Because we like to travel this sometimes means our oldest, who is in Kindergarten this year, misses school time. I know he’s gaining invaluable experience when we travel but mommy guilt always kicks into high gear about missing valuable classroom learning time. We try to do learning activities with him on the road but sometimes the day slips by and before we know it we’ve tucked him in forgetting about his “homework” for another day.
What isn’t hard to find time for on the road is snacking. Kids are always hungry especially when traveling, so I decided to combine the two and make learning fun and easy during our travels with twist on flash cards for our boys. That way the learning is linked to something we can’t forget to do – snack!
I choose to take Goldfish crackers with us EVERYWHERE they are simple to pack, travel well and my kids LOVE them. With a variety of flavors, we love the new pretzel kind, and even colors I put my creative hat on and came up with alphabet “Fish Cards” for them to play with. Keeping in mind Kindergarten is all about focusing on letters, numbers, colors, counting and basic math skills the the Fish Cards are a perfect addition to our carry on bags for a quick learning break while also creating wonderful memories with my family.
With these cards the boys can build letters, count the number of fish needed for each letter, learn subtraction as they eat their fish and I can ask them to do it in different colors when we have a rainbow pack of Goldfish around. The Fish Cards are the perfect size for traveling and I laminated them they are durable and can be used over and over again at home or on the road.
Since Easter is coming up fast I decided to give the boys a new set of “Fish Cards” as part of a non-chocolate Easter basket gift this year. These were so easy to make and I’m excited to see them in action in the near future as we’re off to Hawaii in a couple of weeks. Even if you are not traveling these cards are a great way to sneak in some learning while playing with your child.
Instructions for making your own Fish Cards:
Supplies: Cardstock, Sharpie or printer, Scissors, Laminate, metal clip or twine and a hole punch.
1- Simply print off the alphabet and numbers on whatever paper you choose, however thicker paper like cardstock works better so they won’t curl when laminated and stay nice and flat. You can print on to white cardstock and have your child colour the letters before you laminate them. If you want to use up scraps of scrapbook cardstock you can write on block letters with a sharpie
2 – Cut out your fish cards to the desired size. Try to keep them uniform for easy stacking.
3 – Laminate your cards. You can do this yourself with sheets you can boy. Or do as I did take it to your local office supply store, it cost less than $5/alphabet and saved me much time and headache trying to get them laminated without any bubbles.
4 – Once I had them all laminated I simply cut them out into nice size squares. You can hole punch the corner to put some string through to keep them all together or you could also use a metal clip making it easier to flip the cards.
5 – Get playing, have fun, and make some smiles!!! Game ideas include:
- Alphabet – Build letters out of fish on the Fish Cards
- Alphabet – Ask your child to identify a certain letter and then build it with fish
- Counting – Count the number of fish it takes for each letter
- Addition – As you add fish to each card discuss the number of fish on the card. Practice addition by adding the number of fish between multiple cards.
- Subtraction – As the fish are eaten, discuss how many are left
- Spelling – Spell out short words using the cards and fish
Because I’m using my fish cards for travel I wanted to keep them small but you can make them any size you choose the bigger the better for smaller hands.
I’m hoping in the future we will be able to use them to start spelling out simple words as well. Travel + learning + Goldfish snacks = SMILES & FUN!
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Post contributed by Araya Adventures – a Vancouver Island based, wildly adventurous, free spirited family of four. This momma keeps herself busy working as a registered paediatric nurse, freelance writer and planning vacations for her tribe to explore the world. Keep track of them here https://arayaadventures.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Goldfish Crackers. All opinions are strictly my own.