written by: Keren Perles
• edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• updated: 6/30/2015
Do you remember when summer joyfully felt longer than the school year? For young kids, summer means warm sunshine, plenty of water, and a dollop of fun. These preschool summer activities are the perfect way to help preschoolers enjoy the summer months even more.
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Water Balloon Catch
Preschool-aged children are just becoming proficient at throwing and catching balls. Let preschool summer activities tap into this new skill. Set preschoolers in a circle, each preschool kid a couple of feet apart from the next. Give one kid a water balloon, and encourage kids to pass the ball along the circle by throwing and catching it. As each child throws the balls, they should keep count of how many passes are successful before the water balloon is dropped.
Make sure to use this opportunity to teach kids the importance of taking it in stride when a player (or a teammate, later in life) "drops the ball." You can even celebrate when the ball is finally dropped with a splash!
Alternatively, have pairs of preschoolers play catch with each other using a water balloon. Keep plenty of extra ones handy for when the first ones break! See this article for more fun ball games for preschoolers.
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Kids love to play with their own shadows, and summer is the perfect time to encourage this play.Show preschool kids how to make shadow shapes with their hands in the bright sun, or how to make one person's shadow "eat" another person's shadow without the two people even touching.
Preschool kids can create whole stories using their shadows as characters and their imaginations as the plot. For a more science-based summer activity, partners can draw each other's shadow in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon, and compare the three shadow pictures. This will serve as a good springboard for a discussion about how the sun moves across the sky throughout the day.
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Here's a fun activity that will keep preschoolers cool on a hot summer day. Fill a large basin with water and put about ten pebbles on the bottom of it. Then have two preschoolers stand in the basin and try to pick up the pebbles with their toes. Tell them that the pebbles are really underwater treasure, and that they should try to collect as many as they can. Preschool kids will find this preschool summer activity extremely entertaining and will likely laugh the whole way through. See this article for more fun water activities for preschoolers.
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Some preschool summer activities can teach kids about the sun's purpose in helping plants grow. In this activity, one preschool child is the "summer sun," and she might wear a yellow scarf, hat, or other article of clothing as part of her role. The rest of the preschool children crouch down close to the ground and pretend to be seeds planted in the ground. The "summer sun" then sings the following song as she dances around the "seeds," to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot."
I am a summer sun
Yellow and bright.
I shine in the day
And sleep at night.
When I shine upon you,
Did you know?
If you're a seed,
I'll help you grow!
As the "summer sun" finishes the song, she gently touches one of the "seeds." The chosen child pretends to grow like a plant and says what type of flower or tree he has decided to be (e.g., rosebush, apple tree, dandelion). The activity continues until all of the "seeds" have grown and announced what type of plant they are. You can build on this lesson by adding some of these apple-theme preschool activities.