Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Summer Ideas for Year-Round Preschool Programs

I've learned more about the preschool world in the last year than I ever thought was possible, and the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the sheer number of different schedules for preschool programs.  I've always taught at year-round programs, which pose their own challenges:

  • The children rarely get a break or vacation from the program
  • The teachers rarely get a break
  • Teachers have to engage the children in more activities because they are there for more days
  • The teacher and children's day are often longer than a typical school day
They also come with some really great perks:
  • once children learn the routine they don't have to relearn it because there aren't extended breaks
  • teachers and children are able to form strong, lasting relationships because they spend so much time together
  • Each day can be a little more relaxed because you know that you have more time with these children - you don't feel as rushed or pressured to squeeze everything in
  • similarly, there is time to do fun projects and special events
Since I've worked at year round programs, I have a special place in my heart for teachers who deal with these challenges day in and day out. I know how hard it can be to make summer really feel like summer, and not just another day at school. I know that it is difficult to walk that fine line of planning fun summer activities that are still valuable learning experiences. I know the struggle of wanting to spend the entire day outside in the sprinkler when you really have to follow your daily routine. 

Since I've got a special appreciation for year-round programs, it was important to me to create materials that lend themselves to summer themes. I know how hard it can be to find activities for the summer, so here are some of my favorite themes, and a bunch of activities to go with them. 

Ice Cream
Ice cream just screams summer, and it's as much fun for the teacher as it is for the kiddos. Here are some of my past blog posts about ice cream activities:

I also have an Ice Cream Activity Bundle, as well as Classroom Decorations for an Ice Cream Party. All of this will get you through one or two fun filled summer weeks!

Nothing says summer quite like camping, and what's not to love?! Tents, campfires, lanterns, and s'mores all fit into this theme, and children get to explore the opportunity to go on an adventure! Here are some posts about camping activities:

Along with my Camping Activity Bundle, you'll have everything you need for the perfect camping experience!

Gardening is an incredible learning experience! Children get to see growth and change happen first hand.  Here are some of my posts related to gardening and the outdoors:

I also just finished a brand new Gardening Bundle, with a tong of language and math activities that can compliment all of your scientific exploration!

Some other fun summer themes include:
  • The beach/the ocean
  • Bugs
  • The fair or the farm
  • Amusement park
  • Vacation/travel
  • Water and swimming
  • Pool party/luau
  • Barbecue
  • Picnic
What are your favorite themes to explore during the summer?

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