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Enjoying the Warm Weather: Summer Activities for Young Children

Jul 01, 2021    |   Summer

As we head into summer and the weather continues to warm up, it’s a great time to start thinking about new activities to enjoy with the children in your care to celebrate the new season. Long days mean extra sunshine and more time to spend outdoors — playing, exploring, and learning! In this article, we share a few quick sun safety tips as well as a variety of fun activities, from science experiments to art projects, to enjoy the sunshine with young children.

Summer Sun Tips

Remember sun safety. Enjoying the warm weather can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember sun safety, so you’ll want to be sure children wear sunscreen, hats, or other protection when spending time outdoors. As the weather warms up, you might consider doing a check of your sunscreen basket to ensure that every child has enough sunscreen to last through the season.

Don’t forget the H2O! In the warmer months, hydration is especially important. Encourage children to take water breaks regularly so that their bodies stay healthy and hydrated.

Have some extra clothes handy. On particularly warm days, the children in your care might enjoy water play to cool down. Before doing any activities that will get children wet, be sure that every child has a change of clothes available to switch into after the water activity. This will help avoid children having to spend too much time in uncomfortable, wet clothing.

Summer Activity Ideas: Toddlers & Young Preschoolers

Toddler adding flowers to nature sensory jars

Image & activity idea from
Little Pine Learners

Nature Sensory Bottles

Creating a nature sensory bottle is a calming summer day activity. Hunting for natural items is a relaxing sensory experience, and the finished bottles will make a beautiful display in your classroom.

To set up this activity, fill bottles or jars with water and then place nature finds in the jars. Click here to find more information about enjoying this simple activity.

Pool Noodle Painting

PreK pool noodle painting

Image & activity idea from
What Can We Do With Paper and Glue

You might not have a pool outside of your classroom, but you can still enjoy pool toys in a fun and unique ways that celebrate the spirit of summer. This activity is simple to set up and provides a great opportunity for children to explore textures and patterns by using pool noodles in new and different ways. 

All you will need for this activity is a few pool noodles (if you don’t have any available, you can usually find them at the dollar store), paint, and a roll of paper. To set up the activity, cut the noodles into small pieces and squirt some paint onto paper plates. 

Click here for more details and ideas for setting up this project. 

Summer Activity Ideas: Preschool & Pre-K

Summer STEM Experiment: What Melts in the Sun?

Preschool Experiment with cookie sheet and items to set for melting

Image & activity idea from
Frugal Fun 4 Boys

The hot weather provides a great opportunity to learn about heat and how it affects different types of objects. Take a variety of different items (item suggestions below) and place each one in its own spot in a cupcake tin.  Place the tin outdoors in the sun, where children can observe the process of melting and engage in conversation about the differences they see– some items melt quickly, some take longer, and some won’t melt at all.  For deeper learning, ask children to make some hypotheses about which items will melt first, and maybe even set up a chart to track the results. Click here for more detailed information about setting up this activity. 

Here are a few different items that you might use for your experiment (the key will be to select a variety of different materials so that children can observe differences): 

  • Small pieces of food such as butter, chocolate, a mini marshmallow, fruit, cheese, etc. 

  • Crayons 

  • Blocks or legos 

  • A rock 

  • Soap

Lemon Citrus Art

Preschooler summer painting with lemon cut in half to be a paint stamp

Image & activity idea from
Preschool Plan-It.

For this art project, you’ll need a large number of lemons (ask parents to each donate a few if they are able!). Cut them in half early in the day to let some of them dry out slightly before starting the project. For a lemonade theme, use yellow and pink paint to dip the lemons into and then press them onto paper. You can also do this project with different colors, or different citrus fruits! Click here to find more information about this project. 

And, if there are any unused lemons, you and the children can make homemade lemonade. The children will love squeezing lemons and helping to create the recipe.

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