! This is when you will want to casually say ” How many beads do you think are on there?” If you are trying to sneak in even more counting ask about specific colors too. ” How many green ones?” twig and bead fairy wand fine motor craft for kids

While my daughter was beading our 11 year old friend was beading on to the cord and then wrapping it around the twig and securing it with some tape. bead and fairy wands for older kids too

When my daughter was all done beading we attached some string to a bead and tied a knot.fairy wand tutorial Then beaded it on to the twig. fairy wand tutorial for kids

Next we wrapped the cord around the twig and make a handle. When it was all wrapped we tied it a few times and trimmed. magic wand tutorial

Now it’s ready for some serious fairy spells! magic wand tutorial for kids

You can see the rad wand our dear friend made too !beaded fairy wands for kids

Books About Fairies

All our book lists include affiliate links.

 

princess books for girls

The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton is a cute book about a little girl who loves all things princess related. What I like about this book is that it’s message isn’t heavy handed and it celebrates princesses while sneaking in some very positive messages too. In a world where many parents ( me included) have issues with this whole princess thing and struggle to find that balance this book has it. It tells you it’s OK to want to be a princess and to “let your sparkle out!” and talks about confidence in the process. I must admit though I am a total Julie Andrews fan and I am not sure I’d ever dislike anything Maria , I mean Mary Poppins I mean Julie Andrews wrote.

Alice the fairy

Alice The Fairy is such a sweet book about a fairy who is still learning the ropes. I love the spells she casts and kids relate to her type of magic, I promise! I love that this book is about a fairy but not the Disney idea that we are so often bombarded with. It’s fresh, fun and my daughter absolutely loves it. I have been in love with this book for many years and to see my daughter connect with Alice so well just tickles me to pieces.

princess in the forest

Princess in the Forest by Sibylle Von Olfers is more than 100 years old yet my toddler absolutely loved this book. The story is amazingly simple and the illustrations are what a fairytale should look like. The princess is met at different times of the day by various magical fairy children and forest creatures who care for and play with her. My daughter loves babies and the Dew Children who come to help the princess get dressed , the Moss Children who bring her food and the Star Children who illuminate her night enchanted her. She would immediately turn to each page with these angelic creatures and touch each one with her little fingers. This book doesn’t have a strong moral message but it’s simplicity is so peaceful and calming that it makes a wonderful bedtime book for young kids.

 

 

 

 

Spelling Activity

spelling practice activity for kids Spelling is a hot topic at our house these days. My son loves to spell and now his sister has started requesting to sound out and spell simple words as well. One day when he had a day off school I put together this spelling activity for him giving him a challenge while working on his spelling. This activity cost me nothing but if you don’t have a dowel on hand you could use a pencil in a pinch! Have fun with spelling and your kids will think it’s fun too.

Gather your materials. You will need some empty ribbon spools a dowel and a sharpie to make the spinner and then paper and a pencil to write down the words that are created.spool spelling supplies

Start by writing letters on the spools. I tried to have a mix of vowels and consonants on each spread out then as I played with it I added more when I realized I was off by one letter to spell something. spool spelling activity for kindergartenPlay round with it because only then will you also see if you can spell any naughty words. I missed one and our lesson included a lesson in the power of words and when and where they are appropriate. I actually didn’t mind getting a chance to talk about this issue at home but if you are doing this with a class or a child that isn’t yours it’s best to make sure no naughty words can be made.spool spelling activity for kids

Pop them on the spool and write a prompt. Ours was simply how many words can you spell but then together my son and I came up with other challenges :

How many words can you spell?
How many verbs can you spell?
How many names can you spell?
How many foods can you spell?
How many Pokemon types can you spell?
How many numbers can you spell out?
How many adjectives can you spell?
How many country names can you spell?

The list could go on and on.

Have fun and spell! spool and spell

This was my real goal for the activity… writing. My son loves so many things but the physical act of writing is not one of them. Any time I can get him to write anything is a win for us. spool spelling game

He loved the spelling which made the writing a non issue. See how sneaky I am? He’s totally hip to my groove but if it’s fun enough he doesn’t resist. I want to keep it fun at home as much as possible because I know he works hard at school. spelling activity for kids spool Kids need downtime, they need time to rest their brains so even when they have something ( like writing) that needs work we can make it more fun and less work so they will never get anywhere near burning out especially at 7! For more activities like this for school age children check out our Learning After School series. fun spelling activity for kids

Outdoor Number Line Activity

outdoor active math game

It’s spring and it’s time to get outside and learn! This sidewalk chalk number line activity is great because it uses almost no materials and you can use it however your child needs to. My son used the line as a place to show his answers but didn’t use it as a manipulative itself, and my daughter used it to count by 5 with help. Your child may like the line as a guide to figure out the equations or as a way to show their answers to mental math like my son. Use it for whatever math goal you are working on.

Gather your materials. You will need a sidewalk or road, sidewalk chalk, some pebbles to use as place markers and a young mathematician or two.number line outdoor activity

Start by drawing a number line on the ground. Ours went from 0-50 by 5′s and I used one big step to measure between the numbers. Ours did not have marks to mark each number on the line but if you want to you can do this. I had my son estimate where those numbers would be when he needed to. My line is a little wobbly but it didn’t bother either one of my kids or change the outcome. Don’t stress about little things like this. number line outdoor math

I wrote out equations that my son has been working on doing mentally. This is our way of drilling without drilling. number line numbersIt’s fun and active and even if you are working on drills you can add an active element. Then switch gears to using the number line as a tool to help figure out the equations. number line math for kindergarten and first grade

Call out the equation and have them place a pebble on the answer.number line math activity for kids

Keep going. number line math activity for childrenThis was a big hit with my son and I went through all the equations and added more on the fly.math activity for kids with a number line

For younger players have them simply find the number and step on it. For my daughter after she walked the line and counted by 5s  I called out the numbers on either end of the line so she was bopping from one end to the other and learning as she went.number line fun for preschool

Although it often rains around here we aren’t expecting rain for a few days so we grabbed the hose and sprayed down our line when we were done.side walk chalk activity number line

 

Want more active learning ideas for kids? Check out these 21 fun ideas!

active learning activities for kids

 

Dr.Seuss Geography Activity {FREE Printable}

Dr.Seuss activity for kids One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and while I interpret the book to be about about the stages in life I like to use it in a more literal way as a launching  pad for a lesson in geography. This geography activity is flexible. You could chose to focus on foreign countries or places in your neighborhood. Since I did  this with my seven year-old I gave him a globe and let him decide for himself.

Oh The Places You'll Go Dr. Suess Printable geography

Print Here

Gather your materials. You will need a copy or two of our Oh, The Places I Want To Go printable, a pencil, scissors, stapler , and a globe or atlas. Start by cutting out the printable. Our idea was that they look like tickets ready to take you to the destination. dr.seuss geography lesson

Next have your child look at this great big world and decide what they would like to add to their must see list! oh the places you'll go activity for kindergartenDon’t reign them in. If they want to see Mars,  cool! If they want to go to the North Pole, rad! The most lasting benefit I have experienced from my own travels is the boost to my own curiosity about other people and places. This curiosity will spark learning. dr.seuss oh, the places you'll go lesson for kidsLet your kids be curious about places they find during this activity and use the places they choose as possible future learning experiences.  As they look at the globe or atlas be available to answer questions and or have google ready to answer them for you. This can be a 3 minute activity or stretched out depending on the curiosity of the child.

Write it down. dr.seuss geography

My son wrote down a couple, one being Paris because of the pastries. I have been known to wax poetic about Paris… and it seems like someone has been listening.I think we will try to make this recipe for a  Pear Tart during Spring Break to extend this learning. Traveling with kids isn’t always possible but you can always learn about far away places. dr.seuss birthday party idea

Staple the pages together and make sure you have a few empty ones so that they can add more destinations later and keep that curiosity about far off places going and going.

 

55 More Dr. Seuss Activities

Seuss Activities for class

Find more fun ideas to celebrate Dr.Seuss from a number of wonderful education focused blogs. Check out the links and post here.