Ready Set Go to Kindergarten

Ahhhhhhh, Summer…or is it, Aaarrrggghhhh, Summer?!

Nicolle Bellmore Pierse - Saturday, June 08,2013

Like it or not, summer vacation has arrived!  Long days, long nights, heat….it could be a recipe for disaster—or the perfect opportunity to learn and grow!  Whether you are a parent looking for new summer activities to enjoy with your child or an early childhood educator looking for new ideas for your classroom—you’ve come to the right place!

I love the idea of a summer bucket list—a variety of summer activities to try out with the kids.  And if you play your cards right you can incorporate summer learning activities into the fun without them even realizing it! 

As you can see from the image (courtesy of Full Hands, Full Hearts) you can create your bucket list using an actual bucket and clothes pins.  As you complete an activity simply drop it in the bucket and come August you can look back and reflect on all you have accomplished.  You could also have each child create a summer journal tracking each of the activities that you have completed.  I created a simple journal page from Clip Art; here is the link.   This reinforces early writing skills and provides the kids with a memento of their summer of fun!

The types of activities you can incorporate are endless but the concentration should be on traditional “summer” fun—especially here in Northeast Ohio where we get to enjoy only a couple of months of warm weather.  To get you started here is a list of summer bucket list activities:

  • Outdoor picnic…remember that alliteration picnic we talked about earlier this year?!
  • Ice Cream in a Bag (Edit note: this link previously went to a article. You can read HERE to find out what happened to
  • Drive in Movie (see how to make cardboard box cars for your own in-door theater HERE)
  • Visit the zoo
  • Make dinner—or a snack—entirely from items found at a local Farmers Market
  • Create a water play obstacle course
  • Visit a farm
  • Pick berries (find out where you can pick locally HERE)
  • Take a nature walk (collect sticks, rocks, and leaves)
  • Make a fairy—or gnome—house using the items collected on nature walk
  • Try out a new park
  • Kids love mail—become pen pals with children at another early childhood education center or a soldier overseas
  • Join the local library’s summer reading program
  • Build a 3-D structure using toothpicks and marshmallows
  • Alphabet Around Town (assign each child a letter and have them take a picture of the letter somewhere around town—on street signs, cars, buildings, etc.).  Create a class alphabet book from the pictures.
  • Cleveland Metroparks—no matter where you live or what age you are, the Metroparks has something for everyone!

Be creative, learn and have fun.  Enjoy the season with the kids in your life.  So, now that we’ve got you started—what’s on your summer bucket list?

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