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

Bug Math Printable { Learning After School }

math worksheet for kindergartenMy son loves math. Adores it. What he doesn’t love is writing practice. So even though this printable worksheet I made ( a rare thing in itself) is a math review my goal was actually getting him to write and specifically to write smaller. You may notice that my son looks a little younger in this post and you are right we did this 6 months ago just as he was finishing up Kindergarten. He is a good student but handwriting has always been a struggle so to mix in a little practice with something he loves like math is a good way to make use of a little after school time. Homework may be all you have time to do and please do not push your kids to do more if they are given homework often or a heavy load. That is your priority. These Learning After School activities are meant for times when you have free time. They are short but worthwhile and hopefully fun!

Gather your materials. You will need a Bug Math Printable ( click for the sheet) , a pencil with good eraser and a kiddo ready to learn.

Go over the first example with them and then let them at it. I made this sheet specifically for my son. I included many easy bits but spelling out eight as well as how small the spaces were to write the answers were a good challenge. I am such a firm believer in balancing success and challenge to engage kids. bug math worksheet for kindergarten

Review their answers. If something is wrong don’t correct it immediately. Instead say something like ” Does this one look right to you? ” if they dismiss it as right ask them to explain their answer to you or try again. As you can see I suggest encouraging “kid spelling” also known as invented or phonetic spelling. Allowing children to use their existing knowledge about letter sounds to construct words will help them become better spellers in the long run. When my son specifically asks how something is spelled I will ask him to try first and then walk him through it. Some words can’t be spelled phonetically but giving kids the chance to try is really beneficial.

math and invented spelling

Simple and quick little bits of practice pay off just make sure that before you do an activity like this that your child has a clear understanding of the concepts presented. I prefer to use independent activities like this for review and reinforcement. Worksheets are not my style of teaching and you won’t find a lot of them in my preschool materials. However for older kids who are eager to do short independent activities like this they aren’t a bad choice as long as they aren’t the only choice. For some outdoor math activities check out these ideas.

Need some bug books to go with the worksheet? Here are our favorites!

19 books about bugs

Check out these books about bugs with mini reviews of each here.

 

 

 

Sight Word Game

sight word gross motor game for kids

It’s been beautiful here and I wanted to get outside for a little learning. This gross motor sight word game is fun and was a cinch to adapt to very different ability levels. My son worked on sight words and my daughter on letter recognition. When we played this the first time my kids were not very into it. It was almost dinner, we’d been busy all week , and it was just bad timing. A few days later we played again and it was a huge hit! Smiles, words being yelled out , letters flying into the pretend recycle bin… so I thought my reminder to myself would be a good reminder for you too. Timing is everything and don’t give up if an activity flops. Give it one more try before giving it the ax.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some ping pong balls, a container, sharpies ,and some painter’s tape if you want to turn your container into a recycle bin like we did. sight word game for kindergarten
  2. Start by writing out sight words and/or letters for your child on the ping pong balls. A quick google search will provide leveled sight word lists for your child.sight word gross motor game
  3. Add the recycle sign on your container.sight words recycle game
  4. We went outside and I pretended to be a litter bug throwing recycling ( the ping pong balls) all over our yard. I really spread them out. The rule was that they had to call out the word/letter before running it back to the bin to clean up the yard.sight word recycling activity
  5. Off they went!  sight word and letter gameThey played well but the next time we played it was all giggles and rushing – you can tell in this picture that my son was tired . He hoarded as many balls as he could then ran up to the bin read them all to me and ran back to get another handful. sight word game readingThe next time he’d find one, run it over and run to the next.  My daughter was overwhelmed with how spread out I made it. The 2nd time we played I kept them in a much smaller space which made a huge difference for her.sight word game for kindergarten and preschool

Books About Recycling For Kids

plasticbottle

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome!  The book takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text.

why do we recycle

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle?  by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

Gabby and Grandma go green

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington is another wonderful book from one of our favorite authors. In the book Gabby and her Grandma spend a day together  dedicated to going green. First making a great reusable bag and then using it all around town. I love that they go to the library and that is portrayed as a way to go green as well as a place to learn more about environmental efforts. Also showing ways to make a difference at the grocery store is perfect for young kids who are often tagging a long with parents on these errands. I can’t end the review without also mentioning the baby sibling who is sleeping in a sling at the end of the book , I love seeing baby wearing in books!  This is a great environment themed book that works all year round not just for Earth Day.

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