Catch That Sound

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Here’s a game that combines reading and phonics skills with gross motor skills, but your kids will just think they’re having a blast! In other words: the perfect way to spend a summer morning.

I pulled out the beach ball, which already had Travis excited, and explained the rules.

Pick a letter, and the person throwing the ball has to say a word that begins with that letter before each toss.

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Some of these were easy. B lent itself to books, babies, balls, and bees rapidly. Others made him stop and think between each throw. Eagle was his first confident answer for E, but then he was stuck until I prompted some words with the short-E vowel sound like elephant.

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Travis also thought it was fun to roll the ball to little sister after saying each word, a great way to see the siblings play together.

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See which letter your kids can get the most for! And with every throw, they will be honing those gross motor catching and throwing skills, too. We might just have to play this one on the beach, next time!

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‘Are We There Yet’ Car Game

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Road-tripping with the kids this summer and sick of the “are we there yet?” question? So was I, until we found this cute game in Highlights magazine: a road trip scavenger hunt.

Ahead of time, select items that your child will need to find from the back seat of the car. You can make a written list for readers, but I printed out pictures for Travis and glued them to sheets of a notebook. If I’d had more time, I would have found pictures of uniform size, and perhaps colored them in, but we were also busy packing!

Try to vary the difficulty of these; some I knew he could spot right away, like an American flag. Others (cows! hawks!) would take some doing.

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The game is fantastic because you can mix it up with new finds for each road trip, no matter how long or short.

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Are we there yet? Who cares when you’re having fun!