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Hello, Summer! Activity Sampler (One-Page)
This one-page activity sampler has it all - enjoy a variety of summer-themed activities including a word search, maze, letter and number tracing, and color-by-number. Use as a warm-up activity or to supplement learning about the seasons! See our winter activity sampler, fall activity sampler, spring activity sampler, and pandemic-themed activity sampler for more one-page worksheets like this. Printable download here:
Summertime Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Grab your list and head outside for this summer-themed scavenger hunt! Download the PDF below. Printable download:
Fun With Sensory Play
Nice weather is a great opportunity to move the mess outside. We hope you enjoy this list of some hands-on sensory play ideas, with ideas for extension activities to stimulate language and cognitive development! 1. Volcano explosions: Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in a cup. Then, have your child make a prediction - what will happen when a small amount of vinegar is added? Pour in the vinegar and watch the mixture bubble and overflow! Was their prediction right or wrong? For added fun, build a simple volcano out of clay, paper mache, cardboard, paper or other material and place the cup inside. Watch as the "lava" flows out of the opening and down the volcano! Activity idea: Pair this with toy dinosaurs and make them run for cover! This is great practice for verbs like run, jump, hide, etc. 2. Soapy suds: Fill up a water table, bathtub, sink, or any type of basin with water. Add soap (preferably a children's bubble bath or a no-tear children's body wash/shampoo in case of contact with eyes). Activity ideas: Give dolls or other toys a bath, wash dishes, or collect different household items to see if they sink or float! 3. Color mixing: You can do this with water, finger paints, or even gooey Oobleck. Simply pour or mix several cups and add in drops of different food coloring. Activity ideas: Have your child identify and label the colors, or match the color to something in the environment (e.g. "This water is yellow like that sunflower). Mix primary colors and see what happens! Blue and red make purple...what other colors can they make? 4. Oobleck: Start by reading Dr. Suess' "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" to introduce and build up anticipation for making this gooey mixture. It is not truly a liquid or a solid, as it acts differently depending on the pressure you apply. It is so fun and will keep little ones occupied for hours! For added entertainment, make several different bowls of Oobleck, each a different color. Activity ideas: See cues for color mixing! Invite your child to problem-solve: how do they make the mixture go from liquid to solid, then back to liquid? Recipe: 1 1/2 cup corn starch 1 cup water 3 tablespoons tempera paint (optional) 5. Slime: We love using this easy-to-make substance for sensory play. Stretch it, squeeze it, roll it, knead it...it will keep anyone busy! Activity idea: Just like with the Oobleck, incorporate color learning into this activity! It's also a great opportunity for using vocabulary to describe: What does this substance look like, feel like, and smell like? Recipe: 1/2 cup shampoo 1/4 cup cornstarch ~6 tbs water food coloring (optional) 6. Dough: Activities that include kids and flour typically result in a huge mess, but doesn't the fun make it worth it? Using the recipe below, help your little one knead the mixture until dough is formed. Activity idea: For added (delicious) fun, roll out and bake this no-yeast dough at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes (or until golden brown) to make pizza! Recipe: 2 1/2 cup flour 1 Tbsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup warm water optional: mix 1 tsp honey into the warm water before adding
Look Out! Flying Bug Craft
What with the 900 thousand or so different kinds of insects around the world, it’s no wonder that kids find bugs fascinating - especially during the summer months! Scroll down to print a PDF of a several bug outlines that kids can color, cut, attach to a string or popsicle stick, and voila! With just a little pep in their step, or some natural wind outside, kids can make their bugs float or flutter around.
Summer Activity Packet
Who's loving longer days and warmer nights here on the east coast?! Preview pages from our summer-themed activity packet below - a great opportunity for both fun and skill practice while celebrating the season. It includes mazes, cross-word puzzle, short story, fun facts, coloring, and more! Printable download here:
4th of July Activities: Coloring Pages, Headband Craft, & More!
Enjoy these fun coloring pages, a decoding activity, DIY headbands, and a DIY firecracker craft to celebrate the United States of America's independence from Britain! Scroll to the bottom to download the PDFs. Have a Happy 4th of July! Printable downloads here:
Fun to make and even more fun to play with! Kids will love to throw their homemade "firecracker" in the air and watch the curled ribbon flutter, play tag, play hot potato, and more - how creative can they get? What you'll need: toilet paper roll tissue or construction paper (preferably red or blue) popsicle stick or chopstick ribbon or pipe cleaners decorations like stickers, glitter, pompoms, or whatever else you have on hand glue or tape Directions: Start by taking your toilet paper roll and covering it with tissue or construction paper. Next, decorate the cylinder with stickers, glitter, pompoms or any other craft items you can find. Next, tape or glue a stick (i.e. popsicle stick, chopstick, skewer stick with the pointy end sanded down) and tape one end to the inside of the toilet paper roll. At the other end, attach curled ribbon (or pipe cleaners).
LGBTQ+ Pride Flag & Children's Book List
It's the end of Pride Month, and there's no better time to gear up to celebrate LBGTQ+ pride for the remaining months of the year! Find below a printable, colorable Pride Flag, an outline of the one designed by Daniel Quasar in 2018. This is the perfect activity for discussing what Pride Month is all about and how to carry these ideals forward into the rest of the year. You can read more about what each of the colors represent here. For more guidance, here is a list of LGBTQ affirming picture books for young children, and here is a list of diverse children's books with transgender, non-binary and gender expansive children that includes titles for older kids, too. We hope you enjoy!
Juneteenth Learning Resources
June 19th, or "Juneteenth," commemorates the day in 1865 when news reached Galveston, Texas that all enslaved people were free (over two years after slavery had already been abolished). This year, Juneteenth National Independence Day was declared a federal holiday! We've put together some great resources for kids, parents, and educators looking to learn more about this holiday's important history. Check them out: Videos: Juneteenth | All About the Holidays from PBS Kids (Grades K-5). Description: "Each June we celebrate the end of slavery in the United States in 1865. Across the country, family and friends gather to celebrate and learn more about the history and experience of African Americans before and after slavery." Animation Series: What is Juneteenth? (#AtlantisBuild) from the Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters animation series on YouTube. Description: "In this Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters animation series we discuss Juneteenth, its History and importance." Juneteenth (Spanish Explanation) from Steph OH on YouTube. Description: "HAPPY JUNETEENTH!!!! I made this quick and simple video for our Spanish speaking older gen. to understand this special holiday. Treat this more as a conversation starter, for ex. how July 4 isn't a celebration of freedom for everyone esp. not for Black people in this country. Or how we need to push to make it a national holiday." *NOTE: This was made before Juneteenth DID become a national holiday! Articles: Juneteenth from Britannica Kids (with read-aloud feature!) A Juneteenth Celebration from Time for Kids Books: 14 Children’s Books celebrating Juneteenth from Colours of Us. Description: "19th of June is Juneteenth! Also known as Juneteenth Freedom Day, it commemorates the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the Confederate South. On June 19th 1865 the Union soldiers brought the news to Texas that the war had ended and the slaves were now free. Browse this list of beautiful children’s books celebrating Juneteenth, for Elementary School, Middle School and High School..."
Father's Day DIY Storybook
Aren't handmade and thoughtful gifts from kids the best? Download this printable booklet that you can make with your child for Father's Day! Hearing what children love and appreciate most about a parent is always heartwarming. Scroll to the bottom to download the PDF - print at home or send to a print shop (be sure to print double sided). Have a Happy Father's Day!
Mother's Day DIY Storybook
Looking for a thoughtful gift for a mother or mother figure? Download this super-cute booklet that you can make with your child. It's always heartwarming to hear the things that children appreciate and recognize! Scroll to the bottom to download the PDF - print at home or send to a print shop (be sure to print double sided). Have a Happy Mother's Day!
Crafts & Play Inspiration for Infants & Toddlers
This decorate-the-letter packet was a big hit, and a perfect opportunity to practice the alphabet in an entertaining and tactile way! Print out the packet and "decorate" the inside of each letter using materials on hand (dried pasta or beans, large seeds, tissue paper, beads, bits of yarn, etc.). For extra fun, challenge your child to think of materials that begin with the letter they are decorating - e.g., 'B' is for bean, 'M' is for macaroni, etc. Download the free PDF for this packet below, and keep reading for a list of more activities and projects that are both fun and stimulating for infants and young toddlers, with some links and photos for inspiration. More ideas for infants and toddlers: 1. String-along toys. So simple, yet so entertaining! Tie a string or piece of thick yarn to one of your child's toys (a wheeled toy will work best), and let them drag it around. Can they coordinate the movements of walking, grasping, and pulling? Can they problem-solve if the toy gets stuck or falls over? If your child is not yet walking, you can lay him/her on a play mat, drag the toy just out of reach and have them retrieve it by pulling the string. This is great for teaching cause-and-effect (via Lovevery). Pair this play with songs appropriate to the toy (e.g. wheels on the bus) or related sounds (e.g. "beep beep!") for extra auditory stimulation. What you'll need: toys with wheels, thick string or yarn. 2. Sensory bottles. Looking for opportunities for sensory exploration, but not keen on the mess? We loved this short video tutorial and instructions for three different sensory bottles. These can be used as cues for calm and self-regulation, and are especially useful for children dealing with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or other disabilities leading to issues with self-control or overexcitement (via Understood). *Note: Be sure to glue on the tops of your bottles! What you'll need: a clear, empty plastic bottle or jar. a hot glue gun or superglue, warm water, food coloring, oil or corn syrup, glitter, and a funnel (optional, but very useful). 3. Texture board. We've also seen these referred to as "sensory boards" and "busy boards." This is another mess-free option for providing your little ones with opportunities for tactile stimulation and fine motor development. Check out this comprehensive list of sensory board ideas. What makes the time spent creating this worth it is the fact that your toddler will be occupied safely in one place for quite some time! Once your board has been made, easily swap out materials for new ones as your child and his or her interests evolve. What you'll need: a board or backing (a piece of wood, cardboard, posterboard, etc.), various stimulating materials (get creative! Think: old clothing and fabric scraps, floor or carpet samples, sandpaper, craft items such as buttons or pom poms, unused toys or keychains, etc.), and adhesive or tools to attach heavier items. 4. Floating catch. This is an activity that you likely have all the necessary materials for already! Blow bubbles or drop items of your choice (a balloon, feather, light scarf, etc.) from varying heights. Let your child crawl or run around to try to catch them. While mostly just fun, this activity is also great for developing gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. What you'll need: bubbles or light objects (silk scarf, large feather, balloon, piece of tissue paper, etc.). 5. Sound jars. Yet another great way to stimulate the senses and promote exploration! This can be adapted for a variety of ages. With babies, opt for plastic and glue the lids in place so that they can shake the jars around. For toddlers, invite them to fill the containers themselves and experiment with the different sounds items can make. Which are louder? Which are softer? Are there any that make no sound at all? Here we used wooden beads, hair pins, and assorted twine/string. What you'll need: jars or containers with lids, small items (e.g., buttons, beads, coins, paper clips, marbles, etc.). 6. Container play. Watch your child become fascinated by assorted containers and lids, and you'll wonder why you even buy toys at all! Let them choose to stack, match different colors, pretend to eat or drink, or even fill the containers with toys (depending on their age and preferences). Read more about the benefits of container play (such as hand-eye coordination and object manipulation) here. What you'll need: assorted containers and (plastic) bottles, lids and caps in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.