Making Summer Memories: Alphabet Soup Preschool Water Activity

“Summer isn’t as fun as it used to be,” my husband told me the other day in the kitchen. “When we were kids I loved summer, and always looked forward to it. Now I hate it.”

Speak for yourself buddy!… I wanted to say.

He went on to tell me how awesome fall is because it’s not as hot, and there’s football.

Yea yea, I get it. We’re grown up now and some of the novelty has worn off. But for our kids, summer means swimming, and popsicles. And from here on out it’ll be known as the time for vacations, no school and playing with friends.

I can’t help but feel like I haven’t been the most fun this summer (ok, this was before we left for Disneyland, now my daughter REALLY can’t complain). But when my kids are at school their teachers have lesson plans and activities and all sorts of fun things planned out.

I see other moms with all these screen-free goals, and crafts and activities. And here I am, an unorganized mess just flying by the seat of my pants (how I thought I could homeschool I have no idea).

I decided to challenge myself to come up with some fun preschool water activities we can do at home to liven up and cool down these hot Texas days.

So far we’ve done one. HA! Ok, I’ve got three more weeks to improve my record. Oh, and if you could trips to the pool then that improves my score.

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

When I was at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago I noticed a foam alphabet puzzle. I grabbed it cause for a dollar, it could be fun to mess with. Little did I know my kids would have so much fun with this thing.

Big T loves to take all the pieces out and bring them to me, naming the letters he knows. My daughter likes to try to fit them all back in the puzzle correctly.

I decided it would be fun to incorporate these into a water game we now like to call Alphabet Soup.

Here’s what you need:

  • Letters (the first time I did this I used a combination of foam letters and magnet letters off my fridge) The foam letter packs are just $1 at the Dollar Tree.
  • A big bowl or tub.
  • Water
  • Ladles or big spoons

That’s it! My kids helped me fill up the bucket, we added the letters and then as they scooped them up I had them yell out the letter they found. Lil’ J even scooped up letters to spell a couple words.

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

So it’s a super easy preschool water activity that they played with this for a good hour, and had fun splashing around, and cooling off a little. Of course this could be done inside as well but you probably will want to put a towel down.

I have to admit, I’m EXTREMELY impressed with my son and his letter recognition. I mean not to brag or anything but he’s really really good at it for just turning 2 thanks YouTube Kids!… I mean, my diligent instruction time.

I recorded it so you can see what I mean. I’m telling you, he knows all but maybe four.


As (if) I experiment with more (super simple) activities that are a hit for my kids I’ll share them along the way.

Though I’ve only had a few “mom wins” so far this summer, I think about what I remember from my summer months. I loved playing with my friends, reading as many books as I could, watching every Disney movie we owned, staying up late and sleeping in. My mom didn’t plan specific ways to keep us entertained, and I think it helped me learn to be creative on my own.

So even if I don’t improve my fun-activity record, I think my kids will be ok too. We’re still making memories together, they’re just not all Pinterest-worthy.

What summer memories are you making?

Preschool summer water activity DIY Alphabet Soup

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  1. I am a former kindergarten teacher (in another life. Seriously). My girl was getting ready for pre-K and I decided that I didn’t want to be away from her all day (even though I now teach college classes on-line. Your video is amazing-so sweet-I’m torn- I loved pre-school in kindergarten- I just feel so unorganized (how is it harder to manage a household with two little guys than teaching Special Ed in the inner city? It is. I’m just not sure if I’m doing the right thing by keeping her home this year. I love my babies but it is far from perfect around here.

  2. Super cute! I used to do all kinds of stuff when my oldest children were this age. I need to do the same for my youngers! They’ll love this activity!

  3. I’m with you in the “Ooooh, maybe I could homeschool” department but I don’t really do TOO many creative things like the Pinterest mamas. Ha! Sometimes I don’t even try. But this…this can be done. And it’s cheap and refreshing, too. Oh, and it’s very impressive that your baby boy can recognize letters! *bookmarks YouTube Kids*

  4. I’m years away from needing this but I’ll definitely be pinning it for later use when my little one is old enough to use it.

  5. Some of my favorite memories with D, so far, are just wingin’ it in the backyard and enjoying each other’s company! I love the alphabet soup idea… especially now that he is recognizing letters by sight and really having fun showing us his new found skills! Putting this one on the list for sure. 🙂

  6. This is a super fun activity that can keep the kids entertained for hours. We can do this tomorrow since its going to be like 80 degrees.

  7. Thanks for being real first off! And I love this idea. Not just for summer fun though, I think this is a great educational activity that could be used year round. I am going to make it a part of preschool/Kindergarten weekly lesson plan (yes I too am crazy enough to think I can Homeschool) Seriously though, each week, have the kids go fishing for the letters of the week. I think this is a great sensory hands on learning station!

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