I think it’s safe to say that the warmer weather is FINALLY here to stay (fingers crossed), and we couldn’t be happier about it! This means water play ideas for preschoolers will be the name of the game. We need all the outdoor time we can get after such a long winter.
Just before we get into the fun Beginning Letters Toy Scoop Game, do you have your FREE Learning with Nature Summer Bucket List? It’s filled with simple learning opportunities to enjoy with your little one throughout the summer. You can grab yours right here:
Water Play Ideas for Preschoolers!
My 3-year-old is bored? We ride our bikes! My 1-year-old is extremely fussy? We go for a stroller walk! Spending time outdoors has a way of solving all of our problems.
But we recently had some 85-degree days that we weren’t quite prepared for. It was (almost) too hot for us to be outside, and there’s nothing worse than an overheated child. She was begging for some water fun, and I couldn’t blame her.
That’s when I realized that I’d need some water play ideas for preschoolers that I could use all summer long. This was the perfect excuse to bust out the kiddie pool!
- Kiddie pool or water table
- Variety of bath toys or objects you don’t mind getting wet
- Something to scoop with (bucket, colander, etc.)
How to Play
First, I filled the pool/water table with water and tossed in all the toys. I gathered our bath toys and some play foods and shapes from our shape sorter for some variety.
Then, I used the chalk to write the letters A-Z on the ground.
At this point, my daughter couldn’t wait to get in the pool! As soon as she got in, she grabbed her bucket and scooped out a bath toy block. Then, she walked over to the alphabet to place the block on the letter “B.” She continued to do this until no toys were left in the pool.
My daughter loved getting to play with her bath toys in the pool, as well as using a bucket to scoop and dump water. I loved that she was engaged and learning while having fun in the sun. It was a win-win for both of us!
Questions You Might Ask Your Child
“What toy did you scoop?”
“Can you hear the sound it starts with?”
“What letter makes that sound?”
“What other words begin with that sound?”
The next time I do this activity with my daughter, I’m going to try two different variations. I could make it easier for her by using foam bath letters instead of toys. It would be a great way to practice letter recognition!
Or I could challenge her a little more by starting the activity with a little game of “I Spy.” I’d say, “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the letter ____” to have her scoop a specific toy.
We could also make it a rhyming game! “I spy with my little eye, something that rhymes with… gurtle!” And she would search for the turtle. Made up words are totally okay—and might get a few giggles from your little one!
I hope this water play idea for preschoolers keeps your little one cool and engaged all summer long!
Nataly is a certified elementary teacher turned stay-at-home-mom to two little girls. She enjoys sharing simple yet fun kids’ activities to help make playtime meaningful!
Teach Your Child to Read this Summer
The summer break is a great time to practice literacy skills. It gives little ones a chance to learn at their own pace. It also gives them a chance to learn in fun and engaging ways that may not be possible with lots of kids in a classroom—like this beginning letter toy scoop game!
Did you know that in addition to letters and sounds, children must also master the seven phonological awareness skills for reading to flow naturally? I lay out each of these skills step-by-step—with playful activities to practice each skill—in my learn-to-read program, How Wee Read.
How Wee Read covers it all. From rhyming to reading in 60 sequential, simple, and beautiful lessons. Perfect for teaching your little one to read over the summer!
- Step One: Phonological Awareness (7 lessons)
- Step Two: Letters, Sounds, and Blending (12 lessons)
- Step Three: Special Rules (5 lessons)
- Step Four: Familiar Readers (36 lessons)