Summer is such a magical time for me—the sun makes the days longer, and it just seems to lift my spirits. In 2022 I was looking ahead at the long stretch of hot summer days with my 1-year-old twins and a 3-year-old. I felt a mix of excitement and a bit of worry wondering how I would spend the summer months ahead with young children. But then, I saw it as a great way to fill our days with fun, learning, and lots of smiles. That’s how I came up with At Home Summer Play School, turning what seemed like an endless summer into a journey filled with learning, laughter, and love. Let me share with you how I transformed a summer that seemed too long into one brimming with summer themed activities for preschoolers full of growth and joy—and how you can do it, too!

The idea for At Home Summer Play School sprang from the realization that we had so many days ahead with no plans. Having been an elementary teacher, I understand the value of structured activities. However, I also wanted summer to be a time for free exploration and simple joys. I put my heart into designing a fun way to blend educational objectives with the essence of summer camps, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Our first week, Fruits and Veggies Fiesta, turned a routine trip to the market into an exciting exploration of colors, tastes, and textures of the summer season. We engaged in activities like vegetable stamp painting, cherry tomato counting, and tasting different foods. It was an excellent way for us to play and learn with the season’s offerings.

But our adventure didn’t stop there. With summer preschool themes like Nature Explorers and Animal Adventures, our backyard became an endless classroom. Each week brought new discoveries, from the intrigue of tiny insects to the mystery of the night sky, sparking our wonder and desire to learn more with each day.

Why these summer themed activities became my guiding light through the summer with preschoolers

This journey from feeling overwhelmed to fully embracing the joy of summer taught me the importance of making the most of our days. It wasn’t about filling time; it was about creating meaningful moments that fostered bonding, ignited curiosity, and encouraged growth. A theme like ice cream was a perfect blend of indulging in a favorite summer treat and learning in the most enjoyable way possible.

The ice cream theme was more than just summer crafts and a great time; it sparked our creativity in ways I hadn’t imagined. Making ice cream shapes with playdough and decorating paper sundaes with sequins and markers was not only fantastic for our fine motor skills but also let our creativity soar.

We also made a sensory bin that mimicked an ice cream shop, which was both fun and educational, allowing us to explore through touch. Playing ice cream shop outside taught us about teamwork, math, and social skills, all while having an absolute blast. Sight words and teaching letter recognition are great, but real, authentic learning is even better. (And lasts much longer, too). 

Make every day an adventure with summer themed activities for preschoolers! Sign up for my Free Printable Summer Schedule and transform your family’s summer with fun, structured activities. Less planning, more playing! 🎉✨

Incorporating these activities into our daily routine changed how I viewed summer. It was the perfect time for crafting special moments that brought us closer and filled our days with joy. Our flexible Summer Schedule kept us on track yet allowed for spontaneous adventures, making our summer both joyful and peaceful.

What seemed like an overwhelming summer turned into an opportunity to dive deep into my children’s world with planning, creativity, and enthusiasm. At Home Summer Play School is a testament to the magic that happens when you blend the structured learning of summer themed activities from an elementary teacher with the endless possibilities of summer. It’s designed to help you and your kids turn this season into an unforgettable journey of discovery and fun.

Making the most of summer with your preschoolers doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are simple, manageable ways to bring those 11 summer themed fun activities to life, even amidst the hustle and bustle that comes with being a busy caregiver.

Turn Your Home into a Summer Play School Wonderland!

Dive into a season of learning and laughter with our At-Home Summer Play School Guide. Spark curiosity and creativity with activities designed for endless fun.

11 Summer Themed Activities for Preschoolers

Water Play Day

Transform any day into a splash-tastic adventure with items you already have. Set up different water stations using large plastic bins or buckets filled with water. Add small toys, measuring cups, pom poms, pool noodles (cut up make the perfect mini boats), sponges, and water wheels for a variety of sensory experiences. A simple garden sprinkler can also provide hours of fun, encouraging kids to run and play in the spray. While having a water table is great – there’s no need to invest in one when you have so many simple items at home that will work just as well!

Sandcastle Sculptures

No beach nearby? No problem! A portable sandbox or a large container can bring the beach to your backyard. Fill it with play sand available at most hardware stores. Provide children with household items like measuring cups, old kitchen utensils, and small plastic containers as tools for creativity. Encourage them to sculpt not just castles but anything they imagine, from animals to treasure islands. These are great ideas for providing fine motor practice.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt list with pictures for younger children or words for those a bit older, including items easily found in your backyard or a local park, like leaves, stones, flowers, and feathers. Turn it into a game by setting a timer or offering a small prize for finding all the items. This encourages quick, engaging exploration of the natural world around them. Then use what they find to create a nature inspired sensory table.

Gardening Together

Choose easy-grow seeds like marigolds, basil, or lettuce to ensure success even for those without a green thumb. Decorate small pots or a designated garden space together, making it their own special project. Gardening kits for kids are available and come with everything you need, simplifying the process. This activity not only teaches responsibility and patience as they care for their plants but also provides the joy of harvesting their own flowers or veggies.

Backyard Camping

Create a simple camping experience by setting up a tent or creating a fort with blankets and chairs. Plan a special evening with a picnic dinner, followed by storytelling with flashlights. Introduce a mini-lesson on constellations by pointing out stars or using a stargazing app. This adventure requires little preparation but promises a night filled with imagination and learning.

DIY Ice Cream Shop

Utilize play dough or homemade dough for creating pretend ice cream cones and sundaes. Set up a small table as the shop, complete with signs and prices. Invite family members to be customers, and encourage your kids to take orders and serve their colorful creations. This playful activity develops social skills, basic math, and fosters creativity.

Bug Safari

Equip your little explorers with magnifying glasses and explore your garden or nearby park for interesting insects. Create a simple checklist of bugs to find, or take pictures with a smartphone. Discuss the role each insect plays in the ecosystem, such as pollination by bees. This low-prep activity is great for sparking interest in science and the natural world.

Rainbow Watercolor Art

Set up an outdoor art station with just a few supplies: watercolor paints, brushes, and paper. Show your children how to mix primary colors to create a rainbow or let them experiment on their own. This not only entertains them with minimal setup but also subtly introduces lessons on color theory and encourages self-expression through art.

Picnic Phonics

Make learning letters a tasty adventure with a themed picnic. Use snacks and treats corresponding to different letters (e.g., C for carrot sticks, P for pretzels). Lay out a blanket in your living room or backyard and enjoy the snacks while practicing phonics. This simple twist on snack time turns it into an educational activity that also creates cozy memories.

Ocean in a Bottle

Create a captivating ocean in a bottle with water, blue food coloring, oil (for a wave effect), and small floating toys or glitter. Secure the lid tightly, and let your child shake and observe the swirling mini ocean. It’s a quick and mesmerizing science experiment that introduces basic concepts about liquid density and marine life, perfect for quiet time observation.

Sidewalk Chalk Festival

Hand over a box of sidewalk chalk and let the driveway or sidewalk become a canvas for creativity. Suggest themes or let imagination lead, and consider inviting neighborhood kids for a larger festival. This simple activity encourages outdoor play and creativity, and it’s something the whole family can get involved in, drawing alongside the kids or creating an audience for their artwork.

Each of these activities stands as a pillar of our At Home Summer Play School, designed to weave educational themes with the freedom and fun of summer. They promise a season filled with outdoor activities, learning, and unforgettable moments of summer themed activities for your preschoolers.

At Home Summer Play School Features

  • Easy-to-Implement Activities
  • Educational and Fun
  • Adaptable for Multiple Ages
  • Focus on Whole Child Development
  • Built-In Flexibility

Are you a busy caregiver looking for a magical summer blend of fun and learning for your preschooler—and perhaps your older kids too? Look no further than At Home Summer Play School! Crafted with love and insight from a former elementary teacher, this program is your all-in-one solution for turning those long summer days into a treasure trove of joy, discovery, and growth. One mom of three shares,

I have 3 kids: ages 2, 3, and 7. Although the activities are geared to toddlers, I can easily adapt aspects for my 7 year old to join in on the fun and the theme each day and week. I love all of Kelly’s activities and suggestions. We are having so much fun as we take on meaningful, enriching learning experiences. You’ve made our summer days that much better. Thank you a ton!!!

Dawn (verified owner)

Imagine effortlessly guiding your little ones through activities that not only entertain but educate, ranging from nature explorations in your own backyard to creative arts and crafts that inspire young minds. At Home Summer Play School is designed to take the guesswork out of summer planning, providing you with a structured yet flexible schedule of thematic, engaging activities. It’s the perfect way to ensure your summer is filled with meaningful moments, giving your children the joy of summer fun combined with the enrichment of preschool learning, while also allowing older siblings to join in and enrich their summer experience. Dive into this adventure with us, and watch as your summer transforms into an unforgettable journey of laughter, learning, and love, all from the comfort of your home.

More Summer Activities

Perfect for busy caregivers, these posts offer simple ways to engage your little ones in learning through play, ensuring a summer filled with joy, creativity, and discovery. Keep reading for tips on making this season unforgettable for your family!

If you enjoyed diving into our summer adventure with the these 11 summer themed activities for preschoolers, you might find these other posts from my blog just as enriching and fun. In Empower Your Kids: Top Tips to Prevent Summer Slide, I share essential strategies to keep your children’s minds active and learning all summer long, ensuring they return to school ready and ahead of the curve. The Ultimate Guide to a Summer Reading Challenge for Kids offers creative ways to encourage reading, making it an exciting summer quest that rewards and inspires. For a crafty afternoon, Make a Rainbow Sun Catcher with Cardboard and Tissue Paper: Fun and Easy Homemade Project for Preschoolers! provides step-by-step instructions for a colorful project that brightens any room. To keep the little ones engaged and learning, 5 Fun and Educational Preschool Activities to Beat Summer Boredom and 5 Fun Summer Preschool Activities to Try at Home are packed with ideas that promise to turn any summer day into an opportunity for exploration and discovery. Each of these posts is designed to complement your summer adventures, offering more ways to make learning fun and meaningful for your children.

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