Water Based Learning Activities to Get Your Kids Ready for School

Everywhere I look there are back to school advertisements and as much as I am excited for Fall (hello, pumpkin spiced lattes) why is there such a rush to say goodbye to summer?!?! I mean, there are so many fun ways to prepare for school while celebrating the heat wave that August tends to bring to the Midwest. Don’t believe me? Well, my Master’s degree and 10 years of being a teacher and school administrator are out to prove you wrong. Here are some fun water themed learning activities to get your kids ready for school:

Water Based Learning Activities to Get Your Kids Ready for School - www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com


Letter Learning

Have little ones at home? Well, here is a fun way to practice their letters. Draw a ride array of letters on the sidewalk or driveway with chalk. Call out a letter. Your child will then have to find the letter and cover it in water using either a watering can, garden hose, water balloon, etc.

Sight Words

Sight words are so important to practice because your child needs to know them at first sight (without decoding or sounding them out). Write a bunch of site words in chalk over the sidewalk or driveway and your child can cover it in water using a watering can, squirt guns, garden hose, water balloon, etc.

Storytelling Hot Potato

Arrange your family in a circle with one water balloon. The person with the water balloon in his or her hands starts to make up a story. After a few sentences or so, this person tosses the balloon to someone else in the circle and they have to add to the story. When the balloon breaks, the story is over and the soaked person needs to come up with a title for the story.



Taking Measurements

Have a garden at home? Then be sure to take advantage of all of the mathematical elements of your garden. Have your kids measure how tall your plants grow and even better, be sure to keep a measuring cup out to measure rainfall and how much water is used to water the plants every day.

Math Problems

Depending on the age of your child, there is so much you can do with water balloons and a permanent marker. For the younger set, write different numbers on each balloon and have them arrange the numbers in ascending or descending order. Everything lined up correctly? Time to smash balloons! For older kiddos, have them arrange the balloons as math problems for them to solve.

Classifying Items

Hit the pool (either the local pool or even the inflatable one in your backyard) and fill it with tons of random items. Then challenge your swimmer to bring out some items and group them together. He or she can decide the defining characteristic (size, shape, color, purpose, etc.) as long as he or she is prepared to explain it.

What are your favorite ways to make learning a priority in the summer? I teamed up with some wonderful local organizations and businesses as part of Chicago Parent’s Facebook Chat about fighting summer brain drain. Be sure to check out my contributions so that your family is ready and excited for the first day of school!

Want to cram in some last minute summer fun? Then be sure to check out my bucket list!


Happy Playing…and Learning!
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  1. Anita Fonte says

    I love the idea of the hot potato game with a twist. Making up a story is hard for my son. This is a fun way to let them come up with whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if its right or wrong.

  2. Lisa Jones says

    Such Great Learning Games While Having Fun For The Kids I Will Be Spending Time & Playing With My Girls Thank You!

  3. Angela Harris says

    This is a fantastic idea for the kids. I always love seeing them love to learn and have fun doing it.

  4. Kathy says

    I think these are all wonderful ideas. I’ve always thought learning and having fun was great. It’s a good way to get kids to love to learn.

  5. Lori Felix says

    I love the idea of using the garden for a math lesson. While the younger children count how many of each plant we have, the older children can measure each plant.

  6. Jules Ruud says

    I love the letter learning idea! I have a toddler who loves to draw with chalk and then use a squirt bottle to make the chalk disappear. This would be such a fun activity for him!

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