Summer Learning with Princesses and Knights
Updated: Jun 16
Are you looking for a summer review for your children? Do you feel like your child missed learning activities because of Covid-19? Try these activities for your preschool, kindergarten, or first grade child for a week this summer! I was worried at the end of the school year that my preschooler and first grader would not be ready for kindergarten and second grade in the fall, so, I decided to have some fun this summer using themes my kids chose to review essential skills.
To start this summer of learning I assessed my kids to see what necessary skills they needed to be successful in the next grade. This short assessment was completed one on one and covered the majority of grade level expectations. I used this assessment to determine which activities my children needed this summer. For example my son understood halves but not fourths as listed in the first grade curriculum. So I used one of the included activities this week to teach and practice halves and fourths.
Princess Crowns and Knight Helmets
I made a paper crown for my 5 year old and a knight helmet for my 7 year old. Throughout the week they were able to decorate with jewels or badges when they passed off alphabet letters or sight words.
To make the crown: cut 2 inches off the length of a sheet of construction paper. Draw and cut out a crown shape from the larger piece. Staple the strip of paper to measure around your child's head.
To make the helmet: cut 2 inches off the length of a sheet of construction paper. Draw and cut out the face of a knight's helmet from the larger piece (Don't forget a slit for the eyes). Staple the strip of paper to measure around your child's head so that the helmet covers your child's face.
Write your own Fairytale
For my preschooler, I used an activity included in the kindergarten readiness packet to help her understand simple structure of a story (Character, setting, problem). She used these cards to scaffold writing a story with assistance. My son was able to write and illustrate his own story but loved using the story cards as well to create multiple stories.
Phonics Reading Passage
I had these phonics reading passages that focused on the phonics skills to prepare my son for second grade. One of the passages was about a brave knight, which was perfect for this week. My son needed a little help with r-controlled vowels but did pretty well using this activity.
Playing Card Math
Since playing cards have kings, queens, and jacks I thought they would work perfectly for a math review. My preschooler practiced putting the numbers 1-10 in order to build a "castle" for the royal family. My son, in first grade, randomly chose a card (1-10) for each royal character and then added them all together for the total sum.
For an art activity I let my kids use some stickers I had with princesses and knights as well as colored construction paper to create a royal picture. This was probably one of their favorite activities. They spent a solid hour being creative and telling stories about their pictures.
I thought it would be fun to pretend to joust using pool noodles. This version is a safer way to reenact a popular renaissance sport. If you want to joust, divide your yard into two lanes. Each child starts on the opposite end with their pool noodle. When you say go they run towards their sibling trying to touch them with their noodle below the head. The first child to tough their sibling scores a point. The first child to 5 points WINS!
These faces were in a resource for emotions but they fit the theme so well. I let my kids create silly faces on their mat using playdough. You could have children show different emotions, how a character is feeling in a story, or even how as a way to show how they are feeling.
I loved read-a-thons in school so I decided to bring this old school favorite into the home. I gathered books that had to do with princesses, kings, knights, or anything royal. I then let my kids choose some favorite treats and we just read, over and over again. After an hour and a half I had to stop so I could get my business done.
Block Castle Building
You can also use pictures of real castles around the world have let your child try to build a replica using wooden building blocks. Many children believe castles only exist in fairy tales so it brings some magic to real life when they see photographs of actual castles. Building with blocks provides spatial awareness and knowledge of 3-D shapes.
I forgot to take pictures of everything as we did it, but I hope you get the idea. My kids enjoyed activities that were fun and on topics that interested them. I enjoyed knowing my children were a little more prepared for the next grade.
Here is a list of some of the resources I used: