Let’s Get Ready for Summer Break!

As teachers, it’s important to start prepping for September a little earlier than most people. Whether you are planning big upgrades to the classroom or are just stocking up on your go-to products, ordering supplies in June is a better way to be ahead of the game and take the stress off preparing for the fall season. Giving your order lots of time to arrive makes it easier and gives you that space and time you need to make all the proper preparations for the upcoming school year. 

Are you dreading the thought of those difficult, heartfelt goodbyes? Crafts are just the thing to cheer you up and creating goodbye cards could be a fun and creative solution. Have every child work on their own personal tribute to their friends and classmates, by designing their very own special card. It gives each child a little piece of the school year to remember their friends by. Making each card personal, expressive and colourful is an awesome way to help the kids show off their creative skills – and hopefully make those farewells a little easier. 

We know the eagerness and overwhelming excitement that comes when the school year draws to a close. The bursts of energy and desire for socialization looks a little different this year, and it is important to keep those little minds and hands busy. There are different ways to approach the next two months, and it is important to keep a thriving environment and help our kids be the happiest and healthiest they can be. Here are some tips and activities, to share with parents to help make this summer the best one yet.  

  • It is no secret; kids thrive with structure and routine. Providing kids with a daily schedule has an immense number of benefits – it helps kids create a sense of security in their young life that is constantly changing.  
  • Staying busy is a huge key to summertime success. Allowing little ones to assist with household chores such as creating grocery lists, gardening, taking care of pets and house cleaning is a fantastic way to keep children engaged this summer, while teaching them about responsibility at the same time. It’s a great way to teach them the importance of taking care of their belongings. (Parent bonus point, who doesn’t love an extra set of hands helping around the house?) 
  • Setting small and achievable educational goals can also be a fun way to stay learning through the summer months. They can be little things such as reading a book at least once a week, watching an educational math lesson before dinner or doing a science experiment each weekend. Creating quizzes and flashcards with math and science questions with prizes could be a wonderful opportunity to make education fun. 

  • Setting and scheduling these little goals using a calendar can additionally reinforce organization. At the beginning of each month, label a calendar and set aside some time for learning and fun alike. Throwing in some other enjoyable activities like a family movie night or baking cookies together can help give our summer breakers something to look forward to, each day and upcoming week.  

We hope that you have found these ideas on how to prepare for summer and build a productive, fun and creative day-to-day routine helpful, and that you have the best summer 2021 possible – in whatever special way it turns out this year. By the way – don’t forget the sunscreen! 

Learning Rocks: Stones That Teach

Education stones are a great way to take learning outside! They’re durable enough to handle different weather conditions and small enough to store easily. Plus, their versatility makes them a great addition to any indoor space, bringing nature indoors without the mess.

Education stones can be used to teach different core concepts in new and fun ways. A hands-on approach invokes sensory learning and turns letters, numbers and even emotions into more tangible things.


If a child is struggling to understand how to form letters, they can follow along with the grooves of the Feel-Write Writing Stones. Available in Pre-Writing, Lowercase and Uppercase, the stones have deep divots so children can practice the patterns that form letters, either with their finger or a pencil.

For letter recognition, the Alphabet Pebbles are fantastic. They appeal to children’s natural instincts to explore and are great to use in sand, water and outside. Bury them and have children identify the letters they find or sort and match the upper and lowercase stones. For a group activity lay the stones out and choose a letter. The child that finds the letter first gets to keep it and whoever has the most letters at the end wins!

Once the kids are ready to progress, you can play these games and more with Phonics Pebbles. Designed like the Alphabet Pebbles, this set includes 64 stones that cover 44 phonemes, making them perfect for developing word building and blending skills.


Math has a bad rap for not being fun because it tends to be a little complicated. Simplify things with fun matching games using the Number Pebbles (also available in Jumbo). Children can mix and match while sitting in the grass, or they can dig around in their sandbox for the different numbers.

Turn counting into a scavenger hunt by hiding different stones around the yard. The Ladybug Counting Stones are great for this because kids can count the dots on their back while counting how many ladybugs they’ve collected. Plus, they’re numbered, so you’ll notice if you’re missing one at the end of the game and they’ll stand out against the other rocks in your yard.

To practice sum building, pick a number pebble and ask children to combine the other numbers to equal your number. If you’d like to incorporate operations, use the Sum-Building Set, which includes the plus, minus, multiplication, division and equals sign, so you can build math problems right on the lawn!

Social and Emotional Learning

Emotions are tough to talk about, especially for little ones. Emotion Stones provide ways for children to articulate their feelings with physical objects. If they don’t want to talk about their emotions, they can choose the stone that represents their current feelings. The weight of the stones can represent the weight of their feelings, turning an intangible concept into a real thing. Ask the child, “How big are your feelings?” And they can make a pile of the stones, as big or as little as they want, to represent the amount of their feelings, with the main emotion on top. Are they one-stone sad? Three-stones sad? A pile of stones sad?

Stones can also help children cope with their emotions, not just express them. Self-Regulation Stones represent more complex emotions and encourage children to ask why they’re feeling that way and how they can make things better. The images are more abstract, so they can mean whatever the child needs them to mean.

Learning with stones can be lots of fun, with so many ways you can incorporate them into your lessons. While most of these examples are for outside, they can easily be adapted for indoors with a sand table or sensory bin. Stones were the first tools our ancestors learned to use, and now they’re a great addition to your space so you can rock the playground.