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100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More With Fun Activities
     

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More With Fun Activities

by Amanda Boyarshinov, Kim Vij
 

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Learn While You Play With These Fun, Creative Activities & Games

From two experienced educators and moms, 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids prepares your children to thrive in school and life the fun way by using guided play at home to teach important learning topics—reading, writing, math, science, art, music and global studies. Turn off the TV

Overview

Learn While You Play With These Fun, Creative Activities & Games

From two experienced educators and moms, 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids prepares your children to thrive in school and life the fun way by using guided play at home to teach important learning topics—reading, writing, math, science, art, music and global studies. Turn off the TV and beat boredom blues with these clever activities that are quick and easy to set up with common household materials. The huge variety of activities means you can choose from high-energy group games full of laughter and delight, or quiet activities that kids can complete on their own.

All activities highlight the skill they teach, and some are marked with a symbol whether they are good for on-the-go learning or if they incorporate movement for kids to get their wiggles out. In Zip-Line Letters, children learn letter sounds as the letters zoom across the room. In Parachute Subtraction, place foam balls in a parachute, then kids shake the parachute and practice subtraction as they count how many balls fall off. Kids will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re gaining important skills!

The activities are easy to adapt for all ages and skill levels. 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids is the solution for parents—as well as teachers, caregivers or relatives—to help kids realize how fun learning can be and develop what they’ll need to do well wherever life takes them.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Awaken your inner ‘fun parent’ with these clever and creative ideas shared by two of the most popular and fun parenting bloggers on the Internet! These no-hassle, low-prep activities are perfect for today’s busy parents who want to extend learning for their kids but keep it fun and stress-free. Say goodbye to ‘I’m bored!’ and hello to ‘Can we do it again?’”
—Vanessa Levin, founder of Pre-KPages.com and author of A Fabulous First Year and Beyond

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids reminds us all of what a true joy learning can be. With a simplistic yet playful approach to learning, this book will quickly become a standout favorite of young kids and their parents!”
—Karen Bantuveris, founder/CEO of VolunteerSpot.com

“All caregivers need 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids so that time spent with children is packed to the max with fun and sneaky learning! This book should definitely be the Playdate Handbook of the Year!”
—Amy Mascott, founder of TeachMama.com and author of Raising a Rock-Star Reader

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781624141966
Publisher:
Page Street Publishing
Publication date:
05/24/2016
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
346,390
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids

Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More with Fun Activities


By Amanda Boyarshinov, Kim Vij, Ashlee Hamon

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2016 Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-197-3



CHAPTER 1

FANTASTIC READING


Oftentimes, we think of beginning reading only as learning the alphabet. Although learning to read does include the knowledge of letters, it encompasses so much more. These games include everything from letter names and sounds to learning sight words and extending sentences. The following games touch upon just a few components of early literacy and are a great way to reinforce and teach early-reading concepts.

It is recommended that in addition to playing a learning game with your child each day, you also read to your children for 10 to 15 minutes. Discuss the story with your child. Talk about the characters, setting and storyline. Talking about the story strengthens reading comprehension and vocabulary. We have found that the best times for reading stories are:

* First thing in the morning
* Right after lunchtime
* After dinner
* Before bedtime

Make sure to read a variety of fiction and nonfiction books, allowing your child to self-select the books they are interested in. Trips to the local public library or bookstore will help increase the number of books in your home library and encourage more reading.


COMMUNITY CORNER

How did you teach your child the letters of the alphabet?

"To me, teaching letters needs to be meaningful to kids. So I love starting with their names and other names that are important to them (friends' names and family members' names), along with environmental print. I also like capitalizing on how much children want to tell you the stories behind their drawings and artwork — this aligns with teaching writing, as well."

— Mary C.

"I have a habit of saying the letter and sound that accompanies the letter, 'OH, look, that's a BIRD — B — buh, buh, BIRD.' It annoys my son, who is now 9, but our preschoolers LOVE it and chant along. I SING most everything to our kids."

— Darla H.

"We read a book with letters in it and when he asked, 'What is that?' I told him the letter."

— Cerys P.

"My oldest son learned his letters through lots of playful games and activities. ABC puzzles and magnetic letters were two manipulatives we used regularly during our play."

— Jodie R.

"Honestly, with my first two, I worked and went to school, so they learned in a home daycare. With my last two, well, I'm currently exploring with them. We play lots of games and random daily learning through life."

— Natasha J.

"We had an alphabet book and we read it to our son every night before bed. We would point to the letter on each page and say the name of it, and then have him repeat it. First he memorized the names of the letters, then we started working on the sounds they made. He was around 2 when we started that."

— Samantha V.

"I'm not sure that I've ever purposefully taught them."

— Kim S.

"We played games where I deliberately said the wrong letter and sounds and she would say, 'Mommy, no, that's wrong.'"

— Alecia F.

"I used a whole language approach. If we were out at the grocery store and we saw a sign for milk, we traced the letters with our fingers. If we were out for a walk, we played 'I spy' as we walked by signs and billboards."

— Dayna A.


STACK A WORD

Learning to read can be exciting for children. Learning how to blend letter sounds is one of the foundations to success. Players use movement and visual clues as they the stack cans to form words.

Focus Skill: blending letter sounds in spoken words

Great For: moving while you learn

Materials
Construction paper
Scissors
10 cans of similar size
Black marker
Tape


Directions to Make

1. Cut 10 papers to wrap around the cans.

2. Write two vowels and two consonants on each paper. Vary letter combinations to include all letters.

3. Attach a letter paper to each can with tape.

4. Write down on a separate paper select consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words in focused word families.


Directions to Play

1. One player calls out words from the focused word family sheet.

2. The other player uses the cans to sound out the words and stack on one another to form each word.

3. Continue to create words until all the cans are used.


Game Variations

* Use cans to create letters in family members' names.

* Create word family sets by adding an additional vowel-only can.

* Create nonsense words and sound out while stacking on top of each other.


ROLL THE ALPHABET

Children often can sing the alphabet, but have trouble saying it. The letters l, m, n, o, p are separate letters. These letters are the building blocks for literacy; naming the letters is one component. So, grab a ball and get rolling. See if you can get from A to Z without letting the ball roll away!


Focus Skill: saying the alphabet in order

Materials
ABC chart or poster
Playground ball

Directions to Make

1. Prior to playing, sing the ABC song with your child.

2. Show your child the alphabet poster. Sing the song again and point to each letter as you sing it.


Directions to Play

1. Have the child sit on the floor with their feet touching yours. Explain that you are going to say a letter and roll the ball to them. Roll the ball to them and say "A."

2. They will say the next letter in the alphabet and roll the ball to you.

3. Continue the game in this manner until you reach the end, Z. Try to roll the entire alphabet without having the ball roll away.

4. Move further distance apart from each other and repeat the game.


Game Variations

* As children become more confident with rolling the ball, try to bounce the alphabet.

* For an extra challenge, say a word that begins with that letter. Apple, bear, coin, dog ...

* Roll the letters in the child's name.


MYSTERY ALPHABET

Everyone loves a good mystery. In this game children will close their eyes and take turns being a letter detective by feeling the shape of the hidden letter. This game teaches children to be more aware of the shape of each letter. Knowing the shape of the letters will help children transition to reading as they see these same shape formations within books.

Focus Skill: identifying lowercase letters

Great For: on-the-go learning

Materials
ABC puzzle
Small paper or canvas lunch bag


Directions to Play

1. The first person will place a letter in the bag while the other will close his or her eyes.

2. Put your hand in the bag to feel the letter. NO PEEKING!

3. Try to guess the letter name and say the sound the letter makes.

4. Take the letter out to check if your guess was right.

5. If you guess right, then it is your turn to select the next letter. If your guess was wrong, close your eyes and let the first person select another letter.

6. Continue the game until all the letters have been identified.


Game Variations

* Instead of saying the letter name and sound, have the child say a word that begins with that sound. If the letter is M, they may say, "Monkey starts with m."

* As the letters are pulled out of the bag, arrange them in alphabetical order.

* Use a shape puzzle in lieu of letters for a shape math game.


Note

All children learn differently. Activating the sense of touch is different from relying on eyes. When you are playing learning games with your child, make sure to include a variety of senses. Take note of which activities your child tends to enjoy more. Do those often!


ZIP-LINE LETTERS

Zoom the alphabet across the room in this high-flying zip-line adventure. Uppercase letter names and sounds are traditionally taught first. If your child has mastered the uppercase letters, then consider writing all lowercase or even making a set of both and matching the letters before zooming.

Focus Skill: letter identification, letter sounds

Great For: moving while you learn

Materials
2" (5-cm) tag board squares (one piece of paper will make 20)
Black permanent marker
Paper clips
Tape
15' (4.6 M) of yarn


Directions to Make

1. Write one uppercase letter on each tag board square until all the letters have been used.

2. Bend the paper clip to create a hook.

3. Tape the paper clip hook to the back of each letter square, making sure that one half is sticking out of the top of the square.


Directions to Play

1. Tie one end of the yarn to a solid stationary object, such as the handle of a closed door. Hold the other in your hand.

2. Slide a letter card and hook onto the yarn near your hand. Pull the yarn tight.

3. Raise your arm and watch the letter soar.

4. As the letter zips across the room, make its sound. Example: BBBBB, MMMMM or ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

5. Build another zip line parallel to the first.

6. Invite a friend or family member to race letters.


Game Variations

* String the letters on in order or zoom your name.

* Put three or more letters together on the zip line to spell a word.

* Pictures with beginning word sounds can zip after the letters.


SQUIRT THE LETTER FISH

Learning letter sounds is a splash with this outside water game. Young children need to interact with letters in a variety of ways. This will help them gain familiarity with the way each letter looks and sounds. The goal is for children to see a letter and be able to name the sound instantaneously. If they can name the sound after thinking about it for a while, that is fantastic. Keep playing with the letters to speed up the recognition!

Focus Skill: identifying the most common sound for the letters

Great For: moving while you learn

Materials
Chalk
Spray bottle or water bottle with water


Directions to Make

1. Chalk the outline for 26 fish on the driveway or fence.

2. Write a letter inside each fish.


Directions to Play

1. Call out a letter sound, such as B, that is heard at the beginning of the word big.

2. Have your child spray the letter fish that makes the sound.

3. Continue to call out letter sounds until all have been identified.


Game Variations

* Call out the letter name instead of the letter sound to work on letter identification.

* Use letter cards and have the child first draw a letter from a bucket and find its match to squirt.

* Call out a word and have your child spray the letter fish that makes the first sound in that word.


STRINGING LETTERS

Memorizing the shapes of letters will quickly help your child learn to identify the alphabet. Players create fun, hands-on letters using glue and string. Once ready, they make the perfect material to hang in alphabetical order for even more letter practice.

Focus Skill: identifying alphabetical order

Materials
Yarn
Scissors
Wax paper
Glue
Container
Sturdy rope
26 clothespins

Directions to Make

1. Cut yarn into pieces of various lengths.

2. Lay out wax paper on a smooth surface for letters to dry on.

3. Have children dip yarn pieces into glue container and then shape wet yarn into letter formations on the wax paper.

4. Allow yarn to dry before playing the game.

5. String a long and sturdy rope up in the room and attach clothespins onto it.


Directions to Play

1. Players work together to place letters in alphabetic order by attaching them to the rope with the clothespins.

2. As they place the letters, encourage them to name the letters they are attaching to the rope.


Game Variations

* Use letters to create a child's name on the rope.

* Use letters to create sight words.

* Create a timed challenge to see how fast they can put letters up in alphabetical order.


Note

This game needs to be created over the course of a few days to allow for drying. Consider starting with the letters in a child's name or a specific grouping of letter formations, like E, L, T, I, H.


CATERPILLAR COVER

Children of all ages are fascinated with both caterpillars and colorful lids. Gather your recyclables to make and play this eco-friendly game. Your kids will have a blast practicing letter matching with a little fine motor strengthening too.

Focus Skill: matching uppercase and lowercase letters

Materials
10 or more plastic lids
Printer paper
Pencil
Crayons
Permanent marker


Directions to Make

1. Trace the lids onto the paper to make circles for the caterpillar's body. Make one caterpillar for each player.

2. Draw a face and antenna on an end circle. Color and add legs to the caterpillar.

3. Write one lowercase letter inside each remaining circle.

4. Write one uppercase letter on each plastic lid.


Directions to Play

1. Turn the lids upside down.

2. Flip one lid. Read the letter, then place it on the caterpillar, covering its lowercase pair.

3. Repeat until the caterpillar's body is filled.


Game Variations

* Make the caterpillar the same length as your child's name. Write the letters in the circles and on the lids.

* Make several caterpillars for focus on sight words or spelling words.

* Use number words in the circles and dots to represent the numerical amount on the lids.


1, 2, 3, LET'S FIND THE A, B, C'S

In this spin-off the classic hide-and-seek game, children search for letters and place them in alphabetical order as quickly as possible. It's a great game for rainy days, to get kids moving and learning the letters.

Focus Skill: knowing the letter names in order

Great For: moving while you learn

Materials
14 (3" x 5" [7.5 x 13-cm]) notecards
Scissors
Black marker
String


Directions to Make

1. Cut each of the notecards in half.

2. Write one letter of the alphabet on each card. Make sure to use all capital letters or all lowercase letters.

3. Lay the string straight on the ground.


Directions to Play

1. One player hides the alphabet cards in the selected area while the other players close their eyes.

2. When all the cards are hidden, the players open their eyes and say, "1, 2, 3, Let's find the A, B, C's."

3. As they find each letter, they bring it back to the string on the floor. They say the name of the letter and place it in alphabetical order. Use the string alphabet from Stringing Letters (here) as a guide.


Game Variations

* For advanced learners, have the children say the name of the letter and name a word that begins with that sound.

* Swap words in a sentence for letters and have the children search for and build a sentence.

* Instead of hiding the letters around the room, place the letters in a sensory bin to find.


LETTER TOSS RACE

Who can find and name the letters of the alphabet the fastest? Challenge your child to name and toss the letters of the alphabet with this playful alphabet movement game. This game is a fun, hands-on way to focus on learning letters and letter sounds with your child.

Focus Skill: recognizing uppercase and lowercase letters and sounds

Great For: moving while you learn

Materials
Index cards
Black marker
Alphabet stickers (optional)
Foam, wooden or plastic letters
Bucket


Directions to Make

1. Create letter cards for the game by writing each alphabet letter on a card. Optional is to use alphabet stickers to add color. Complete with your child.


Directions to Play

1. Lay out the plastic letters of the alphabet for players to select from.

2. Set up the letter cards and bucket within tossing distance of the letters.

3. One player holds up the letter card.

4. The second player identifies the letter and finds it in the plastic letter pile.

5. The second player then tosses it into the letter bucket by the other player.


Game Variations

* Create cards with images that represent each letter sound and ask players to locate and identify the letter to be tossed.

* Create cards with lowercase letters and allow players to only choose from uppercase letters in pile to play.

* Use two buckets and two sets of letters for players to race to find the letters the quickest, with one person holding the cards for players.


BUILD A LETTER

What are letters made of? Sticks, circles and curves of course! This game is perfect for your little engineer who likes to build things. Make a set of shapes and then have your child pick three and see which letters they can make. Our favorite letter is Q because it uses two curves and a short stick. Which letter is your favorite?

Focus Skill: identifying uppercase and lowercase letters

Materials
Cardstock or cereal boxes
Ruler
Scissors
Paper
Marker


Directions to Make

1. Using the cardstock, cut two each of:
a. Rectangles ½ inch x 3 inches (1.3 x 7.5 cm)
b. Rectangles ½ inch x 6 inches (1.3 x 15 cm)
c. 6-inch (15-cm) circles
d. 3-inch (7.5-cm) circles with middles removed
e. 6-inch (15-cm) ovals cut in half with middles removed

2. Write the alphabet (uppercase or lowercase letters) in order on the piece of paper to use as a reference and a game recording sheet.


Directions to Play

1. Pick three shapes from the pile.
2. Build a letter.
3. Put an X over the letter on the alphabet.
4. Put the pieces back into the pile.
5. Repeat steps 1 through 4. See if you can build all the letters in the alphabet.


Game Variations

* Build a shape.

* Make a pattern with the pieces.

* Use all of the pieces to build simple consonant-vowel-consonant words.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids by Amanda Boyarshinov, Kim Vij, Ashlee Hamon. Copyright © 2016 Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Amanda Boyarshinov & Kim Vij are moms and certified teachers with years of experience in early childhood education. They are co-founders of TheEducatorsSpinOnIt.com, a popular parenting blog where they help parents and teachers make everyday moments into teachable opportunities. Amanda and Kim live with their families in Florida.

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