A Preschool Summer Activities Theme! Yes! Time to relax, go on vacations and plan some laid back preschool lesson plans for your classroom!
Let the Preschool Summer Activities Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Paper Mache Hot Air Balloon
Materials Needed: For each child-small cardboard box (a tissue box works well) and a round balloon, inflated; newspaper strips (about 3 inches wide), paste made from flour and water, tempera paint, duct tape, twine.
Cover the balloon with strips of newspaper that are wet with the flour/water paste 2 to 3 times. Let dry for several days.
Tie 4 pieces of twine onto the box.
Pop and remove the balloons. The children can now paint their balloon.
When dry, place into their box. Tape the loose ends of the 4 pieces of twine to the paper mache balloon with duct tape.
Hole punch to holes at the top of the balloon shape and tie 2 longer pieces of twine to hand the balloon from the ceiling.
Paper Mache Ant Hill
Are you investigating bugs this summer? Try making this!
Materials Needed: 2 liter soda bottle for each child, paper plates, newspaper strips and paper mache paste (as listed above), duct or masking tape, paint, wax paper.
Cover the table with wax paper.
Cut the tops off the plastic bottles (you will only use the top part with the opening...so make it as tall as you'd want the ant hill to be).
Place the cut bottle onto a paper place in the middle. Tape the bottle top to the paper plate.
Place strips of masking tape on the bottle from top to bottom to make it look like a hill and will help the newspaper mache to stick better.
Cover the bottle and with strips of newspaper dipped in the flour/water paste. Once dry, add another layer. You can add a 3rd layer if you'd like after the second layer dries.
DO NOT PAPER MACHE THE OPENING OF THE BOTTLE! Keep it open to look like the opening of an ant hill.
The children can then paint their ant hill.
EXTENSION: Glue on small, plastic ants to the hill or ant stickers.
Materials Needed: For this preschool summer activities art project, purchase a large quantity of lemons (ask parents to each donate one as well!). Cut them in half before school starts. Let some of them dry slightly and place some others in the refrigerator.
Use the slightly dried lemon halves to print with. Use yellow and pink paint to dip the lemons into and them press onto paper.
Use the leftover lemons to make homemade lemonade with. The children will LOVE squeezing lemons!
Materials Needed: Large white crayons (1 for each child) and a large piece of manila paper for each child; watered down blue tempera and brown tempera paint.
Draw a line across the paper lengthwise in advance. Have the children draw (the best they can!) the things they might see at a beach:
On the top (water section) fish, boats, floats, etc.
On the bottom of the line (sand section) umbrellas, balls, etc.
When done, they paint the bottom section with the brown watered down paint and the top with the blue to reveal what they have drawn.
NOTE: Some teachers do this on white construction paper. I've found that preschoolers become frustrated because they can't see what they are drawing. I hear comments like "Miss Cheryl, my crayon doesn't work!". So, I now use manila colored paper for this activity.
Materials Needed: Sidewalk chalk, water, paper
What is a preschool summer activities theme without chalk and water?!! This activity works inside at the art table or outside on the sidewalk (skip the paper!)
Dipping chalk in water before coloring with it makes the colors so brilliant on paper! And on the sidewalk!
EXTENSION: Add salt to warm water and dissolve it before this activity. The children dip the chalk in the salty water and then draw with it. It dries with a crystal effect!
Materials: Large white paper, yellow and brown finger paint, green paper, scissors and glue.
The children dip their hands into yellow paint and place their hand on the white paper. Continue doing this going around in a circle to make the sunflower.
They then use their fingers to make the seeds inside the sunflower by dipping them in brown paint.
Have the children practice using scissors by cutting various shapes and sizes of leaves from green paper.
Also, draw a solid black line on their green paper to cut on to make the stem.
They glue their stem and leaves under their sunflower.
Many teachers have specific themes over the summer such as Ocean, Beach, etc. Add small plastic toys that go along with your theme or just summer items to your block area for this preschool summer activities theme.
Some ideas could be: Sand pails to help carry blocks.
Little, plastic people and fabric squares for being at the beach.
Ocean creature sorters to make and under the sea structure.
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your theme!
In advance, prepare some cards for this preschool summer activities circle idea. Draw (or find pictures in magazines) on each card a water activity: swimming, putting on a safety vest, putting on sunscreen, rowing a boat, etc.
One child picks a card and acts out what they see and the other children guess what they are acting out.
In the summer when days are hot (wipe forehead)
I like to find a shady spot (sit down)
And hardly move, even a tiny bit (sit still--freeze!)
And sit and sit and sit and sit.
Preschool Summer Activities Days!
These are my sunglasses (circle eyes with index fingers and thumbs)
This is my hat (hands on head)
This is the way to fold my hands (fold hands)
Just like that!
Pack the paper plates and napkins (pretend to pack a lunch box or picnic basket)
Don't forget something to eat and drink.
Hot dogs, salad, cake and lemonade--I think pink!
It's fun to go on a picnic!
I really can not wait!
To eat and play and have fun all day.
And get home very late! (Yawn and stretch)
Ice Cream (Flannel story, make pieces in advance).
First we need a cone,
Nice and crunchy.
Then we need some ice cream.
Sweet and yummy.
Scoop them on; stack them on.
Up to the sky.
First come vanilla-cold and sweet.
Then comes chocolate--a delicious treat.
Here's some strawberry.
Orange sherbet, too.
A super big ice cream cone.
Just for you.
Once scoop, two scoops, three scoops, four.
We love ice cream...let's make more!
EXTENSION: Prior to this, ask the children what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. List it next to their names and place on a chart. Give them a "scoop" of flannel in the color that represents their favorite and add it to this poem!
Make Ice Cream
Materials Needed: Large ziploc bags, small ziploc bags, ice, salt; for chocolate ice cream--pint of chocolate milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar. For vanilla ice cream; pint of white milk and one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla.
In the small ziploc bags, add the ingredients and seal.
In the large ziploc bag add ice and 6 tablespoons of salt.
Place the small bag into the large bag and seal the large bag.
Make several bags so they can all help and you'll have enough ice cream to share!
The children should shake and rotate the bags around. It should turn to ice cream after about 3 or 4 minutes of this shaking and turning!
Pass The Ice Cube
A great preschool summer activities idea is one that cools you off! This activity is great to do inside at circle time or outside!
Materials Needed:Ice cubes and music
The children pass the ice cube until you stop the music. Everyone counts to 1, then turn on the music to pass some more.
The next time you stop the music, whoever has the ice cube holds it while you all count to 2, then 3, etc. Continue as long as there is interest.
VARIATION: We use a Beanbag CD that has a "Pass the Bean Bag Song". It is my favorite bean bag CD. You might find it at your local library or you can purchase it by clicking the link below.
EXTENSION: Follow this activity up with the Ice Melting activity listed below under Sand and Water table.
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific preschool summer activities theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Cool and Green
Ingredients and Items needed: lemonade and blue kool-aid!
Make fresh lemonade. Add some of a packet of blue Kook-Aid and voila--cool, green refreshing!
Banana Pudding--Home Made
Ingredients and Items Needed: 3 bananas, 1 1/2 cups of applesauce, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (have the children squeeze fresh lemons!), paper cups, blender or mixer.
Include the children in making this. Have them help to peel and slice the bananas. Have each child count out 3 slices of banana to put aside for later.
Mix the remaining bananas and all the remaining ingredients into the blender (or a bowl to mix it with an electric mixer). Blend/mix. Scoop out into the paper cups (makes about 6 half cup servings).
The children place their banana slices on top.
Ingredients and items needed: A fresh pineapple and vanilla yogurt (or banana or other flavor!)
Cut off the top of the pineapple and the sides in front of the children! Core it. Slice into rings. The children place a ring on a paper plate and add a scoop or 2 of yogurt on top. You can also add other fruits to the top...strawberries, blueberries, etc. Great fine motor and counting activity!
Home Made Popscicles
Materials needed: different flavors of juice, ice cube trays, craft sticks, measuring spoons, aluminum foil (some teachers use plastic wrap, but I have a difficult time making the slit in the wrap, so I use tin foil!)
Pour the different types of juice into shallow bowls. Have the children choose and then scoop juice into one or more of the compartments of the ice cube tray. Don't worry if it overflows into another compartment, it will then be fruit punch!
When all sections are filled, cover the tray with aluminum foil and then gently insert a craft stick into each section and freeze.
NOTE: There are many products available in the supermarkets and stores for you to use to make these. They are plastic and have the sticks and covers as one piece. Check out your store's preschool summer activities aisle or seasonal aisle. I prefer the "old fashioned" way of making them!
Of course! It is summer! Preschool summer activities always include dramatic play! Add towels, empty sunscreen bottles, umbrella, beach chairs, water bottles and, if you are brave enough, spray bottles with water in them to spray and cool off!
Provide picnic items! This will be the most popular preschool summer activities idea in your classroom!
Provide picnic baskets, a blanket, pretend food, a radio/cd player, hats, some pretend plastic ants! Go for it!
More Than Just Paining (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!
Materials Needed: Provide many shades of blue and green for some great ocean or lake pictures!
that help build the children's muscles while they have fun together!
Materials: Sand pails (2 for each team), paper cups (large-1 for each team), water.
The children in each team make a line (we limit to 4 children in each team to start with).
Fill a bucket with water in the front of each team line.
Place an empty bucket at the end of each line.
The child in the front of the line scoops a cup of water with their cup and hands it to the person behind them. They continue until the last person empties their cup into the bucket at the end of the line. Keep going until all the water has been moved to the back bucket!
Water Ball Toss
Materials: Large buckets or bins with water in them, small balls to toss
The children try tossing the balls into the buckets. There used to be balls called Water Balls that were for use in pools, these are GREAT!
Sidewalk Chalk Roads
Materials: Side Walk Chalk, ride-one bikes
The children use the chalk to draw lines, roads, stop signs, traffic lights, etc. on the hardtop outside (or on your floor--it will wash up, don't worry!).
They then follow their roads with their bikes or walk on them!
Painting the World
It can get pretty hot outside this time of year. Include lots of water play (and water drinking) as part of your preschool summer activities theme planning!
Materials: Many sand pails filled with water and large brushes (that you'd paint a house with). Let the children paint on the sidewalk with the water!
Materials: lots of sponges, buckets of soapy water and your ride on bikes! Have a car wash! No, this is not child labor...ok, it is a little ;) The children will LOVE doing this, trust me!
Get Out of the Rain
Have a race to get out of the rain! Talk to the children about the type of summer weather your area has. We tend to have lightening storms and a lot of rain.
Bring outside a drum or a bell or other instrument. The children should "run to the dry place" when they hear the instrument. The "dry place" may be a blanket you've laid out or a specific area of the playground.
Trace Your Shadow
Have the children trace each other's shadow with chalk while outside! You can extend this by having the children then fill in their face, hair, clothes, etc.
Ride On Toy Road Safety
Have the children (or a teacher) draw roads for them to ride their bikes on. Be sure to include stop signs and traffic lights. One teacher added a few chalk drawn gas stations as well!
Discuss bike safety with the children: Wearing helmets, looking for cars, etc.
Book Suggestions for the Library
The following books may be found at your local library. You can purchase them through Amazon by clicking the title links.A Summery Saturday Morning (Picture Puffin Books) by Margaret Mahy
Provide a very large variety of sea shells for the children to sort and count. Provide different preschool summer activities themed containers to sort into such as large clam shells, small beach pails, etc.
As with any sorting activity, give them time to just explore the shells for several days. They will be fascinated by the different shapes and colors.
Add paper cut into ocean shapes or other shells that you have programmed by putting numbers on each one. Encourage the children to count that many shells onto the paper you've cut out.
Show the children how to fold paper into fans. The accordion folds do not need to be very narrow, wide folds work also! They will have fun making their own fans!
EXTENSION: You could also add stickers and markers for the children to decorate their fans.
Materials Needed: Lots of different types of rocks that you might find at the beach or outside in the summer. Bring in large ones as well as many, many small ones. The children will sort by size, shape, color and more!
Celebrate-Summer is Here
Bring out all your musical instruments and have a Happy Summer celebration! Perhaps a parade outside!
Move Like the Water!
Materials: Dancing scarves (or long strips of fabric)
Ask the children to talk about the water they see in summer. Encourage them to act out HOW that water moves:
Lake--calm...until a boat goes by!
Pond--frogs jumping, fish swimming
River or stream--water moves quickly
Their spinkler--the water goes up and then to the left and then to the right
5 Little Hot Dogs
This is one of my favorite songs!
5 little hot dogs in the fry pan, (hold up one hand and wiggle your fingers)
The pan got hot and one went BAM! (clap loudly)
4 little hot dogs in the fry pan, (hold up four fingers and wiggle them)
The pan got hot and one went BAM! (clap loudly)
3 little hot dogs in the fry pan, (hold up three fingers and wiggle them)
The pan got hot and one went BAM! (clap loudly)
2 little hot dogs in the fry pan, (hold up two fingers and wiggle them)
The pan got hot and one went BAM! (clap loudly)
1 little hot dog in the fry pan, (hold up one finger and wiggle it)
The pan got hot and it went BAM! (clap loudly)
No little hot dogs in the fry pan, (hold up a fist and look at it)
To get hot and then go BAM! (clap loudly)
Materials: Water! Plastic boats, 2 one liter bottles filled with water.
Place the water bottles at one end of the water table in the water. They should stand up due to their weight. If not, fill them with sand and cover.
Tie some string from one bottle to the other to resemble a finish line.
The children stand at the opposite end of the water table and place their boat on the water. They blow to move the boat to the other side of the table!
Fill your water table with a small amount of water and a LOT of ice cubes of different colors. Provide eye droppers for them to drop the water onto the ice cubes to watch how they melt.
VARIATIONS: We've made ice cubes of different shapes using bowls, cups, etc. Also, using table salt helps the ice cubes to stick to each other when used by the children in the table.
Add different beach items to your sand table. Include little, plastic people, little plastic dogs, small pieces of fabric for blankets or towels, small bowl with water for the ocean, little umbrellas, etc.
Or, add sand toys such as sifters, shovels, pails, water wheels, etc.
Materials Needed: Several one liter plastic bottles and a few two liter bottles; vegetable oil, water, blue food coloring, hot glue gun.
Fill the bottle 2/3 full with water. Add a few drops of food coloring and shake.
Fill the rest of the bottle with vegetable oil. Hot glue the cap on.
Hold the bottle sideways and move from left to right to make waves.
EXTENSION: We have added small, plastic sharks and other ocean items to these!
Materials: Bring in lots and lots of shells from the beach (or you can purchase them at a teacher store or craft store). The kids love to check them out, guess what used to live in them, etc.
EXTENSION: Add books about shelled fish at your science table.
Heat in Action
Bring 2 uncooked eggs outside on a hot day. Discuss the weather and temperature with the children.
Open one egg into a bowl. Place it in the shade and ask the children what will happen. Write down their answers.
Open the other egg directly onto the ground! Ask the children what will happen. Write down their answers.
Observe! (Perhaps place some safety cones around the eggs so that they are not disturbed). The egg on the ground will actually fry if it is hot enough out and on the ground!
Materials: Real sunflowers, tweezers, muffin tins
Let the children use the tweezers to pull the seeds off and place them into muffin tins. They can count or sort them. This is a great activity to do before the Sunflower Art project above in the art section!
Materials: You can purchase these at a teacher store. If you've never used them before, I highly recommend it! Just place them near a window or bring them outside for the children to experiment how light works!
Materials Needed: markers, crayons or colored pencils; foam pieces that are summer or beach themed or stencils that are themed.
The children create their own summer theme. Encourage them to talk to you about what they like to do in the summer. Write down their stories to post with with pictures.
A Word about Safety First
Taking summer field trips can be tricky. Although the beach sounds fun, I'm not a big supporter of bringing a large group to a beach, pond or lake.
There is too much potential for injury and far too many people there to keep track of the group. If you do decide to do this, plan, plan, plan and once your plans are in place, review your plans again.
Have an intense meeting with your chaperones to ensure that they know what their responsibilities are, who they are responsible for etc.
In addition, check your state regulations and don't just leave this up to your director. YOU are the one taking the trip so YOU need to know the rules!
The regulations may require that you have your own certified life guard with you on the trip. Check it out and be safe.
Don't forget your public library! Call them to see what preschool summer activities they may have going on. Most libraries have a summer program in place of their school year programming. Much of their programming is geared for elementary aged children. So call ahead and find out if they can do something age appropriate with your preschoolers with some type of summer theme!