5 Fun Activities That Put the Focus on Words
During the summer, when school is out of session, your child’s word choice may dwindle down to a few common phrases: “It’s hot!” “I’m bored!” “Mom, [insert request or complaint here]!”
By the time summer comes to an end, you may even wonder if all those hours your child spent studying spelling and vocabulary words during the school year were even worth it. It’s as though a leak was sprung in your child’s head and the first thing to go was language!
Well, have no fear! There are plenty of activities you can do with your child this summer so they can continue to learn new words in fun, engaging ways (and, in some cases, without being hot!).
Below are five games or activities to plug up that “summer brain leak” and keep that knowledge flowing in!
1. Super SpyDay!
You will need:
- A notebook
- A writing utensil
- Sticky notes
- A top-secret prize
- A costume for your child to wear as a “super spy disguise” (optional)
- Before the mission begins, select a word of the day.
- Hide sticky notes with this chosen word written on them throughout the house.
- Give your child their mission: to find as many instances of the word of the day as possible, recording their findings in their notebook. Before they head out on their mission, be sure to explain to your child what the word means and how to spell it. As your child is searching for the word throughout the day, encourage them to learn how to use it in a sentence as well.
- Ask your child to record in their notebook each time they come across the word. Have them
- Search throughout the house for the sticky notes
- Look for the word in books, reading out loud the sentence in which the word is used
- Listen for the word being said on TV (you can skip this suggestion if you are limiting summer screen time).
- Ask others what they think the word means
- At the end of the day, have your child return their notebook full of research in exchange for whatever prize or reward you have chosen.
2. For the Artist
You will need:
- Drawing utensils
- Have your child write out a list of five to ten vocabulary words on separate sheets of paper.
- Encourage them to decorate each sheet with images of whatever the word is. If the vocabulary word is not a drawable object, they can draw out how it makes them feel instead.
- If you want this activity to help expel some energy, spread the sheets of paper out and have your child run or jump from one word to the next as you call out the word or definition.
3. Water Balloon Smash & Splash [Source: https://www.mybigfathappylife.com/water-balloon-fight-with-sight-words-and-cvc-words/]
You will need:
- Water balloons
- Write out the words your child has been learning on the sidewalk or driveway, being sure to leave some space between the words.
- Call out a word, then have your child throw a balloon at the corresponding word.
- For an extra challenge, have them use the word in a sentence before they throw the balloon, or give them a definition and have them throw the balloon at the word that you are describing.
4. Sandbox Diggin’ and Matching
You will need:
- A sandbox
- A sand shovel
- Vocabulary words and definitions, written out on little pieces of paper and covered in clear tape
- Bury the slips of paper with each word or definition throughout the sandbox.
- Hand your kid a shovel and let them have at it! After your child unearths all the words and definitions, ask them to match each word to its definition.
- For an added challenge, as your child finds words, have them use the word in a sentence. As they discover definitions, have them guess the word that corresponds to that definition.
5. Letter Writing
For your ten-to-fourteen-year-old reader, Just Sayin’ by Dandi Daley Mackall is the perfect way to grow their vocabulary. Told through letters, Just Sayin‘ tells the story of an almost-blended family that experiences a breakup between the mother and father before the wedding. The kids attempt to get the family back together and get caught up in a game show that focuses on “the art of insult.” As only Dandi can accomplish, this story weaves together, in a contemporary way, an old-time game show, letter writing, outstanding vocabulary, and reminders from God’s Word that taming our tongues is both difficult and important!
After your child finishes reading the book, they can practice using new words they have learned by writing letters to friends or family on this free, printable Just Sayin’ stationery!
Did you try one of these activities? We’d love to see you and your kids in action! Use the hashtag #TyndaleKids on social media to share the fun with us.