“You never know when you are making a memory.” -Rickie Lee Jones. Well, I know how memories aren’t made – while scrolling social media or playing a game on your phone. So I’m ready for a summer swimming with my girls, dance parties in smoke bombs, slip-n-slides, water balloon fights, cuddling on the hammock, and reading more books. Summertime is a time for making memories, and it can also be a time for learning and growth through memorable activities. If you’re looking for ways to keep your toddler’s mind active during the summer months, here are five fun summer preschool activities that are unforgettably fun!
Summer Lesson Plans
Water Balloon Fight
Letter Identification Game
I’ve lost the element of surprise.
The first summer we lived in this house, the kids didn’t expect an adult, hair and makeup done, to join in the water balloon fight on the Fourth of July.
But now, the kids know I will partake and unite to attack me. (It’s okay. They have terrible aim.)
Remember how much fun you had throwing water balloons when you were a kid? Well, that doesn’t have to be a thing of your past. Join in this year, or at least join in throwing some pretend water balloons to practice letter recognition with your class.
While you sing the water balloon fight song, throw the paper water balloons around the room at each other. (Don’t worry, these won’t mess up your hair or makeup.) When the song ends, pick up the closest water balloon and color or trace the matching letter on the recording sheet.
There will be laughter and letter identification practice, and there might still be the element of surprise when you bring out this water balloon activity for your class.
Hiking Scavenger Hunt
Summer Preschool Activities
I live in Colorado – the place where people hike.
I’ve done some terrible hikes (the Incline) and some magical hikes (Hanging Lake). But no matter the experience, hiking transports us away from stress, forcing us to take in sunlight instead of the blue light on our devices.
And as we start to notice the rustling of the leaves, the creek that slithered out of nowhere, and the fifty shades of green, we are propelled into the present moment, the best place to be.
So if you’re able to take your preschoolers on an actual hike, go for it! Bring binoculars or make some out of cardboard tubes to encourage your toddlers to notice the beauty of nature. You can even bring along the hiking scavenger hunt checklist with pictures to see how many of the nature-themed objects you can find.
If not, create a hiking scavenger hunt inside or outside your school. Hang up the cards, which include pictures of nature-themed objects for every letter of the alphabet. This could even be added to the hiking area in your camping dramatic play. Then, grab those DIY binoculars and go on a hunt!
When your kiddos spot a bear, there’s no need to panic. Just grab your clipboard and either check the picture next to the bear or trace the letter B for bear.
It’s a great way to get up and move while practicing initial sounds and building vocabulary.
Star Alphabet Cards
Raise your hand if you had glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling growing up? Did you also trace your crush’s name in the stars?
(I know I’m not alone with this one.)
And just like I traced the letters in Leonardo’s name over and over, your preschoolers can also trace the letters in these Stargazing ABC cards, imagining the world beyond (or their future partner).
These star letter formation cards are easy to differentiate. Simply work on fine motor skills by placing star beads on top of the stars in the letters and constellations, or work on letter formation by tracing the constellations with dry erase markers.
Or you can take it out of this world with a star sensory bag. Add hair gel and star beads to a large plastic zippered bag and place it on top of the alphabet cards. Have your students move the stars to match the constellations or trace the letters with their fingers, making this a sensory writing experience.
And did you notice the constellations begin with the letter on the card? Just a bonus to work on initial sound identification at the same time as this star letter formation activity.
Rhyming Sensory Bin
It’s one of those cute-squeezing words my eldest used for lemonade that my family has now adopted into our vocabulary.
So as we made this lemonade sensory bin to practice rhyming words this week, we got to say lemon-egg over and over again. Yes!
To make this rhyming activity seem more like the experience of a lemonade stand, we first added some cups.
Each cup label has a picture of an animal ordering up some fresh-squeezed lemonade (kind of like how they write your name on the cup at Starbucks). And, you guessed it, these animals only want fresh fruit that rhymes with their name.
So scoop up some lemonade (we used yellow rice), and find the fruit that rhymes with the animal on the cup label for a fresh-squeezed twist on your summer literacy centers.
Summer Literacy Activity
Here’s my summer sequence: drink coffee, work out, lounge by the pool, repeat.
There might be some cornhole and firepits sprinkled throughout my summer days, but those are my main plans.
But our little ones’ plans will be far different than mine. Their summer days might include making lemonade, going fishing, scooping ice cream cones, building a sandcastle, or putting on sunscreen so they can actually jump and play in the pool.
And as our preschoolers come into their third or fourth summer, they will realize these summer activities follow patterns and be able to sequence the events for them.
Not only will these sequencing cards help our little ones notice details in pictures, but putting events in order helps with reading comprehension down the road.
So before you start lounging by the pool, grab this low-prep summer literacy activity for your class!
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MORE Summer Activities
Are you looking for some fun and engaging summer preschool activities? We’ve got you covered! From going on a hiking scavenger hunt to practicing rhyming words with a lemonade sensory bin, we have a variety of activities that are perfect for your students. Be sure to check out our star alphabet cards for letter formation practice. What summer literacy activity will you try first?