One of the goals of the summer is to strengthen some of the math skills that I have noticed need some work for both of the older girls. Since it is summer, I don’t want to do full-blown schooling, though. So, what to do…
Bring out the water balloons, of course!
What?? You don’t see the connection? I’ll show you.
Because I was working with a 4 year old, a 7 year old, an 8 year old (friend) and a 9 year old, I decided to give them options for how difficult their problems would be. I drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk a set of numbers from 1 – 10 and then a separate bulls-eye.
On their turn, each child chose a balloon and then chose either the numbers or the bulls-eye. The bulls-eye was so fun that it was for the more difficult problems. Each kiddo would step up to their target area and be given a problem. At the numbers, one of the numbers would be the solution to the math problem. For J (4 years old), her questions tended to be recognition of numbers. She would point to the number asked for. If she got it right, she threw her balloon at the number. For the 7 and 8 year olds, their problems were simple addition at the beginning and worked up to subtraction problems so they could throw their water balloons at the number that was the answer. For E (the 9 year old), we gave multiplication and division problems.
At the bulls-eye, we made it more difficult. J had to do addition problems. L and our friend got bigger addition and subtraction problems (for example: 19 – 8 = ) or multi-step addition and subtraction problems (for example: 10 + 8 – 3 = ). E got multi-step problems, as well, but they tended to involve multiplication and division. If they got the right answer, they could aim at the bulls-eye.
Tons Of Fun!
I highly recommend this type of activity. It works for math but would also work for spelling, ABCs for PK, sight words, science words, definitions, and so much more. So many possibilities!
The only problem that I see with this activity is that water balloons are so cotton-pickin’ hard to tie off!! (Seriously! How do you tie off water balloons when they make the stem of the balloon so tiny?)
Have some fun in the heat and get wet! Oh, and if you have one or two that don’t break no matter how hard you slam them against the concerete, here’s a suggestion of what to do to them…