10 Exciting Summer Activities to Make the Most of the Season

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

Summer stretches before you like a vast, sunny playground. While the school bell quiets, the symphony of summer beckons. This is a time to unwind, explore, and ignite your child’s natural curiosity.

But with endless options, where do you begin? Fear not! This list is your roadmap to a summer filled with learning, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Summer brings sunshine, warm weather, and endless opportunities for outdoor play and exploration. These 10 summertime activities are perfect for preschoolers and use easy-to-find materials to keep your child cool, engaged, and learning while they play.

Activity 1: Sidewalk Splash Art

sidewalk splash art activity
sidewalk splash art activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Sidewalk chalk (various colors), bucket of water, paintbrush (optional)

How to Perform: Turn your driveway or sidewalk into a giant canvas! Wet the sidewalk with a little water to make the chalk colors pop. Let your child loose with sidewalk chalk to create colorful pictures, hop on squares they draw, or write messages. This open-ended activity encourages creativity, gross motor skills, and outdoor play.

Area of Development: Creativity, Gross motor skills, Outdoor play

Activity 2: Slip and Slide Fun

slip and slide fun activity
slip and slide fun activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Large tarp, dish soap, sprinkler (optional)

How to Perform: Beat the heat with a homemade slip and slide! Lay a large tarp on a grassy area and get it wet with a sprinkler or hose. Squirt some dish soap (safe for grass!) onto the wet tarp to make it extra slippery. Your child will have a blast sliding back and forth and cooling off on a hot summer day.

Area of Development: Sensory exploration, Gross motor skills, Outdoor play

Activity 3: Nature Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Paper bag, crayons (optional), list of nature items (leaves, flowers, pinecones)

How to Perform: Head outdoors and create a nature scavenger hunt! Make a list of easy-to-find items like leaves, flowers, or pinecones. You can draw pictures on the list for younger children. Let your child loose in the backyard or park to find all the items on the list. This activity strengthens observation skills, fine motor skills (picking up objects), and connection to nature.

Area of Development: Observation skills, Fine motor skills, Connection to nature

Activity 4: Beach Bottle Bonanza

beach bottle bonanza activity
beach bottle bonanza activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Empty plastic bottle (clean and dry), small toys, sand, construction paper, tape (adult use)

How to Perform: Transform a recycled plastic bottle into a one-of-a-kind treasure! Fill the bottle with sand and small toys (things like buttons or beads work well). Cut out a piece of construction paper to fit the opening of the bottle and tape it securely closed. Decorate the outside of the bottle with markers, stickers, or paint. This activity strengthens creativity, fine motor skills (holding and manipulating objects), and upcycling.

Area of Development: Creativity, Fine motor skills, Upcycling

Activity 5: Sensory Sand Play

sensory sand play activity
sensory sand play activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Sandbox (or large bin), sand, plastic cups, spoons, toy trucks (optional)

How to Perform: Sand play is a timeless summer favorite! Fill a sandbox or large bin with sand for your child to explore. Provide them with plastic cups, spoons, and toy trucks to dig, pour, build, and create. Sensory play with sand strengthens fine motor skills, imagination, and creativity.

Area of Development: Fine motor skills, Imagination, Creativity

Activity 6: Sprinkler Spritz

sprinkler spritz activity
sprinkler spritz activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Sprinkler

How to Perform: Keep cool on a hot day with a simple sprinkler! Set up a sprinkler in your backyard and let your child run through the refreshing spray. They can splash around, jump in and out, or get creative and make up games with the water stream. This activity is a great way to cool off, develop gross motor skills, and enjoy the outdoors.

Area of Development: Cooling off, Gross motor skills, Enjoying the outdoors

Activity 7: DIY Seed Shakers

DIY Shakers

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Empty plastic containers (washable and dried), dried beans/rice, construction paper, markers, tape (adult use)

How to Perform: Upcycle empty containers into fun noisemakers! Fill the containers with dried beans or rice. Cut out construction paper to fit the opening of the container and tape it securely closed. Decorate the outside of the container with markers or stickers. Shake, rattle, and roll these homemade shakers to create music and explore sound. This activity strengthens creativity, fine motor skills (holding and shaking the container), and upcycling.

Area of Development: Creativity, Fine motor skills, Upcycling

Activity 8: Backyard Camping Adventure

backyard camping adventure activity
backyard camping adventure activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Tent (or blanket fort), flashlight, pillows, stuffed animals (optional)

How to Perform: Turn your backyard into a campsite for a night of pretend fun! Pitch a tent (or build a blanket fort) and let your child cozy up inside with pillows, stuffed animals, and a flashlight. Tell stories, sing songs, and enjoy the fresh air for a memorable summer night. This activity strengthens imagination, creativity, and connection with nature.

Area of Development: Imagination, Creativity, Connection with nature

Activity 9: Ice Excavation

Age Group: 3-5 years

Materials: Small plastic toys, bucket, water, baking soda (optional)

How to Perform: Create a mini ice excavation for some cool science fun! Fill a small bucket or container with water and add a few small toys. Optional: For faster freezing, mix in a tablespoon of baking soda. Freeze the container overnight. Once frozen solid, provide your child with safe tools (spoons, plastic cups) to chip away at the ice and rescue the frozen toys. This activity strengthens problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, and scientific exploration.

Area of Development: Problem-solving skills, Fine motor skills, Scientific exploration

Activity 10: Sidewalk Bubbles

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Bubble solution, bubble wand (or homemade wand from pipe cleaners)

How to Perform: Take your bubble blowing outdoors! Dip your bubble wand into bubble solution and blow big, beautiful bubbles in the fresh air. See how high you can blow them, chase them, or try to pop them! This simple activity is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, develop focus and concentration, and practice blowing skills.

Area of Development: Enjoying the outdoors, Focus and concentration, Blowing skills

summer activity image use for pinterest

Conclusion

Summer isn’t just a break from school; it’s a chance to cultivate a love of learning that will flourish year-round. By incorporating these activities, you’ll nurture your child’s creativity, resourcefulness, and independence. So, step outside, embrace the sunshine, and embark on a summer adventure together!

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