Sunshine and Water

The weather is getting hot, hot, hot and it’s the perfect time for something I think all kids love- water play! This week’s activities all have to do with fun in the sun (and fun in the water!) Don’t forget to check out the toddler page for some soggy sensory play activities like a DIY water table, crazy homemade bubble wands and sunshine color change slime!

Literacy

-ABC splash: Have you heard about Bunch O Balloons?! You guys. These things are SO AMAZING! They’re bundles of 35 water balloons that you attach to your hose…and they all fill up at once and then TIE THEMSELVES! AND they’re biodegradable! Sorry for all the caps- but these are seriously such a great invention! We still pick up all the little plastic pieces when we’re finished because, biodegradable or not, we don’t want them in the waterways, but it’s so worth it! We used them to work on letter recognition- I wrote the letters in my preschooler’s first and last name with sidewalk chalk on the drive way then called them out and he had to splat them with a water balloon! We’ve done this activity before but he loves it so much he was just as pumped as the first time (which was maybe a month ago!)

-ABC soup: My little did this one last summer and asked to do it again several times, he enjoyed it so much! It’s so easy to set up too- just throw some ABC magnets in a bowl of water, write the matching letters on a page and tuck it in a gallon Ziplock to stay dry, give your little a slotted spoon, then have them scoop out the letters, name them and match them on the page. I got this from Raising Dragons!

-Upper and lowercase squirt bottle letter match: I wrote the lowercase letters from my little’s first and last name on the left with sidewalk chalk, and the matching uppercase letters on the right in a different order. He had to match upper to lowercase using a squirt bottle!

-Writing with water: Construction paper is so much fun to play with using water! I wrote my little’s name several times with dots then he wrote it by dipping his fingers in water and using it as ink! The water changes the color of the paper so you can see where you’ve been! The best part- you can let it dry out and do it again the next day!

-W is for water: I had my little practice writing and letter recognition by making this page then tucking it in a page protector for us to use again later. Just make the letters with dots for them to trace!

Math

-Fill a circle with drops of water: DISCLAIMER- I should’ve made the circles all tiny (like no larger than a quarter!) Filling up the big one took over 100 drops! I mean it was good counting practice but… hahaha! Anyway…this is a great fine motor and counting practice activity! Plus he just thought it was fun! You draw various sized circles on a piece of paper, put some water and food coloring in a small container and let your little use a pipette to fill the circle with water as they count how many drops it takes. You can also do this on the surface of a various coins if you want to throw in a little money practice! I got the idea from Teach Beside Me.

-Number and shape splash: I wrote the numbers 1-10 and some shapes (triangle, circle, square, rectangle, oval, trapezoid) on the driveway with sidewalk chalk then called out each one. My little then found it and splashed it with a water balloon!

-Show the number with water dots: I wrote the digits 1-10 in boxes then had my little identify each number and show it by making dots with his finger using water!

Science

-Sun vs. Shade investigation: I made this page as a guide (which also gets some number recognition practice in!) but you could totally just do this as a scavenger hunt or exploration activity! We simply found spots outside with the same surface that were in the sun and in the shade (like the grass, the pool deck, etc.) and felt the temperature of the shady spot vs. the sunny spot with our hands. I had my little circle the temperature based on his perception (which he actually did a great job with! 10 being like it came from the oven, 0 being cold like the refrigerator. I used to do this in my classroom too- it’s a great way to discuss how the sun’s energy absorbs into objects causing them to heat up.

-Magic water: Water is such a cool thing! So for this experiment you fill a large bowl with water and some food coloring. Take a clear cup and tip it to the side while placing it in the water. Straighten the cup out so that it’s vertical then slowly pull it up out of the water. The water will stay inside of the cup because it creates a suction! I demonstrated this then let my little explore and play with it as long as he wanted. I got this idea from A Mother Ship Down!

-Solar oven s’mores: We used to make these in my classroom so I had to do them with my kids! You just pop the s’more fixin’s on a piece of tinfoil (I put it on a baking sheet for stability) and place them in a sunny spot. Wait maybe 5 minutes and the chocolate will be liquid! You can talk about how the heat energy from the sun absorbs into the chocolate and causes it to change from a solid to a liquid. Then- eat those babies up! The marshmallow never melts, but it’s just as yummy as a real s’more- I promise! (You may need an oven mitt to pick up the pan…it was HOT!)

-Shadow tracing: My little loved this and thought it was hilarious how his shadow changed! We traced the first one around 9 AM during our outdoor playtime and the second one around 3 PM while his brother napped. We talked about how the angle of the sun changes how your shadow looks throughout the day.

Art

-Shadow art: We colored in our shadow tracing from science with sidewalk chalk to give it a little pizzaz! This would be fun to do with older kids too! I got the idea from Rhythms of Play!

-Spray bottle art: Cut out a shape using cardstock (we did a silhouette of Shark Boy- his current favorite movie!). Place it on another piece of cardstock on the ground outside. Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 cup of water and several drops of food coloring. Have your little spray the paper from a standing position (if you get too close, the water will run and you won’t get a clear picture.) Remove the cut out shape and you have a cool spray painting! I got the idea from My Sister’s Suitcase!

-Bubble art: add about 20 drops of food coloring to some bubble solution and let your little blow bubbles towards a piece of cardstock! (I held it up for him so it would be a bit easier!) I got this idea from Early Learning Ideas!

Supply/Shopping List:

  • bunch o balloons (one pack will do, but you’re probably going to want 2, especially if you have more than one kiddo)
  • sidewalk chalk
  • squirt bottles
  • spray bottle
  • tinfoil
  • baking sheet
  • oven mitts
  • graham crackers
  • marshmallows
  • chocolate
  • bubbles
  • ABC magnets
  • large bowl
  • clear cup
  • food coloring
  • hose
  • large Tupperware storage bin (or a kiddy pool)

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