Summertime play essentials

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on June 8, 2014

in Outdoor Play, Summertime play essentials

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Today marks the last day of school for the big kids in our town.  And although preschool has been out for about a week now, I think that we can officially declare the start of summer break when those big kids get off the bus at the end of day!  Today I am sharing all of the must-have summertime play essentials to make the most of your break…

Summertime play essentials by Teach Preschool

Water

When the weather is warm, water is a MUST!  Find a list of pools or splash pads in your area so that you can start planning your visits.  Whether you take your children on an exotic vacation to the beach or just let them run through the sprinkler in your own backyard, they will love keeping cool with water this summer. But when you aren’t up for a day at the beach or dragging out sprinklers, setting up a small water table can be a simple and fun alternative.  Here are ten terrific hands-on ways to get the most out of water play this summer…

Ten Terrific Ways to Get the Most out of Water Play by Teach Preschool

Sand

Sand is a sensory material that is inexpensive and requires only the most basic tools.  And, like water play, it doesn’t have to take up much room.  If you don’t have a backyard or a large area for sand box, a table top sandbox will work just as well.  A large shallow plastic storage container works really well to contain the sand and you can simply throw the lid on it when you are ready to put it away.  Even a one-inch sandbox can be an appealing, low maintenance option.  Add dinosaurs, trucks, shovels, and pails, and you have a sandbox set for providing hours of summertime fun…

Adding trucks to the sand table

Dinosaur play in the sand table

Bubbles

Bubbles bubbles bring out the inner child in all of us!  There is nothing more magical than seeing children run and chase after bubbles.  Whether you load up by the gallon at your local discount store or make your own, bubbles are a summertime fun essential that you won’t want to be without!

Bubbles bubbles by Teach Preschool

Sidewalk chalk

Sidewalk chalk is another versatile summertime must-have!  Sidewalk chalk is one of those tools, like crayons, markers, clipboards, and pencils  that encourages the development of fine motor skills at a young age.  The motivation to draw and write is powered by play and sidewalk chalk is so much fun to play with in the summer time.  Keep a big box of bright vivid sidewalk chalk around for drawing on your driveway and walks.  Or whip up your own batch of DIY chalk paint and then make chalk-painting prints.  For over fifty more great ideas, be sure to visit our chalk Pinterest board

DIY Chalk Paint by Teach Preschool

IMG_7616

Hoola hoops

Hoola hoops are a super way to keep children active this summer!  Hoola hoops are so great that you will want to be sure to have one hoola hoop per child or even a few extra around for fun and games.  Hoola hoops can be used for setting up obstacle courses or playing “hoop”scotch.  Or simply let children use their imaginations to come up with new and creative ways to use a hoola hoop…

Hopping Hula Hoop Game | Teach Preschool

Pool noodles

Pool noodles…you see them everywhere in the summertime.  At the dollar store, supermarkets, and even the pharmacies are carrying them.  But what the heck do you do with those long squishy foam tubes besides play with them in a pool?  Well, you could start by attaching one to your garden hose for a little pool noodle water hose play

Pool Noodle Water Hose Play

Or you could try any of these other 10 ways to use your noodle

Noodle Play

Sticks and rocks

Last, but certainly not least, in our list of summer fun time essentials are sticks and rocks!  Mother Nature provides us with the greatest tools for play.  Go for a hike and pick up a few of nature’s greatest toys and watch as your child creates his or her own adventures.  Set out some tape and watch as your child transforms a simple stick into a magic wand or pirate sword…


Add some art to your summer by mixing up a batch of nature paint.  Paint sticks, rocks, cardboard, paper, or even on sidewalks with this fun colorful paint.

Nature paint on sticks

Glue a stick onto a piece of easel paper for a great easel starter. Or add some rocks to a heavy piece of foam board and let your little ones create some rockin’ drawings

Easel Starter: Stick

Rockin' drawings by Teach Preschool

You’ll find even more awesome ways to play and explore with rocks this summer here…

Exploring rocks in preschool by Teach Preschool

Did I miss anything?  What are your favorite summertime fun essentials?

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