Summer Games: Water Balloon Learning

The following post is from Kristina of Toddler Approved:

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

As a parent, there really isn’t a start or end to when we can create learning time with our kids. We can find ways to help our kids learn new skills (or review old ones) through the simplest tasks or activities. I love to find ways to embed learning into our daily play time and outdoor activities.

Recently I posted 10 ways to learn and play with water over at Toddler Approved and since it has been hot where we live, we keep finding new ways to practice simple academic skills using water during our outdoor playtime.

Today I am sharing a simple summer activity that uses word cards and water balloons. This activity could be used to help with learning new vocabulary, memorizing sight words, practicing math facts, etc.

This activity started as water balloon playtime where the kids just threw balloons at the fence. To focus it on reviewing an academic skill, all we did was grab Sharpies, tape, and notecards.

Supplies:

  • sharpies
  • water balloons
  • water
  • notecards
  • painters tape
source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

Directions:

The first thing we did was fill up the water balloons. I like to do this when my kids are sleeping or otherwise occupied.

Next, I wrote a simple sight word on each balloon, and I wrote the same word on a notecard. Once I had written ten word cards and each had a matching word balloon, we went outside!

Before we played, we secured the word cards to the fence using painters tape. Then my son grabbed a sight word water balloon, read the word, looked for the matching word on the fence, and then threw the balloon at the fence to try and soak his word card.

This simple activity could be adapted for younger or less coordinated kids by changing the water balloons to a spray bottle. Using a spray bottle requires less hand-eye coordination but is still really motivating and fun.

source: Kristina Buskirk
source: Kristina Buskirk

Preschooler Version: Call out colors and have them spray or throw a water balloon at the correct colored paper or write the ABCs/123’s on the cards and balloons and have the child toss the ABC balloons at the ABC cards.

Elementary Age+ Version: Grab some hula hoops and make number sentences for water balloon math like No Time for Flashcards or write basic multiplication facts on water balloons and answers on the notecards…. and start throwing!

You can find 50 ways to play with water balloons at Fantastic Fun and Learning and you can even find ways to create and paint with water balloons at Growing a Jeweled Rose and Housing a Forest.

Have you used water balloons for learning or creating? How?

Kristina is a mom of 2 and a former Special Ed teacher for children with communication disabilities. She blogs at Toddler Approved as she looks for ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.
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