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Hey, 2 posts within days! Can you believe it?
This kid right here is officially a 1st grader! What? Her teacher and school have been amazing! Though we missed them the last 9 weeks of school, they gave her everything she needs to be able to move onto 1st grade come Fall. It’s bittersweet.
Hallie loves learning, and is constantly asking me to do homework! I of course do not want her to lose skill or momentum over summer. Especially since the reality of what school will look like come Fall is a huge question mark. So today I am sharing the apps, workbooks and resources we will be using over the summer to keep Hal’s brain sharp, along with some of our favorite imaginative play tools. I am a huge believer that young children learn through play!
Workbooks and More
As far as workbooks go, a friend of mine who has a degree in Elementary Education recommended these 2 (linked below) and they are working great for us. They both bridge Kinder/1st and have a variety of subject material with the bulk being in Language Arts and Math. Hallie loves that she can track her progress with stickers, and I love that both books give fitness activities to break things up.
We also love all of the books by National Geographic Kids. We have a subscription to their magazine and Hallie has several of these Big Books. I will link some of our favorites below, but you can pretty much find one on any subject your child wants to learn about.
Flashcards and Apps
Other materials we are using are these flashcards (linked below) , which I like to play Sight Word games with. There are a few ideas in this post of mine for Dallas Moms as well as a bunch of indoor activities.
Hell might have well frozen over, because this no iPad family had no choice but to give Hallie a tablet to use for distance learning these last 9 weeks. The apps we have been using (AND LOVE) came straight from Hallie’s School district. Epic, which has over 40,000 books for kids. They can search books on their class level or reading level and books based on their interests! Hallie loves the variety of nonfiction books about animals that she can read all by herself! Even if out district didn’t offer a login for this I would shell out the cash for the download! It’s AMAZING!
Another one we use is Teach Your Monster to Read. It is really good for sight word practice, and it makes it a game so it’s fun for the kids.
Imaginative Play and Artwork
We do a lot of imaginative play and artwork in our house as well. Hallie and I both have sketchbooks and she enjoys sketching along with me. I make coloring pages (Like the ones here) for her to color and she does the same for me. We also play the “Squiggle Game”. We take turns drawing random squiggles for each other to turn into artwork. It always ends in fits of giggles! Another friend of ours suggested this game, and Hallie loves it: You come up with a silly drawing prompt, and the whole family has to sketch it out. Examples include: Draw a pizza with 3 silly toppings, sketch what a monster’s birthday party would look like, or draw a dinosaur in a crazy outfit. I love watching what Hallie’s imagination comes up with!
We also love building! I am linking below our favorite building toys! Hallie loves to build barns for her horses and houses for her tiny toys (squinkees, mini boos etc)
Two other fun games we play are Veterinarian and Restaurant. We have the Vet set linked below as well as a Doc Mcstuffins vet cart that is a hand me down from Hallie’s cousins. I will link a similar one. Hallie has trained Elise to bring her the Animals and we call her the “Vet Tech” and Hallie is the “Vet”. She knows so many facts about animals that this game is a way for her to put them to good use!
For Restaurant we use our play kitchen, and cash register. Hallie makes a pretend menu and is the chef and waitress while I am the customer. She could play this game ALL DAY! She counts the money and puts it back in the drawer and doesn’t even realize she is doing math! Win!
I am hopeful I create enough of a balance this Summer for her of fun and learning so that she will be successful going into 1st grade.
What are your favorite learning and play materials for kids?