These summer literacy activities for preschoolers take the kids outdoors or celebrate summer themes. What great ideas to include with the rest of your summer activities for preschoolers!
Below, you’ll find ideas that touch on letter identification, sight words, word families, letter sounds, oral language development, and more!
Some of the ideas are fully hands-on activities, and some include printables to supplement the hands-on learning. Either way, there are more than 30 literacy activities for the kids to try this summer.
Related: Summer Science Experiments
I have to admit, many of the activities on this list look like fun for older kids – and even adults – to join in on! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself playing right alongside your kids with these summer literacy activities.
And go ahead and use your imagination to come up with variations for each of them. The activities below can definitely be adapted based on the ages and needs of the children you care for. Who knows, you may just find your next favorite summer activity in this list!
Summer Literacy Activities for Preschoolers
Whether you are looking for a few fun summer activities for your preschoolers to practice what they’ve already learned, or you’re looking to add a dash of summer into your lessons, I’ve got you covered. These summer literacy activities cover several key skills preschoolers are learning, and they do it in the most playful of ways.
When kids are given the opportunity to learn through play, it becomes much easier for them to retain knowledge and look forward to learning. Summer literacy activities like these make it easy for us to help them understand and practice many of the pre-reading and writing concepts they will need to master.
I’m sure you’ll find a bunch of ideas here to bookmark and come back to as you are planning summer activities with your preschoolers!
Summer Literacy Materials
First up, let’s chat supplies! I love that many of these summer activities will use what you have on-hand already. If you do find yourself needing some extra supplies, I’ve put together a list of many of the materials you will find in these summer literacy activities. I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
- Pool noodles
- Sharpie markers
- Craft knife
- Alphabet sponges
- Magnetic letters
- Dry erase markers
- Sidewalk chalk
- Alphabet play mats
- Plastic bins
- Spray bottles
- Water guns
- Paint brushes
- Colored paper
Oh, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Outdoor Summer Literacy Activities for Preschoolers
Taking the learning outdoors means an increase in physical movement, with the added benefit of spending time in the fresh air. These literacy activities have been created especially to use with kiddos outside, and will give you a chance to practice some of the concepts preschoolers are learning.
Working on a garden with your kids this summer? Turn what you’re growing into a learning opportunity with these fruit and vegetable printables.
This sidewalk chalk sight word game looks like a blast, and can be used with kids of different ages.
Nothing says summer like pool noodles, so why not use them to practice letters? I bet you’ll use find lots of ways to use this pool noodle alphabet basket.
Outdoor scavenger hunts are classic summer activities, and this one pairs picture clues with the words.
Tracing is a fantastic way to get little hands used to writing, and outdoor alphabet tracing is a clever way to use those big foam letter mats.
The only materials you will need for this nature alphabet activity is, well, nature! Any and all of it will work here.
Do your kids love their car toys? This sight word parking lot activity could be done with either ride-on or toy cars!
This grab and pull alphabet activity is a simple, yet highly active way to practice letter recognition with preschoolers.
Water Literacy Activities
There’s something about water that brings out the most playful in kids. Harness the fun of water play to turn summer literacy activities for preschoolers into something they’ll beg you to do!
Pair lots of soapy bubbles with letters in this super-fun alphabet sensory bin.
Water is one of two materials in this letter painting with water summer activity.
Kids adore using spray bottles, so they will jump at the chance to spray a whole bunch of “bugs” in this alphabet bug spray activity.
Soaking wet alphabet sponges on a hot summer day equal all sorts of welcome letter games. Your kids will have a blast with these!
Create a mini abc water park with your kids and then they use it to practice their letters while playing!
Aaaaah nice cold ice blocks make for the perfect summer literacy activity as kids work to free frozen letters in this alphabet excavation activity.
Kids will practice their beginning sounds as they search for objects in this beginning sounds ice melt activity.
This pool noodle sight word boat race activity is sure to be a summer favorite with preschoolers and even older kids.
This duckling letter-matching activity is reminiscent of a carnival game, with the addition of some letter practice.
Water guns are put to good use with this alphabet target practice game. This looks like such a fun way to practice letters!
Beach-Themed Summer Literacy Activities for Preschoolers
Summertime is beach time! Use these beachy activities to work on all sorts of literacy skills this summer.
Here is a beach themed easy reader that will have your kiddos dreaming of splashing in the waves and playing in the sand this summer!
The whole group will have fun, and preschoolers can practice beginning sounds with this printable alphabet beach game.
This shell letter-matching sensory bin will have your kids feeling like they’re playing in the sand at the beach!
Look out, a shark! Grab this free shark ABC printable to give kids some practice matching letters to pictures – along with some more beginning literacy ideas.
This beach vocabulary memory game brings all sorts of summer fun to practicing new words for preschoolers, and there are some ideas for variations.
Seashells bring a beachy vibe and make reading fun in this shell sight word practice activity.
Preschoolers match upper and lowercase letters using this free beach letter matching printable.
Preschoolers can practice memorizing a summer song with this 10 little seashells circle time song printable.
Here’s another variation on the seashell sight word practice activity – this time using sand to write in!
Summer Treat Literacy Ideas
I think it’s safe to say sweet treats are a childhood favorite during hot summer months. So including them in summer literacy activities for preschoolers is a must!
Use this watermelon printable book to give your kids some juicy reading practice. And they’ll get a little math thrown in for good measure.
With the ice cream sundae CVC word family activity, kids get to build their own sundaes as they practice identifying word families.
I recommend grabbing some delicious ice cream cones to enjoy while the kids practice writing letters with this ice cream cone tracing activity.
Delicious ice cream cones will definitely motivate the kids with this ice cream letter-matching busy bag activity.
This watermelon ABC matching printable is all sorts of adorable for a summer literacy activity for your kids.
You’ll love the simplicity of setting up this popsicle ABC matching game, and kids will love searching for the letters. Win-win!
This ice cream cvc word match activity is a simple printable that you can use in many different ways with the kids!
Students will love a chance to write on watermelon slices in this watermelon seed sight word activity.
It’s all about summer yumminess with this watermelon ABC preschool letter printable. I love versatile printables like this one!
Summer Lesson Plans
What if I told you you didn’t need to spend all of your time planning lessons for your preschoolers? Sounds good, right? This is exactly why we created Preschool Teacher 101. As former early childhood educators, we remember wishing we had these resources!
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of planning time with fully-developed, done-for-you preschool resources. The lesson plans come with weekly plans, detailed daily plans, editable planning templates, book suggestions, and coordinating printables. Click on the image below to get yours:
And here are a few more resources with summer themes:
Be sure to check out The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101’s. Members get access to it all, along with a few member exclusives (all at a BIG discount)!