School’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Summer gives us an opportunity to put extra focus on the fun in learning. Here are some great word games you can play in the pool. These work with both large pools and small kiddie pools. So have fun and get wet!
For this fun activity, you just need some simple kitchen-sized sponges, scissors and a permanent marker. Cut the sponges in half. On each sponge, write a letter (you can write a letter on one side and leave the other blank or write different letters on each side). Choose letters that can be easily assembled to create words (vowels and consonants like B, D, G, H, L, M, N, S, T, R).
Now for the fun. Toss the sponges into the pool. Have your kids swim and collect the sponges. You can start by having each person collect 5 sponges to see if they can create a word from their letters. Each person can draw more letters as needed to create a word, similar to how you’d play Scrabble.
Or, each person can collect a few letters and then work together to create words as teams.
For young children just learning alphabet letters, ask them to pick a word, then you can take turns looking for the letters needed to spell that word. If your child picks “dog,” work with them to find a D, O and G and show him how the letters go together to spell that word.
You can do a similar variation of this game with numbers – each person picks 3 sponges and the person whose numbers add up to the highest amount, wins!
Toss the letters back in and play again.
Sight word scramble
This is a simple game for kids learning their sight words (common words that children learn to recognize by sight rather than sounding them out). You just need some floatable balls (ball pit balls or ping pong balls work well) and a permanent marker. On each ball, write a sight word. Toss the balls into the pool. Have your child pick up a ball and recite the sight word to you. After your child masters the first set of words, move on to harder words.
Sight words are grouped by grade level. Simple sight words include: and, big, for, go, in, jump, play, the and two. More advanced words include: better, carry, clean, eight, light, myself, never, start and together. Lists of sight words by grade level are easy to find online by searching for grade level sight words.
Take the next step:
- Try this counting colors activity to make bars and graphs part of your summer fun!
- Check out these DIY anatomy projects for kids.
- Learn about the body with this card matching game.
Camp Little Victors is the virtual summer camp program from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Each week, for six weeks, participants receive an email full of ideas and activities to help keep families busy, happy and healthy all summer long. Learn more and sign up.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.