Home    |   Playful Learning Activities   |   Seasonal Activities   |   Summer   |   Big List of Outdoor Activities for Summer

Big List of Outdoor Activities for Summer

Jul 19, 2019    |   Outdoor & Sensory PlaySummer

Early learning professionals spend countless hours preparing and planning their classroom environments by arranging  thoughtfully chosen materials and incorporating a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Outdoor activities tend to get less attention and preparation. Because outdoor play often consists of independent running, jumping, and exploring, it can be easy to forget the importance of developing an intentional outdoor curriculum to complement the classroom and indoor play area.

As described by The Outdoor Classroom Project, whole child development and early learning occurs “everywhere and all the time”. In addition to academic skill development, children need a variety of learning opportunities to grow in creativity, motor skills and social-emotional development, both inside and outside of the classroom. The warm weather of summer makes it is a great time to expand curriculum outdoors to provide a wide variety of learning opportunities to support the building blocks for kindergarten readiness.

Infant Outdoor Activities

Pebble and Water Sensory Tub: Little Lifelong Learners

Infants enjoy fresh air, and being outside of the classroom is important for infant development. Planning outdoor activities for infants who are not yet able to walk will, of course, need to take into account babies’ limited mobility.

Toddler & Preschool Outdoor Activities

Water Tables & Sensory Play

Opportunities to explore with sensory bins and water tables are particularly enjoyable for toddlers and young preschoolers. Water tables are best done outdoors, as they can get messy, especially when they are used to cool off on hot days! As a note, always ensure that children have dry clothes to change into after water play. It can be helpful to encourage parents to bring in extra clothes to be left in the child’s cubby.

Messy Art Experiences

We all know how much children enjoy getting messy, and projects that allow children to freely explore textures of squishy paints and art materials provide unique opportunities for sensory learning (Click here to learn more about the benefits of messy art). Messy art is best done outdoors where spills are welcome and clean-up is easy.

STEM & STEAM Learning

Elephant Toothpaste: Fun at Home with Kids

Young children are curious explorers, a vitally important quality they love to express  in science, engineering, math, and art activities. STEM and STEAM encourage hands-on learning, so messy experiments lend themselves to outdoor play.  Science and art learning are both enhanced by being experienced in a natural environment. (Click here to learn more about STEM learning.)


Physical Play

While there is climbing and gross motor movement to be done indoors, the best way for children to really move their large muscles is by playing outside. Toddlers and preschoolers love running, jumping, and moving their bodies in the fresh air and open spaces.

Math Foundations Skill-Builders

While math is often thought of as an indoor academic learning experience, many fun math activities can be easily brought outdoors! Try counting and categorizing the natural objects that you find outside, such as rocks, pinecones, leaves, or twigs.

Related Articles & Posts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This