Ice and Water Activities For Kids

water activities for kidsIt’s hot here ( for us that means it’s in the low 80s) and  all I want to do when it gets warm is cool off with some fun ice and water activities. I don’t have to convince my kids that these are going to be fun, they are in their bathing suits as soon as I have suggested it! Here are some of our favorite ice and water activities for kids that we have fun with every summer. I should also say that most of these ideas do not use a huge amount of water for those wanting to be mindful of waste.

water activities for preschool

Angry Birds Inspired Water Balloon Game
DIY Water Table
Arctic Ice Sensory Bin
Color Mixing
daycare water senosry activities
Mud Soup
Water Balloon Math
Ocean in a Tub
Ice Sculptures from NurtureStore
playing wint water inside and out for kids
Sidewalk Chalk Read & Spray
Cooking in The Sink
Painting With Water
Bubble Bin
water learning activities

Ice Fishing & Color Mixing
Hose Down Letters
Backyard Car Wash

50 Summer Activities For 3 Year olds

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3 year old activities Three is that magical age between being a baby and being a big kid and is the perfect time to mix some planned activities in with free play. I get asked often about my schedule and I hesitate to share it because our schedule changes so much. What I won’t hesitate to share is that three year olds shouldn’t be sitting down doing mom or other adult directed activities a lot. This is the icing not the cake. The cake should be free play including having sensory materials available, outside time,  tons and tons of books within reach,  and lots of quiet cuddle time too!

Here are 50 summer activities for 3 year olds some are as simple as setting something up and letting them explore and others are more structured.

summer activities for 3 year olds

Sticky Window Pom Pom Play

4th of july sensory activity for kids
Shaving Cream Fireworks

Shell Sorting
Shell Sorting

toddler activites
Color and Clean Car Wash

dinosaur themed activitiy
Backyard Dinosaur Bone Dig

star fish craft
Bubble Wrap & Dish Scrubber Starfish

paper plate octopus craft
Paper Plate Octopus

Alphabet Sensory Tub
Alphabet Sensory Tub

paint like jackson pollock
Paint Like Jackson Pollock

color mixing edit
Liquid Color Mixing

truck painting for toddlers
Truck Painting

five senses activity sound
Sound Safari

potato prints
Potato Masher Painting

ocean sensory tub
Ocean In A Box – water play

feather painting
Feather Painting

hose it down
Hosing Down Shapes and Letters In The Yard

kids crafts
Paper Plate Crab

spray painting
Spray Painting

jewel butterfly craft
Paper Plate Butterfly

Preschool Pretend Play Scientist
Mad Scientist Lab

find & count bug hunt nature activity
Find & Count Bug Hunt

rainbow sensory tub
Rainbow Gelatin Sensory Tub

cutting into nature outdoor scissor skills
Nature Cutting

bug
Bug Painting

mud pie play
Mud Soup

weather activity for preschool
Make Your Own Weather Station

ocean themed crafts
Paper Bag Jellyfish

Mining Activity
Mining For Magnets

driveway graffiti
Driveway Graffiti

uncle sam puppet for 4th of july craft
Uncle Sam Puppet

paper plate sun
Paper Plate Sun

bulldozer party
Construction Site Sensory Tub

playdough kabobs for kids
Playdough Kabobs

sensory activities for kids
Touch Box

letter of the week
4th of July Letter F craft

fly swatter painting
Fly Swatter Painting

Nature Color Hunt
Nature Color Hunt

worm painting for toddlers
Worm Painting

patriotic activity for kids
Flag Hunt

camping for kids
Pretend Play Camping

obstacle course fun
Build Your Own Obstacle Course

4th of july crafts
Cupcake Liner Fireworks

watermelon letter craft for kids
Letter Watermelons

Pretend Play Vet Clinic title
Pretend Play Vet Clinic

rp_ocean-play-for-kids-sensory-tub-430x800.jpg
Gelatin Gooey Ocean Play

sensory tub prints
Sensory Table Painting

car wash for toddlers
Backyard Car Wash

alphabet hunt outdoors with duplo
Outdoor Alphabet Hunt

handprint fireworks 4th of july
Handprint Fireworks for 4th of July

simple super crafts painting with nature
Painting with Nature

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg – what activities do you like to do with your 3 year old? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Summer Reading Calendar – FREE Printables

summer reading ideas ofr kids This summer I want to mix it up. For the past few years we have run our own Summer Reading Challenge but this year instead of just asking readers to read read read I want to support them as they do. To keep summer reading fresh I have created summer reading calendars packed with reading prompts and simple literacy ideas to keep reading all summer long. That’s not the best part though. The calendars are only half of the fun, every day on our Facebook Page  you can dive deeper checking out resources and book recommendations for whatever is on the calendar for the NEXT DAY starting May 31st. 

Every day on Facebook I will post the next day’s mission with links to book titles, activity ideas, and more. Here is an example:

may31

 

These calendars are geared towards reading picture books but in the extension activities posted daily on Facebook I will include a variation for chapter books as well. summer reading calendar june small

I wanted to start promoting this now even though it’s 2 weeks before the program starts because I want you to have time to reserve books that your local library, pick up a few that might work for your kids and get ready to read until the very end of summer.

reading july small

You can print out the calendars below and pick and choose which activities work for your family or faithfully follow along every day. Do what works for you and your family. I just want to offer up a huge buffet of ideas to keep kids reading this summer. reading august small

 

Are you in? Join in the fun and keep the reading fun all summer long.

Print the calendars :

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

 

Summer Activities For Kids

summer reading Happy first day of summer! I had a completely different post planned but when I went to schedule it I realized today is the first day of summer and we must celebrate. Below are my favorite active games, messy art, sensory play and other summer shenanigans for kids.  I hope a few grab your attention and get added to your family’s summer bucket list.

Outside In The Sun

Build and Play Obstacle Course
Water Table Painting
Flag Hunt
Squeeze Bottle Side Walk Chalk
Hiking With Kids
Backyard Target Practice
Arctic Ice Sensory Tub
Fly Swatter Painting
Boot Camp Bombers
Melt In The Sun Crayons
Water Balloon Math
Smartphone Photo Safari Color Hunt
Angry Birds Water Balloon Game
Beach Themed Sensory Tub
Backyard Photo Scavenger Hunt

Inside On A Rainy Day

DIY Action Figure Parachute
Bubble Wand Painting
3D Word Search
Indoor Bug Hunt
Ice Cream Taste Testing
Tabletop Loose Parts
Salt Art Jar
Make Your Own Balance Beam
Pretend Play Vet’s Office
Bug Painting
Secret Code Math
Move & Groove Alphabet Game
Cork & Button Builders
Giant Sunflower Craft
Mad Scientist Lab

Don’t Forget About Summer Reading

Summer Reading Challenge – Join Us!
Summer Reading Bucket List
Books That Make Kids Laugh
Book Hunt
Books About The Beach
30 Books That Are Also Movies
Books About Monsters
50 Ways To Teach Your Child To Read
Books About Princesses
Summer Reading A-List ; 50 Must Read Picture Books
Books About Dinosaurs
5 Books For Early Readers
Books That Rhyme
Books About Cars and Trucks
Books About Friendship

For even more ideas make sure you follow our Summer Fun For Kids Pinterest board.

Last Day Of School Party & DIY

last day of school partyStart your summer off right with a fun celebration that includes books and motivation for summer reading. Just because school is out does not mean that your kids are going to turn off their brains until it’s back in. Let them celebrate and have fun but know that summer is going to be about more than extra TV time.  Even if your last day of school has already passed you could use these same ideas for a kick off to summer reading.

This celebration is somewhat hypothetical for us because school isn’t out here for another 3 weeks! But this is my plan and I can’t wait!

5 Steps For A Simple Celebration

1. Prepare the sign.  We are using our easel . It will be blocking the door so when we arrive home from the bus it’s waiting for him to start the celebrations! You could also use banner paper covering the front door, side walk chalk on the driveway or spell it out in balloons!  No matter how you do it make it big enough so in their excited state they don’t miss it.

2. Prepare the treat . I know you don’t want to reward with food but this is a celebration and for us that means cake! Here is how we made this easy peasy 2 minute DIY mini banner.  You will need some construction paper, double stick tape, a pipe cleaner, 2 kabob skewers, scissors and a marker. summer party bannerStart by folding your paper in two and cutting a strip about an inch from the folded edge. Cut it into triangles. Some will be folded some won’t. Make sure you have 6 folded ones. Write summer on the folded ones one letter per folded triangle. Add double stick tape to it and fold over the pipe cleaner. Make sure there is enough pipe cleaner on either edge to wind around the skewer. After all the letter flags are on secure it to the skewers and add to the cake. last day of school 2 minute cake banner

 

3. Prepare the gift. Books are a must. You don’t need to buy them, you can get a stack out from the library but you need to make it clear that they are special and will be read during summer break. If you need a great guide for books try our book gift guide , book lists or try Scholastic’s Book Wizard .  I included some books for my husband and I to read with my son, some picture books for him to share and read to his sister, some early chapter books he can read solo or with us and some non fiction too!

books for summer reading

4. Summer Reading Bucket List – print it out ( email me for a high res version) and include it with your books. last day of school party

 

5. Summer Coupon Book ( click here to print our version) . These are little treats like staying up later to read, getting to decide on what movie we watch for family movie night and S’mores! Nothing huge just some fun things to look forward to. last day of school party

As a parent I struggle trying to balance making milestones fun but not making them too over the top. I don’t want to set my kids up for the expectation that everything they do , especially things we expect them to do deserves a huge celebration with lavish gifts. I do however want to encourage summer reading, learning all year long and I think this simple celebration focuses on that.

Do you do something special for the last day of school? Tell us about it in comments.