Chalk Walk & the Art of Playing to Learn

Chalk Walk & The Art of Playing to Learn


Spring is here and between spring rain storms, we are enjoying the warm spring weather and lovely breeze.  Who wants to be stuck indoors learning when they could be out playing scooter, digging in the dirts and exploring nature! With that in mind, our little ones have ventured out doors to play and learn.

After a quick trip to the dollar store were we stocked up on a few containers of sidewalk chalk, we decided to have a good time building learning games on the driveway.  The first round, I created bursts of word families.  Using a hop-along pony our little one formed words and sounded out words as we raced to each finish line.


After the rain washed this particular game away, created a winding shoots and ladders style learning game.  With two pennies, the kids moved forward one space for each head and two for tails. Boxes along the journey had learning activities and exercise ideas for the children to preform.  On this track, they used their scooters to navigate the twists and turns.


Since the rain has now washed this game-board, the three are already planning their next chalk walk. This time they want to create a CandyLand style game with creative magical stops along their journey. This is what they’ve come up with so far:

  • Mud Swamp
  • Magical Room of Potions
  • Candy Flower Garden
  •  Troll Bog

Activities along their path::

  • Rhyming Words
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Rubber band words (stretching word sounds)
  • Simple Math Problems
  • Hopping on one leg
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Other Work Outs

Let us know what other creative ideas you’d like us to consider!  Or, do you have a picture of your own chalk walk? We’d love to see!

Egg Adventures

Egg Adventures!

How is Easter already next weekend?  Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas?  In the spirit of the holiday, I created a few fun projects for our kids this week.  With each one of our children at different academic levels, I wanted to develop an activity that would address each individual’s needs. Also as a combined family project, I brought back our Christmas Kindness Challenge and revamped it for Easter.


Kindness Challenge

Be Grateful, Be Kind, Believe in Kindness

Little toys, tiny trinkets, a coin or maybe a dollar, these are some of the possibilities that fill our kindness challenge eggs. Over the next week, our family will find places around town or even on our spring break travels to place these little gifts of love.  What would you put in your own kindness eggs?

Sight Word and Beginning Letter Challenge

Egg Fun for Four


Our four year old this week is working on beginning letters and recognizing site words in preparation for Kindergarten in the fall.  On the outside of each egg is the letter of the word inside. At the $ section of Target I found an egg puzzle. On one side I placed shape stickers and the other number for review.  Story starters are also typed up on other pieces of paper as a fun way to travel.  Open up each egg, read the story starter and create a family story as you drive or fly towards your family adventure.

Motor Skills and Movement Challenge

Eggs & Movement

Our middle girl is working on strengthening her muscles. So for her eggs, we placed a variety of movement exercises to get her up, moving and engaging those muscles in a fun challenge.


Stem Questions in Context Challenge

Stem Stories

Our oldest is working hard to master Stem questions in reading context. For her, I typed up a list of questions sent home by the school to use for her story retell.

What Egg Creations do you have planned for your Easter Celebration this year? 

Serving up Learning

Serving up Learning

Have old plasticware and plastic bowls laying around the house?

Why not use them for a fun learning exercise!

We just happen to have an odd assortment in from our last party. So with a little fun and creative planning we turned those plasticware a lot of fun.

Materials I used:

  • Marker
  • Plastic Bowls
  • Pastic Spoons
  • Play Rolling Pin (& fondant rolling pin for me)
  • plastic letters or letter cookie cutters
  • play dough or cookie dough

Label the spoons with letters, I choose to focus on a few word families and consonants (_ap and _op). Allow the child(ren) to roll out the door and stamp letters.  Also have him/her match the letters to the spoons moving them from one bowl to the next.  Make words with both the spoons and stamped letters.  If you are stamping and baking cookies why not create a fun little picnic treat.

Beanbags, Balls and Boggle

Beanbags, Balls and Boggle

With multiple snow days, running my Rodan+Fields business and sending out query’s for my book, getting back into the swing of preschool has been a challenge.  A little math lesson here a literacy project there, we haven’t been as consistent.  To kickstart the week, I decided to create a few lessons that would engage, entertain and excite my little 4 year old.


Yesterday we took a trip to the dollar store for a pack of sports balls and balloons.  Additionally, I dusted off my game of Boggle Jr. and tracked down my bean bag letters & numbers to add to our projects.  Then, once the girls arrived home I adapted the activities to review their math and literacy skills.


Looking for some interactive literacy and math practice, here are the activities we generated.

Literacy and Math Review with Beanbags


Play toss with the beanbag.  My three year old and I sat on opposite sides of a yoga mat and tossed the beanbag back and forth.  We reviewed phonemic awareness with letter names & sounds, and matched beginning and ending sounds.

Bean Bag Spell: Pratice making words and phonemes with simple three to four letter word combinations.  I usually try and stay with one word family group a day such as -it or -an.  Then we change out letters to make new words.

Pop the word: Just this morning we used up a cereal box of Pops.  So, my four year old and I raced the timer (in the Boggle game) to name as many letters as we could.  As soon as the timer rang, we popped the letters out of the box.

Number Pull.  In a beach bucket I placed numbers 1-10.  We drew a number and counted out chocolate chips to match. Then we practiced writing the number on our Boogie Board.

1st and 3rd Grade

Word Review and Spelling. My 3rd grader practiced spelling her words with the beanbags while my 1st grader helped build and read new words.

Math: Beanbag Multiplication skills were practiced for my 8 year old while the 6 year old focused on fact families (or adding and subtracting three sets of numbers ie: 2,4,6). For example: 2+4=6, 4+2=6, 6-2=4, 6-4=2

Learning with Sports Balls

The sports pack from the dollar store consisted of a football, soccer ball and basket ball.  On the football I wrote common ending words such as: at, an, all, it.  Upon the mini basket ball I wrote three sets of numbers, evenly spaced, on each section. Each hexagon on the mini soccer ball had a letter. Upon reflection, for less confusion, I should have written the vowels on the black pentagons or used a red pen to isolate.


Letter Review (Soccer):  Practicing and identifying letters and their sounds, we tossed the ball at each other reading a new letter each time.  We then moved on to identifying words that started and ended with specified letters. We then kicked the ball around the room also naming letters we saw.

Making Words: Tossing the football, we practiced reading the words/common endings. Using the soccer ball, we then added a letter to the common endings to make words.

Grades 1 & 3

Number Review: We took turns tossing the basket ball identifying numbers.  For my oldest, we tossed back and forth for multiplication review. The first player named a number then passed the ball. The next player then said a basic binary operation then read an additional number.  He/she then tossed back the ball for the player to solve the problem.  For my first grader, using mental math: I tossed the basket ball, read the three numbers across and then had her add them together.

Boggle Jr:

Beat the clock to find the correct letter, spell and read the word.  I challenged my preschooler to quickly find the letters before the clock expires, exaggerating and being goofy as we solve the puzzle. He also enjoys playing by himself to review letters and make words.

Elf in Training Day 23

We continue our advent adventures with Day 23. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2017: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 23 Tasks:

Elf in Training

1. Thank a Service Member or First Responder

We are so thankful for all our first responders and service members so today we are giving back to our community.  A simple thank you wi help but we wish to bring some treats for them to enjoy.

2.  “Dress you Best Elf” Contest

Along with Christmas Caroling, we will have a Dress your Best Elf Contest.  Ugly Sweaters, Elf Ears, Adorable outfits are all welcome.  Awards will be given for the most creative, best dressed, craziest and silliest.

Family Holiday Activity

Sing Christmas Carols with your Family

Time for a little song and a whole lot of family fun adding music for a fun sing a long. Looking for the lyrics to Christmas songs, check out a couple of these websites.

Christmas Carols 

Workout Challenge

23 Jumping jacks, 23 butt kicks, 23 frog jumps & one 23 second plank

Short but sweet, add this challenge the holiday season.  Only 2 days until Christmas and conclusion of the Workout Challenge!

Elf in Training Day 17


We continue our advent adventures with Day 17. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2017: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 17 Tasks:

Elf in Training

1. Write friendly messages on sticky notes and pass them out to friends, family or strangers.

Everyone loves to hear a friendly word or kind thought so today we will write little messages of joy on sticky notes and pass them around.

2. Drop off flowers to a stranger, friend or neighbor and plant the seed of kindness.

What’s better then a surprise treat?  Pick up a small bunch of flowers or a poinsettia.  Either hand it over to someone in the parking lot or play it safe and deliver to your neighbor.  Depending on how adventurous you feel, this task can deliver loads of smiles!

Day 17 Tasks:

Family Holiday Activity

Stay up Late

Tonight our children will enjoy staying up late past their normal bedtime as we read books, play games or sing songs. This is a huge deal since Sunday is a school night for our girls and wake up is at 5:45. Wish us luck for Monday morning!
Growing Red Christmas Ornament
Workout Challenge

17 Bicep Curls & 17 Tricep Extensions

Elf in Training Day 9

Elf in Training Day 9


We continue our advent adventures with Day 9. Click here for a full copy or to print your own advent activities.   The categories we choose for 2017: Family Holiday Activity, Elf in Training and Workout Challenge.

Day 9 Tasks:

Elf in Training 

1. Help Someone With a Chore

See someone that needs an extra hand? Today, reach out and offer some help.  Better yet, observe something that needs to be done, pitch in and help without being asked.


chore-help****Elf Challenge 2

It’s time for another Elf Challenge

The Rudolf Workout Race:

  • Hide from the Elves (Hide and Seek)
  • Sneak the bag of cookies from Santa (Walk on tiptoes)
  • Pratice the art of flying (BirdDogs)
  • Leaping off roofs (Squat Jumps)

Adults check out the The Santa Claus Workout video from The Art of Manliness !

Family Holiday Activity

Have a Slumber Party by the Christmas Tree

 Grab a pile of blankets, pillows or sleeping bags; tonight’s activity is a slumber party by the Christmas tree.  Snuggle under twinkling lights as you dream of Christmas adventures and cultivate holiday magic.
img_3838Image Created from WordSwag
Workout Challenge

9 Gator Pushups

Regular pushups are difficult but 9 Gator pushups will really challenge my arms and core.

Summer Family Adventures


Summer Family Adventures

August 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our August Summer Activities.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.


Week 11 Adventures!

Monday: Cooking with math-This week I’m hosting a Bon Cook online event.  So, I have goal to cook a sweetie daily. My kids love to help me cook so they will be measuring and blending ingredients.

Tuesday: Life Skill Discovery- Building Home Plant Terrariums– We will post pictures and directions once we have made our creations.

Wednesday: Art Class- Edible Paint Projects- I’m creating a new recipe so I’ll post once we try and love!

Thursday: Exploring Science– Last week we found a local place to explore and discover science. The Weymouth Nature Center not only has a variety of trails to hike but it has a room designated for kids to explore and discover science with puzzles, games, puppets and a large screen microscope. We will be headed back there this week.

Friday: Sports Day  7 minute Superhero Workout  My kids are in love with this workout!  Plus, my youngest received a bike for this birthday. The family has enjoyed a family bike ride daily

Family Adventure

Family Jam Session- Musical Fun!




Summer Family Adventures Week 9


Summer Family Adventures

August 2017

Looking for a way to organize your summer goals, check out our August Summer Activities.  Each day, during the the week, we have an academic goal, life skill or sports activity.  Weekends are reserved for a fun family adventure and chosen from our families Summer Bucket List.


Week 9 Adventures!

Monday: Art Class3D Art.  From our collection of recycled goodies and boxes we will create 3 Dimensional Art

Tuesday: Life Skill Discovery with cooperative teamwork; each child will choose a game to play as we work as a family to avoid disagreements and problem solve.

Wednesday: Sports Day– Time to get out and rides our bikes/scooters around the neighborhood.

Thursday: Money and Time On the Hour. Using chalk and boxes, we will create large analog clocks and use our bodies to practice time on the hour. Skip Counting by 5s and 10s will be our money work for the girls.

Friday: Exploring Science. An adventure awaits at Jim’s Gems and Gold where our three will mine for gold and treasure.

Family Adventure


Horseback Riding 

Last summer, on our road-trip through South Dakota,  we traveled to see family in the Black Hills. A highlight of that adventure was horseback riding at their ranch. So, when asked what they wanted to do this summer, our  kids requested a horseback ride. Currently, I’m researching affordable options in the Sandhills of North Carolina area. Pictures of our adventure hopefully to come soon!

Adventures in Reading

August Home Reading


Get your August Home Reading Here. With the theme, “Adventure in Reading”, make reading fun and meaningful with these educational activity calendars. Fun for all elementary learners, there are three calendars in this set. Pre-K & Kindergarten, enjoy coloring in the adventure themed picture for each day you read. 1st and 2nd grades, enjoy a good book and complete 20 activities then color August Home Reading Page! Grades 3-5 enjoy a calendar filled with fun activities from art to athletic and simple to engaging, complete 20 tasks for 20 days read. Have fun and share your work. Download a digital copy of August Reading Here and head back to school ready to learn.