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Outdoor Literacy Activities

As summer approaches, the weather is heating up. Kids are out of school for the long weekend, and families looking for ways to spend time together and cool down. We've created three activities that will help you cool off and learn outside! Try them at home or on the go with your family and tag #booksarewings in your literacy adventures!

Word Walk


  • Paper

  • Pencil

  • Optional: Pre-made list of words to find


  • Take a walk around your downtown area, street or park.

  • Using a pre-made word list, or just writing as you go, make note of all the words that you see on street signs, restaurant menus and business awnings.

  • Practice reading, spelling or simple recognizing letters, depending on the skill level of your child.

Extensions: Challenge your child to make a sentence, or even a story with the words that were found on your "word walk."

Alphabet Sponges


  • 13 Sponges (we purchased ours from the dollar store.)

  • Scissors

  • Bucket or bowl with water

  • Marker


  • Cut each sponge in half.

  • Using the marker, trace out the letters of the alphabet.

  • Cut the letters out of the sponges.

  • Using the bowl of water, dip the sponges in the water and use to cool down by filling and squeezing empty as needed.

  • Have children trace the shapes of the letters using their fingers. This will help prepare them for letter writing and practice.

Extensions: Use the alphabet sponge letters during bath or pool time. When wet, they will stick to a plastic or tile surface. Practice spelling out words with them on the tub or pool side.

Letter and Word Practice with Water and Chalk


  • Bucket or bowl with water

  • Paintbrush

  • Chalk


  • Write letters or words on the sidewalk or driveway, and fill the bucket with water.

  • Have your child dip the paintbrush in the water and “paint” over the chalk letters or words. Wet chalk is quite vibrant so the letters and words change color as they get painted.

  • Let the sun dry the letters and words out so you can write over and over.

Extensions: Use different color chalk and have children experiment with making different colors while they are practicing writing.

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