Verbal Memory Game

 

 

 

Sometimes when we are driving in the car the kids start to pick on each other.  (Shocking, I know!)  The other day, as they continued to torment each other, I decided to try something new, a simple verbal memory game that quickly became a hit.

verbal memory game:  improve listening skills

 

I told them both we were going to play a listening game, so they had to be quiet so they could hear.

Then I listed three animals (cow, dog, horse) and asked the 5 year-old to repeat them to me in the same order.

I made a HUGE deal when he got them right, and then I gave the 6 year-old a turn, naming off three different animals (cat, pig, chicken).

Pretty soon they were hooked!

To make it more interesting I varied the lists, giving them lists of animals, numbers, shapes, colors, letters, vehicles…whatever came to mind as I drove.

After a few rounds I increased the list to include four items.  The 5 year-old was super proud of himself each time he got them right.

 

And the best part?  They were no longer fighting!  In fact, they were helping each other!

 

This game is easily modified for kids of different ages and abilities.

For younger children you may want to start off by just listing two animals.  For older children you could make lists of five or more items.  You could also ask them to give each other a list to repeat!

For a few rounds I had my 5 year-old repeat the numbers of our street address.  (You could also use parts of your phone number to help little ones start to learn it!)

 

Have a game you do to help keep the peace in the car?  I’d love to hear about it!  After all, we could all use a new trick!

 

DIY Water Wall

 

 

Summer is the perfect time for water play!  Over the years we’ve spent many hours in the kiddie pool, played in the pond, and have set up tons of water table activities.

Today we dug through the recyclables and experimented with our very own water wall!

Simple directions to make your own water wall

 

 

If you have a fence, you can easily set up your own water wall for hours of water play fun this summer!

What you need to create your water wall:

  • Large basin or shallow storage container to hold water
  • Plenty of plastic bottles, milk jugs, etc.
  • Wire Ties (sometimes called cable ties)
  • Scissors

 

We built our water wall on the fence that surrounds our outdoor play area.  If you don’t have a fence, the back of a few old lawn chairs with fabric/plastic strip backs you can hook things to might work.

I put our plastic storage container at the bottom of the fence and explained to the kids that we were going to use our recyclables to make waterfalls, all directing the water back into the plastic storage container at the bottom.

I used scissors to cut the bottom off of each bottle and milk jug.  Then they took turns deciding which plastic bottle to add where, using the wire ties to secure them into place on the fence.

We experimented with how each bottle needed to be angled, pouring water into the top container and seeing how it flowed so we could angle the next container just right to catch it.

We also decided to try using a hollow pool noodle, sticking the mouth of one of our water bottles into its end.

When it was finished they had tons of fun filling the top containers and watching the water flow!

DIY water wall activity

 

 

how to build a water wall

 

 

For a bit of added fun I brought out some water, mixed with pink and blue food coloring, and let them watch the colored water go through the maze of bottles and mix at the end.

colored water wall play

Our simple water wall activity kept them busy for almost 2 hours!

If you look closely enough at that last picture you’ll notice a few Squinkies  that came out to play.  The kids had a blast pouring the Squinkies down the water wall along with the water.  For a while it was a giant Squinkies water slide!

 

We plan on leaving our water wall up for the rest of the summer.  It definitely was a big hit today!

 

What’s your child’s favorite water play activity in the summer?

 

Letter X Activities

 

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…  

It was time for some letter X activities!

 

letter X activities with a X-Wing Fighter twist

 

As we near the end of our vehicle alphabet series, we just had to do X-Wing Fighter for the letter X!  (Am I showing my age with this one?)

Neither of my kids have seen any of the Star Wars movies yet, but they have heard about them.  And the boy was super excited to discover we had Daddy’s old Star Wars X-Wing fighter (minus a few pieces).  There is nothing that excites him more than getting his hands on a new vehicle!

 

To prepare for our letter X fun I printed out 35 stars (I picked one I liked on Google).  I wrote one capital letter on each star, making several the letter X.  I also threw in a few numbers.  Then I used paint-safe tape and taped them on both sides of our hallway.

This was our “galaxy” to fly our X-Wing Fighter through!

The kids took turns flying the spaceship down the hallway, searching for the correct letter as I called them out.

With several X’s they each got to look for the letter of the day; they also had fun searching for many of the other letters and even a few numbers as I called them out.

letter X activities

 

Once they had both found 5-6 different stars each it was time for our second activity — putting the stars in alphabetical order!

Working as a team they hunted for each letter, lining them up carefully on the wall.

activities for letter X

 

 

After they were all lined up, I asked my youngest to count them with me.  He was surprised to discover how many letters are in the alphabet!

 

Since there aren’t very many words that actually start with the letter X, we talked about some words that end in X.

Using Post-it Notes I put up the word “ox.”  After sounding it out together I stuck a “B” in front of it to make the word “box.”

The 6 year-old sounded it out and then we changed the “B” to “F.”  The 5 year-old was thrilled to find he could sound out the word on his own!

letter X activity

 

We continued this with “ax,” changing it to “tax,” and “Max” and then did a few  ”-ix” words (“six,” “fix,” and “mix”).

 

And of course we HAD to do a craft!

Just click to check out our X-Wing Fighter craft!

 

Until then,  may the Force be with you!

 

 

 

Spider Web Maze

 

 

This week we had Girl Scout day camp.  There were lots of crafts and several games, but the one thing that the girls in our group of 6-8 year-olds kept wanting to go back to was the amazing spider web maze!

Building a spider web maze -- a fun outdoor activity for kids!

 

My 6 year-old enjoyed it so much that I’m planning to create our own version at home.

Want to build your own spider web maze?

 

All you need is plenty of yarn and a place to build it!

 

At camp we  had plenty of trees, and the group of 4 trees that were near the cabin  were set up just perfectly to create our large maze.  It allowed enough room for 10 or so girls to travel through the maze at a time.

At home I have a couple trees in mind that I plan to use, along with a fence post so it will be in a triangular set up. Our trees aren’t spaced out quite as far, but since there’s just 2 “spiders” who will be going through it, it doesn’t have to be as large as the one at camp.

You could also try using a post from a swing set, lawn chairs, etc. to create an area to string your web outside.  Or, gather up the kitchen chairs and make an indoor version on a rainy day!

Once you have your area chosen you will simply tie one end of the yarn to your first tree (or a post on your chair, etc.). Then walk the yarn to the next object you are using and wrap it around.  Continue this pattern, criss-crossing the yarn and having the layers go at different heights until the web is the size you want.  (At camp we used more than one ball of yarn.  When we ran out we just tied the new ball onto the end where we left off and continued wrapping.)

When you are finished, be sure to leave enough to tie off the end around one of your trees, etc.

 

Then it’s time to play!

spider web maze - fun idea for summer!

 

Kids will have a blast going over and under the yarn to get through the maze!

 

If you have a little one that’s really into spider webs, you may want to check out our sandy spider web craft, paper plate spider web, and our spider web game!