Build sand castles in the sand box as a class effort.

Fun Summer Activity Ideas for Daycare

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

“Mommy, guess what we’re doing at daycare today!” Her excitement is infectious, even before she spills the beans. When she started daycare, she didn’t want to go. Now she’s at the door, jumping up and down and urging you to hurry so she doesn’t miss anything. With the warm, summer weather, there are many enjoyable daycare activities you can borrow to perk up your summer days.

1. Outdoor Fun

Over time, the same old playground equipment can lose its glamor. Invite the fire department to bring the fire truck to the daycare -- or visit the fire department -- and let the children explore it as they learn about fire safety. Have the little ones try on the fire hats and receive honorary fire fighter badges as they learn not to play with fire and how to get out of your home safely. If the kids are feeling wiggly, bring out the beach balls and blankets for a fun game of blanket toss. Encourage the kids to work together to toss the balls high in the air by shaking the blanket, catching and tossing the balls as many times as they can. To liven up lunch time, the kids can picnic outside with watermelon or other summer foods, especially if the melon comes from a garden they planted and watched grow.

2. Field Trips

“The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” rings through the halls as the kids head out on summer field trips. Summer offers many fun destinations, such as a park to watch a hot air balloon race, a trip to the zoo or aquarium or a visit to a children’s museum where they can explore the exhibits with their hands. Some options are free to children under five, although the teachers and parent sponsors must pay. Some locations provide staff to explain what the kiddos see, making the trip more informative and exciting.

3. Rainy Days

Staying inside because of the rain is seldom exciting for anyone, so prepare indoor activities that keep your child moving and playing. Create an indoor obstacle course using furniture and sheets to create crawl spaces with prizes at the end of the course. Stage competitions for the most creative block structures or original art. Invite someone to visit in costume to read at story time or to serve a special meal. Kids enjoy wearing costumes year round, so have them dress up as their favorite super hero or storybook character.

4. Any Day

Any day can take on an excited atmosphere with a little preparation. Invite the little ones to sample summer foods grown from their daycare garden. Bring out the camera and invite the kids to ham it up and provide pictures they can share with family and friends. Stage your own puppet show or costumed drama. Go on a bear hunt with a costumed bear, singing “I’m Going on a Bear Hunt” as you act out the song. Release butterflies or balloons with messages inside and watch them float off in the deep blue sky.

References

  • Outings and Adventures with Children Ages 1-6 & Beyond; Lynda Morley

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

  • Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images