summer activities

Summer Scavenger Hunt for Kids

What Can You Find Using All 5 Senses?

A fun, go wild for nature activity that can be done in any season, is a scavenger hunt. Here is a summer scavenger hunt for kids page that you can use. Change items as appropriate depending on your region and the age of the kids and nature-hunters.

summer scaven ger hunt for kids


A handy place to collect items is an egg carton,
What other treasures can you find? Nature is a treasure anytime!

Summer Fun and Learning Outside for Kids: Math

Have you heard or read that some doctors are writing prescriptions for kids with the orders: Go Outside and Play? There is so much that kids can do outside, especially in summer. This is a series of posts on different ways of having fun outside for kids that supports early learning and later kindergarten readiness. Today is math fun.

outside math fun and learning activities for kidsChildren learn thru their experiences, especially the hands-on activities. How about some feet-on ones? When walking with kids, count the number of steps, or maybe the number of cars on the street, or trees that look like Christmas trees. In the yard, kids can count the number of times they can jump. If they are able, they might want to check how many times they can jump on just 1 foot. Hopscotch is a great game to play for matching the written form of a number to it’s name.

outside math fun and learning activities for kidsWhen riding on the bus or in a car, kids can look for shapes. Some houses have points like a triangle. Are there any things that look like circles? This part of a playground is a big circle.

outside math fun and learning activities for kidsSometimes, there are patterns made out of shapes, like this driveway. Recognizing patterns is a complex thinking skill that helps with remembering and sequencing.

outside math fun and learning activities for kidsIn the sandbox, filling containers is math play. Kids learn that it takes many small bits to make one large amount. They use such math concepts as more and less, full and empty (zero).

Rocks are great to use for numbers and for size. What rocks are big, which ones are small? Size isn’t always straightforward. Even a small rock can be bigger than a really tiny one, or a rock that’s so big it’s too heavy to lift can be much smaller than a really big rock.

slide-turnsThe ladder on the slide goes up in a series of steps, a regular distance apart. Numbers go up the like a ladder and down like the slide. Taking turns is a way to practice one-by-one. As we count, the numbers go up by just one each time.

These activities are exactly what the doctor ordered: play outside, plus they combine fun and learning. What other ways can kids have math fun outside?

Summer Art Fun and Learning Activities for Kids

A friend of mine is doing a summer course in Art Therapy in Europe and shared this photo. It’s the inspiration for a blog post on summer art activities for kids that combine lots of fun and learning.

summer outside art activities for kids
photo by J. Kellam

Art can happen outside as well as inside and art materials do not have to be limited to crayons and paper. Chalk will decorate a sidewalk, a trampoline, or a driveway without cars. Does your backyard have a fence? Kids can “paint” pictures on the fence using big paint brushes, squirt bottles, and plain water! On hot days the water dries very quickly, but tell the kids that their paintings have just turned invisible.

Rocks, twigs, leaves, and other nature materials can also be used to “draw” a picture. Lots of imagination might be needed but that’s a bonus. Kids can even paint on the rocks.

Smooth the sand in the sand box using a big piece of cardboard. Kids can make all kinds of art. Practically anything can be used for tools, such as a wooden spoon or an old hair pick. Using the large side of a cereal box, cut a sort of ruler with big points on the edge to make lines in the sand. By slowing moving it, kids can make wavy lines.

summer outside art activities for kidsA giant box, such as an appliance box, gives lots of space for drawing, painting, or coloring. Besides brushes, kids might want to try paint in a squirt bottle, as long as they remember only to squirt the box.

Children’s art is surely self-directed play and kids can explore and create in a variety of ways. Art activities provide opportunities for problem-solving, creating, and expressing oneself.  As children create art, they are practicing making and manipulating images in their mind. Visualizing and imagining are valuable learning skills and not just for early childhood. For a play-of-the-day, what kind of art might your child like to do?

Kindergarten Readiness: Easter Sense of Touch Activity

At Easter time, there are many different ways to explore the sense of touch. Sensory information not only helps children learn about the world around them, it also cues the brain to make important connections for learning and supports kindergarten readiness. A hunt thru the scrap box revealed all kinds of different textures: soft and … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Easter Sense of Touch Activity

Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness: Bubbles

Summer is such a special time and it seems too short for all the things we’d like to do. Fortunately, fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness can all happen at the same time. The easiest way to learn is when something is fun, and play is the ideal way to build kindergarten readiness. Today’s play-of-the-day is … Continue reading Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness: Bubbles

Summer Fun, Learning, & Kindergarten Readiness: Crafts

Any time of the year can be fun for crafts, and during the summer, crafts can be a great choice for long summer days. Kids can find materials outside with nature items like shells and rocks or inside with bits and pieces from the recycling and junk drawer. Some other materials could be buttons, bead, … Continue reading Summer Fun, Learning, & Kindergarten Readiness: Crafts

Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness: GORFs

Would you like to know how to camp at home for some summer fun, learning and kindergarten readiness? With a GORF–a good ol’ reliable fort. Depending on the weather, GORF’s can be made outside or even inside. No matter where they are, they appeal to kids because they have a place of their own. Inside … Continue reading Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness: GORFs

Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness is a Picnic

During the summer, a picnic can combine fun, learning, family meals, outside time in nature, and some kindergarten readiness. That’s quite a menu and it’s a “picnic” to do. Much of the learning is so ordinary that we don’t even notice it. For example, when discussing what to eat, often a parent will ask a … Continue reading Summer Fun, Learning, and Kindergarten Readiness is a Picnic

Sandcastles for Summer Fun/Learning & Kindergarten Readiness

Summer comes in different colors, shapes, sizes, sounds and materials; sand and water are two materials for both fun and learning. Making sand castles is a summer activity that kids can do over and over. Best of all, kids also get to spend time outside and connect to nature. Making a sand castle is a … Continue reading Sandcastles for Summer Fun/Learning & Kindergarten Readiness