Summer with kids can be super fun, unless your kids are super bored; then summer days can feel like they last forever! I have 3 kids of my own ranging from ages 4 down to 6 months. I'm pretty limited when it comes to getting out of the house, so we have to think up things we can do in between nap times and mealtimes. Here are some fun preschool activities for keeping kids busy during the summer.
These colorful cookies look delicious and the bright colors will delight your toddler or preschooler! Jello cookies are as easy to make as regular sugar cookies, except the added Jello powder gives them a pop of color and the flavors give each cookie color a different taste; slightly tart and sweet! I will definitely be making these with my own kids soon, my daughter loves to bake!
photo credit: pandpkitchen.com
Did you know you can use the same jello cookie recipe to make edible play dough? Just mix up some jello sugar cookie dough but leave out the eggs. Your kids can play with the dough and sculpt it into different creations. When they are finished, as long as your kids' hands were clean during playtime, you can add the eggs and bake the dough into cookies and the oven will kill any germs. Or just toss your edible play dough after playtime is over, either way offers a super fun preschool activity for kids!
photo credit: crafthubs.com
Make a special naptime corner using an Enchanted Slumber sleep sack. These portable sleeping bags roll up into a small bundle and have a built-in pillow that's filled with lavender. My daughter thinks it's so special to have her own sleep space to rest and read during a hot afternoon. Enchanted Slumber sleeping bags are made in the USA from organic cotton; also perfect for taking to preschool for quiet time.
Make a DIY pool noodle sprinkler by poking holes into a foam pool noodle. Cap off one end of the pool noodle with a cork or some type of plug and duct tape. Poke holes along the length of the noodle and connect the uncapped end of the noodle to the hose and secure with more duct tape. A pool noodle sprinkler offers cheap backyard water play, an easy solution for hours of fun! You can also go all out and create one of the pool noodle creations below to make a DIY splash pad!
photo credit: makeit-loveit.com
Fun kids' DIY Splash Pad with pool noodles and PVC pipe.
If it's a bit too hot outside, sensory bins are a great way to engage kids and encourage imaginative play. Sensory bins usually include a sensory medium such as beans or non-toxic water beads that kids can dig around in and colorful accents and creatures that kids can "discover". Themed Discovery Boxes by Revelae Kids come in a portable box with a lid that closes. These fun sensory bins make it easy for kids to enjoy sensory play without a lot of effort on mom's part. When playtime is over, simply close the box and put it back on the shelf for next time you want to do a fun preschool activity! Discovery Boxes include creatures, gems and miniature plants, rocks, shells, beads, and characters within a portable sensory bin with lots of sensory colors and textures.
Sugar sand is very easy to mix up with ingredients already in your kitchen. We made homemade strawberry sugar sand using sugar, cornstarch, food coloring, and strawberry extract. I threw it all into the food processor with a little water and blended until it reached a grainy texture. My daughter loves playing with homemade sugar sand. We put a vinyl tablecloth on the floor and she pretends she's at the beach. Sugar sand is also a fun sensory medium to play with her dolls, without getting them all dirty. Sugar sand does get sticky if it gets wet because it's primarily made of sugar, but it's nothing that a quick hand washing can't fix. See our full Sugar Sand Kids' Activity How-To here.
How do you spend long summer days with your kids? I love summer with my family, but I do have to be creative to keep all of our small children entertained during hot afternoons. We love playing inside and enjoying sensory activities, as well as spending time outside, playing in the sprinkler, going on walks, and creating summer memories!