Surviving the Summer with a Preschooler

I love my preschooler with an indescribable passion. However, as much as I cherish each and every second we are together, I also embrace the times when she is able to keep herself occupied long enough for me to get at least one task done without interruption.

Those moments are relatively scarce, especially during the summer months when the weather is nice and we spend much of the day outside. Still, there are ways to secure a few moments of peace, provided you plan ahead.

The following are some of my preschooler’s favorite outdoor activities that don’t require a ton of money or skill to pull off:


This is about as easy as it gets. Whatever your preschooler enjoys doing inside; she’ll probably love doing twice as much outside. My preschooler loves to build tunnels and forts. To do so outside simply bring out some blankets, take the cushions off the patio furniture and create a fort on your deck or in the yard near the swing set. My daughter also loves playing board games, so I bring those out too, and we sit on a blanket under a tree and play Candyland or Chutes and Ladders in the great outdoors.


You don’t have to fire up the grill to have fun cooking outdoors. If you are working with preschoolers, just set out a few simple ingredients on a picnic table and let them use their culinary skills to make Ants on a Log using celery, peanut butter, and raisins. Or, make your own trail mix with dried fruit, cereal, chocolate chips and nuts.


There is no better place to let your child go crazy with art supplies than in the backyard. I am fortunate to have a designated craft area in my home, so my daughter can unleash her inner Picasso whenever she feels the need, but if you don’t have the space, then take your art projects outside. Drawing and painting with lots of different kinds of papers is a great activity for preschool kids. Simply give them a variety of markers, pens, pencils, finger paint, chalk, or chalk paint and let them go to town on the grass. You could also let them use cardboard, driveways, and sidewalks as their canvases.

Related Articles:

Patience and the Preschooler

Bonding with Your Preschooler

Is Your Preschooler Overscheduled?

Is Your Preschooler More Tech-Savvy Than You?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.