When I think of summer I think of watermelon! There are so many watermelon activities you can do that involve hands-on learning, sensory exploration, art, and FUN. Today I’m sharing some of the creative ways we’ve been playing and learning with watermelon.
Want even more ideas? Continue the fun with a full week of watermelon play and learning with our printable lesson plans for home preschool and home preschool.
One morning I set up two trays. The first tray had watermelon cut into different shapes. To make the shapes we cut thin slices of watermelon and then used cookie cutters to create the shapes we wanted. The second tray had an assortment of wooden craft sticks, skewers, and toothpicks. (Please supervise children closely when using objects with a sharp point)
Then I invited the kids to make whatever creations they wanted using the materials.
Lovey worked on creating a tall tower while Tinker preferred to place one piece at a time on a skewer and then eat it. Each time she would exclaim, “I make a wowipop!” (lollipop)
Big Buddy also started with a tower. When it started to fall over he spent some time problem solving to come up with ways to help the structure stand on its own.
After Tinker had eaten enough she also joined in the play. This was great fine motor practice.
Watermelon Squish Bag Math
Tinker loved watching the sun shine through the bags. She spent a lot of time pushing the seeds around and watching the bubbles in the bag shift around.
If you follow this blog, you know I love to get a lot of use out of our activities. We re-purposed this squish bag into a math activity to help Lovey practice making ten. Once the kids were done exploring the bag on the window, I took it down and added an extra strip of green tape down the middle. Inside there were already 10 watermelon seeds.
To practice making ten, Lovey would squish the bag to move the seeds around and then lay it flat. She would count all the seeds to make sure all 10 were visible and not hiding behind the tape. Then she would count how many were on each side and we would record the combination on paper. In this example we wrote “4 and 6.” You could also write them as addition sentences, “4+6=10.” We repeated the steps until we had a few different combinations.
Even more sensory squish bag inspiration!
Find sensory squish bags for every season here.
Watermelon Seeds and Play Dough
We made a wonderful batch of watermelon play dough. You can use you favorite play dough recipe or try this recipe from Sugar, Spice and Glitter.
Before playing with the play dough the kids spent some time exploring with the watermelon seeds that we collected. They made letters…
…and some silly pictures.
Then we ate a lot of watermelon “pizza,” “cookies” and “pie.”
Watermelon Sensory Play
This invitation to explore is another activity inspired by Teach Preschool. It looked like so much fun that we had to give it a try, and I am so glad we did. To set up the invitation we cut a large watermelon in half and gathered large and small bowls and a few kitchen gadgets. I set everything up outside so the kids could explore freely and clean would be very easy.
Before the kids started exploring on their own we talked a little about the parts of the watermelon and used our senses to talk about its properties. Then they were eager to dig in!
Everyone started by using the different kitchen utensils. They scooped and transferred bits from the melon into the different bowls. But that didn’t last too long…
They all soon realized it was way more fun to dig in with their hands. They spent the better part of the morning playing. They made watermelon soup, and when all of the flesh was gone the watermelon become a new bug habitat (an ongoing passion the kids have lately). Once they were finished we simply hosed everything off….kids too!
Not quite up for real food sensory play? No worries! Try our watermelon water bead sensory bin idea instead!
You can also set up a watermelon sensory tray for early writing practice.
Practice letter formation with these free printable watermelon ABC mats.
Learn to recognize 2D shapes with this fun roll and say watermelon shapes math game.
And of course we love pairing our themes with some great picture books. We’ve provided a brief summary for each of our favorite watermelon books for kids here.
Work those fine motor muscles as you create this torn paper watermelon craft project.
What about you? Do you have any favorite watermelon activities or recipes? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
And if you’re looking for more inspiration, we have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to watermelon. Check it out for even more awesome ideas!
Get a Full Week of Watermelon Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Watermelon Seed Counting Game
2) Roll and Color Watermelon Seed Math Game
3) Watermelons on the Vine Beginning Sound Sort (6 initial sounds)
4) Watermelon Word Family Building Activity Set (5 word families)
5) Watermelon Fractions Matching Activity
6) Watermelon Life Cycle Printable Chart
7) Ten Frame Watermelon Seed Counting Mats
8) Growing a Watermelon Emergent Reader (2 versions)
9) Watermelon Letter Matching Puzzles
10) Watermelon Life Cycle Sequencing Set
11) 0-35 Watermelon Theme Number Cards
Get Your Lesson Plans
More Math and Science Activities with Fizz, Pop, Bang!
Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities is designed to bring hands-on fun to math and science play. It’s full of engaging and powerful learning opportunities in math and science, shared through ideas that incorporate art, play, sensory learning and discovery, for a whole-brain approach.
It includes 40 educational projects and 20 printables including a set of build-your-own 3D shape blocks, engineering challenge cards and a range of math games.