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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Backyard Summer Camp: Numbers, Letters, Shapes, and Colors Week

Get ready for back-to-school with this Backyard Summer Camp theme week! Help your young ones review the basics in lots of fun ways. Of course, these ideas are just the beginning to a boredom-free week at home with the kids. Be sure to come up with your own creative ideas - and encourage the kids to come up with some, too.

If you're interested in the other Backyard Summer Camp theme weeks from this season, be sure to check out Wacky Sports WeekUnder the Sea WeekOuter Space WeekIn Our Neighborhood WeekDinosaur WeekMessy Stuff WeekGames WeekAnimals WeekPirates Week, and Things That Go Week. Enjoy.

Numbers, Letters, Shapes, and Colors Week

Active Play
  • Alphabet HuntMaterials: camera, scrapbook supplies or digital photo book site (such as Shutterfly.com). Instructions: Go for a walk and take photos of things that begin with A-Z. Upload or print out your photos and make a photo book together. 
  • Play Hop Scotch. Use sidewalk chalk outside or painter’s tape indoors.
  • Rainbow Ice for the Water Table or Kiddie Pool. A little preparation is necessary for this one. Day 1: fill an ice cube tray or muffin tin with water and add drops of food coloring to each section. Day 2: pop the cubes out into a water table or kiddie pool of water and watch the kids go crazy!
  • Jumping Letters. Draw a chalk grid with a letter in each square – use a Scattegories die to roll and call a letter; players run to that letter…or take turns spelling names by jumping to letters.
  • Target Practice. Use sidewalk chalk to write age-appropriate words (i.e., Kindergarten sight words, or just letters or shapes for Pre-K); give kids a bucket of water balloons; call out a word or letter and have the children find it and hit it with a water balloon.
Quiet Play
  • Sponge-shape stamping. Materials: new kitchen sponges, safety scissors, paint, paper. Help your kids cut the sponges into a variety of shapes, then let them stamp the sponges into paint and onto the paper for some unique artwork. For even more fun, try vegetable stamping!
  • Play BINGO.
  • Shape experiment: roll card stock into different shapes (cylinder, triangle, square); stand on one end and test to find out which tower can hold the most books (see All for the Boys blog)
  • Mixology: fill two clear cups halfway with water and place an empty clear cup in between; place drops of one primary color (red, blue, or yellow) into the water of one cup and a different primary color into the other water cup.  Twist up two paper towels; place the end of one into the first color and the other end into the empty cup. Place the end of the second paper towel into the second color and the other end also into the empty cup. Check back every few minutes to see what happens.
  • Check out some fun math problems on Bed Time Math. Each day features a new story with related math problems for all age groups.
  • Make LEGO letters, numbers, and shapes; sort LEGO bricks by color.
  • Use colored dominoes to make numbers, letters, shapes, and even a rainbow.
  • Read stories about numbers, letters, shapes, and colors.
  • Write a story together about numbers, letters, shapes, or colors…perhaps a story about what crayons do while we are sleeping. Let kids illustrate. 
A domino rainbow.
Making LEGO numbers.
Field Trips
  • Playground Shapes. Make a list together of all the shapes your kids recognize; visit a playground and tally the number of times you spot each shape.
  • Go to the library for books about numbers, letters, shapes, and colors (e.g., “LMNO Peas” or "1-2-3 Peas" by Keith Baker, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" or "Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3" by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, "Dog's Colorful Day: A Messy Story About Colors and Counting" by Emma Dodd, "Secret Agent Josephine's Colors" by Brenda Ponnay, "Click, Clack, Quackity-Quack: An Alphabetical Adventure" by Doreen Cronin, "SuperHero ABC" by Bob McLeod, "Alphabet Mystery" by Audrey & Bruce Wood, "One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish" by Dr. Seuss, "Ship Shapes" by Stella Blackstone & Siobhan Bell, "The Greedy Triangle" by Marilyn Burns, and "Clay Quest Minis: Search for Shapes!" by Helen Bogosian.

Have fun with your numbers, letters, shapes, and colors this week. Post a Comment and let us know your favorite book about numbers, letters, shapes, or colors! As always, thanks for reading.

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