Get the best and most inviting summer preschool themes for lesson plans that both children and teachers love!
Oh, summer — warm weather, trips to visit family or explore new places, freedom! Is there anything better than being a kid in the summer? Everything seems better; everything tastes sweeter in the summer. Henry James said, “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language”. I’d have to agree with James’s thinking. There is nothing as ideal as a summer afternoon.
That doesn’t mean though that summer isn’t without its challenges. You’re busy enough without having the added extra of needing to come up with weekly themes and to plan lessons and activities for your kids!
Summer Preschool Themes
Lesson/activity planning is not easy. It can be challenging to think of a new theme every week, plus activities to help cement new facts and ideas in the mind of your children. That’s why I’ve put together a list of summer-themed ideas to help you get started with lesson planning. The lessons all focus on summer-based themes, including:
- Camping Theme
- Space Theme
- Ice Cream Theme
- Ocean Theme
- Sharks Theme
- Beach and Sea Shells Theme
- Field Day Theme
- Bugs, Bees, and Butterflies Theme
- Bubbles Theme
- Gardening Theme
- Plants and Life Cycles Theme
- Fruits and Vegetables Theme
- Picnics Theme
- Rain and Rainbows Theme
- Summer Theme
You may or may not enjoy camping, but who says camping always needs to be outdoors? Building an indoor tent might be just the thing for a rainy afternoon. Set up a sleeping area or make indoor s’mores! This is a great reason to pull out the flashlights and to talk about spending the night in nature. Turn your dramatic play area in a campground. Or get lots more ideas with these camping lesson plans.
There are so many ways outer space can be a ‘blast’. Stars, moons, and planets are just some of the miraculous things you can teach kids about space. Make a night sky sensory bin for some themed sensory play! You can incorporate math by using these space-themed number writing practice cards, making a rocket ship out of a cardboard box, or doing constellation activities. If you’re in need of an entire space lesson plan, we’ve got you covered in our store. On a clear night, look at the stars or see if there are any astrological events happening in your area, such as a meteor shower, eclipse, or blue moon. Or, show kids pictures and talk about life on the International Space Station!
Ice Cream Theme
Most kids, and lots of adults too, love ice cream as a yummy treat, so using it as a preschool summer theme is a fantastically sweet idea! Have you tried this 3-ingredient ice cream scented bubble recipe? We especially love this ice cream writing tray! Eat up some more delicious ideas in these ice cream activities or this ice cream themed lesson plan.
A perfect way to fill your preschool curriculum with ocean creatures, sensory play, shells, sea stars, an ocean-themed sensory bin, and more. Have you seen the book Commotion in the Ocean? Or check out our full list of ocean books for kids! You can also tie this into your moon theme by discussing tides, currents, and other ocean phenomena. Play some fun ocean games, or if you need more ocean ideas, we have a sea of ideas in this ocean lesson plan in our store. Study this theme individually or combine the ocean theme with the sharks, beach, and seashells theme.
There’s a whole week dedicated to sharks every year in July or August, which is a great time for a shark theme! What other animal has as many teeth as a shark? Practice counting high digit numbers by counting their teeth. Plus, it’s a great week to work on Baby Shark songs!
Beach and Seashell Theme
If you’re lucky enough to live in a coastal area, this is a perfect opportunity for a field trip! Otherwise, you can make a sensory play recipe that feels just like beach sand. Talk about the unique creatures and the different textures. Also a great time for an ocean creature sensory bottle! Or get a whole beach lesson plan to make your theme a splash!
While you’re studying about the beach, why not explore seashells as well?
Seashells are so pretty and something that many people like to collect on the beach. This is also a great opportunity for kids to learn about how seashells are formed and who lives in seashells, along with the different types and colors of seashells. This alone is a fun theme but the tie-in options are endless! Get more ideas in this shell lesson plan from our friends at Preschool Teacher 101.
Field Day Theme
If you have elementary age kids, they may have finished off the school year with Field Day. But Field Day doesn’t have to be limited to just older children. This would be a great week to learn about different track and field events like the 100-meter dash, relay races, hurdles, shot put, javelin, and long jump. You could even do a mock training camp week. Finish the week off with your own Field Day. Your kids may be too young for hurdles but some possible games include egg and spoon race, sack races, beanbag toss, ring toss, and a three-legged race. You can find other game ideas at Pre-K Pages.
Bugs, Bees, and Butterflies Theme
Summer is a busy time for our insect friends. Our pollinators are especially busy this time of year. You can break this summer preschool theme out into several weeks, or do a quick overview of different types of bugs.
Bees one of the hardest workers on the planet who helps take care of some of our most important plants and flowers. This torn paper flower craft is an easy tie-in as you talk about these busy helpers. You can also learn about pollination and patterns. More bee themed ideas and lesson plans are available here. Maybe you can even spot some busy bees near your home.
Bugs and insects are different, and it’s fascinating to find out what those differences are. This is one of the most popular preschool theme studies because children are fascinated with and love to explore and observe bugs. Get more ideas in this bug themed lesson plan from Planning Playtime.
Is there anything more magical than bubbles? Summer is a great time to explore and to play with bubbles as much as possible. Blow them, paint with them, put them in the sensory table, and more. Every preschooler loves bubbles! Make a kitchen sink bubble explosion for a themed sensory science experiment. Get an entire bubbles lesson plan from Preschool Teacher 101.
Get children excited about gardening, planting, fruits and vegetables, and what plants need to grow with a preschool garden theme. The incredibly talented teachers at Preschool Teacher 101 even created this wonderful garden theme lesson plan. For extra information, you can combine this theme with either the plants and life cycles theme or the fruits and vegetables theme.
Plants and Life Cycles Theme
Plants and life cycles are fascinating to kids. Kids will be in awe of how one tiny seed, with the right care, can turn into a full-size plant. I love this theme so much that I incorporated a greenhouse as part of my in-home preschool!
Fruits and Vegetables Theme
Want a preschool theme that’s more than just apples? Talk about all the fruits and vegetables! What makes them different, how to grow them, how they taste, and why they are good for us, when they are in season. Here is a vegetable theme lesson plan from our friends at Preschool Teacher 101.
Picnics are universally loved, especially by kids. Eating somewhere new and different is exciting. That same excitement can be spread to learning with a picnic theme. But watch out for the ants while singing The Ants go Marching!
Rain and Rainbows Theme
Raindrops are essential to summertime and help present a wonderful theme for this season. This is also a useful theme to help discuss and learn about weather or how rain helps the earth grow. Check out this cute and fun rain cloud suncatcher craft! Need an entire rain lesson plan? Preschool Teacher 101 has made this wonderful rain themed lesson plan.
If you’re very lucky, what does rain sometimes bring with it – Rainbows!
We LOVE rainbows and can’t get enough of them! They are the perfect theme to explore color, weather or even fantasy. The supplemental activities are endless – rainbow games, science activities, fine motor practice, sensory play, discovery bottles, process art activities, sight words, crafts, and much more! If you need more rainbow lesson plan ideas, you are in luck because Preschool Teacher 101 has them in their store.
Maybe you aren’t in need of several different themes, but just want to spend some time focusing on summer as a whole. Summer is full of fun – beaches, vacations, lemonade, and of course the POOL! Check out this pool noodle name recognition activity, or a whole list of pool noodle hacks and learning ideas. This is a great theme for the end of the traditional school year or during the summer months. You can see our summer theme in our store.
These are just a few ideas and resources for preschool-geared summer themes. You can expand or combine any of these ideas as you need. Or if you’re interested in even more great idea, visit my Ultimate List of Preschool Themes page for tons of themes that can be used year-round! Most importantly, have fun. The summer will be gone before you know it, so make sure you enjoy this special time of year.