Summer Hands-On Learning Activities for Children

One of the most incredible and valuable aspects of the Montessori method is that it inspires teachers, and parents, as much as it does children to be constantly fascinated by everything we learn and come across. It teaches us to seek pleasure and content from within by shifting focus from external rewards that fade away to grasp the internal rewards of growing, mastering a skill, and becoming more independent and self-sufficient.
In the same way, when children discover something new about the natural world, those discoveries lead them to explore their part in it, and the world becomes more tangible and bigger.
Summer gives those opportunities when we can easily connect all we can observe in nature to learning opportunities when children gain new skills and work on developing their cognitive abilities.

summer hands-on activities

Summer is the perfect time for preschool children to learn about science while having fun. Here are some Montessori-inspired summer science activities for preschoolers:

  1. Water play: Teach children about buoyancy, flow, and temperature by setting up a water table with different tools and objects to play with.
  2. Nature walks: Explore the outdoors and observe plants, insects, and animals. Encourage children to use all of their senses when observing their surroundings.
  3. Ice experiments: Freeze objects in ice and let children experiment with different tools and methods to melt the ice and retrieve the objects.
  4. Solar system exploration: Use pictures and books to teach children about the planets, stars, and the sun.
  5. Gardening: Grow plants and teach preschoolers about the plant life cycle, soil, and sun exposure.

All of these summer science activities for preschool Montessori can be adapted to fit the needs and interests of individual children.

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summer pack

I created this pack with summer-themed printables for children aged 3-6 centered around nature.

Children often learn the best with their senses. Summer is the time when those senses are especially alert. This sorting activity contains twenty-five pictures for sorting on five main senses humans have – hearing, smell, taste, sight and touch.

Seashells and sea star 3-part cards for learning to identify various types of seashells commonly found on seashores. Children who visited the beach before will be able to recognize many of those right away. You may find that you already have some of them at home or in a convenience store to arrange a match-up activity using the cards.

With the Pollinators 3-part cards and information cards about animals that tirelessly pollinate plants children will learn many fascinating facts about these invaluable creatures. Learning about connections between animals and plants can form a picture of how everything in the natural world is intertwined and co-dependent.

Sorting colors with thirty insect cards – an activity for the youngest ones with red, blue, yellow, green, black, and brown colors. This activity can be done with a magnifying glass for children to study pictures of the insects more intensely. Take color cards with you outdoors to do color matching on the go while you are out and about on a nature walk.

Dragonfly resources to learn about the main parts of the dragonfly using 3-part cards and student booklet printout for children to color and label each part.

The life cycle of the dragonfly with photographs and a letter-size poster. Children will be fascinated to learn that dragonflies lay eggs in the water.

Summer I Spy math activity with watercolor images. Children are encouraged to count and record each numbers of every particular flower and element. They can be invited to draw their own version of I Spy game for their friends to practice counting.

Lacing cards with birds and their nest, feathers and eggs. Supple with colorful laces or a needle and yarn. Invite the child to thread a card of their choice and hang on a wall or make it a part of your nature table display.

You can get your copy of the Summer Pack here.

summer printables you might find helpful in your classroom

About Anastasia - Anastasia is an early childhood teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature - a blog about Montessori living and learning and nature-based explorations. With many years of experience working in a Montessori environment and homeschooling her children, she directed her passion for all things Montessori and nature into creating educational resources. You can learn more here and browse her printables on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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