Play based preschool curriculum ideas for summer themed activities

Sensory Bin


I could stare at this one all day!

  • Blue colored rice/filler
  • Sand colored filler for the islands-I used a mixture of beans and rice, but have used oats in the past
  • Palm trees
  • Toy crabs
  • Boats
  • Etc.

Add your blue filler as the water, and then place sections of the islands around the sensory bin. Add your toys and play!

Mermaid scales

  • Magnet discs and wands
  • Mermaid toys
  • Seashells
  • Glitter
  • Sea creatures
  • Etc.

Add everything to the sensory bin and play! In the past I have printed and laminated mermaid images and hot glued them to the wand. When the kids collect the “scales” they will be on the mermaid!

Ice Cream

  • Kinetic sand
  • Ice cream bowls/spoons
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Cut up pipe cleaners (sprinkles)
  • Pompoms (candy/sprinkles)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Etc.

Add materials to the sensory bin and have kids build ice cream cups!


I spy…Summer!

You can download this worksheet here, OR enter your email at the bottom of the page to access exclusive freebies for life!

Sink or float?

  • Bucket of water
  • Random assortment of items
  • Optional food coloring

Super easy activity that is quick to set up, and can keep the kiddos busy for a LONG time! Add food coloring to a bucket of water, and have kids choose items one at a time. Before they place it in the water have them guess if it will sink or float.

Shark Shapes

Display your shark shapes and worksheets, and have your kids trace/color the shapes as you go over them.

You can find this activity in my TpT shop here —> Shark Shapes. This activity has shark tracing cards, however I paired it with a different tracing worksheet for convenience, since I had multiple kiddos for this lesson.

The worksheet shown is from my handwriting practice book in my store and can be found here


You can find both of these for FREE in my freebie library. Click the link above to submit your email for access 🙂

Sea life rescue

  • Jars
  • Blue food coloring
  • Sea plants/animals

Add plants and animals to a jar with blue food coloring and water, and then freeze completely. Dissolve salt in warm water, and have the kids use pipettes to apply the salt water solution in order to melt and free the items.

Ice cream in a bag

  • Large ziploc
  • Glass jar- a second bag will work, just be sure to secure it well or it will open.
  • Ice cream salt/Rock salt
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract (flavoring preference)
  • Ice

In the first bag, add about 4 cups of ice and 8 Tbsp of ice cream salt. In a glass jar, add the rest of the ingredients. Secure the jar well, and place inside of the first ziploc. Secure the ziploc and SHAKE! This will take a while, 5-10 minutes by hand. Check the consistency until it is your desired texture and enjoy!

Dramatic Play


  • Sailor hats
  • Sailing backdrop
  • Binoculars
  • Camera printouts
  • Props/dress up
  • Etc.

Set up your sailing area and anchors aweigh!

Beach Day

  • Seashells
  • Shovel and pale
  • Sunscreen printouts
  • Ocean animal printouts
  • Lifeguard dress up
  • Blue tissue paper
  • Etc.

I created a water background with two different colored tissue papers, used our rug to replicate sand, and set up some beach toys. Have the kids play at the beach!

Ice cream shop

  • Ice cream bowls and spoons
  • Large pompoms- Pink, white and brown
  • Ice cream menu
  • Ice cream scooper
  • Dress up
  • Etc.

Set up your shop and serve your ice cream!

You’ve got mail!

Check out those freebies! #freebiesforlife

Just a sec babe…
Yay for new friends!

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