Miss Anna's Summer Guide!
It's hard to believe the school year is officially over and summer is here! Many of you have requested activities or things to do with your child. Below are a few suggestions. The most important two being: Play Outside! A Lot. And read to your child daily! :)
Have a great summer & don't forget you can always share your nature discoveries with me via twitter: adutke (I use this to share my own summer adventures) or by email email@example.com I always look forward to hearing from past students (hint, hint!)
Here's to a great summer of learning, playing, and lots of adventures!
Nature Play Areas in the Twin Cities
Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Township
Minnesota Zoo: Hanifl Family Wild Woods
Richardson Nature Center, Bloomington
Whitetail Woods Regional Park, Farmington
Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes, MN
Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, MN
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
Maplewood Nature Center, Maplewood
Writing stories is also fun! Have your child draw something he/she sees in nature and then come up with a story that incorporates the item.
Don't forget, nature journaling is more fun when mom or dad does it with you! Get your own journal and draw alongside your child.
Read, Read, Read!
Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to language development. Among other things, reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children, a potent predictor of reading success.
Visit your local library or take an adventure an visit one of the many Little Free Libraries around the Twin Cities. Here is more information & where you can find them. https://littlefreelibrary.org/
Many websites have online books that can be "read"/listened to on an iPad or similar device. While having an adult read to a child is still better, this is a great activity to incorporate into screen time. We Give Books is one example of a website that has free books online.
Name writing doesn't always have to done on paper. Your child can practice writing it with chalk, sand, using water to "paint" it (on the side of the house, deck, etc), paints, sticks, mud, etc.
Numbers, Numbers, Numbers!
This can be integrated into your day to day activities. From counting rocks at the park to counting cars in the street. Trips to the store and going for a walk to look at license plates offer the opportunity to practice both letter and number recognition.
Letter & Sound Recognition Activities
Letter and sound recognition are skills that develop with repeated exposure and application to the child's daily experiences. So pointing out letters during a story you are reading "This book is called _____ what's the first letter in the word _____?" or doing a letter find in the grocery store are two examples of best practices for working on letter recognition (versus doing flash cards or worksheets that involve writing the letter over and over again).
Incorporate writing into your child's daily play. If they are having a lemonade stand, talk about the letters in the word Lemonade when making the sign. If they are playing cars, help them make street signs, traffic signs, signs for buildings, etc. Make lists of things you see during the day that start with a certain letter.
Keep it positive & fun! In place of other games, include alphabet games in your child's daily screen time. If your child isn't confident, make sure to set you child up for success and boost his/her confidence by not doing things like flashcards or recall drilling "what letter is this" but focus on activities that allow them to match or find letters. For example, "Here is the letter A (show example), how many A's can you find in the book/store/on license plates, etc."
Below are some other examples of letter and sound recognition activities.
Playing in the dark with flashlights makes the game even more fun and exciting!