Summer can be lazy days …. playing in the sun, splashing in the water, watching clouds go by, picnicking under the shade of a huge tree. Use these great lazy day activities to support your children’s development.  Make sure that you are including activities that address the different developmental domains every day.

• Shadow dancing – physical development
Use the sun to make long/short shadows. Make lots of movements and see what happens with your shadow. Dance to music for more fun!

• Day in the Life of an Ant – cognitive development: scientific observation
Lay on the ground and watch what an ant does, how it searches and carries food. Make Ants on a Log for snack (celery, peanut butter or cream cheese, and raisins/chocolate chips)

• Water Painting – creative development, fine motor skill development
Painting with water is a fun game for young children. Water is an attractive alternative to paint, which is much messier to clean, and disappears more quickly on driveways or sidewalks than chalk. Supply a toddler or preschooler with a plastic bowl of water and an assortment of paintbrushes, and let the fun begin! Practice drawing shapes, letters and numbers.

• Build a Fort – approaches to learning (how a child addresses learning opportunities)
Remember those days of throwing a blanket over a branch, the clothesline or other outdoor items? This makes a great place for children to draw, read a book or just relax.

• Puppets and Flannel Boards – language and literacy
Provide lots of different puppets or flannel board characters/props so children can create their own stories.

During the summer months, don’t forget to ….
• Read to your children, or have them read to you, every day !
• Take a moment to lay back and find cool designs in the summer clouds!
Play counting and matching games!
• Wriggle you bare toes in mud, grass, sand and other fun stuff!
• Read to your children, or have them read to you, every day !
• Have a picnic under a tree, count the ants that join you on your blanket!
Play counting and matching games!
• ‘Paint’ the sidewalk using buckets of water and different size brushes!
• Read to your children, or have them read to you, every day !
• Run through the lawn sprinkler!
Play counting and matching games!
• Draw lines, squiggles and the letters of your name in the mud or sand!
• Read to your child(ren), or have them read to you, every day !
• Draw pictures, letters and numbers on each other’s backs with your fingers!
Play counting and matching games!
• Curl up on a swing, couch or other comfy chair and listen to the summer sounds!
• Read to your child(ren), or have them read to you, every day !

Hopefully you have noticed a pattern! Help your children with school readiness (preschool and school-age) through the summer by remembering to promote literacy and math skills every day. Check out your library for their summer reading program.