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

 

Being Together, Eating Together, Moving Together!

Active family

One of the best things about blogging is getting the opportunity to work with initiatives that matter. Together Counts™ is something I believe in and have grown very fond of since becoming an ambassador for them in 2012. If you have never heard of Together Counts™ check out their website for all the details but the gist of their mission is to spread the message of energy balance and to encourage families to eat together and get active together. I am thrilled to say I have signed on for another year of Together Counts™ and look forward to writing more about active families and energy balance.  TogetherCountsBadge

I am a huge promoter of the family meal as well as being active as a family as well being an active role model for your kids. I also think the idea of energy balance is such a wonderful way to teach our kids about a healthy lifestyle without falling into the extremes of dieting or being at the gym every day for hours. Check the articles I shared on the Together Counts™ Blog in 2013 , you might  even recognize a few regular little faces.

 Smart from the Start with Energy Balance

Let Them be The Coach

Bring Recess Home for the Summer

Spring into Activity

Get Crafty this St. Patrick’s Day

What is your favorite way to get active with your kids?

 

Flag Day Activity For Kids

patriotic activity for kidsToday is Flag Day and instead of sitting inside and crafting stars and stripes we are running and searching all over our yard for them. This Flag Day activity for kids is as simple as it gets but fits perfectly with the special day. After playing we talked about the flag, it’s evolution and what flags are for.  I plan on repeating this many times leading up to 4th of July as well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a container and some flags. We got everything at the dollar spot at Target and as far as I know it’s all still there! We have 8 flags and a tin bucket.flag day game
  2. Hide the flags around your yard. I just pushed mine right into the ground. 4th of july activity
  3. Gather your search party.  flag daya easy activityI explained it was not a race that they are working together against the clock. This turns my super competitive 6 year old into a supportive team player and gives my daughter a chance to participate at a more equal level.
  4. Go! I used my phone to time although really they didn’t care about the time they just liked the hunt. flag day outside activity
  5. I spaced the flags out a lot.flag day race I wanted them to run as much as possible .flag day for preschool
  6. As they returned the flags to the bucket I had them count and my son figure out how many more we needed to find. See what I did there? Throwing in a little bit of math. flag day gross motor
  7. All in all it took three minutes and 43 seconds to find all 8 flags. Clearly I need to hide them better …. or give fewer hints. flag day outside activity for kids

 

If an inside activity is really what you are after check out these  Patriotic Crafts.

.

Find & Rhyme – Gross Motor Rhyming Game

find and rhyme game for readingGetting my son learning after school isn’t always easy because he’s just been at school all day!  This rhyming  game was originally supposed to be a Frisbee like game with the hula hoops acting as targets but my dollar store plates were too light and even doubled up wouldn’t fly well. So we turned it into a hunt and my daughter came along for the ride and everyone had fun . You could adapt this easily for different levels using upper and lowercase as pairs to match, sight words ( writing out two and finding the match) or word families. Even though my almost 3 year old participated this activity is part of our Learning After School series . This series is filled with ideas for fun active learning after school gets out.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cheap plastic plates ( just don’t expect them to make good Frisbees… ) , a sharpie and some hula hoops.Rhyming Hunt for kindergarten
  2. Start by writing some words on the plates. I chose 4 words that offered lots of rhyming words.  Bake, car, band and hat.rhyming activity for kids with movement
  3. Write out as many rhyming words on the rest of the plates for each as you think will offer your child the right amount of challenge.  You can always have a few extra on hand to hide on the go if your child is into it and you want to extend it.
  4. Place the anchor words ( bake, car, band and hat) in the hula hoops.hunt and rhyme learning after school
  5. Hide the other plates. rhyming word hunt
  6. Get your kids ready – I had my son agree that he’d let his sister find her share and not zoom through and grab them all . He also offered up his reading and rhyming skills to help. I wasn’t sure how it would play out … if you are doing this with a number of children with similar rhyming and reading abilities a great way to do it is to start each child off with a different word and have them search only for words that rhyme with their assigned word. * Whenever I am explaining rules I start with a quick game of Simon Says. It gets them focused. hunt and rhyme learning after school game
  7. It was great. hunt and rhyme early literacy gameHe needed a reminder not to grab all the plates but one reminder was enough. They would find a plate, run over and match the rhymes. She got a few solo ( after we read them of course)gross motor rhyming game and he would do his in his head throwing them down fast. But then when she was stumped he took time to help his sister saying things like ” Do you hear they sound the same? Cake and bake rhyme.” It was still pretty much over her head but he got great practice being patient and teaching her.  You can see him stretching out the words for her as a hint. Best part is the plates store easily and you can add more when you want to play again. sounding out the rhymes - rhyming game for kids

 

Books That Rhyme

 

25 picture books that rhyme

Here are 25 great books that rhyme . When reading these books with your kids take some time to play with the rhymes , not every single on but a few. Be silly and have fun. Do things like use a synonym in the place of a rhyming word  in the familiar text. When your child corrects you explain that the word means the same thing. They will insist it’s still not right . Ask them why. Continue reading. Pretending not to know the answer and letting my kids answer for me always gets a good laugh and the lesson sticks as well.

Turkey Feather Hunt { Gross Motor Game}

This easy Thanksgiving themed game has been lovingly named ” Naked Turkey” at our house . It is so fast to make but the fun will last for a long time. Kids love searching for things and games like this not only works on concentration it also naturally leads to counting, color recognition and sorting.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a clean jar, some orange or brown construction paper, some some, googly eyes , tape, markers and feathers.
  2. Start by cutting out a turkey torso. Think chubby bowling pin cut in half. Add a gobble, beak and glue on some eyes.
  3. Tape to the jar. I am taping it because I love these jam jars and plan on using it for something else after we are done with this game. As you can see my daughter was collaging scrap paper while I made it, or so I thought.
  4. Choose a spot in your house to hide the feathers. I do it in my living room because I can shut the doors and keep the kids out while I hide them. Also in a relatively small space a toddler won’t get overwhelmed. do what works for your kids. Can you see any feathers in this picture?
  5. Invite your feather finders and play! She loved this and so did my son after he got home from school ( but the light was even worse by then so no pics).
  6. After she found them all we counted them and sorted them by color, purple first of course!

Since making this on Friday we have played daily with no signs of getting tired of it. My son loves to be the hider and tried to stump my husband and I . I particularly love that the game isn’t too messy to play anytime no matter who is over for Thanksgiving dinner!