Hopscotch Fun

Hopscotch

Activity 6 – Hopscotch

The famous game of hopscotch continues to be a great go-to for outdoor fun and learning potential.

Using numbers, you can have your child write the numbers in the boxes and identify the numbers as you play.  Another great way to learn is to have your child add two of the numbers the rock lands on.

A variation of this game is to use letters that spell sight words, your child’s name, or letter blends. Take this opportunity to practice letter sounds.

How to play hopscotch

Instructions from kidspot

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Bubbles

Fun with bubbles

Activity 5 – Bubble Making

Nothing marks the beginning of summer like bubbles.  There are so many great ways to enjoy bubbles and this activity allows your child to make their own.

Measuring and numbers will be the hidden learning factor of this fun activity. Below are the ingredients and measurements to make homemade bubble solution.  I have also included some great websites that show you how to create different sized bubbles.

Bubble Recipe

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of dish detergent ( I used Dawn, I read it works better)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of glycerine
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder

This recipe came from the Happy Hooligans

All of the ingredients need to be mixed in slowly with the water.  It is best to start with the corn starch, working to have it dissolve as much as possible.  The recipe stated that you should wait an hour before using the solution, so while we waited for this solution we made an easier and faster solution, which is listed below.

Easier quicker bubble recipe

Take this opportunity to show your child the difference between 1 cup and a 1/2 cup.  Show them a tablespoon and a teaspoon and ask which one do they think holds more.

This activity also teaches your child how to follow directions and patience. Snap some pictures of your bubble day, post to Instagram, and tag thebluedeskblog.

Water Play

Learning with water play

Activity 4 – Water Play

Water play is the best for having fun and cooling down.  This activity can take place in a pool, a water table, or a homemade water play station.  These activities are not intended for you to spend money or travel to far from home.  These are fun learning activities that can take place any time of the day, on any budget, and the time spent doing the activities is totally up to you and your child.

With water play, you want to add the learning by gathering some toys or safe objects out of the home.  Go through the items one by one and ask your child if he/she thinks the object will sink or float.  If your child does not know what sink or float means, this is the perfect opportunity to teach them and give a demonstration.

In the past, with my class, I would always prepare a science sheet for them to draw or write about their experiments.  Below I have provided the worksheet if you want to get in some extra writing practice with your child.

science worksheet

I have also provided some websites that show you how to make your own water table.  If this is not an option for you, the kitchen sink works great for this experiment.

My Life with Littles

Southern Bell DIY

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

Activity 3: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

I love to take walks through the neighborhood, especially on cool mornings.  If you don’t have the luxury of taking morning walks, afternoon and evening walks are great too.

When the kids are in the mood to tag along for the exercise, they are usually playing and running around not noticing the beautiful things in our neighborhood.  With my younger ones I like to challenge them to show me things in the neighborhood, there could be hidden gems in front yards and in trees.

For activity three I thought a neighborhood scavenger hunt would be fun during your daily walk. I have my children point out letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and pairs.

I know that every neighborhood is different, but I’m sure your child could find everything on this scavenger hunt list and more.  Please feel free to add to the list or create your own.

   neighborhood scavenger hunt list

Share with The Blue Desk on Facebook and let me know if you used my list,  one of your own, or added to the list.  I would love to know what things you added.  If you take pictures of your outings please tag TheBlueDesk on Instagram.

 

 

5 New Year’s Eve Party Activities for Kids

Lustige Party-Krapfen

If you are a parent of young children, you are already trying to decide if you are going to party with or without your children, when bringing in the New Year.

Now, if you are anything like me, you already feel the guilt of leaving your children with someone else at this momentous time. I mean, welcoming in a New Year without the joys of seeing your children destroying your home, acting delirious because they are sleepy but need to stay awake, or the best one yet bouncing off the walls because they have had too much sugar so late in the evening.

Okay, decision made, I’m staying home to bring in the New Year with the kiddies. I mean they are the first faces I want to see when 2017 comes ringing in.

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You still have time for last minute summer fun

I would like to apologize for the lack of pictures, for some reason I have not been able to download them (error every time I try) and I did not want to keep putting off posting because of pics, so I hope you find the information informative and not judge me to harshly for the lack of photos.

School starts back for many youngsters within the next couple of weeks, but it is not to late to get in a few more summer fun activities.  Myself, like many working households have not had an opportunity to take a nice long vacation with the family, but with a little preparation and great attitude you can make some summer memories before school starts back.

Here are my top five things to do with your kids before the summer ends.

Water Day In the Backyard

Get out the sprinklers, water balloons, water accessories, water table, and have some good old fashion water play.  Fill six buckets with water and have the children try to throw objects that will create a big splash into the buckets.  Play games like “Red Rover” with the water sprinkler as the border that you have to run through.  Play “Tug of War” over a small water pool.  You can also use the water pool as a spot for the kids to relax and sit in some water safely.  Make you own slip and slide (if you don’t already own one) or have a contest to see who can stand under the water sprinkler the longest (safely).  Have rubber duck races or small boats that you have to blow across the pool.  There is much fun to be had in the backyard with water.  Let your imagination run wild and prepare for hours of fun.

A Day of Hiking

This is one thing my family loves to do, and it can be accomplished in one day, but with memories that will last a life time.  Find a state park that is less than three hours from your home.  Pack food, water, bug spray, sunscreen, sun visors, and a change of clothing.  Choose a challenging hike, a scenic hike, or both.  Plan to spend the entire day appreciating nature.  Allow your children to be the photographers to see things from their point of view.  Take nature breaks and enjoy your surroundings.  See who can find the most unusual bugs (but don’t touch), How many plants they can identify, or make up names for the plants and bugs that you see.  Bring a notebook so that the family can document this time spent among fresh air and living creatures.  You can research the parks online before you visit, to plan your trip according to your family skill level.

Bike Riding

This may take a little more preparation than the previous two suggestions, if you don’t have a bike.  You want this to be a family activity so make sure everyone has a bike they can be comfortable riding for a short or long period of time.  Plan to ride through the neighborhood or find a local bike trail to explore.  When my family bike rides we put the youngest in a bike trailer, and everyone else has a bike to ride with or without training wheels.  I always choose a trail that has hills and beautiful scenery (like the lake front, the pier, or through the botanical gardens). Make sure to pack healthy snacks and plenty of liquids, although the more you drink the more you pee and that means the more stopping you will do.  Take plenty of pictures and stop to smell the roses.  Also you don’t have to bike during the day, you can take a night time ride (if you have older children) through the neighborhood.

Backyard Carnival

This can be as small as you like or as grand as your pockets will allow.  I have known families to go as far as having a petting zoo.  I have also known families to collectively host a carnival for the children in the neighborhood.  I have done this on a much smaller scale.  I order everything I need through Oriental Trading and set up games and fun booths in my backyard. I do backyard games like bean bag toss, the Bozo game, ring toss, knock down the cans with a ball. I invite family and I allow my children to invite two friends and we just let them have run of the place.  The adults act as the game attendants.  We also do races like sack racing, egg on a spoon racing, and leg tied to a partner racing.  There are prizes and the menu is similar to a menu you would find at the carnival; popcorn, hotdogs, pizza, cotton candy, and funnel cake.  You can also take a healthy approach and not serve sweets at all and replace them with fruit shish kabob and smoothies.   We always end our night with a movie on the big projector outside.  This is the best part, you can use a sheet, a screen, a wall, whatever but keep the party going with a kid appropriate movie and more popcorn.  We also have tried ending the night with a bonfire, which are always nice.

Olympic Games

This creates the best memories.  We do this every year and compare our times and results with the previous year.  This takes about a week to prepare, but it is worth every minute.  Try to include as many olympic games as possible; track and field, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and the list goes on.  Most subdivisions have a clubhouse with the use of a swimming pool and tennis courts.  Also I have each family member over the age of ten pick their team players and we compete in all the sports.  This is so much fun and it can get quite competitive.  I order some medals from Oriental Trading and we use a huge dry erase board to keep up with all the activities.  Each team is a winner in some way, because we want everyone to come out a winner.  We create posters and t-shirts for our teams and we invite family members and friends to cheer for the teams.  This sounds like work, but it is awesome and the memories are the best.  Your family will be talking about this far into the school year.

These are just some of the ways we try to hold on to the summer.  With school starting soon you just want that extra time with the kids, because as a working parent I know time gets away from us all and we are often feeling like we didn’t spend enough time with our children. My mom has always told me it is not about the quantity but the quality of time you spend with your love ones.

If you would like to share how you spend your final days of summer break please add to the conversation in the comments section.