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MOSD Student Activities - Outdoor Summer Activities

Each week that MOSD is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic our professionals are providing activities for students and their families to do at home in addition to their scheduled classroom times and teletherapy! As we head into the summer, we have complied a list of summer outdoor activities to help our families turn every activity into a language learning opportunity! 

Feel free to follow along and do these activities with your family! 


Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt 

Materials

  • Bag to collect items found
  • Binoculars (not necessary but would be fun if you have them-You can also make binoculars by gluing or tying two toilet paper rolls together.)
  • Small Shovel
  • Magnifying Glass (if you have one)
  • Scavenger Hunt Sheet (attached) and older children will want to bring a marker or crayon 

Steps

  • Look outside and talk about how the weather is getting warmer, and point out some of the changes. Tell them Winter is over and now it is Spring. Things are changing. 
  • Tell them we are going to go outside for a walk to look for signs of spring. Show them the Scavenger Hunt Sheet and tell them that you are going to look for these items and other signs of Spring.  Do we need a coat?
  • As you search you can also encourage your child to look for something that: moves, smells, is a certain shape, a particular color, starts with a specified letter ( something that starts with the letter r- rock), with a texture (something fuzzy, rough, smooth, bumpy) I would only ask for these one at a time. Feel the bark of a tree. Point out thorns on roses.
  • Listen for birds, ducks, lawn mowers, etc. Break a stick and listen to it crack.
  • During the hunt you can compare shapes of leaves and flowers, etc. Look for flat rocks, large rocks and tiny pebbles. Look for long and short sticks. Which is longer, or the longest.
  • To incorporate numbers you can ask for 3 acorns, or 5 blades of grass, etc. A higher level skill would be to ask,  If I have 3 flowers and I find 2 more, how many flowers will I have? You can also compare amounts: Did we see more birds or more squirrels?
  • Look for things that smell good. Who knows you might even find something that smells yucky!
  • The most fun activity during this scavenger hunt will be to dig in the dirt to look for worms. With all the rain we have had you will likely have a lot of success finding long, short, fat, and thin worms. Many of the children will enjoy holding them to see how they feel and squirm in their hands. 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Throw rock
    • Bird [can] fly.
    • Smell flower
  • 3-5 Word Targets 
    • Can I throw the rock?
    • The bird flew away.
    • This flower smells good.
    • Squirrels like to eat acorns.
  • For children with more advanced language
    • Encourage higher level thinking by asking questions such as Why do you think. ? , What would happen if?, What would you do if...etc.
    • Take what your child says to model correct language structures and to add higher level vocabulary.  

Puddle Jumping

Materials

  • Puddles
  • Rain boots or bare feet!
  • Umbrella if it is raining 

Steps

  • Either put on your rain boots or take off your socks
  • Go outside and jump in puddles! 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Boots on
    • Jump, jump!
    • Splash!
    • All wet!
  • 3-5 Word Targets
    • Put my boots on
    • I want to jump!
    • I’m getting all wet
    • I’m jumping in the puddles
    • The water is splashing
  • 6+ Word Targets
    • Encourage higher level thinking by asking questions such as ‘Why do we need rain boots?’ ‘What will happen when we jump in the puddle?'
    • Take what your child says to model correct language structures and to add higher level vocabulary. 

Sidewalk Chalk/Summer Drawings

Materials

  • Sidewalk Chalk OR
  • Crayons/markers/colored pencils
    •  Paper 

Steps

  • Go outside on a sunny day and draw pictures using sidewalk chalk
  • Try to have your child think of and draw as many Summer items as they can (kite, flowers, sun, rainbow, etc.)
  • Give your child clues for Summer items
    • I’m thinking of something up in the sky with lots of colors
      • What can you fly in the sky on a windy Summer day?
  • Any independent ideas from your child are great- even if they aren’t related to Spring.  
  • If you don’t have sidewalk chalk- that’s OK! You can do the same thing with crayons and paper.  
    • If it is a nice day, you can still draw your pictures outside 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Purple flower
    • Cloudy day
  • 3-5 Word Targets
    • The kite flies high
    • I want a pink flower
    • Rainbows are so pretty
  • 6+ Word Targets
    • Encourage higher level thinking by asking questions such as ‘Where does rain come from?’ ‘What does a flower need to grow?’ ‘What could we do/wear on a sunny day/rainy day?’
    • Take what your child says to model correct language structures and to add higher level vocabulary. 

  

Outdoor Color Hunt 

Materials  

  • None 

Steps  

  • Introduce the activity by talking about colors
    • You might use a pack of crayons to reinforce color names, or a picture of something colorful so the colors can be named. Ask if your child can think of something that has all those colors in it (hopefully they’ll come up with “rainbow”).  Ask if they’d like to go on a Rainbow Color Hunt to find all the colors of the rainbow. 
  • Go for a walk.  Ask your child questions while you walk to get him/her to find a variety of colors.
    • Questions might include:
      • Do you see something red (yellow/blue, etc.)?
      • Tell me something that is the same color
      • What is your favorite color?
      • Can you find something that is your favorite color?  
  • Talk about shades of colors (light blue, medium blue, dark blue) and colors different from the basic 8 (like lime green or rust or hot pink). 
  • If possible, collect items that are different colors to take home. Assist your child in gluing the items to a sheet of paper to make a Rainbow Color Hunt collage. (It’ll be a reminder of the fun you had while on your walk!) 

Language Targets  

  • 1-2 word targets  
    • Color names: red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, etc.  
    • Color name + object: red flower, blue sky, green grass, etc.  
    • Walk  
    • Run 
  • 3-5 word targets  
    • I see a blue house.  
    • Oh no! There’s mud!  
    • I can walk fast!
  • 6+ word targets  
    • I’m looking for something big and red. 
    • Do you see that blue bird?  
    • I want to find a tiny purple flower.  
    • Dogs are usually black, brown, or white.  
    • May I pick that yellow flower? 

Making Mud Pies

Materials

  • 4 cups dirt or sand, 2 cups water
  • Bucket, bowl, large spoon, old sifter (if you have one), measuring cup, old plates or pie pans
  • Assortment of sticks, leaves, flowers, sprinkles, etc. for decorating  

Steps

  • Let your child help gather the things that will be needed to make the pie.
    • Identify each item and discuss what it will be used for.
  • Go outside and dig in the dirt! Find a nice spot where the ground is soft.
    • Discuss how the dirt feels, how it smells, and if it would be good to eat! YUCK!  
    • If you have a sifter put the dirt in it and shake, shake, shake it! What’s in there? Are there any rocks, worms, bugs, etc.?  
    • Use the measuring cup to measure the dirt. Count how many cups you are pouring into the bucket or bowl. With the older children, talk about the concept of measurement. Pour the water and stir, stir, stir!
    • Help your child pour the mixture into the pan and pat, pat, pat it down. Now it’s time to decorate. Count how many of each decoration you are using.  Discuss the colors of the flowers/sprinkles you use. Are the sticks/leaves large or small?    
    • Set the pie in the sun to bake (dry).  
  • Ask higher level questions such as: Why are we going to put the pie in the sun to bake and not into the oven? How long do you think it will take the pie to bake in the sun? Can we really eat the pie when it is “done?” 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Shake (the) dirt
    • Pour (the) water
    • Pat! Pat!  
    • Push
    • All done
  • 3-5 Word Targets
    • I want the spoon.
    • I want to pour. 
    • Look at the dirt!
    • The pie is pretty.
  • 6+ Word Targets
    • May I pour the water in the dirt?
    • I will stir it up with the spoon.
    • Do you want a piece of my pie?
    • My mud pie is very pretty! 

Bubbles

Materials

  • Bubble solution  
  • Various items to dip in the bubble solution—some that will make bubbles (bubble wands, slotted spoons) and some that will not (a block, a crayon). 

Steps 

  • You could introduce the activity by having a bag with bubble solution and items to dip in the solution inside.  Give your child hints about what is inside the bag, like “It’s something we usually play with outside,” or “It is in a bottle.” Let them feel the item through the bag. 
  • Play! Blow lots of bubbles! Try some of the items that will not make bubbles. See if your child can guess which items will make bubbles, and which will not, and sort them into stacks. Decide what makes the items that will blow bubbles the same (they all have holes in them). 

Language Targets  

  • 1-2 word targets  
    • Bubble Pop!
    • My turn!
    • Blow More
    • More bubbles. 
  • 3-5 word targets  
    • I want more bubbles.
    • Pop the bubbles.
    • We blew 4 bubbles. 
  • 6+ word targets  
    • The bubble popped on my nose/finger/elbow…  
    • A block will not make bubbles. 

Plastic Bag Kite

Materials

  • Plastic Grocery Bag
  • String (yarn, cut up old shirt, dental floss, etc.)
  • Stickers and Sharpie markers optional for decoration
  • Scissors 

Steps

  • Decorate the grocery bag using stickers and coloring it with sharpies (be careful using sharpies! Regular markers will smear off)
  • Talk about the colors of the stickers and markers
    • Have your child request which stickers they want
  • Tie the string around the handles of the bag making sure the string is long enough for your child to fly it like a kite. Cut the string off.  
    • Discuss how long the string is (try to think of different synonyms for ‘long’)
    • If your child always says ‘cut, cut’ instead of ‘scissors’ make sure you emphasize that you use SCISSORS to cut the string
  • Go outside and fly your ‘kite!’  
    • Discuss how the kite needs wind to fly
    • Have your child try running at different speeds to see if it effects the kite’s ability to fly
    • Ask some high level questions: Do you think it matters if it is sunny or cloudy? Do you think the kite will go higher if you run faster? 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Push [the] sticker
    • Cut [the] string
    • Run!
    • Fly [the] kite
  • 3-5 Word Targets
    • I want the blue sticker
    • I want to cut
    • Run really fast!
    • The kite needs wind
  • For children with more advanced language:
    • Encourage higher level thinking by asking questions such as “Why do you think…. ?” , “What would happen if…?”, “What would you do if..”.etc.
    • Take what your child says to model correct language structures and to add higher level vocabulary.  

Spring Scavenger Hunt


Materials

  • None

Steps  

  • Introduce the activity by talking about how the weather is getting warmer.  
    • Help your child identify other changes (flowers blooming, trees getting new leaves, grass growing and needing to be cut, etc.). 
  • Go through the Spring Scavenger Hunt list attached.  Let your child know that you’ll be going for a walk to look for the things on the list. The two of you might notice other signs of spring that are not included on the list—talk about those, too. See how many of the things you can check off the list that you have found. 

Language Targets

  • 1-2 word targets  
    • Flower 
    • Walk  
    • Leaves  
    • Color + flower 
  • 3-5 word targets 
    • I see yellow flowers.  
    • Mud is gooey/messy/dirty.  
    • The nest is in the tree.  
    • Let’s find bugs! 
  • 6-8 word targets
    • At this stage of language development, you should be adding to your child’s sentences, correcting grammar and speech errors. 

Car Wash 

Materials

  • Car or other type of vehicle (preferably real, but toy can work) It would definitely be fun if they have a battery operated one of their own that they love to ride
  • Bucket, liquid soap, sponge, brush, old rags, water hose

Steps

  • Let your child help gather the things that will be needed to wash a car
    • Identify each item and discuss what it will be used for.
  • Go outside and wash that dirty car!
    • Discuss how to make the bubbles in the bucket. Squirt the soap into the bucket and add the water. Wow! Look at all the bubbles!
    • Have your child use a sponge, brush, and rag (or whatever you are using) to see if one cleans better than the other  
  • Ask higher level questions such as: Do you think we should start at the top of the car or at the bottom? Do you think the car will get cleaner if there are more bubbles? Should we spray the car before or after we put on the soap? Hmm, maybe both. Why?

Language Targets

  • 1-2 Word Targets
    • Squirt (the) soap
    • Spray (the) water
    • Wash! Wash!  
    • Dirty car
    • All done
  • 3-5 Word Targets
    • I want the brush.
    • I want to wash.
    • Look at the bubbles!
    • The car is dirty.
  • 6+ Word Targets
    • May I please spray the water?
    • I want to wash with the brush, please.
    • The bubbles are on the car.
    • Look, the car is shiny and clean!

Times for Talking (Developing Listening and Language Skills): 

  • Play with a Ball 
  • Taking a Walk
  • Playing on a Slide
  • Playing on a Swing

Books:

  • Little Blue Truck and Little Blue Truck's Springtime by Alice Schertle
  • The Rainy Day by Anna Milbourne and Sarah Gil
  • When Spring Comes by Keven Henkes
  • Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPike
  • Stuck in the Mud by Jane Clark
  • The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins
  • Rain by Robert Kaplan & Donald Crews
  • The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

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