Summer Theme Ideas for Preschool

Summer is a fun time for preschool. There is so much to celebrate and learn about. You can do bugs, gardening, beach, and so many more fun ideas. Crafts, learning activities, fine motor, gross motor, science, math, art, music, sensory play and more. Here is a list of summer theme ideas for preschool.

Summer is a fun time for preschool. There is so much to celebrate and learn about. You can do bugs, gardening, beach, and so many more fun ideas. Crafts, learning activities, fine motor, gross motor, science, math, art, music, sensory play and more. Here is a list of summer theme ideas for preschool.

Let the summer theme activities planning begin!

Summer Theme ideas for Preschool

Summer theme art ideas:

Paper plate sunflowers-Cut some construction paper triangles or petal shapes from yellow construction paper. Let the kids color or paint the paper plate brown or you could let them glue sunflower seeds all over the plate. Then help them glue the “petals” all around the outside of the paper plate to make a big sunflower.

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Fans for cooling off-Give kids a piece of paper to decorate. They can draw whatever they want on the paper. Encourage them to use lots of color. Then fold one inch at across the short end of the paper. Turn the paper over and fold it back the other direction to make an accordion pattern. Continue to fold until the entire piece of paper is folded. Pinch the bottom of the folds together with a staple or paperclip and you have a beautiful fan to keep you cool.

recycled boats floating in a small swimming pool. One is made of the bottom of a milk carton and has animals riding in it, the other is the bottom of a styrofoam cup with a small sail.

Recycled boats-Use old milk cartons, boxes, or other trash out of your recycle bins to create boats. Kids can create different types of boats using their imagination. It can be turned into a science lesson by seeing which one floats the best. They can use popsicle sticks to make a mast and make paper or cardboard flags to put on top. They can also decorate them for more fun.

Small box boat with straw and notebook paper flag floating in a tub of water.

Sidewalk chalk-let kids draw on the sidewalk, patio or driveway and create masterpieces.

Make binoculars from paper towel rolls cut in half and taped together side by side. Kids can use them or use magnifying glasses to hunt for bugs or other things outside.

Paper plate sun visor-Cut a paper plate in half and then cut out part of the inside of the half so it’s in a crescent shape. Punch holes in both the pointy ends and string it with yarn. Measure child’s head and tie yarn so visor fits their head. Let them decorate them.

               

               

   

Summer theme ideas

Coffee filter flowers-give each child a coffee filter. Let them spray or paint with liquid water colors OR let them draw on them with markers and give them a squirt bottle of water to make the colors bleed. Once filters are dry, gather the middle of them and twist a green pipe cleaner around the gather for the stem.

Egg carton flowers-cut the sections of an egg carton into separate pieces. If you use cardboard cartons, kids can use markers to decorate them. Poke a hole in the center of the section once it’s decorated and poke a pipe cleaner through the hole for the stem. Fold it over inside the egg carton section to secure it.

Butterfly smash paint-fold a piece of white paper in half the short way. Let kids squirt drops of paint down the crease of the paper and fold it back over. Let kids smash the paint in every direction until it’s flat. Open the paper and there will be a beautiful butterfly.

Cloudy art-Give each child a piece of dark blue construction paper. They can either color on the paper with white crayon or chalk to make clouds or you can give them a small dish of glue and a pile of cotton balls to glue onto the paper for clouds.

Feet art-Get a long strip of paper and squirt paint all over it in several colors. Let kids take off their socks and shoes and walk around the paper painting with their feet.

kids wearing smocks painting rocks for the garden

Painting garden rocks-select a few medium sized rocks and some chalk paint. Let kids paint designs on the rocks and when dry, place them around the garden for decorations. We have had painted concrete and rocks in our garden for several years and the Amy Howard chalk paint has not come off at all.

Summer activities for preschoolers and toddlers

Summer theme science ideas:

Sunny snack-place a round slice of apple on a plate, put orange segments around the outside of the apple slice like the rays of the sun. Add some raisin eyes and mouth or use a half slice of cucumber for a smiley face and you have a sunshine face. Get creative, the kids will love it.

Homemade popsicle-if you have popsicle molds, Dixie cups, or even an ice cube tray you can make some popsicles. Use real fruit juice or pureed fruit. For Dixie cups, add a popsicle stick. For ice cube trays, fill, cover with plastic wrap and then stab a toothpick or skewer through the plastic into each section. The wrap holds it up while it freezes. Check out this recipe for a delicious 3 ingredient popsicle.

Lemon magic ink-did you know you can draw with lemon juice and it’s invisible until you heat it? Squeeze lemons into a bowl. Give the kids q-tips to paint with. Let them draw something on their paper with the juice and after it’s dry, put them in a 350-degree oven until the writing magically appears.

Plant sunflowers-growing plants is great science for kids. Click this article to see how.

big, beautiful yellow sunflower

Parts of a flower science-learning the parts of a flower is a great lesson that teaches kids more about how plants grow. Dig up a dandelion or another type of flower you have around, getting all the roots. Lay the flower on a piece of white paper. Show the kids the roots and explain how the roots gather the water and nutrients from the soil.

Show them the stem. Even cut it open and see if it’s hallow in the middle or not. Explore the texture inside. Explain that the stem brings the nutrients and water that the roots gather into the plant to feed and water it.

Next, let the kids explore the leaves. You can do leaf rubbings, study the veins with a magnifying glass or whatever you have on hand. Show them how the leaves use those veins to collect light and nutrients from the sun that feeds the plant. The leaves can also absorb rain water.

The best part is the flower. Kids can take the petals apart and see how intricate the flower is, how the seeds are produced there, how colorful the flower is and so much more.

Lots of sensory experiences are enjoyed in the exploration of a flower. So much texture, color and SMELL to enjoy.

Lemonade-the science of turning something sour into a pleasant drink with something sweet is a great lesson. I have a great watermelon lemonade recipe in this party drink post, click here to see it.

Collect caterpillars and watch them change-you can find caterpillars in your garden on plants like dill, parsley, and fennel. We grow loads of fennel just for the science. It draws tons of black swallowtails, so we observe those. Bring the caterpillars in and feed them fresh host plant (whatever plant they were on) daily until they make their chrysalis. If you don’t have a garden, you can buy caterpillars to watch from insect lore. 

caterpillar and butterfly theme

Ice cream in a bag-freezing ice cream with salt is a great science experiment for summer. Click here for the recipe and instructions.

Shadow paper or draw around shadows-you can buy sun paper and place nature objects on it. The sun will discolor the rest of the page and you will be left with a negative type print of your object. You can also explore shadows by having kids stand and you trace their shadows with sidewalk chalk or hold up a toy animal or dinosaur and let them trace its shadow onto paper or the ground. Shadowplay with flashlights on the wall is so much fun too.

Summer theme math ideas:

Counting bugs, sort by color, make patterns

Use cut out bugs, suns, whatever summer type cut out you have access too. Write numbers on them and have kids put them in order, count them, sort them, make piles of 5, or any other math manipulation you can think of.

Counting ants outside, there is always a trail of them somewhere.

Measuring plants in the garden.

Counting how many peaches or tomatoes are on a plant.

How high can you build a sand castle or pile of rocks? Measure and record your data.

Hop scotch boards are great math activities, all you need is a little chalk to make one.

Record the temperature at different times of the day and week and compare. When is it the hottest? Coolest?

Summer theme daycare

Summer theme songs

Mr. Sun:

Mr. sun, sun Mr. golden sun

Please shine down on me.

Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun

Please shine down on me.

Bear hunt:

We’re going on a bear hunt, but I’m not afraid, cause I got my lunch and my camera by my side.

What’s that? There’s tall grass up ahead. (Use hand as a visor to look far)

Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, we’ll have to go through it. (Sweeping arm motions making swishing sounds)

We’re going on a bear hunt, but I’m not afraid, cause I got my lunch and my camera by my side.

What’s that? There’s a tall tree up ahead. (look way up high)

Can’t go under, can’t go through it, can’t go around it, we’ll have to climb over it. (Arm and leg movements of climbing)

We’re going on a bear hunt, but I’m not afraid, cause I got my lunch and my camera by my side.

What’s that? There’s a peanut butter river. (Look surprised)

Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, we’ll have to swim through it. (swimming arms like thick thick peanut butter, make lots of funny grunts)

We’re going on a bear hunt, but I’m not afraid, cause I got my lunch and my camera by my side.

What’s that? It’s a dark cave up ahead. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, we’ll have to go inside. Ooooo, it’s dark, and colllldd. Turn on your flashlight, click. Look around. I hear something breeeeathing… I see two big yellow eyes, looking at me. It’s a BEAR, it’s a BEAR! Run! Repeat the sequence in reverse quickly and dramatically slapping your legs for running in between each verse.

Fuzzy Caterpillar:

A fuzzy caterpillar, (Make wiggly finger caterpillar)

Was climbing up a tree, he wiggled short, he wiggled long, he wiggled back at me.

I put him in a box, don’t go away I said, but when I opened up the box……

(Gasp)

A butterfly instead (Make butterfly with hands)

The ants go marching one by one:

The ants go marching one by one
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching two by two
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two
The little one stops to tie his shoe
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching three by three
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three
The little one stops to climb a tree
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching four by four
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four
The little one stops to shut the door
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching five by five
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five
The little one stops to take a dive
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching six by six
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six
The little one stops to pick up sticks
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching seven by seven
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven
The little one stops to pray to heaven
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching eight by eight
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight
The little one stops to roller skate
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching nine by nine
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine
The little one stops to check the time
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain
Boom boom boom

The ants go marching ten by ten
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten
Hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten

Was an old lady who swallowed a fly:

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider.
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird.
How absurd, to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog! To swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat.
Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wriggled and jiggled and wiggled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
But I don’t know why she swallowed that fly
Perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse
She’s dead, of course.

Summer theme events

Picnics-having a picnic outside or even inside if it’s far too hot or rainy to go out is so much fun for kids. We love having ladybug picnics and teddy bear picnics

Water parties-when the summer is hot but you’re bored in the house, it’s a great time to toss out the sprinkler or the slip and slide and have some fun. Check out how we make water parties fun at Little Sprouts.

Summer theme books

There are so many wonderful books with summer themes, here are a few of my favorites.

Plant a Flower Garden 

Planting a Rainbow

In the Garden

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Grouchy Ladybug

Summer Days and Nights

A Color of His Own

Summer Stinks

Marshmallow Kisses


Don’t forget to pin for later

Summer Theme Ideas for Preschool

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Fairy gardens are all the rage these days and I can see why. Who doesn’t love miniature everything? So cute! There are so many cool ways to make a fairy garden and they are a great tool for teaching kids. We have ours set up like a dollhouse where kids can move the toys around in it and play together.

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Summer is a fun time for preschool. There is so much to celebrate and learn about. You can do bugs, gardening, beach, and so many more fun ideas. Crafts, learning activities, fine motor, gross motor, science, math, art, music, sensory play and more. Here is a list of summer theme ideas for preschool.

Summer Theme Ideas for Preschool

Summer is a fun time for preschool. There is so ...
Read More

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