Since other bloggers are helping me I thought I'd throw out a few ideas that will hopefully help someone else while away a few hours. Both are extremely simple to make.
Crazy Hopscotch Fabric Squares
I bought a few yards of this pretty green knit fabric to make something for my babies room. After sewing about 12 inches I remembered I loath sewing with knit. I just don't have the sewing skills. So I gave up, stuffed it in a box in the closet of doom and forgot about it. One rainy day my toddler and I watched Curious George's Lucky Cap in which Steve makes a long twisty hopscotch course for George to follow. Since I couldn't do it outside I had a stroke of genius, grabbed the fabric, cut it into 20 squares approximately 1 foot each (honestly I eyeballed it), dug a permanent marker out of the drawer and wrote on numbers.
We have had so much fun with these through the years. Obvious learning concepts are number identification and sequencing plus following directions and of course the Physical Education teacher in me LOVES the cardio workout. Make them big enough for your feet and jump along with them.
At first my husband or I put them out, once he mastered the concept we put the squares in order and he made his own hopscotch path. Now he can take them out of the box, arrange them in order himself and then make his path. We go all over the room, sometimes having to turn around (or go backwards to proceed). The only rules are they have to stay on the carpet: Safety First!
Your kids aren't ready for numbers? Try arrows to point to the next square. I used a midweight knit, but you could use precut felt squares, fleece, denim (repurpose jeans?). I would avoid any slippery fabrics for obvious safety reasons. Make 26 and put numbers on one side and letters on the other. Use fabric paints or iron ons for the numbers if you want. I went cheap and fast.
Homemade Sewing Cards
Cut out big pictures from a magazine or print something of the Net or have your kid draw a picture. Glue on to some cardboard (I let J help with that part). Cut the cardboard so there is about a 1/2 inch border - or go all the way to the edge and your holes can go on the picture, your choice. Punch holes around the edge - grown up job! Tie a knot or two in one end of a shoelace and have the child thread it through the holes in the card.
The two skills this works on are fine motor skills and following directions. My little guy used to lace it from one side to the next then top to bottom and all over the place instead of just going to the next hole. I guess technically there isn't a "right way" to do it, and I was really emphasizing the fine motor when I made them. I admit it doesn't hold his interest long, but it is a good non electronic activity on the go (got any long summer road trips planned?).
And they also make nifty little pretend kites for little guys that are too small to handle a real kite. Or maybe that's just my little guy.
If you have any resources for summer activities for preschoolers/early elementary I am going to need a ton! Please share in the comments below.