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I’m a big believer in summers being full of family, friends, and fun. However, I still like to surround my kids with fun learning opportunities throughout the day. Last summer, camps were closed due to Covid. Like everyone else, we had to adjust our daily expectations, and find ways to create fun lasting summer memories. That's when my son and I came up with what we call, “Camp Mommy”. Every week we come up with a new fun theme that we want to learn about. We read books, create crafts, and do fun activities on the theme. This year, since my kids are absolutely obsessed with lemonade, we decided to kick off summer with citrus themed activities and fun!
With the help of Smiling Tree Toy’s high quality, wooden letters and numbers, we were able to incorporate math and word/letter recognition into our citrus themed activities. Did you know that early exposure to letters and numbers (especially through play) helps ignite your child’s interest and familiarity with them? That’s why something as simple as displaying words and numbers along with your activities helps prepare your young children for reading and math later in life. For my youngest, unforced exposure to letters and numbers through play now, will certainly help her feel more comfortable and confident when she’s ready to learn letter identification. My recently turned 6 year old, will be exposed to new vocabulary and reinforce the skills he learned in Kindergarten. All of these learning skills can be developed through play and not forced learning!
4 Citrus Themed Activities
Citrus Words and Stamping
For some fun messy outdoor play, try citrus stamping! You can have fun creating citrus themed words using Smiling Tree Toy’s wooden alphabet letters as you create your artwork. To incorporate some science into the activity, have your children help mix citrus colors from light to dark. Discuss and compare the shades as you mix them.
Practice early number sense and one-to-one correspondence while counting lemons, made out of play dough. Provide a visual of the numbers, using Smiling Tree Toy’s wooden numbers. Allow them to tap or point to a lemon and practice assigning one number to each lemon as they count.
If your child has mastered one to one correspondence, have them sort and graph a variety of citrus shaped play dough cutouts. A great book to go with this activity is the MathStart book on bar graphs, Lemonade for Sale by Stuart J. Murphy. Set up a bar graph using both the Smiling Tree Toy’s wooden letters and numbers. You can precut different amounts of lemons, limes, and oranges, and have your child count and sort them into the bar graph.
Pink Lemonade Sensory Bin Citrus Patterns
We created this sensory bin using Sand Cloudz pink play sand from Compound Kings and our lemonade printables (available in shop soon!). Nolan’s task was to create patterns using the citrus cut outs. Simple, yet tons of fun! To accompany this sensory activity, we read Maisy Makes Lemonade by, Lucy Cousins and The Red Lemon by Bob Stooke.