The Kindergarten Connection is full of fun ideas and inspiration for preschool-1st grade. You will find fun learning activities designed with preschool, kindergarten, and first grade in mind. From crafts and printables, to lessons, games, and more.
Is it possible that the first day of school is upon us already?! Oh my this summer did fly by! While parents and teachers have so much on their minds in preparation for the big day, our little ones have a whole other set of worries inside of them…those first day jitters! This Jitter Juice Recipe is sure to help!
One of my most favorite ways to get those first day of school jitters out is to read the hilariously funny and unpredictable children’s book called, “First Day Jitters,” and then create the most delicious Jitter Juice Recipe to take away those butterflies in our bellies!
If you haven’t read this storybook yet, it is a must! I don’t want to spoil the ending for you but I will tell you that there’s a BIG surprise at the end. A surprise that will, without a doubt, help the little ones in your life through those first day jitters.
After you’ve read, “First Day Jitters” to your children, then you must make them this delicious Jitter Juice Recipe! It won’t disappoint!
Whether you are making this tasty drink at home with your own kids or in the classroom, we have all the tips and tricks you need to make it an awesome experience for your kids, including a printable of the ingredients and a fun poem.
So, once you mix your delicious Jitter Juice, add the adorable Jitter Juice label (with the recipe below) and pour! (We colored in the label with some fun markers, but you could also print the design on colored paper)
The kids LOVED making the Jitter Juice. Plus, did you know it’s a well known fact that adding a “special ingredient” of sprinkles helps to get those jitters out? 😉
As we dump our special ingredient inside our tasty treat, we also recite our Jitter Juice Poem!
This Lemonade Summer Craft is a festive way to celebrate summer and encourage plenty of imaginative playtime fun! This would be a simple art project for introducing kids to color terms such as “hue” and “value.” This pretend lemonade craft is such a creative way to recycle those empty cardboard rolls from paper towels or wrapping paper!
Adult (optional): Before you begin, use a paintbrush to cover the outside of the cardboard tube with a base coat layer of white gesso. This will help the light yellow and pink paint to look better.
Add some yellow and pink paint to an empty plastic egg carton. Add a little white paint to create an ombre effect as shown.
Invite your child to use a craft stick to mix up the paint. You should have about three different color values of each hue.
Invite your child to paint the cardboard tube in a single hue going from the lightest to the darkest color value.
Allow the paint to dry completely. Invite your child to add a bendy straw and an umbrella toothpick to complete the look of their Lemonade Summer Craft!
More Fun Ways to Use this Craft:
Create several of these lemonade crafts and arrange onto a large paper plate for a festive table center piece!
Serve this pretend lemonade to your favorite stuffed animal friends.
Use as a prop for a pretend lemonade stand as a fun way to teach kids about counting and money math.
For party favors or place setting cards, use a black marker to write the name of each guest along the cardboard tube. Roll up a small zipper sandwich bag filled with buttermints and place inside each tube.
No matter the time of year, alphabet activities are always in season. These Beach Bucket Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Activities are just what you need this summer (or right before that summer break) to help your kids prepare for the upcoming year. Whether you’re using them at the end of the year, during summer school, or for your own kids at home, these letter cards will help your little ones maintain their letter identification progress.
Beach Bucket Letter Activity Cards
-26 Uppercase Letter cards on beach buckets
-26 Lowercase Letter cards on beach shovels
How to Use FREE Letter Cards
One of the reasons I love using letter cards in the classroom is because they’re simple to prepare but there are so many ways you can use them! Below you’ll find several ideas for ways to use the free beach bucket themed cards.
TIP: Before choosing an activity, I recommend printing the letter cards on card stock and laminating for durability!
Uppercase and Lowercase LetterMatching
This activity is simple and great for practicing letter identification!
Start by setting out the letter cards, face up. Students search for the uppercase and lowercase letter matches. When they find a match, they lay them out together.
Tip: for more focused practice, set out only the letters that the student knows and a few that they are working on mastering.
Letter Go Fish
Go Fish is such a classic! And this activity is great because you only need the free letter cards from this blog post!
The goal of the game is for students to get the most uppercase and lowercase letter matches. Start by shuffling the letter cards. Then, pass out 7 cards to each child playing and put the remaining cards in the middle of the group, face down.
Students start by checking to see if they have any matches. They place these matches down in front of them. After that, students take turns asking another player if they have a certain letter. Students will have to specify if it’s an uppercase letter or a lowercase letter.
It would sound something like this: “(Name), do you have an uppercase A?”. The student would reply with either “Yes”, while handing over the card or by saying “Go Fish.”At this point, the first child who was looking for the letter, would take the next card from the top of the pile. This is repeated until someone gets rid of all of their cards.
Sand (salt will work too, if sand is not available!)
Gather the materials. Pour sand (or salt) in the tray and set out the letter cards. Students choose a card and write that letter in the sand with their finger. I love this activity because it’s a fun way to tie in a sensory piece with letter identification practice.
I love using links in the classroom! They’re such a fun hands-on manipulative, and great for fine motor too!
In order to do this activity, you’ll need to punch a hole into the tops of all of your letter cards and set them out with the links. Students will then find an uppercase and lowercase letter match to link together.
However you decide to use these Uppercase and Lowercase Beach Bucket Letter Cards, I hope that your students enjoy them and get lots of letter practice before the new school year begins!
To grab your copy of these letter cards, click the large, yellow button below.
One of the best parts about summer is that it’s the perfect time to go camping! Even if you aren’t going camping or dislike the outdoors, your students will love this camping themed activity. This Camping Syllable Sort activity focuses on counting syllables and sorting words by the number of syllables.
Counting syllables is one of the main components of phonological awareness that are taught in Kindergarten. This will help students be able to break apart long words into smaller chunks, which will help them when they are learning how to read and spell longer words.
To practice counting syllables, I teach my students how to clap out a word. I say a word, such as “butterfly”, and my students repeat the word. Then, we break the word into chunks, like this- “but-ter-fly”, while clapping each part. Last, they hold up how many syllables they counted using their fingers.
Picture sorts are a fun way to practice syllables by sorting them into how many syllables each word has. It fits nicely in a pocket chart, but you can do this activity anywhere- at a table, on the floor, or on the board. This would be a great way to practice syllables as a whole group activity, reading center, or a quick informal assessment.
Place each of the syllable headings at the top of the pocket chart or lay flat.
Place the picture cards in a pile.
Have a student come up and pick up the top picture card.
The student says the word on the picture card, then claps it out, counting how many syllables.
They place the picture card under the correct heading.
Continue taking turns until all the picture cards have been sorted.
Each picture card is labeled at the bottom. If your students are doing this independently, I suggest going over all of the words with them, or telling them to use their best guess with what the picture is.
My students put the “campfire” picture under the 2 syllables sign, because they used it as the word “fire” instead. Both options are correct! These picture cards are also a opportunity to learn some new vocabulary or to discuss camping activities.
Have fun camping with this syllable sort!
Are you ready to grab this FREE Camping Syllable Sort activity? Click on the large, yellow button below!
We are knee deep in summer fun around here but have had a few rainy days. On those afternoons we are searching for fun, seasonal activities to keep us busy! Although it is hard to say, this activity is perfect for a little back-to-school prep. In the essence of keeping things festive, we are working on this Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity! Practicing 1:1 correspondence and counting just got a lot more fun, and tasty!
Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity
How to Use our FREE Printable
This free printable would be perfect as an independent activity for a summer quiet time. It would also be really fun for a tutoring group or a math center activity for back-to-school.
To prepare the counting activity, simply print it out, laminate for durability and cut out the numbered cones and assorted ice cream scoops.
For my child, I set out each cone, one through ten, and laid out all the assorted ice cream scoops. We worked together to count the scoops for each cone and she was able to complete it independently.
Her favorite part was picking out which flavors to add to each cone!
One of my favorite ways to extend a learning activity is to include a sensory piece. We used cool whip in a plastic serving tray to work on number writing as we counted. It was such a fun and tasty way to add more engagement to the ice cream scoop counting.
This was definitely messy, but really tied into the ice cream theme. I recently saw a sensory writing activity using sprinkles, which would be just as fun!
Once we were finished, I froze the tray and was able to thaw the cool whip to play again later. It was a huge hit!
Grab Your Copy
Are you ready for some sweet counting fun with this Ice Cream Scoop Counting Sensory Activity?!
You can add it to your summer learning activities or back-to-school math centers by clicking the large, yellow button at the very bottom of this post.
Keep the kids cool this summer with this Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids! This paper fan craft is easy to make using only a few common materials you probably already have in your home or classroom. Don’t you just love frugal, crafting fun?!
Paper Fan Watermelon Craft for Kids
These watermelon paper fans would be a great activity for the kids to do on a rainy day, or as part of a summer party or outdoor picnic!
It is starting to feel a lot like summer where we are! We are ready for sun, ice cream and of course a little alphabet work to keep up on our skills. These Summer Alphabet Printables includes a variety of activities.
Whether you are a parent trying to maintain your child’s skills, help them get ahead, or even a tutor for the summer, this printable pack is for you! A fun summer spin on letter work to get you through until fall!
The first activity in the pack is an upper and lowercase letter match game.
Children can match the uppercase suns with the lowercase popsicles.
My daughter is young, so I only set out a few uppercase letters at a time and hand her the lowercase letters to match. This would work as a center literacy activity or pair children up for a game!
Another option for differentiated teaching would be to give each set one at a time and have the child put them in alphabetical order.
The next activity in the Summer Alphabet Printables pack is the uppercase letter fill-in-the-blank worksheet. We like to use a page protectors for these sheets so we can reuse them!
Tip: For a more durable option, we like to laminate our pages for use over and over again!
The first page has missing spots to fill in the blanks and the second page is completely blank!
The last activity in the summer fun letter pack is the same as the uppercase letter worksheets but includes lowercase letters instead.
After we filled in the missing spaces, my daughter used it to help fill in the completely blank worksheet. I really loved using page protectors for these worksheets. This way, as my daughter became more confident, she didn’t need the help of the first page!
Grab Your Copy
Ready for some out-of-school fun? You can add these activities to your summer bucket list by clicking the large, yellow button below.
Does your kindergartner love the beach? Playing in the sand and building sand castles. Not to mention playing in the water itself! Well if your student loves these things then these beach beginning sound puzzles are the perfect way to prevent the summer slide.
Do you know one of the best thing about these puzzles? They are perfect for developing fine motor skills! And if that wasn’t enough, if your kids are not fans of worksheets- these puzzles are a perfect fit.
How to Assemble Puzzles
First, print the cards on either card stock or regular printing paper. Laminate for durability, and then cut the puzzles out with either scissors or a paper trimmer.
You can even have your students cut the puzzles for some extra fine motor skills.
Place the pieces with the images in one basket and the pieces with the letters in another.
Have your child choose a few pieces from either basket and place them on a flat surface such as a table or even the floor.
Next, have them fish for the matching pieces in the other basket.
Have them continue until they have matched all the puzzles.
Other Ways to Use The Beach Beginning Sound Puzzles
Suggestion 1: Instead of using the second half of the puzzle (the portion with the letter sound), use the first half and either magnetic letters or letter tiles to match the sounds.
Suggestion 2: If your student is already proficient in identifying beginning sounds, simply use the first half of the puzzle (the portion with the picture) and have them identify the ending sounds. All they need are letter tiles, or even give them a blank sheet of paper and stamps and have them stamp the ending sounds.
Suggestion 3: You can even try this with the middle sounds. Just pick a few cards and have them identify the middle sounds.
Grab Your Copy
Ready for some beach-themed beginning sound fun? Grab your copy of the beach beginning sound puzzles by clicking the yellow button below.
Warmer days are on the horizon and I cannot wait to get my mouth on a nice, juicy piece of watermelon. How about you? I might have started drooling just thinking about it. With watermelon and picnics on my mind, I created these fun watermelon counting cards that can be used in many different ways to practice counting and number identification.