From doctor’s appointments for school physicals, waiting in line at amusement parks or riding in the car on road trips, waiting is everywhere this summer. Why not use this time to stop summer brain drain?
Visual learners need ways to make connections between their right-brain, visual thinking and all those facts and figures needed for success in the classroom. Making a game out of reciting the alphabet or the geography of our country is a great way to make those facts stick in their minds.
I’ve found some great ideas for you. Remember, the waiting games can also be played in the car on road trips. I’ve added a couple art and movement activities to ramp up the fun factor and keep it visual.
- Back and Forth Drawing– All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil.
- Alphabet Train– Take turns thinking of words that begin with each letter of the alphabet starting with “A.”
- Rhyming– The first player says a word, and the others take turns rhyming until there are no more words. Simple, fun, and a great game to help with reading!
- Categories-Choose a letter and a category, and take turns naming something in the category that starts with that letter. (Example: T and Food = tomato, tortilla, turkey, etc.) When someone can’t name something, they’re out; keep going until no one can think of anything. Then start again with a new letter and category!
- Thumb Wrestling– An oldie but goodie that you can play anywhere. It’s so quick and easy!
- Simon Says– A great way to get their bodies involved!
Road Trip Games
- Fun with maps– Give your children each a map and let them mark it up to help them keep track of where you are in your journey. Let them color, draw on it, highlight your route or use stickers to help them create their own personalized mementos of your road trip. As you pass different towns and landmarks, they can note them on their maps. What a great way to practice geography and map reading. For some math practice, have your child figure out how far it is between each destination.
- Watch for plates– At the beginning of your journey have everyone make a guess as to how many different license plates they will see on the trip. Use my free worksheet to color each state as you find them.
- Road trip bingo– Using a picture bingo card, you can combine this classic game with a scavenger hunt and even the little ones will get to participate.
- Billboard ABCs– A great way to practice letter recognition is to find the letters on billboards that you pass on the way. Only one letter per billboard though to make the game last. Variation: Use our sight words lists to find words instead of letters.
These activities should keep them busy for hours. But just to change it up a bit, don’t forget to try the classics like, I Spy and 20 Questions. Keep it light and fun!
For some more great ideas for keeping the Summer Brain Drain at bay, check out my other STOP Summer Brain Drain posts.