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Water Based Learning Activities To Get Your Kids Ready For School

Photo by: iStock

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:



Have little ones at home? Well, here is a fun way to practice their letters. Draw a wide 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 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.


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.



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.


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.



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?

Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog ( to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine. You can also follow Amanda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram,

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