It’s getting pretty warm outside, and the children in the classroom are restless and bored with routine. They want to go outside, but you have a minimum of equipment with which to entertain them and a shoestring budget to use on new supplies. Besides, once the heat hits, you can only go out early in the morning and late in the day. What can you do? Well,Here are 10 preschool activities you can try this summer:
- Buy a bucket of sidewalk chalk and dole it out to the children, one stick at a time, to share and make ‘sidewalk art.’ They don’t need more than one stick at a time, and it will save your budget from having to purchase a new bucket any time soon. Have 3 or 4 children do the activity at a time and then switch off with the rest.
- Buy a few hula hoops and bubble mixture at the Dollar Store and have some children use hula hoops while the others blow the bubbles. Then reverse the process. After they are all done, have some children hold the hula hoops while the other children blow bubbles through the hoops. For a simple home-made bubble mix, use Joy, water and glycerin.
- Mix tempera paint and water and put into spray bottles. Have children spray the paint onto newspaper and hang the art to dry on a chain link fence using clothespins. Blowing colored bubbles onto paper is a lot of fun too (see the photo). Just mix a bit of paint into the bubble mixture, or if you have it, food coloring works too.
- Paint the children’s feet with washable paint and have them walk or run over a long piece of paper stretched on the grass. Then they can paint their hands and add that to the picture for a “memory” to display as a mural once it’s dry.
- Spray sand in a sand box with water and let the children use plastic cups and buckets to make their own sand city. This can be an on-going process. They can use tiny cars and animals to populate their city. Let them do the spraying, just make sure it doesn’t turn to soup!
- Using coffee filters, let children drip food coloring and water onto the filters, pin up to dry and then clip the middle with a clothespin to make a butterfly.
- Using plain paper and either charcoal sticks (for older children) or plain HB pencils, let children do rubbings of textured surfaces like tree trunks and sidewalks. Talk about textures as part of a follow-up lesson.
- Go for a ‘nature walk’ and talk about seasonal changes while children pick up leaves and small twigs (whatever they find lying around). Glue them to stiff paper for a collage once you get back to the classroom.
- Ask for donations of used clothing from parents (washed, of course) and let children dress up to put on a play. This can be done indoors (on hot or inclement days) or outside. the play equipment (climbing structure) can be a pirate ship, for example, and they can be the crew. Or you can all go up to space together. The sky’s the limit.
Go outside with some favorite classroom books and read to them in the shade. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful morning or late afternoon and the children really enjoy it. This is easier with 2 teachers, if some of the children want to play instead.