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

Place Value Robot – Math Activity

place value math activityOne of my great pleasures is to volunteer at my son’s school. I have been lucky enough to be a math docent this year and one of the activities I have been doing with the children is to create words and structures with base ten blocks then break them down to find out the value. This is a great hands on way to work with the concept. At home though I have no base ten blocks and between the expense and the shortage of storage space I didn’t want to buy them. Here are some base ten blocks if you do ( yes it’s an affiliate link) but really you don’t have to because I have included free printables! I decided to create my own so that I didn’t have to buy a set just for one or two activities. If I was a full time homeschooling parent I would probably invest in some but since this activity is one of our Learning After School activities for school age kids I am using these PRINTABLES <— print via this link.

This activity is designed for 1st and 2nd grade children. For younger children I would stick to 2 place values and using only a few ( less than 10 of each) blocks without regrouping until the basic understanding of place values is mastered.

Gather your materials. You will need the place value base ten printables or if you have the blocks you will need some one unit, ten unit and hundred unit blocks. You will also need some glue, scissors , and a sheet of construction paper.place value robot supplies

Start by cutting the place value printables out place value robot ready to create( I printed them out as 2 5×7 pictures on one sheet) and getting them ready to create. The goal of this activity is to create a robot and then count up how many ones, tens, and hundreds were used to create it. After that step you will figure out the total number of blocks used using re-grouping if need be. That will be the total value of the robot.

Here is an example:

Let’s say I used  : 2 hundred blocks , 11 ten blocks ,  14 one blocks.  Using the worksheet I will fill it out starting at the ones. I will keep 4 and regroup 10 over to the tens column where that 11 will turn into a 12. So at this stage I have 2 hundreds, 12 tens and 4 ones.  Next I need to regroup the tens because I can’t have 12 tens. I will keep 2 and move 10 of those tens over to the hundreds column. So I will have  3 hundreds, 2 tens and 4 ones.   Next I condense the  expanded form into 324 for the total value of units used to create the robot.

If this is new to you practice a few times before presenting this to your child. Most of us haven’t done math like this in a long long time so be kind to yourself while you get reacquainted with it.place value robot making

Welcome your child and start creating.place value art project for math

Next count up your blocks. Encourage your child to count them as blocks saying 1, 2, 3, for all the place values not just the ones. My son was counting the tens by ten and while technically correct in amount that skips the steps needed for this activity. The whole point of this activity is to understand what numbers in each place mean. When you count like that you may end up with the correct number at the end but you won’t get a full understanding of place value.place value activity for first grade

Write  out the amounts of each type of block in our worksheet printable place value robot regrouping

Now regroup if need be.  When regrouping if you notice difficulty get the blocks out and physically show your child what you are regrouping. You may want to print out multiple sheets so you have extras!  If you are moving 10 ones into the ten column show your child tens ones make up a ten rod and then become 1 ten in that column. Seeing the blocks can help kids avoid mistakes like adding 10 into the next column when she should be adding 1 ( dropping the 0 because of the move from one place value to the next).  This is a common mistake but using the blocks helps with understanding.

Write out the final value.place value regrouping with base ten blocks

In groups having kids compete for the largest value is a wonderful motivation. If you have the blocks working together to make huge structures is a ton of fun as well. If you are frugal like me here is the link to the printables one last time.

 

Spelling Game For Kids

spelling game with connect fourMy son loves spelling because like math it’s either right or wrong. However I want to find dynamic ways to work on spelling especially making words not just memorizing how to spell words.  His Connect Four game caught my eye and I decided to transform it into a spelling game. The way we played is not the only way you could play this game and we are missing a bunch of pieces so we had to account for that as well. I may hit up some garage sales this summer to find extra ones for more spelling games like this. This is part of our Learning After School series that is packed with posts that are fun and playful ways to learn after school.

Gather your materials. You will need a Connect Four game, some masking tape, a marker, and a sheet of paper and pencil if you want to keep score of what words you each made. spelling game for kids

Cut small pieces of masking tape and pop them on the game pieces. easy spelling game for first grade

Add letters. I did a random mix of consonants and had some extra vowels on hand too.spelling game for literacy centers

I invited him to play and let him think up some words before we got started. spelling game for grade one

And we were off. The smart little bug started with oat… which turned into boat… and then boats. Smarty pants. spelling game for elementary

We kept score of what words we created. In our version you could NOT use the other color’s letters for your words but plan to play that way later. I think that would be a much faster paced game and probably would have been even more fun. This was good but slower paced and more thoughtful. spelling activity for first graders

When you can’t make any more words, clear the game and play again! spelling activities

More Spelling Activities

spelling games

Here are a bunch of spelling activities for kids to browse.

FREE Printable Activity Sheets

sick day printables for kidsI have been blessed with healthy kids but this week my son has been home sick with a bad bug. He’s stuck in bed because I am forcing him to rest which is not a natural thing for this on the go guy. One way to keep him in bed is to let him watch Netflix which is fine for a while but on day two I was not about to let him watch show after show with just a few books mixed in. I needed another something to add to the mix. I created a few fun printable activity sheets to get him thinking even if he was too sick to go to school. These would be a great snow day activity, perfect for road trips or for when you are waiting at a restaurant. I even use similar ones for the first 15 minutes of church before he heads off to Sunday school. If you are looking for more activities like this one geared towards school aged children check out our Learning After School Series. FREE printable activity sheets

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If you want to print these out click on the link below each image and print. My hope is that even if these worksheets aren’t the right fit for your child that this activity might inspire you to make some yourself!

Gather your materials. For this activity you need picmonkey.com (or my printables below) , a printer, clip board for easy writing in bed, and pencil.

I created five sheets trying to balance a little math, art, and language arts. My son is in first grade and said these were easy but fun for a sick day. When I asked him what grade they would be good for he said “Kindergarten and first grade. I think it would be too easy for second graders.” I’ll let you decide for yourself but I think they would be good for children from five to seven. There are five pages in each mini pack.

  PRINT BLUE PACK HERE.

 free printables for quiet time

 

SAVE & PRINT BLUE PACK HERE

When I went into my bedroom to check on my son and brought him the clip board he was all over it. I ran back downstairs to get my camera and heard him say ” These look really fun!” Talk about music to a tired mom’s ears.

sick day activity for kids

He even liked the drawing one !

snow day printables

These were a hit and as he went to bed he asked if I would make him more. Since the doc said he had to stay home one more day I made him another set. I hope he loves it.

PRINT GREEN SET HERE.

snow day printables SAVE & PRINT GREEN SET HERE.

What are your favorite quiet restful activities for days when you are stuck at home?

Tally Mark Dominoes & Speed Racer Math Games

tally mark math gamesLearning after school at our house has to be fast paced and fun. These math games are both. They are also a cinch to make and frugal too.  Subitizing is the ability to recognize an amount without counting. It’s not a skill most of us were specifically taught in school but in recent years it’s been added to most elementary math curriculums. As the name of my blog suggests I am not a huge fan of flash cards but for some things that require automatic recall they make sense. Subitizing is one of those skills that requires automatic recall but flash cards aren’t the only way you can work on the skill. Games like these are great too.

Gather your materials . You will need some sentence strips ( using the back side) , scissors, and a permanent marker.

tally mark math

Cut your sentence strips in half. I used 2 colors but you don’t have to. Draw a line down the middle of each card and a tally mark on one side , number on the other. These should not match. Let the marker dry completely before playing.tally mark dominoes game

The first game we played is a variation of dominoes. tally mark math gameWe placed one card on the table and split the others among the players. Then we took turns building by matching up the tally mark amounts to the numbers. tally marks game for kindergarten and first gradeThe first person that had all their cards down won. tally mark & digit dominoes

The next game was my son’s favorite. It’s a head to head speed game. Here are the instructions: Shuffle the cards. Place two down so the tally mark is facing the finish line ( in our case the end of the table) . Place the other cards in a pile face down and flip. When a match is made place it down end to end and keep going. The first person to reach the finish wins. tally mark speed racer

Practicing math at home does not need to be extra worksheets all the time. Make these simple games and you can play and practice at the same time.

math games are fun