Summer Outdoor Play Activities for Preschoolers

By Cerise Pelley

summer outdoor play activities for preschoolers


Summer Outdoor Play Activities for Preschoolers


Summer has arrived, ushering in a splendid season for exploration and discovery in the great outdoors. For preschoolers aged 3 to 5 years, outdoor play is more than fun and games—it's a vital opportunity for learning and developmental growth. Let's venture beyond traditional classrooms and home learning settings to explore the boundless potential of outdoor play for young children.


Water Play Activities for Preschoolers


Set up a kiddie pool, water table, or sprinkler for children to splash around in on hot summer days. Provide cups, funnels, and toys for them to experiment with water flow and movement.

Benefits: Encourages sensory exploration, gross motor development, and cooling off on hot days.

Literacy Link: Water Can Be Book by Laura Purdie Salas


Outdoor Art Activities for Preschoolers


Take art activities outdoors by providing chalk for sidewalk drawing, paintbrushes and a bucket of water for "painting" on pavement, or natural materials like leaves and flowers for collage making. Encourage children to get creative and express themselves through art.

Benefits: Enhances creativity, fine motor skills, and appreciation for the environment in preschool aged children.

Literacy Link: Happy Art: Books to Inspire by various authors


Picnic and Outdoor Storytime for Preschoolers


Children can enjoy a picnic lunch outdoors while listening to stories read aloud by educators or participating in storytelling sessions using props and puppets.

Benefits: Fosters a love for literature and social interaction in a relaxed outdoor setting.

Literacy Link:
Flip-Up Fairy Tales Book Set


Bubble Activities for Preschoolers


Set up a bubble station with bubble wands, bubble machines, and bubble solution. Encourage children to blow bubbles of all shapes and sizes, chasing them as they float through the air.

Benefits: Promotes sensory exploration, creativity, social interaction, and fine motor skills development.

Literacy Link:
POP! A Book About Bubbles by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


In Conclusion


By incorporating these engaging outdoor play activities into routines, parents and teachers can provide their preschool aged children with rich learning experiences and meaningful connections with the natural world. Whether it's exploring the vibrant colors of spring, cooling off with water play in summer, outdoor play offers endless opportunities for young minds to grow and thrive.


What are your favorite summer outdoor play activities for preschoolers?


Cerise PalleyAfter earning her teaching certification via an alternative teaching certification pathway, Cerise taught elementary students from kindergarten through 6th grade in Florida and in Colorado. For more than a decade, she crafted engaging, research based lessons that brought out the natural curiosity of her students. When she isn’t learning about the latest teaching practices and techniques, she can be found hiking the mountains near her Colorado home, working in the garden or crocheting stuffed animals for her friends and neighbors.