Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


Summer-themed activities

Believe it or not, summer is almost here. The sun's rays are finally offering us warmer days to enjoy with little ones.


There are so many outdoor activities for children. Luckily, they are always ready and willing to join us for any adventure we suggest, big or small.


Summer, as we all know, won't last forever. Here are several ideas for children of all ages. They will help you take advantage of everything summer has to offer!


0 to 1 year olds:

  • Remove the child's socks and help him/her discover different textures such as grass, sand, dirt, pool water, gravel, etc.
  • Prepare summer-themed stimulation bottles for your child. Fill clear plastic bottles with rocks, seashells, sand, a mixture of water and drops of blue food coloring, flowers, etc. Your child will be able to admire the different items and you won't have to worry about him/her putting them in his/her mouth.
  • Offer a special tent for your child on very hot days. Use a store-bought tent or make your own by hanging bed sheets over two chairs.
  • Fill your kiddie pool with water. For extra fun, add flowers, grass, seashells, ice cubes, food coloring, or bubble bath to the water.
  • Take advantage of summer to give your child the opportunity to discover "warmth". Encourage him/her to touch and manipulate items that have been left out in the sun.

1 to 2 years olds:

  • Prepare a picnic with your child. Set a large blanket on the grass in your yard, at a local playground, or by your swimming pool and enjoy an outdoor meal.
  • On rainy days, plan simple crafts. For example, you can make a sun by painting a yellow circle with your child. Press the child's hand in paint and then on the paper to make prints all the way around the circle to represent rays. You will cherish this sun for years!
  • Tear tiny pieces of tissue paper and crumple them. Help your child glue them on a flower model. Make several flowers to form a bouquet.
  • Take indoor activities outside. Crayons, paper, modeling dough, and puzzles can be just as much fun outdoors.

2 to 3 year olds:

  • On a hot rainy day, invite children to wear their rain boots and splash around outside.
  • Fill small buckets or containers with water and provide large paintbrushes children can dip in the water and use to "paint" your fence, deck, toys, etc.
  • Fill small spray bottles with water. Let children spray a variety of items in your yard. They can even use the bottles to cool off. Using spray bottles is a great exercise that prepares children for cutting with scissors.
  • Introduce children of this age to tricycles. Be patient, learning to pedal can take some time.

For 3 to 4 years olds:

  • Encourage children to collect tree branches, flowers, and small rocks. Use the items for various projects.
  • Add a small quantity of sand to your paint and let children create pretty paintings. Once dry, the paint will have an interesting texture.
  • Fill a plastic jar so that it is ¼ full of water. Fill another ¼ of the jar with a variety of materials found in nature (sand, rocks, grass, etc.). Let children shake the jar and encourage them to observe how the water and the other items react. Help them notice how certain items float while others sink to the bottom of the jar.
  • At this age, children will enjoy being given simple jobs such as watering the flowers, cleaning toys, etc. Congratulate them for their efforts and accompany them if they need help.

For 4 to 5 year olds:

  • Transform your backyard to make it look like a campground. Set a tent in one corner and sleep in it at naptime... or all night if it's warm enough outside.
  • Visit a farm, a greenhouse, a botanical garden, etc. Children of this age are disciplined and they enjoy discovering and experimenting new things.
  • Introduce children to fishing for a great, inexpensive activity.
  • Invite children to help you care for your garden.

I hope that you take advantage of the summer months ahead to spend quality time with your children. Try to get outside as much as you can on sunny days and reserve indoor activities for rainy days.


Have a wonderful, sun-filled summer!


Maude Dubé
Early childhood educator is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.


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