Sidewalk Chalk – 4 Letter Activities

by Allison McDonald outdoor activities for kidsThis post wasn’t planned at all but the series I am going to create with it is . This is going to be the first in a series of posts that are unplanned and on the go. The pictures might not be as good because they will all be taken with my iPhone but the fun will be ! I don’t know if there will be 2 or 50 posts in this series but I hope that they will be useful to you and your kids. This one shows you how to do simple letter activities with sidewalk chalk and a spray bottle or two.

What we were doing when inspiration struck : 

outside learning activities for kids

My son was shooting hoops and my daughter was drawing with sidewalk chalk. I was trying to play with both of them and like always one of them was not happy with how much ( or how little) attention I was paying them compared to their sibling . You can’t see my daughter because she is on my leg asking me to draw her a bulldozer with the chalk.

What I did :

Took the sidewalk chalk and wrote out some letters.

What it turned into :

letter activities with sidewalk chalk  for kids

1. Find The Letter / Letter Sound

Simple game of me calling out a letter and my daughter would run to it. After she found them all easily I turned it to letter sounds which was much more challenging . I only did a few letter sounds not expecting her to know them but introducing them playfully.

letter games action words on letters

2. Letter Action Words

This continues the find the letter with a little more movement. I called out the letter and asked her to perform an action that starts with that letter . So I would say ” Can you jump on the j? ” and ” Now wiggle on the w ! “  as you can see she had a blast with this one. I will be repeating this for sure!

letter activities spelling with sidewalk chalk

3. Walk and Spell

Now it was time to get the big guy over. The object of this activity was to spell out simple words by walking to each letter. I called out simple words like hat, bat, cap, tap, jam, Sam … I chose to always call out one word then after he was successful a 2nd changing only the first letter . This set him up for success while still offering a challenge. letter activities and spelling  with sidewalk chalkHe loved it and as you can see he had a shadow .

letter spraying with sidewalk chalk

4. Read and Spray

( grab some spray bottles and fill with water)

This was really just my attempt to clean the cul-de-sac up. My kids went from letter to letter spraying and calling out the letter names.

 

I hope you will follow this series of ” Unplanned and On The Go ” activities because they will be perfect bursts of learning for a busy summer schedule!

 

15 Nature Activities For Kids

earth dayI don’t want to jinx it but we have been outside in the sun everyday for a week! In honor of our re-connection with nature I thought I would round up some of our favorite nature activities for kids in one handy place. I hope that no matter where you live that mother nature lets you get outside to explore these nature activities with your kids soon!

Beach In A Jar
Sticky Window Garden
Not A Stick Story & Activity
Painting With Nature
Backyard Photo Safari
Shell Sorting
Bird & Stick Collage
Find & Count Bug Hunt
Painting Outside
Sound Safari
Mud Soup
Shell Frame
Nature Color Hunt
Acorn Collage
Investigating Nature

Squirt Gun Volcanoes – Science Experiment For Kids

A science experiment for kids should be fun and I don’t think my son could have had more fun than he did with this mash up of two classic summer activities. He is all about squirt guns and backing soda volcanoes are a constant favorite here. Using your child’s interests to make learning fun is such a fun way to make your child eager to learn. If squirt guns are not welcome in your play then you can use eye droppers, turkey basters and even bath toys instead. Make sure after the activity you wash the squirt guns carefully to get all the vinegar out so there are no accidental squirts at someone later.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a pan ( ignore the mini muffin tin, that was our first attempt and well obviously it didn’t work. It was too hard for a 5 year old to get a good aim on such small targets), baking soda, vinegar , food coloring, a large measuring cup or bowl , protective eye wear and squirt guns.
  2. Start by adding food coloring in random dots to your pan. fun science for kids
  3. Cover with baking soda.
  4. Fill your squirt guns with vinegar. The easiest way to do this is to submerge the squirt guns in a bowl or large measuring cup full of vinegar. fun science for kids
  5. Get ready – go outside! Make sure the protective eye wear is on . Ask your child to make a prediction about what will happen.
  6. Shoot !
  7. He loved the colored bubbles – he had no clue there was food coloring under the baking soda.
  8. He stepped closer to get the harder to aim at areas.
  9. It was super fun to see all the colors emerge  and even mix together .
  10. After the guns were empty his sister was invited out to do some pouring too.

Color & Clean Car Wash Play For Toddlers

I usually brainstorm general ideas from interests my kids have , lessons I want to teach them or themes from books we’ve discovered. Then some days your toddler is antsy and you grab window markers and decide to color and clean the ride on toys you have on your deck.  This car wash play was so much fun. We have washed toy cars and trucks many times before but this was a great way to mix in some creativity . My one disclaimer is to please test the window markers on your toy cars before assuming they will wipe off. Ours did without any issue even the bits that weren’t wiped right away but I’d hate for any toys to get ruined so please test first!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some window markers, some warm water, a soapy sponge and some plastic riding toys.toddler activities
  2. Start by coloring the cars.
  3. Don’t mind the dirt , that car is used as a tank in my son’s imaginary WWII play with pine cone bombs and is more than ready for a wash.
  4. She loved making dots. One tip is to use dark colors that show up well first to give your toddler a good sense of making marks. The pale ones may frustrate young ones when they are hard to see.toddler activites
  5. Dip your sponge in the water . To be honest I think she liked wringing out the sponge more than anything and I liked that she was having fun.
  6. Wipe away the coloring.

We will definitely be doing this simple activity again and again! I already have ideas for my son that include spelling words.

 

Painting With Nature – Simple Summer Crafts

art for kids Summer time is about being carefree, not worrying about the schedules that hold us back and the deadlines…. well that is what I wish summer was. Really it’s only sometimes like this but the day we made this it was.  My son was playing with the neighbors and I grabbed this huge piece of card board, some paint and called them to the drive way. We had three kids 2, 5 and 7 years old all completely engaged , here is the super simple how to.

  1. Gather your materials. All you need is something to paint, paint, and a yard to find potential tools. Spread out some paint. We used a huge piece of cardboard but you can do this on a much smaller scale too. kids crafts
  2. Tell the kids to find things to paint with.
  3. Paint! Both big kids went straight to the pine tree and made prints. crafts for kids
  4. My 2 year old sat down in the paint with a rock and explored.
  5. They grabbed hydrangeas summer crafts and snap dragons .paiting with snap dragons
  6. Whipped paint with ferns.
  7. Made cool leaf and flower prints.
  8. Made a huge happy mess.summer arts and crafts

This was such a fantastic open and free art activity and seeing their faces light up as they said ” Oh I have an idea!” before running off to the yard to come back with a snap dragon or maple leaf was exhilarating. My 2 year old was covered in paint. I couldn’t get a picture because she grabs for the camera and I was worried she’d grab the lens. The paint soaked through her pants all the way to her diaper. She was in heaven.  Memories were made with such a simple summer activity!