Just because it is Summer doesn’t mean it is time for your preschooler to stop learning. In fact, young children are almost always learning from everything they do, see, and hear. Take advantage of their natural curiosity and engage in fun and educational activities with your child all Summer long.
There are hundreds of activities you can do right from your own home that are so fun, your kids will want to do more! Try to pick summer-oriented themes and plan stories, snacks, games, crafts and more around that theme. When I was teaching, one of the children’s favorite summertime themes was based on that delicious symbol of summer known as the watermelon! Here are several enjoyable and yes, educational, ideas for having your own Wacky Watermelon Day at home!
Literacy and Language
Start the day off with a great watermelon book!
Here are several favorites:
Down By the Bay by Raffi (ages baby to 3)
One Watermelon Seed by Celia Lottridge and Karen Patkau (ages 3 to 6)
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli (ages 3 to 5)
The Enormous Watermelon by Brenda Parkes & Judith Smith (ages 4 to 8)
Do Watermelons Grow on Trees? by Jamie Sajewel (ages 2 to 8)
Watermelon Wishes by Lisa Moser (preschool ages)
Arts and Crafts
Watermelon Slice Magnets
Materials Needed: small red styrofoam plate, green tissue paper cut into small squares, seeds (either real or cut from black construction paper), glue, magnets.
– cut a red styrofoam plate (or paint a white one red) into four equal sections.
– let your child glue cut up squares of green tissue paper on the outer edge for the rind.
– next,using either seeds from black construction paper or actual watermelon seeds, have him/her glue five or six seeds onto each slice of watermelon.
– attach a magnet on the back of each piece, and let dry.
Now your child has some cute summer refrigerator magnets!
Materials Needed: small white paper plates, crayons or paint, real watermelon seeds if preferred
– children color or paint 2 small paper plates to look like watermelon slices (green rind, red fruit, black seeds),you can even glue real seeds on if you like.
– put a handful of beans inside the plates and staple them together.
Sing “Down By the Bay”. Use your watermelon tambourines to keep the beat!
Watermelon Math Ideas!
– as you cut the watermelon, use math terms.For example: begin by cutting the watermelon in HALF, then QUARTERS. And so on.
– cut a slice of watermelon into small, bite size squares and count the squares as you place them in a bowl for snacking.
– cut a slice (or several) of watermelon that has seeds in it, and have your child estimate how many seeds are in their slice
– have them place their seeds off to the side as they eat their slice, or for toddlers, remove the seeds for them, counting together as you go.
– depending on their skill level, you can also introduce the concepts of MORE and LESS by asking him/her if there were more seeds than they guessed or less.
Fresh “Smushed” Fruit Juice!
– place several chunks of watermelon in a resealable Ziploc bag.
– seal the bag, smoothing out the air.
– let your child gently squish, smush and smoosh the melon through the bag.
– when done, open a corner of the bag and add a straw.
– while they are enjoying their watermelon juice, ask questions about what the watermelon felt like: was it hard or soft, warm or cold?
Read the book A Seed Grows by Pamela Hickman and Heather Collins, then do the following activity.
Plant Your Own!
Materials needed: seeds, potting soil, clear cups, spoons, spray bottle of water.
– help your child fill their cup 3/4 full with soil using the spoon.
– let them push two or three watermelon seeds into the soil, then water it using a spray bottle.
– place in a sunny window and watch them grow!
Seedless Watermelons Scientific Facts
Discuss with your child the fact that the seedless watermelon isn’t really seedless — it’s just that the seeds are so underdeveloped that they’re barely noticeable when eaten. If you want to get into more detail, explain that scientists developed the melon by selecting watermelon strains in which the seeds matured much later than the flesh. So when the flesh is ripe for eating, the seeds still have a long way to go.
Watermelon Popsicles: you and your child can make this deliciously cold treat together!
Materials Needed: a watermelon, cookie cutters in any shape (I used a star), aluminum foil, a baking sheet and popsicle sticks. Seedless watermelons work best, but if you have one with seeds, just pick out the seeds from each slice using a
butter knife or toothpick.
1.Show your child how to use a cookie cutter to cut juicy shapes from 1-inch-thick slices of watermelon.
2.Help him/her insert a popsicle stick into each shape, then set the pops on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
3.Cover the watermelon shapes with another sheet of foil and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
4.Remove from freezer and enjoy!