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Paint and Learn

See more activities in: First Grade, Composition

Is your first grader itching to show off the skills he's learning in school this year? Help your child practice those new writing and math skills with a fun outdoor activity that will have your child teaching you! By using watercolor paints to practice writing letters, sentences, and math problems, your child will practice essential first grade skills in his “Sidewalk School.”

What You Need:

  • Watercolor paints
  • 2 large children's paint brushes
  • 1 sponge
  • 1 bucket
  • Outdoor sidewalk
  • Activity questions (listed below)

What You Do:

Let your child be the teacher today! Grab your water color paints, brushes, sponge, and a bucket. Fill the bucket about 1/4 full with water. Then go outside to find a clean spot on your sidewalk (or front porch.) Be sure to bring your activity questions list.

Start by warming up those handwriting skills by painting capital letters. Be sure to paint using the same direction you would if you were writing them on paper. Repeat this process for all of the alphabet letters.

  • Sidewalk Math Practice math skills by reviewing some basic addition problems. First, choose one person to paint the problems, and the other to paint the answers. Then switch so that each person has a chance to do both jobs. Paint the following math problems on the sidewalk: (Remember, when you're done with each one you should use the sponge and bucket to wash away the problem before the next one.) Math Problems: 2+4=___ 3+5 = ___ 6+4= ____ 8+1= ____ 9+2= ____ 10 +5= ___ 15 + 3 = ____ 25 + 5 = ____  
  • Sidewalk Writing Now have some fun playing a guessing game while practicing writing! Take turns having one child use paint to write the sentence clues, and the other child paint the answer pictures. Then switch jobs so each child gets a turn at writing sentences. You can play an animal guessing game by painting the following sentence clues: Animal Clues: 1. I have orange and black stripes. (Answer: Tiger) 2. I can swing from trees! (Answer: Monkey) 3. I have 8 legs and live in the ocean. (Answer: Octopus) 4. I have spots & live in a firehouse. (Answer: Dalmation) 5. I can hang upside down! ( Answer: Bat) 6. I can hop fast & like carrots! ( Answer: Rabbit) 7. I can fly & eat worms! ( Answer: Bird)

This is a great way to give your child another tool to use in practicing writing by painting. It's lots of fun and keeps kids mentally in shape for their hours in the classroom. So grab some paints and go to Sidewalk School!

Mary Anne Edwards has taught preschool, first, and fourth grades. She has also lead second grade reading groups.

Updated on Aug 27, 2013
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See more activities in: First Grade, Composition
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