Summer has been flying by! Before you know it, September will be here and the kids will be back to school. I image the kids have been having a blast playing outside, engaging in water play, making friends at summer camp, and enjoying trips to the beach. Summer is all about fun, so let’s continue the fun with these educational games that sneak in learning at the same time. Your kids’ brains will be working without them even knowing it. That is the magic of learning through play!
- Hopscotch is a great gross motor activity. Usually you write numbers in the squares, but you can also put letters or even shapes. After the child tosses the rock or beanbag to see where they will jump to, ask them to say the letter they landed on and for a bonus a word that starts with that letter. Can they sing the whole alphabet as they jump all the way to the end?
Cookie Jar Number Matching
- Draw or print out a large jar. Inside make circles with a written numerical number. Next have the kids practice their scissor skills by cutting out circles; draw the circle so they have a line to follow. Next add ‘chocolate chips’ to the cookies with little stickers or pieces of washi-tape; make sure the number of chocolate chips matches the numbers you wrote inside the jar. Now can the kids match the number of chocolate chips to the circles inside the jar? For extra fun, with the kids, bake real chocolate chip cookies first with a specific number of chocolate chips. Read The Door Bell Rang while you are waiting for your cookies to bake.
ABC Sticky Note Scavenger Hunt
- Write the entire alphabet on a chalkboard or long strip of wide painters tape. While the kids are napping or having quiet time, put up sticky notes in unique locations all over the playroom. On each sticky note you should write one letter of the alphabet. If your child is learning lowercase letters write the lowercase letter and have the uppercase letter written on the chalkboard or painters tape. Tell the kids about the scavenger hunt before they enter the playroom, “Find a letter and then bring it to the long alphabet on the wall to find its match.” This is a fun, educational game to refresh literacy skills before heading back to school. You can also ask older kids to announce the sound the letter makes or a word that starts with that letter when they place it with its match.
- For this back to school educational game you just need two paper cups, painters tape, pompoms, and a bucket. Cut a circle in the bottom of the cups and adhere them to the wall by rolling the painters tape. In between the two cups make an addition sign and at the end an equal sign using painters tape. Underneath the two cups put a bucket or box to catch the pompoms. Start by showing the kids you drop two yellow pompoms through the first cup and one blue pompom through the second cup. Have them look in the bucket and tell you how many pompoms there are. Point out how they just performed addition and then let them try! A fun addition book to go along with this activity is Animals On Board.
Back to School Play-dough Spelling
- This is a simple activity to set up. All you need is play-dough and alphabet rubber stamps. Set them out with other play-dough tools and let the kids dig in. During their play ask if they can spell their name in the play-dough. If you have play-dough molds, ask the kids to spell the item they make such as a dog or star.
Try one activity a week with your kids before they go back to school and remember to have fun with them! For more alphabet educational games try these and here are math games to add into your daily routines as well. Enjoy!
About The Author
Kelsey Dickson has over 15 years of experience working with children as a nanny, preschool teacher, and now a mother. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education and works for Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny as the eLearning Manager. Check out our online childcare classes, such as Baby Sign Language and Sleep Coaching 101! In her free time she enjoys gardening with her son, going for walks with her husband and dog, and discovering local wineries in New England.