Scroll down for some fun ways to challenge and strengthen your mind, body, and soul.
Games You Can Make
Fun with Math Facts
The following games incorporate flashcards. You may use store bought cards or make your own on index cards or thick paper. If you are up for a challenge, here are some multiplication and division flashcard (tip: print them double-sided on thick paper). All games can be played with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division facts.
- On the floor, spread out the flashcards with the expression showing. Have a partner call out a number, Then jump to all of the cards whose expression equals that number. For example, if your partner says 8, you would jump on 2+6, 4+4, 1+7, etc. Collect the cards as you go.
- On the floor, spread out flashcards with the answers showing. Have a partner call out an expression. Then jump to the answer. For example, if your partner says 5+5, you would jump on 10. Collect the cards as you go.
- Throw Up:
- Stand a few feet away from a partner who is holding your flashcards. Have your partner call out an expression. Call out the answer. If you are correct, your partner throws the card up into the air for you to try to catch before it hits that ground. If you are incorrect, your partner returns the card to the bottom of the pile to try again later.
- Quiz Me:
- Have a partner show you a flashcard, if you call out the answer correctly in less than five seconds, put it in a pile in front of you. If you get it incorrect or take more than five seconds, your partner keeps the flashcard in a pile. When all the cards have been flashed, count them and see who has more.
- To play memory with your math facts, write expressions on one set of cards. For example, you might write 5+6, 8+8, 7+5, and 10+3. On another set of cards, write the sums. You would write 11, 16, 12, and 13 for the expressions above. After you make the cards, turn the cards over and mix them up. Turn one card over and read it. Turn another card over and read it. If the cards match, the expression matches the sum, you get to keep the pair and take another turn! If they do not match, flip the cards back over. If you are playing alone, take another try. If you are playing with a friend, it is his/her turn. You can also make a set of cards to practice your subraction facts; write the expressions on one set of cards and the differences on another.
- Write down a fraction on a card. On a second card, draw a small picture of the fraction using a rectangle divided and colored appropriately. Do this for eight to ten fractions. Mix up the cards and place them face down. Turn over two cards. If they match, keep the set. If they do not, flip them back over and let your opponent try. If you are playing alone, take another shot.
On a Roll
- All you need is a die, a piece of paper, and a pencil. Roll your die one time. Write down the number you rolled on your paper. Put an addition or a multiplication sign (+ or x) next to your number and roll again. Write that number down with an equal sign (=) after it. Add or multiply your numbers and write the sum or product at the end of your number sentence.
- Ready for a challenge??? Roll the die three times and try to add or multiply three numbers.
To complete these activities, look through an old magazine or newspaper and cut out as many numbers as you can find. You will also need a pencil, piece of paper, and glue.
- Glue a number onto a piece of paper and write down the number in expanded form and word form. For example, the number 1,674 would have 1,000 + 600 + 70 +4 and one thousand, six hundred seventy-four written next to it. Repeat with the other numbers you found.
- Take two numbers and glue them onto a piece of paper, stacking them vertically. Add them together and write down the sum. For a challenge, add three, four, or five multi-digit numbers together.
- Take two numbers and glue them onto a piece of paper, stacking them vertically with the larger number on top. Subtract them and write down the difference.
- Glue two numbers onto a piece of paper horizontally, drawing a small circle in between them. Inside the circle, write >, <, or =.
- Take four numbers and put them in order from least to greatest. Take four different numbers and order them greatest to least.
To complete these activities, you will need a pencil, a piece of paper, and a ruler.
- Find an object in your house with at least one flat surface, called a face. Choose one face of the object and calculate the perimeter by adding the lengths of all its sides. Record your findings in a t-chart. Choose a different face of that object or a new object and repeat the process. Do this five or six times. Then look at your t-chart and circle the object with the largest perimeter. Put an X on the object with the smallest perimeter.
- Find an object in your house that is a cube or a rectangular prism. Choose one face and calculate its surface area by multiplying the length and height of its sides. Record your findings in a t-chart. Repeat this process with five or six objects. Then look at your t-chart and circle the object with the largest surface area. Put an X on the object with the smallest surface area.
- Using the same objects as you did to find the surface area, calculate the volume of the objects. To find the volume, multiply the length, height, and width. You may need some help with this multiplication if your objects are large. Add a third column to your chart and record the volume there. When you are done, circle the object with the largest volume and put an X on the object with the smallest volume. What do you notice about your circles and X's from the area and volume experiments. Are the same object circled or X'ed? Why or why not? Explain your findings in a short paragraph or orally to a parent.
To complete this activity, look through an old magazine or newspaper and cut out as many animals as you can find. You will also need a pencil, a piece of paper, and glue
- Fold your piece of paper into four columns. Label the first column, "Picture," the second column, "Name," the third column, "Habitat(s)," and the fourth, column "Findings & Wonderings." Glue one picture in the first column and draw a line under it across the paper. In the second column, write the name of the animal. In the third column, list the habitat(s) in which it lives. In the last column, write any interesting facts or knowledge you have about the animal as well as any wonderings you have.
Neighborhood I Spy
Make a list of some fun things you'd like to see in your neighborhood. Your list could have a nature theme, vehicle theme, or even color theme. Take your family on a walk and see who find the most things on the list.
Common Objects Poem:
To complete these activities, you will need a pencil and a piece of paper.
- On the top of your paper, make a t-chart. Label the left column, "Nouns," and the right column, "Verbs." Take a walk through your house and write down ten nouns in the left column. Go back to your desk or table, and next to each noun, write a verb that goes with the noun. Make sure you write the verb in gerund form (i.e. Put an -ing on the end). For example, if sink is my noun, I might put dripping next to it. Now you are ready to make your poem! Write the title, "A Day at Home," on your paper. Then choose seven pairs from your list and write them below the title, one pair per row. The last line of your poem is, "All in a day at home."
- Create another poem using your own topic. Ideas include: camping, swimming, drawing, baby-sitting, reading, grocery shopping, and anything else you come up with. Your title will be, "A Day ______," and your last line will be, "All in a day ______."
Silly Sentences (a.k.a. Farmer in the Dell Sentences)
To complete this activity, you will need two pieces of paper and a pencil.
- Fold one piece of paper into five columns. Label the first column, "Adjective," the second column, "Noun," the third column, "Verbs," the fourth column, "Adverbs," and the fifth column, "Prepositional Phrases. Now fill in our chart. Start by choosing an object in your front or back yard. Write it down in the noun column. Then list five adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and prepositional phrases on your chart.
- an adjective describes a noun (e.g. hot, ugly, humorous)
- a verb is an action word (e.g. shouts, crawls, leaps)
- an adverb describes how something is done and usually has -ly at the end (e.g. quickly, happily, lazily)
- a prepositional phrase tells where something happens and uses a location word (e.g. under a bus, next to the washing machine, over the table)
- Now you are ready to create some silly sentences. Take two adjectives, the noun, one verb, one adverb, and one prepositional phrase to make your sentence. Sing your sentence to the tune of, "The Farmer in the Dell." Here's an example from the words used above, "The hot, ugly weasel crawls quickly under a bush."
You Write the Ending (This works best with a narrative)
Stop reading your book before you finish it. Think about the characters and what has happened so far. Write your own ending to the book. After writing your ending, read the rest of the book. In what ways are your ending and the book ending similar? In what ways are they different?
Writing Topics and Prompts
Here are some narrative, expository, and journal writing ideas for you in case you get stuck when writing at home.
- Narrative: A narrative can be a creative writing story or a story about a person, place, or event in your life. Be sure to include description of the characters, the setting, and the plot (what happens in the story, usually a problem and solution)
- The engines of the space shuttle started to rumble...
- A lion broke out of his cage at the zoo...
- Room 18 was reading quietly in the library, when all of a sudden...
- The train went zooming down the tracks and...
- One day, a penguin and a polar bear...
- Expository: An expository paragraph presents non-fiction information in an organized sequence. Be sure to include a topic sentence, at least three main idea and supporting detail sentences, and a conclusion.
- Who do you admire or look up to and why?
- How are you and your sibling(s) the same? How are you different?
- What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
- What is your favorite place to visit?
- How do you play ______? Explain how to play your favorite sport or board game.
- In what way will third grade help you in the real world?
- Write about a time that made you laugh so hard your cheeks hurt.
- Write about a day that you wish you could live all over again.
- What do you think a cool job to have would be? Why?
- Imagine you were the teacher in Room 18 or the principal at Robert Sanders. What would you teach the students?
- Write about a time you felt scared.
- Write about a time you shared with your family when you were littler.
For the Love of a Good Book
Tip: When making predictions, it might be helpful to write down your ideas so you can check back later.
- Before reading a new book or chapter, take a look at the title of the book or chapter. Ask yourself, "Based on the title, what might happen in the chapter?"
- If your book has pictures, take a picture walk. What do the pictures make you think will happen in the story?
- After you have read past the section that relates to your prediction, check your prediction. Did you predict accurately? Were you close? Make a new prediction about what will happen next.
As you come across a word you are not sure about, stop! Don't zoom past it. Circle or highlight it if you can write on what you are reading. If you cannot write on what you are reading, write it down. Are there any context clues in the sentence or paragraph around it that help you figure out the meaning? Do the pictures give any clues about what the word might mean? If you cannot figure out the meaning by using the text, look it up. Check a dictionary or a family member/friend. Once you figure out the meaning, make a quick sketch of the definition or write down the definition to help you remember it next time it comes up.
As you are reading or after you have finished a section of or a whole book, try to make each of the connections below.
- Text-to-Self: Do you relate to one of the characters? Do you speak the same language as a character? Have you done or seen something similar to what happened in the book? Have you been somewhere described in the book?
- Text-to-Text: Does something or someone in your current book remind you of something you have read before? Do any characters behave similarly? Does the book take place in the same country? Do the books both have flashbacks to past events?
- Text-to-World: Does a character remind you of someone you have seen on the news or met in real life? Does something happen in your book that has happened in your community?
- Five Finger Summary: After reading a chapter in your latest book or a complete picture book, summarize what you have read using your fingers. You may do this orally (saying it) or in written form. The five fingers are someone wanted but so then. An example for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. The big bad wolf wanted something to eat, but the pigs were hiding in their houses. So he huffed and puffed and blew down two houses. Then he tried the last house, the brick house and could not get in.
- BME: On a piece of scratch paper, make three columns. Label the first column B for Beginning, the second column M for Middle, and the last column E for End. In each column make a sketch of what happened in that section of the story/book or write a couple of sentences about what happened in that section.
When you finish a chapter or a whole book, take a moment to reflect on the book. What did you like? What did you dislike? How might you change a story element (e.g. characters, setting, plot) to make the book more enjoyable, exciting, or interesting?
Work It Out!
Sidewalk Chalk Circuit Training
Using sidewalk chalk, draw a path filled with fun activities you and your family can do to get up and moving and have a few laughs at the same time. Some things you might like to include are:
- hopscotch boxes that tell you what foot goes in each box (e.g. a box with an L is for the left foot, a box with an R is for the right foot, and one with a B is for both feet)
- medium circles about two feet apart with the letters of the alphabet in them so that you say that alphabet while running through them like a football player might run through tires (Challenge Ideas: mix up the alphabet so you have to think about the letters you see, write the letters in cursive so you get practice reading them, or use numbers that practice skip counting instead of letters)
- a box labeled high knees (high knees -->put your elbows at your side with your hands out flat in front of you; jog in place, tapping your knees on your hands)
- dots in two colors for hopping (e.g. for red dots you hop on the right foot, for blue dots you hop on the left foot)
- large, spread out Xs where you jump with two feet from X to X
- a spiral line you have to tiptoe across
- a wiggly line you have to follow doing a duck walk
- jump rope with a real or imaginary rope
Household Object Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course inside or outside your house with things you find lying around. Look for things that you can jump over, crawl through, sit on, bounce, or toss. Don't forget to check with your family first! Some objects that might come in handy are:
- a cardboard box
- balled up scrap paper
- a broomstick or pool noodle
- a ball
- string or rope
- step stool
Take a moment to breathe! Sit down in a relaxing chair or lay down on the floor. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Think only about breathing in. Count to five, hold your breath for a count of two, and then slowly let the breath out while counting to five. Repeat this four or five times...or until you accidentally fall asleep.
Virtual Calming Corner
Take a look at this virtual calming corner full of ways to help you calm down, relax, and enjoy your day.
Did you try out some of the ideas above? Have some ideas to add to our page? Please email me any pictures, feedback, or ideas!