Although older kids head back to school this month, our homeschool preschool isn’t starting until mid-September. We are still in full on summer mode! For us, COVID-19 has made this a different kind of summer. We’ve been unable to do some of our traditional summer activities, but it’s made space for us to explore and fall in love with new things. If you’re looking for engaging activities to do with your preschooler in this final month of summer, here are some things we’ve loved.
Celebrate Christmas – On a rainy summer day, when you’re looking for indoor activities, plan a Christmas celebration. Crank up Christmas music, read Christmas stories, decorate a room with a nativity and trees, and make sugar cookies. Pinterest has lots of ideas for Christmas craft projects that reinforce fine motor skills and other preschool-level skills. We celebrated “Christmas” in June, and my preschooler thought it was the most magical day of the summer. Since then, she has asked for it to be Christmas again.
Paint a car – Grab a bucket of water and some paint brushes, and let your preschoolers go to town “painting” your car. The water will dry, but they’ll be busy making designs on the side of car. If you don’t want to commit to painting your car, give your kids a piece of cardboard or a box and have them paint it with water. Get creative about the kind of paint brush they use. My daughter enjoys using leaves and flowers as paint brushes, which is a perfect opening for conversations about the way various objects work as paintbrushes. (Why do some objects paint easier than others? What paints better, a leaf or a flower? What kind of leaf are you using?)
Go on a listening walk – Take your children outside and ask them what they hear. The sound of birds chirping? Where is it coming from? Do you think you can spot the birds? The sound of rushing water? Let’s find the water! The sound of shoes on pavement? Play with the sound your shoes make when you jump, run, or walk. This is a great activity for doing in your backyard, neighborhood, or on a nature walk. Reading The Listening Walk together is a great starting point.
Build an outdoor kitchen – I send my preschooler outside with my kitchen tools and see how she uses them. I give her a muffin tin, bowls, measuring cups, tongs, and various other kitchen utensils. She digs in the dirt with them, fills the muffin tin with grass and flowers, and finds imaginative ways to put them to use.
Visit your farmer’s market – If farmer’s markets are open in your area, take your preschoolers to visit. It’s a great opportunity for introducing your children to a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, and other locally made products. It’s also a great tool for learning about what is in season during the month of August.
Play in the river – Our area is surrounded by creeks, rivers, and lakes, and we’ve spent many days in the river. We’ve been working hard on teaching our preschooler to swim this summer, and she’s been doing a great job.
Make stone soup – Grab a large pot from your kitchen and take it outside to make stone soup together. If you want to get wet, fill the pot with water. Then, encourage your preschoolers to collect stones for the soup and find leaves, sticks, and toys to add to the pot. Pretend the sticks are green beans, the pebbles are grains of rice, and leaves are pieces of chicken. Finish off the day with a reading of Stone Soup.
Go fishing – My husband has been teaching our preschooler how to fish this summer, and it’s been a fun bonding activity for them.
Go fruit picking – Picking fruit is one of my favorite pastimes. Every year, we visit strawberry fields in May, blueberry bushes in June, and peach orchards in August. Although it’s always hot and sometimes tiring with kids, I love giving my children a glimpse of where their food comes from. We often chat with farmers, enjoy the taste of fruit warmed by the sun, talk about how things grow, and plan out what we’ll make with the fruit when we get home.
What have you been doing with your preschoolers this summer?
Follow me on Instagram @chelsearmoore to see how we’ve been enjoying the summer.Photo credit: iStock