Rhyming Rockets {FREE Printable}

rhyming rockets free printableRhyming is imperative for learning to read. When a child can rhyme it means that he can play with the different sounds and apply that knowledge to new situations. It comes very naturally for some children and others really struggle. If your child is new to rhyming I would read lots of books that rhyme like Dr. Seuss or try these. If they are really struggling I would skip this activity and check out this rhyming basket one from The Imagination Tree. I have done it many times with children who are struggling and it helps, as does rhyming match game like this from PreKinders. These rockets are for children who are ready for a challenge and can write… well that was the plan. As you will see things don’t always go as planned with my own kids either.

Gather your materials. You will need a pencil with an eraser , clip board, and our rhyming rockets printable <—- click for the printable. rhyming rockets supplies

Start by reading the words together. What is supposed to happen is your child should then be super excited to write and they will grab the rocket printable and fill it out happily rhyming as they do.

Or they will flop on the couch and in their sweetest voice ever say ” Mama can you do the writing?” rhyming rockets con artist

It’s all about teamwork. So you will or maybe you won’t but as you can see I did. rhyming rokets activity for kindergartenSeriously though my advice for keeping activities going is to pick and choose your battles. Some things in our house are non negotiable but a quick little rhyming activity is totally open for negotiation. And as it turned out we had a blast doing it together. I love the words he came up with and it gave me the chance to model rhyming out loud. rhyming rockets done

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.

 

 

 

Spelling With Nuts & Bolts

spelling activity for kindergartenThis is not something I thought up at all. This idea has been around for ages but when my husband had to run to Home Depot for something else I asked him to grab us some nuts and bolts. If you are a regular reader you may know that I am forever trying to get my son to work on his fine motor skills. The way I approach this is to mix them with a task he really likes and excels at. For him that is anything language related like reading or spelling. There are way fancier tutorials out there but I am a busy mom so I needed to make this activity quickly . It’s bare bones but it works.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need bolts, nuts and a sharpie. A fine tip one would be best but mine was dried out and I’d already told my son we were doing a project so I used my huge one. Also my nuts and bolts are matte not glossy which makes the sharpie stay on better. Please test yours out to make sure it adheres before playing. nuts and bolts spelling activity for kids
  2. Write out simple CVC ( consonant vowel consonant) words on the end of the bolt. We did cat, rug, tub, top, jar and bug. This could easily be adapted for younger children by writing uppercase letters on the bolt and matching lowercase ones on the bolts. nuts and bolts spelling words
  3. Write the letters on the bolt. You can chose to only use a handful of bolts and make your child take them off one bolt to use on another word or make multiple copies of the same letter on different nuts. I decided only one copy of each letter because I was trying my hardest to get my son to work his fingers putting the nuts on and off.
  4. Invite your word builder and go for it. nuts and bolts kindergarten spellingThe first thing he said to me was ‘ How about we do this together. I will do the spelling, find the letters and you can screw them on. ” Nice try buddy. No. Don’t forget to put the letters on right side up. You must pay attention to which way they are on or your bug will look like bng … my son had to unscrew , flip it and screw it back on. nuts and bolts
  5. Soon he had the hang of it and I felt good knowing he was working on his fine motor skills. He told me the words were too easy so I am going to get longer bolts and give him a bigger challenge soon. nuts and bolts 3

After he was done his sister decided she wanted to try. This was really tricky ( near impossible) for her which means you will see some preschool fine motor posts in the near future! If you want to see more check this round up of fine motor activities out. Nuts and bolts spelling

 

Put-Ups & Put Downs {eCourse Review & Giveaway}

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 11.23.59 AMPlayful Learning’s Put-Ups and Put-Downs is so much more than a product it’s an eCourse that will change your family for the better. When I was asked to write a sponsored review I jumped at the chance. The course is all about teaching your kids respect, the power of their words and why kindness matters.  We may spend all day telling our kids to be nice but we often fail to explain why nice is important and what happens when we aren’t. This course simplifies that for us while modeling the right choices for our kids.

Let me tell you about my experience with this course and not just why I liked it but how my son ( the real judge) did.

PL_Hearts

The first thing that you will notice about this course is that there are two sections one for parents and one for kids. You don’t have to be a teacher to help your child navigate this course , everything you need is there. The videos are engaging and the suggested books for further reading are spot on. After checking out the parent section I was pumped to dive in with my six year old son. I waited until before bedtime , we closed the door so the sounds of his sister in the bath wouldn’t distract him.  He was captivated. The fun and dynamic videos of children talking about feelings, and the power of their words grabbed him from the get go.  We paused the video countless times to give my son a chance to share his thoughts on what was being discussed . The extension activity went over great but the biggest hit was the little quiz . My son is a results kind of guy and for him doing the quiz was very important. For me it helped show how much he really absorbed.

Not only did Put-Ups and Put-Downs give us talking points it gave us a common language for specific actions and reactions. He begged to show his dad and re-take the quiz the next night.  He also couldn’t wait to print out cards to write Put-Ups on . This is my favorite one.

put ups

We took the Put-Ups and Put-Downs eCourse last month and since then I can tell you that our house has been a friendlier place. Even the most loving family has times when they aren’t as careful with their words as they should be and feelings get hurt. Practicing to be more respectful makes more sense when you understand what happens when you aren’t , this course helped teach my son that valuable lesson. I am excited to share this because it’s useful and important.

Now it’s your chance to check out Put-Ups and Put Downs .Check it out  here.

Enter for a chance to win!

One reader will get a free registration for Put-Ups and Put-Downs, a gift certificate so they can gift the course to a friend ,and Mariah Bruehl’s book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder .

Enter Here

Fine Print

This sweepstakes is open to American residents 18 years or older. To be eligible for the sweepstakes you must enter your name and email address in the Google document on this page.  1 winning entry will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Wednesday May 22n at 8:00pm PST. The winner will receive one spot in the Put -Ups and Put Downs eCourse, a gift certificate for a friend and a copy of Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder . After the winner is notified he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address for shipping their prize package,or another winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary.The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Any information gathered through the sweepstakes including email and postal addresses will not be used in anyway other than contacting winners and shipment of winnings.   VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
This post was sponsored by Playful Learning. The opinions expressed are mine and my son’s. The prize will be provided by Playful Learning .

 

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!