Super Simple Grocery Store Alphabet Hunt

alphabet hunt at trader joe's Errands can be fun, they can also be huge flops. After church yesterday I knew I needed to run to Trader Joe’s with my daughter in tow. No biggie right? The thing is Trader Joe’s is about 35 minutes away and after sitting quietly at church I wasn’t so sure we’d have a good time. On the way to church, I asked my daughter if she’d like to make an on the go post for the blog.  I suggested a super simple grocery store alphabet hunt and she agreed. All we had to do was borrow a sheet of paper from church since we had everything else in the car already!

Need more in the car activities? Check these out! 
Gather your materials. You will need a clipboard, something to write with, and a piece of paper.

easy alphabet hunt on the go

Write out the alphabet on the paper. The jazzy title is completely optional. grocery store alphabet hunt

Hit your favorite grocery store with your favorite letter hunter. trader joe's alphabet huntYou can choose to go letter by letter but if you are trying to make this a quick trip just check off the letters you find and don’t worry about order. Also prep your child that they will likely not find every letter and that’s OK.  B for banana was our first of many b finds ( blueberries, bar, brownies). Super simple grocery store alphabet hunt

Keep the excitement going by saying things like ” Oh you better get ready to check off  M.” Then push the cart near the milk for example and let your child put two and two together. I also said things like ” Can you guess what I am going to buy that starts with y?” and she yelled out “Yogurt!” This works if your child has enough letter-sound knowledge for it but don’t make this activity about challenging them with new things, it should be a fun game for you to play together. grocery store alphabet hunt for kids

When there was a drought of new letters she went back through her memory of what she saw earlier. ” Mama I saw hydrangeas in the front of the store so I am going to cross out h ok?” Yes! The reality is that there is no wrong way to play with this idea, as long as you are playing with letters and letter sounds. You can even base it only on sight finding letters in signs.

American Flag Suncatcher – 4th of July Craft

american flag suncatcher 4th of julyI keep getting reminders about my town’s 4th of July Fun Run so today I decided it was time to dust of the red, white, and blue craft supplies and get busy. I have too many craft supplies in my house and this giant 4th of July American Flag Suncatcher did a great job of using up odds and ends and turning them into something amazing!  I think this flag is amazing. My kids are 5 ( today!) and 8 and they loved this but even toddlers will love this 4th of July craft.

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, some washi tape or painter’s tape, some markers, and a BUNCH of fun red white and blue collage materials. We have sparkly foam, popsicle sticks, pom poms, foam hearts, paper circles, and more. 4th of july craft for kids

Peel the backing off the contact paper and tape it to the wall / window sticky side out.  Draw an outline of the flag on the sticky side of the  if needed. Pop the tray full of collage materials next to the contact paper. 4th of july sticky window art project

Start creating! Untitlesticky window 4th of july activity

It started slowly but then bam it really started looking amazing! 4th of july sticky wall 4th of july giant suncatcher

I even got the big guy in on the fun! 4th of july sun catcher craft

All done! american flag sun catcher craft for 4th of july

99 TV Free Summer Activities For Kids

99 TV FREE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS My kids watch too much TV. Technically it’s Netflix on the iPad but it’s the same problem. Working from home during the summer is a tricky place for many parents, myself included, we need to get stuff done, but we can only use screens so much each day, and hopefully none at all some days. I needed a cheat sheet for SIMPLE activities I can set up or gather the materials for in a pinch. I need things that I can have my kids do while I take a quick business call, things we can squeak in after a trip to the beach, or after dinner when it’s still light out. I don’t ban screens at all, but I don’t want school being out to be used as an excuse for MORE TV. These 99 TV Free Summer Activities are a huge mix of outdoor, indoor, quiet and boisterous play ideas. I hope you find something your kids LOVE.

playdough bug fossils

 

Add Fun Things To Regular Play Doh
Alphabet Slime
Backyard Safari
Backyard Target Practice
Bake Cookies
Become A Code Breaker
Become A Paleontologist

color science for kids
Become Color Scientists
Birdwatch
Blow ( and catch) Some Bubbles
Build with Loose Parts
Catch Fireflies

Shell Sorting
Collect and Sort Shells
Connect The Dots
Cook In The Sink
Dance Party
Decorate Your Driveway with Sidewalk Chalk
Do A Little Kitchen Science
Do A Word Search
Draw with the help of some catalogs
Driveway Graffiti

sand with water in water table
Explore with A Water Table
Find Your Way Around A Maze
Flag Hunt
Go For A Bike Ride
Go On A Book Hunt
Go On A Sound Safari

art for kids
Go To An Art Museum ( click for tips)
Go To The Library
Go To The Playground
Go To The Pool
Go To The Zoo
Have An Art Show
Have a Toy Car Wash

five senses taste test activity
Have An Ice Cream Taste Test
Hex Bug Races
Hose Down Letters & Numbers
Hunt For Bugs
Hunt For Colors Outside
Lego Challenge
Make A Bird Bath
Make A Marshmallow Shooter

summer reading ideas
Make an Outdoor Book Nook
Make Cloud Dough
Make Flower Place Mats
Make Mud Soup

ocean themed crafts
Make Paperbag Jelly Fish
Make Some Bracelets
Make Some Muck
Make Some Princess Slime
Make Superhero Cuffs
Make Uncle Sam
Make Your Own Obstacle Course

sun melted recycled crayons 1
Melt Some Crayons In The Sun
Mix Colors With Play Clay
Nerf Gun Math
Outdoor Sight Word Hunt

jackson pollock style painting for toddlers
Paint Like Jackson Pollack
Paint Like Monet
Paint with Broccoli
Paint with Bugs

simple super crafts painting with nature
Paint with Flowers and Rocks
Paint with Fly Swatters
Paint With Trains
Paint with Water
Paper Plate Butterflies
Play Angry Birds – in real life!
Play Cards
Play Catch
Play Candyland

spelling game with connect four
Play Connect Four
Play Dominoes
Play Hide & Seek
Play I Spy
Play In The Arctic
Play Rhyming Tag
Play “Usual” Tag

rhyming board game FREE printable
Play This Game ( Print it out for free! )
Play With Lego
Play with Paper Dolls
Play with Play-Doh

outside learning
Play with Water Balloons
Pretend Play Camping
Print Out Our Summer Reading Bucket List and Read!
Read A Banned Book
Read & Draw Picnic
Read In A Blanket Fort
Run Through A Sprinkler
Shaving Cream Fireworks!

bubble bin sensory play
Stir Up Some Bubbles!
Trim Your Grass with Scissors
Twizzler Necklaces
Use a squirt gun for some science!
Use Kitchen Whisks To Make Bubbles
Use Sidewalk Chalk To Play With Letters
Walk Your Dog ( or your neighbor’s dog )

washi tape craft for kids
Washi Tape Lego!
Watch a movie and make a matching craft
Water Fight!

tv free activities for kids

Shoot & Splash – Outside Activity For Kids

summer outside activity I was that mom who had NO plans to allow my children to ever play with toy guns. I’d been a teacher and it was easy to say ” No guns at school.” It’s harder to say it at home, not because I don’t have resolve, but it was clear that when I said ” No guns are bad.” he was hearing ” No, and you should be ashamed for asking.”  Pretend play isn’t real. I Lay down ground rules and stick to them. For my family, that means only shooting outside.

One of the things I like to do with my kids and their Nerf blasters is target practice, it is a great outside activity. Not so they are more accurate when we have battles in the backyard but because it’s a wonderful exercise in concentration.

I provided my son with the materials and he set up the activity. Here is what he did, and how you can do it too.

Gather your materials. You will need some lightweight plastic containers, some pylons ( little traffic cones), some water, and a loaded Nerf type blaster.nerf gun target practice

Pour the water into the plastic containers.nerf target practice summer activity

Balance them on the cones. This took concentration too! target practice in the backyard

Step back and take aim! I loved how carefully he was aiming and the adjustments he made when he missed.nerf gun water activity for kids

Shoot the water off and watch it splash!water activities for kids

After all the targets are hit, refill and take aim.

Outdoor Sight Word Hunt with LEGO DUPLO

sight word game for kindergartenSome children are eager to show you what they know as soon as they learn it and some either lack the confidence or simply dislike any spotlight or obvious praise. As parents and teachers, it can be a challenge to assess what these children know and what to teach them next. This is what I love about play even when you are working on specific targets like sight words or math facts. Turning it into a game takes the pressure off and you can use this sight word hunt and match for assessment, practice or just for fun like we did.

Gather your materials. You will need some LEGO DUPLO, a DUPLO base piece, a permanent marker, and a yard with lots of places to hide the words.sight word activity gross motor

Write out pairs of words. There are all different places to find sight word or high-frequency word lists by grade level. Find lists here and here. When I choose the words I use for my daughter’s activities I use many I know she will recognize immediately and a few she might need help with. This activity is great because of the matching element, even words that aren’t immediately recognizable can be matched up. Do not worry about using Sharpie on your DUPLO it won’t wreck it. Watch this video and see how to do it. duplo sight word game for kids

Stick one copy of the word pairs on the DUPLO base piece.sight word actovoty for kids

Hide the others. I kept the words in one small area because the point wasn’t to have her run everywhere but to do a little gross motor as part of a literacy activity. summer reading game for kids

Read through the base pieces together. There were only a few she didn’t immediately recognize but later when she found their match she did. Awesome! sight word scavenger hunt for kids outside literacy activity

She found the first few right away and matched them up.

sight word actvity for preK

The last few were tricky, but she eventually used her super finder skills and grabbed them. Awesome reading game with sight words outside!

Making learning fun is important not just because it helps make a deeper connection but because we expect a lot of our children and increasingly young ages. Some parents like will simply opt out, but I choose to help my children meet the expectations they can through playful learning. sight word actvity