Sea Animals Party Game


Maybe you’re planning your own community “summer camp,” or maybe you’re just looking for an outdoor party game the kids can play this summer.  Whatever the occasion, this simple sea animal party game will have them cheering each other on!

kids outdoor party game:  Save the Sea Animals!


You will need:

  • 1 large plastic tub, kiddie pool, or storage container
  • Collection of small plastic sea animals
  • Sand buckets and shovels (1 bucket and shovel for each team)
  • Can of shaving cream
  • Water

To Play the Game:

Place plastic sea animals into your plastic tub.

Fill container part way with water, making sure to at least cover the animals.

Spray shaving cream on top.

Divide kids into teams, making sure each team has a plastic sand bucket and shovel.

Line the teams up behind the buckets.  (We had our buckets about 12 feet away from the plastic tub of animals.)

Tell the players that it is their job to save the sea animals from the pollution (shaving cream).  They must use the shovel to scoop up the animals and carry them back to their bucket.

summer outdoor party game

Once their turn is complete, they are to pass the shovel to the next person in line.

Continue play until all the animals are saved.

The team with the most animals in their bucket, wins!

fun summer kids game

(For younger children, you could just finish with, “Yeah!  we saved all the animals!” and not announce a winner.)


Want to increase the challenge?

  • Have players wear an inner tube around their waist or arm floats when its their turn.  Or, for older children, you could use a pair of swim flippers.
  • Use different sized animals.  It’s hard to get more than one large animal on the shovel at a time!
  • Toss in a handful of seashells with the animals.  The shaving cream makes it hard to see what you’re really scooping up.
  • Tell players they must keep one arm behind their back when it’s their turn.
  • If players drop a sea animal, don’t let them pick it back up.


Subtraction Squish!


Every teacher knows that as the end of the school year draws near, it’s harder to keep the focus on schoolwork.  The same is true if you homeschool.  This week we’ve been having fun with this simple math activity, perfect for working on subtraction facts.

subtraction math game


Setting up this activity is super simple.

First I used a piece of masking tape to create a number line on the kitchen floor.  We are working on subtraction facts up to 20, so our number line went from 1-20.  You can easily adjust this to fit your individual child’s needs.

Next, we rolled quite a few balls from play dough.  (This is great for improving fine motor skills!)

Then it was time to play!

I asked each of them a variety of subtraction problems aloud.  You could also use flashcards with this activity, allowing them to work independently.

Once they were asked the problem, they put down the correct number of play dough balls and then had fun squishing them to find the right answer.

(For instance, if the problem was 10-6, they would put a  ball on each number up to 10, and then squish 6 of the balls. Looking at the remaining un-squished spheres, they could see the answer is 4.)


math game for subtraction practice



Not only is this a fun way to practice math facts, it is also a great sensory activity, too!  The kids had fun squishing the play dough in a variety of ways, including with their toes.


Looking for more ways to have fun with learning?

Check out our Simon Says Reading Game, Monster Math, and Sight Word Bang!


Make a Tornado in a Jar


Last week we had fun learning about clouds.  This week we continued our weather unit.  One of our favorite activities has been making a simple tornado in a jar.


How to make a tornado

 Materials needed to make your own tornado:

  • Clear bottle or jar with a securely fitting lid
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Glitter, stickers, paper (optional)


We chose 3 containers from our recycling bin.  We had a large soda pop bottle, a smaller drink bottle, and a clear jar that was between them in size.

We filled each container 3/4 of the way with water and added several drops of liquid soap to each.  (4-5 drops of soap were added to the smallest container; 10 were added to the largest one.)

making  a tornado in a jar



Then it was time to create our tornadoes!

By simply turning the container upside down and swirling the liquid in a circular motion around the container, you will get a rotation going in the water.

If you swirl it enough, the rotation will continue for a bit after you set the container down.


simple tornado experiment


After a few tries, we decided to add a bit of “debris” to our tornadoes to help us see them better.  (Here is where the glitter, stickers, and ripped up paper come in to play!)

The kids had a blast making tiny dinosaur stickers “get sucked up in tornadoes” over and over again.


Tip:  If you plan to do this activity, we discovered the larger, soda pop bottle was hard to get a good rotation going, especially for kids.  The smaller container made a nice, tight tornado, while our wider container made the most visible twister for us.


Want to take your tornado experiment further?

Try adding other objects to the bottle to see how they will react in the tornado.  (A small Monopoly house perhaps?)

Try adding more soap, or using a different brand.  Does it affect the tornado?

Add a squirt of food coloring to the mix.  (Always fun for the younger crowd!)


Have fun experimenting, and be sure to check out some of our other weather unit activities!

Make Your Own Wind Anemometer!


Last week we had tons of fun studying clouds!  (Check out how we made a cloud in a jar and our super simple rain cloud activity.)  This week we are continuing the weather unit.  We have been studying the weather each day, and even made our very own wind anemometer!


DIY wind anemometer to measure wind speed


Materials needed for your own wind meter:

  • 4 paper cups
  • 2 corrugated cardboard strips (1.5 inches by 12 inches)
  • Thumbtack
  • Paintbrush
  • Pen that is able to be taken apart
  • Clay


Glue your 2 pieces of cardboard together as seen in the picture below.

Once the glue is dried, staple each of the paper cups to the ends of the cardboard cross.  Make sure the cups all face the same direction!  (Hint:  We used 1 cup of a different color to make it easier to count spins.  You could also use brightly colored tape on one cup to make it stand out.)


how to build a wind meter


To make the part that our anemometer will spin on, I took apart an old pen.  The empty pen case fits nicely over the end of the paint brush, with enough room to spin when the wind blows.

building a wind measuring device



Next, use the thumbtack to fasten the cardboard cross to the end of the pen case.  Make sure the thumbtack is as close to the center of the cardboard as possible!

We used a can of Play-Doh to hold our wind meter up.  You could also use a lump of clay.


how to build a wind anemometer



Once your wind anemometer is built, you can take it outside to measure the wind!

We set ours up on the picnic table.

To measure the wind speed, set a timer for 1 minute and count how many times the cups spin around in that minute.  (That’s where the different colored cup really comes in handy!)

We have been having fun using our wind meter to compare the wind speeds each day this week.


Don’t forget to check out our cloud experiments!