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Personalize Literacy Skills with Crafts

(Welcome our guest blogger, Estelle Bardon from My LiBook where she creates custom early readers with your little one's names. They are adorable! Check them out. Use SUMMER2021 to get 10% off & free shipping. In this week's blog, Estelle's sharing fun summer activities you can do to build literacy skills, while keeping your little one front and center. XO Kristie)


What can we do to continue having a fun and relaxing summer?


In the same spirit as my first blog post, here are three exciting, quick, and simple outdoor games that kids will enjoy. They also count towards homeschooling, too, of course.




Writing with Ice

Learning how to read and write with colored ice — Source: Author


What you need

  • Food coloring (different colors)

  • 2 cups of water

  • Ice Cube tray

  • Toothpicks

  • White paper sheets or paper plates

How to play

  1. Add one drop of one color of food coloring to each compartment.

  2. Add water to the ice cube tray.

  3. Add toothpicks in the water.

  4. Pop it in the freezer for 6 hours.

  5. Select games from the list below that your child will enjoy.

Level 0:

  • Let your children paint what they want, pushing the melting ice cubes around the paper and mixing the colors


Level 1:

  • With a pencil, pre-trace dotted lines (straight or curved lines), then have your child color in the gaps, or trace the letters, with the ice cubes.

  • Trace the outlines of letters (the most common are E, A, R, I, O, T, N, S, L, C) with big spaces inside so that they can paint inside the letter.

As described in my first blog, when they are done, the child reads, out loud, the letter and its associated sound (for example, “A, ah”).


Level 2: Write your child’s name with a pencil and have them write with the ice cubes over your letters using the different colors.


Level 3: Have them write words that resonate with them. You can help them by sounding out the words together.


Level 4: Have them write a card for their friends, neighbors, or family members.


My personal experience

We have done ice writing and painting multiple times using both paper and paper plates. The result always differs, but the freshness, fun, and excitement remain the same. The girls also enjoyed mixing the colors to observe how the color changed.


Why I like this idea

  • It teaches how water can be transformed from liquid to solid, then back liquid while practicing writing skills, and also how colors blend to form new colors.

  • It is refreshing in the summer!

  • It is personalized, easy, and fun.




Leaf Print Art

Leaf prints — Source: Author


What you need

  • Markers

  • Leaves

  • White paper

How to play

  1. Color the inside of the leaf with markers.

  2. Place the leaf ink-side down on the paper.

  3. Press on the leaf gently, moving outwards from the center to each side.

  4. Remove the leaf.

  5. Repeat as necessary.

  6. Write down a few words below the leaf print. Here are some examples: “Child’s name with the date” or “Leaf (leaves) from tree X”.

My personal experience

This leaf print idea was one page of a book that my daughter created for one of her friends. In this book, she explained what she saw during a hike in the forest.


Why I like this idea

  • It combines science, sensory play, and art.

  • It helps the child observe nature more deeply. With this activity, children explore texture, patterns, and sight.

  • Going around the neighborhood or on a hike is like being in an outdoor classroom. This activity encourages children to observe nature, learn new words, and document their learning experiences.