Ever felt the weight of a long summer day, watching your preschooler grow restless, and wondered how best to channel their boundless energy? If so, you’re not alone. As the temperatures rise, many parents seek fresh, engaging activities to keep their little ones entertained and learning during the summer break.
Fortunately, summer offers a plethora of opportunities to meld fun with foundational learning, taking advantage of the sunny days and warm nights.
As an expert in early childhood education and playful learning, I’ve curated a list of summer activities tailor-made for preschoolers, combining joy, discovery, and skill development.
Let’s dive into these sun-soaked suggestions, ensuring your preschooler’s summer days are filled with laughter, exploration, and cherished memories.
45 Summer Activity for Kids
Go through our list of 45 summer activities for preschoolers for some fantastic fun this summer. For younger children see our guide to outdoor activies for babies.
- Splash Pad Adventures:
- How to: Find a local splash pad or water play area.
- Tips: Bring sunscreen, water shoes, and a change of clothes. Always supervise your child closely.
- Homemade Popsicles:
- How to: Blend a mix of your child’s favorite fruits and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for a few hours.
- Tips: Use yogurt or coconut water for a creamy texture. Add honey or agave for extra sweetness.
- Nature Scavenger Hunt:
- How to: Create a list of nature items for your child to find.
- Tips: Make picture cards for non-readers. Celebrate with a small prize or treat for completed hunts.
- Sidewalk Chalk Art:
- How to: Provide colorful chalks and let their imagination run wild on the driveway.
- Tips: Draw targets for games or outline shadows for a fun twist.
- Bubble Blowing Extravaganza:
- How to: Mix dish soap and water. Use bubble wands or straws.
- Tips: Add glycerin to the mix for stronger bubbles. Try making giant bubbles with a rope loop.
- Picnic in the Park:
- How to: Pack a lunch, a blanket, and head to a local park.
- Tips: Bring finger foods, wet wipes, and a trash bag for easy cleanup.
- Beach Day:
- How to: Visit a nearby beach. Bring toys for sand play.
- Tips: Apply sunscreen, bring plenty of water, and set up a shade tent.
- Plant a Flower Garden:
- How to: Choose easy-to-grow flowers and plant them with your child.
- Tips: Start with seedlings for quicker results. Teach kids about watering and sunlight needs.
- Outdoor Story Time:
- How to: Grab some books and read outside.
- Tips: Choose nature-themed stories. Use a blanket or hammock for added comfort.
- Dress-Up Day:
- How to: Let your child choose costumes and play pretend.
- Tips: Set up themed areas or scenarios for imaginative play.
- DIY Wind Chimes:
- How to: String together old keys, beads, and bells.
- Tips: Use a sturdy branch or stick as a base. Hang in a breezy spot.
- Bird Watching:
- How to: Make a simple bird feeder using seeds and observe the birds.
- Tips: Use a bird identification book or app. Note the different birds you see.
- Water Balloon Toss:
- How to: Fill balloons with water and play catch.
- Tips: Use biodegradable balloons to be eco-friendly. Set up a target for aiming practice.
- Painted Rock Garden:
- How to: Paint rocks with colorful designs and place them in the garden.
- Tips: Use acrylic paints for durability. Seal with a clear coat for weather resistance.
- Mini Camping Trip:
- How to: Set up a tent in your backyard and camp out.
- Tips: Make s’mores, tell stories, and use flashlights for a fun night.
- Sundae Building Station:
- How to: Set up a table with ice cream, toppings, and cones or bowls.
- Tips: Use a variety of toppings like fruits, nuts, and syrups. Keep the ice cream in a cooler to prevent melting.
- Tie-Dye T-Shirts:
- How to: Use fabric dye to create colorful patterns on white shirts.
- Tips: Wear gloves to avoid staining hands. Pre-wash shirts for better dye absorption.
- Finger Painting:
- How to: Set up an outdoor painting station with paper and paints.
- Tips: Use washable paints. Encourage kids to mix colors and explore textures.
- Visit a Petting Zoo:
- How to: Find a local petting zoo and introduce your child to various animals.
- Tips: Teach children to approach animals gently. Bring hand sanitizer for after touching.
- Lemonade Stand:
- How to: Set up a small table, make lemonade, and sell it to neighbors.
- Tips: Use real lemons for a fresh taste. Discuss pricing and change with your child.
- Play Dough Creations:
- How to: Make play dough at home and let kids craft in the sun.
- Tips: Add food coloring for vibrant dough. Store in airtight containers to prevent drying.
- DIY Kites:
- How to: Craft kites using paper, sticks, and string.
- Tips: Fly on a windy day in an open area. Decorate with colorful designs.
- Backyard Obstacle Course:
- How to: Use household items to create a fun course.
- Tips: Time each run for added competition. Ensure safety by securing all items.
- Paper Boat Racing:
- How to: Fold paper boats and race them in water.
- Tips: Use a kiddie pool or bathtub. Add obstacles for more fun.
- Dance Party:
- How to: Play music outdoors and dance.
- Tips: Play a mix of fast and slow songs. Include games like freeze dance.
- Nature Collage:
- How to: Collect nature items and glue them onto paper.
- Tips: Use a large poster board. Arrange items before gluing for best design.
- Ice Cube Painting:
- How to: Freeze colored water and paint on paper as it melts.
- Tips: Use food coloring for vibrant ice cubes. Paint on a sunny day for quick melting.
- Outdoor Movie Night:
- How to: Set up a projector and screen outdoors.
- Tips: Bring blankets and snacks. Choose a family-friendly movie.
- Farm Visit:
- How to: Visit a local farm and learn about agriculture.
- Tips: Wear comfortable shoes. Pick fruits if available.
- How to: Lay on a blanket at night and look at the stars.
- Tips: Use a stargazing app or book. Look for shooting stars or satellites.
- Fishing Trip:
- How to: Visit a local pond or stream. Even pretend fishing in a tub can be fun.
- Tips: Bring snacks and patience. Teach kids about catch and release.
- How to: Draw a grid with chalk and play.
- Tips: Use stones or bean bags as markers. Make a long grid for added challenge.
- Shadow Drawing:
- How to: Place toys in sunlight and trace their shadows.
- Tips: Try this activity during different times of the day to see shadow changes.
- Nature Journaling:
- How to: Observe nature and draw or write about it.
- Tips: Use a sturdy notebook. Add date and location for each entry.
- Garden Yoga:
- How to: Practice simple yoga poses outdoors.
- Tips: Use a mat or blanket. Start with easy poses like tree or butterfly.
- Mud Pie Kitchen:
- How to: Set up an area with mud, water, and old kitchen tools.
- Tips: Wear old clothes. Add flowers or leaves for “garnish”.
- Butterfly Watching:
- How to: Create a butterfly-friendly spot in your garden.
- Tips: Plant butterfly-attracting flowers. Stay still and watch them come.
- Sandbox Archeology:
- How to: Bury toys in a sandbox and let kids dig them up.
- Tips: Use brushes for a real archeological feel. Time each dig for fun competition.
- Water Table Play:
- How to: Fill a table with water and add toys.
- Tips: Use measuring cups and funnels. Change water regularly.
- Rainbow Hunt:
- How to: After rain, search for rainbows in the sky.
- Tips: Discuss how rainbows form. Look for double rainbows.
- Treasure Maps:
- How to: Draw maps and hide treasures for kids to find.
- Tips: Use landmarks in your yard. Give hints if needed.
- Play Photographer:
- How to: Provide a disposable camera or old phone.
- Tips: Teach basic photography tips. Print and create a photo album.
- Visit a Lighthouse:
- How to: Find a nearby lighthouse and explore.
- Tips: Learn about its history. Climb to the top if allowed.
- Puppet Show:
- How to: Create puppets and put on a show.
- Tips: Use a cardboard box as a stage. Write a script or improvise.
- Fruit Picking:
- How to: Visit a local farm and pick seasonal fruits.
- Tips: Wear hats and sunscreen. Learn about the best picking techniques.
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get your preschooler excited about exploring the outdoors. You can create your own scavenger hunt list or find one online. A bug scavenger hunt is a perfect activity for preschoolers, as they love to discover new insects and creatures. You can also create a nature scavenger hunt, where your child can search for different plants and animals.
Water play is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day. Fill up a kiddie pool or sprinkler and let your preschooler splash around. Water balloons are another fun activity that your child will love. You can also create pool noodle boats and have a race in the pool.
Exploring nature is a great way to teach your preschooler about the world around them. Take a bike ride or go for a walk in the park and point out different plants and animals. You can also create a nature journal where your child can draw pictures of what they see.
Home Made Summer Camps
Home-made summer camps for preschoolers offer creative, cost-effective ways to keep little ones engaged. Transform your backyard into a playground with themed activities, crafts, and nature explorations. Tailor experiences to their interests, ensuring a memorable summer filled with learning, laughter, and endless fun right at home. You can include some natural beach living or process art in the camps to have some outdoor fun and keep kids busy.
Learn to Ride a Bike
Summer’s warm weather offers the perfect setting for toddlers to learn bike-riding. Starting as early as 18 months pedal bike, introducing a pedal bike or a balance bike can build confidence and coordination. As they grow, transitioning to a pedal bike becomes seamless. The season’s extended daylight and pleasant temperatures make each ride a joyful experience. See our detailed guide to balance bikes and the best balance bikes.
Fun with Food Summer Preschool Activities
Summer is the perfect time to get creative with food and make some tasty treats with your little ones. Here are some fun summer food activities that your preschooler will love:
Homemade Ice Cream
Making homemade ice cream is a fun and easy activity that your preschooler will love. You can use a simple recipe that only requires a few ingredients like cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. You can also add in some fun mix-ins like chocolate chips, sprinkles, or fruit.
Popsicles are a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. You can make your own popsicles with your preschooler using fruit juice or yogurt. You can also add in some chopped fruit or berries for a fun twist, this is so much fun to make with small kids and let them really experiment.
Ice Cream Math
Ice cream math is a fun way to teach your preschooler about numbers and counting. You can use scoops of ice cream to teach addition and subtraction, or use different flavors to teach about fractions.
Making a fruit salad is a fun and healthy activity that your preschooler will enjoy. You can let them help you pick out the fruit and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. You can also make it into a game by having them sort the fruit by color or shape.
Food art is a fun way to get creative with your food. You can use fruit, vegetables, and other foods to create fun and colorful designs. You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of sandwiches or pancakes. Have an outside mud kitchen to extend the fun, see our guide to building a diy mud kitchen, along with lots of mud kitchen recipes.
Indoor Summer Activities For Kids
When the weather is too hot (the summer heat can drain children quickly) or rainy outside, it’s time to bring the fun indoors. Here are some super fun summer fun activities for indoor preschoolers that will keep them entertained and engaged:
- Balloon Volleyball: Blow up a balloon and play a game of volleyball with your little one. It’s a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and get some exercise.
- Play Dough Fun: Set up a play dough station with different colors and shapes. Your child can use cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other tools to create their own masterpieces.
- Journaling: Encourage your child to start a summer journal. They can draw pictures, write stories, or document their favorite summer memories.
- Playdates: Invite some friends over for a playdate. Set out some toys and games and watch as your child has a blast playing with their buddies.
- Family Movie Night: Pick out a family-friendly movie and make some popcorn. Snuggle up on the couch and enjoy a cozy night in.
- Painting with Water: Fill up a bucket with water and give your child a paintbrush. They can “paint” the sidewalk, driveway, or patio with water and watch as their creations disappear in the sun.
- Giant Bubbles: Create a bubble solution with dish soap and water. Use a hula hoop or other large object to create giant bubbles that your child can chase and pop.
- Sensory bin – to build fine motor skills and sensory put together a food sensory bin made with rice or pasta.
Frequently Asked Questions on Fun Summer Activity Ideas
What are some fun and easy summer crafts for preschoolers?
Summer is the perfect time for preschoolers to get creative and explore their artistic side. Some super fun summer activities and easy summer crafts for preschoolers include making paper plate sunflowers, creating sand art, making handprint art, and painting with watercolors. These crafts are easy to set up and require minimal supplies, making them perfect for young children.
How can I make summer special for my kids?
Making summer special for your kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Some simple ways to make summer special include planning a family vacation, having a backyard campout, going on a nature hike, and having a picnic in the park. These activities are fun, easy to plan, and perfect for creating lasting memories with your children.
What are some activities that can be done during the summer season?
Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Some activities that can be done during the summer season include going to the beach, having a barbecue, going on a bike ride, and going to a water park. These activities are perfect for families and are a great way to enjoy the summer season.
What can you teach preschoolers about summer?
- Concept of Seasons: Explain how the Earth’s tilt and its orbit around the sun lead to seasons. Use simple language and visuals.
- Safety: Discuss the importance of sunscreen, hats, and staying hydrated.
- Nature: Talk about how plants grow and animals behave in summer. Point out blooming flowers, active animals, and longer days.
- Cultural and Seasonal Events: Introduce them to summer holidays, festivals, and traditions.
What are typical summer activities?
- Beach visits: swimming, sandcastle building, and shell collecting.
- Picnics in parks or gardens.
- Attending summer camps or workshops.
- Traveling on family vacations.
- Outdoor sports like cycling, hiking, or playing ball.
- Barbecues and outdoor dining.
- Visiting amusement parks, zoos, or water parks.
- Camping, either in the wilderness or the backyard.
- Gardening and enjoying fresh summer produce.
How do I entertain my 3 year old in the summer?
- Water Play: Set up a kiddie pool, sprinklers, or water tables.
- Nature Crafts: Collect leaves, twigs, and flowers to make art.
- Outdoor Storytime: Read books under a tree or in a makeshift tent.
- Treasure Hunts: Create simple maps or lists of items for them to find in the yard.
- Sidewalk Chalk: Let them draw on the driveway or sidewalk.
- Bubble Fun: Make a homemade bubble solution for them to blow and chase bubbles.
- Playdates: Organize meetups with other kids their age at parks or play areas.
- Music and Dance: Play their favorite songs and have a dance-off outside.
How do I entertain my toddler in the summer?
- Sensory Bins: Fill containers with sand, water, or rice and add toys.
- Nature Walks: Go on slow-paced walks, letting them explore and touch nature.
- Mud Kitchen: Set up an area where they can play with mud and old kitchen utensils.
- Animal Watching: Visit a local petting zoo or set up a bird feeder in your yard.
- Finger Painting: Use washable paints to let them create art outdoors.
- Play Dough: Make homemade play dough and let them mold and shape it.
- Puzzles and Games: Bring out simple puzzles or games suitable for their age.
- Building Blocks: Encourage them to build structures using blocks or Lego.
- Print off a free printable for them to complete.