I'm sure your family, like mine, spends a lot more time outside during the summer (especially when the temperature is below 90 degrees).
Each summer, I stock up on outside staples such as insect repellent, new inflatable balls, and lots of lots of sidewalk chalk.
Besides using it to draw pictures and turn their hands a new color, have you ever wondered what else you and your kids can do with sidewalk chalk? Look no further. Here are six learning games that all use sidewalk chalk.
1. Word Ladder (Grades PreK-1)
Your beginning reader can practice writing words with this game. Draw a ladder with four to five rungs on the sidewalk. On the first rung of the ladder write a simple word such as bat, ten, big, top, or bun.
Have your child write another word on each rung of the ladder that belongs in the same word family. If she needs help, ask your child to remove the beginning letter(s) of the first word and replace it with a new beginning sound.
2. Skip Counting (Grades K-2)
Whether your child needs to work on counting by twos, fives, or tens, this skip counting activity will provide lots of practice.
Write the string of numbers in a vertical line. Your child will then hop from number to number as he counts aloud. At the end of the line, ask your child if he can continue counting the next numbers.
3. Name a Word (Grades: PreK-1)
To play this game, write random letters of the alphabet in a small area, and have your child find a small stick.
Ask your child to toss the stick towards the letters. When the stick lands, ask your little one what letter the stick landed on or near. Then, have her brainstorm a word that begins with that letter. For example, if the stick lands on the letter f, your child could say fun, football, or frog.
4. Jump to the Sum (Grades 1-5)
In random order, write the numbers 1 through 10 on the sidewalk, leaving about a foot in between each number for this activity.
To play, call out an addition problem such as 3+5=? Then have your child jump to the correct answer. Continue to call out more math problems for your child to solve.
5. Letter Matching (Grades PreK-K)
Your young child will love the challenge of matching uppercase and lowercase letters in this simple alphabet matching game.
On one side of the sidewalk, write a column of uppercase letters in random order. On the opposite side of the sidewalk write a column of corresponding lowercase letters in random order as well. Your child will then draw a line connecting the matching letters.
6. What Does It Equal? (Grades 1-5)
This activity is similar to Letter Matching, but instead of matching letters, write math equations in one column and the answers to those equations in the other column. Have your child match the problems with the answers.
Go ahead — grab a box of sidewalk chalk this summer for lots of learning fun for many ages!
Featured Photo Credit: © martin-dm /iStockphoto