summer activities

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness and Water Play

summer fun and learning water playGetting all wet in the summer is a favorite activity and water play encourages development of many brain connections and kindergarten readiness skills. Plus in the summer, there are so many ways to get wet, from backyard pools, water pistols, sprinklers, water parks, slides, and water tables to lakes, rivers, oceans, and even the rain and puddles. Kids will enjoy playing in all of them.

Water play is very much a sensory activity, stimulating the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, and, with kids, some tasting. Some of the things that kids learn are:

  • Water pours down, unless we squeeze or squirt it in other directions.
  • Water doesn’t have its own shape, instead it takes the shape of containers.
  • Water can freeze or pour.
  • It takes several small containers of waters to fill a big one, and a big one fills a little container and then overflows.
  • If a container has holes, the water comes out.
  • Some things float in the water and some sink.

summer fun and learning water playAs children play with water they often do the same actions over and over such as pouring, scooping, filling, and dumping. Each time they are watching, listening, and checking that the action will have the same result as before. When it doesn’t they try and discover why. Kids use lots of language to talk about what they do and learn new vocabulary. Opposites can be tricky to learn and there are several such as float, sink, full, empty, hot, cold, and more.

On hot summer days, playing in water feels so good and is so very much fun. There are even some adults that put a chair close to the kids’ pool to soak their feet and they do not complain at all about the splashing. There’s lots of ways to learn while playing and having fun. What way might your child play with water today?

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness and a Parade

During the summer, many towns and cities have parades along with other celebrations, and letting kids play parade is a great way to encourage fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness. Little ones may only want to march around and make noise, er…music but older kids can include dressing up and maybe even making their own instruments and decorations.
summer fun and learning
Costumes for a parade can be as handy as a few clothes for dressing up. Big t-shirts, blouses, and shirts are handy because they are not too long for kids. Old costume jewelry and scarves are also fun as are grownup shoes. Of course, some of these might require extra supervision to be on the safe side. Parades have clowns and princesses.

summer fun and learning activitiesTo make instruments, two disposable pie plates make cymbals by taping some spools to the centers to be handles. Coffee cans, cookie tins, and plastic ice cream pails with lids can be used as drums. If there’s a handle on the pail, it can be attached to a belt so both hands will be able to play. To make shakers, just about any small plastic container will work with a few things inside to make sound.

summer fun and learning activitiesThere’s lots of learning in this activity. Rhythm and coordinating movement to a beat are physical skills that are developing in young children. Just marching left, right, left, right can be tricky, let along making sound on an instrument at the same time.

A parade promotes sharing and cooperating strategies and, probably, some negotiating ones too. After all, not everyone can be first to lead the parade. A paper towel roll covered with foil can be the baton for leading the parade and kids can take turns.

Music is optional. Usually, when just a few kids start to march around, others will be eager to join and the parade gets bigger and bigger. The fun gets bigger and bigger, too. Know any great songs that are simple enough for singing, marching and playing on homemade instruments? Best of all, since it’s summer, kids can have the parade outside. Can your children celebrate summer with a parade?

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness, & Art in the Yard

summer fun and kindergarten readiness activitiesA weekend community Art In The Park event is inspiring today’s summer fun and kindergarten readiness activity of Art In The Yard. Children’s art is surely self-directed play and kids can explore and create in a variety of ways.

Recipes for children’s paint are vast: finger, popsicle (frozen food coloring/water mix), sidewalk, puffy, fabric, flour, flower, and more. Instead of just paper, kids can paint on boxes, sidewalks, wood, and even old sheets. Brushes could be feathers, q-tips, marbles, spray bottles, hands, feet, straws, and toothbrushes, the old ones that is. Plus, there’s no limit to what kids can paint about!

Many of children’s play creations have a limited “shelf life”. Block structures get made and unmade countless times. Sensory play in water, mud, sand, shaving foam, rice,  or other material, is highly creative without creating an object to keep or display on the fridge. But art play does have some sort of picture or visual item that kids make. Whatever it is, it stays the same and does not change; it will look the same today, tomorrow, next week and next month.

This is a very significant point and important for children. Something that is written does not change either. Language that is written down is permanent. Kids need to have an experience of something that people make that is permanent and stays the same. Art projects are, for the most part, the same: permanent and unchanging.

Also, making actual pictures and other visual items helps children make pictures, shapes, and colors in their minds. Visualizing and imagining are valuable learning skills and not just for early childhood. For a play-of-the-day what art might your child create right in the yard?

Go Fly A Kite for Summer Fun & Kindergarten Readiness

Flying a kite is an exciting activity that takes fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness to a new height. Every weekend in the summer, when there is enough wind in our area, there are kids and grownups out flying kites. Somehow, it never loses its magic, and the tug of the soaring kite is especially wonderful … Continue reading Go Fly A Kite for Summer Fun & Kindergarten Readiness

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness & Paper Airplanes

During the summer, most communities have festivals and other fun events; many of these are for kids with a learning component as well as fun. Sometimes, these activities will also support skills that help children with kindergarten readiness. Just today, I heard of a new one, a paper airplane festival that will last 3 days. … Continue reading Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness & Paper Airplanes

Summer Fun and Learning with Chalk Art

Kids, sidewalks, and chalk are a super combination for a summer fun activity that also includes learning and kindergarten readiness. And you never know how that chalk fun can grow. Did you know there are chalk festivals all over the world and that there are famous international chalk artists? There are the most amazing pictures, … Continue reading Summer Fun and Learning with Chalk Art

Summer Fun and Learning Appeals to Imaginations

Each community will have special summer activities for kids; usually these combine fun and learning and will also help develop kindergarten readiness. Because we live in area that rains a lot, there are some lovely parks and gardens. Just recently, one of them offered a magical weekend with 30 fairy houses tucked in the trees … Continue reading Summer Fun and Learning Appeals to Imaginations

Summer Fun Activities for Learning & Kindergarten Readiness

Some summer activities depend on the weather but a visit to the local library is fun any day and boosts learning and kindergarten readiness too. On rainy days a visit to the library gives only a little outside time but it doesn’t feel like being stuck inside. On sunny days, you and your child can … Continue reading Summer Fun Activities for Learning & Kindergarten Readiness

Summer “School” in Nature’s Outdoor Classroom

This weekend will conclude the holiday week but there is lots more summer vacation fun and play that supports early learning and kindergarten readiness. One of the reasons why summer is so loved, and such an important time of the year for kids and grownups, is because of the activities we do outside. Playgrounds, parks, … Continue reading Summer “School” in Nature’s Outdoor Classroom

Kindergarten Readiness – Summer Learning Fun

Ready, Set, Go, because it’s SUMMER and it’s easy and fun to include kindergarten readiness in summer activities. Here’s an example. In the summer it’s fun to go on a picnic. There’s lots of learning that gets packed along: talking together about what’s needed using language to negotiate, specific vocabulary, helping plan, prepare and organize, encouraging … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Summer Learning Fun