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Are you looking for good summer books? When the weather gets warm, and things slow down, it is the best time to kick back and enjoy some great reading material. Camping outdoors, swimming with friends, and enjoying tasty summertime treats are all some of the best memory-making moments these lazy days have to offer. These fantastic summer books are sure to delight both students and adults alike!
Summer Books about Ice Cream
Groovy Joe Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld
Fans of “Pete the Cat” often enjoy “Groovy Joe.” In this book, Groovy Joe gets some ice cream, and it makes him so happy he begins to sing. His happy song attracts some unlikely friends – DINOSAURS. While it’s incredible to share, what happens when the ice cream runs out?
Extending the learning: An ice cream parlor is a fantastic dramatic play center to incorporate into this lesson!
The Ice Cream King by Steve Metzger
Sadly, this adorable book is out of print, so it’s a bit pricy to get a copy. Local libraries to the rescue! This sweet fantasy story about sharing is perfect for a hot summer day.
Extending the learning: Can’t find the book? Try “Should I Share My Ice Cream” by Mo Willems for a humorous substitute with a similar message. Practice sharing during the day by partnering students up at centers.
Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh
Rashin is thrilled to be visiting the beach with her family. She used to go to the beach at her old home in Iran, where things were a little different from her new home in the United States. A beautiful cross-cultural book for young learners.
Extending the learning: Much like the apple taste test, a classroom ice cream taste test can be a valuable lesson in forming a hypothesis, testing, and charting the results. And if you can find some unusual flavors from around the world, all the better! All purely in the name of science, of course.
For the Explorers: Summer Books about Camping
Tiny T-Rex and the Very Dark Dark by Jonathan Stutzman
Tiny T-Rex and his best pal, Pointy, are going on a camping trip! But – what happens when you go where there are no lights when you are scared of the dark? Students will love the bright illustrations and the ingenious plan of Tiny T-Rex to battle the unknown!
Extending the learning: Flashlights are a great way to battle the dark. Use flashlights and demonstrate to the students how to make shadows. Suddenly, shadows become playmates instead of feared.
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
Hot dogs are a camping treat that is hard to beat. When the very dramatic pigeon discovers one, he gets ready to enjoy the tasty morsel – until an adorable and persistent duckling makes an appearance and starts asking a LOT of questions!
Extending the learning: Build fine motor skills decorating a hotdog cutout with a fun (and very messy) squeeze painting activity from No Time for Flashcards.
Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night by Cynthia Rylant
Henry and Mudge go on a camping trip. Young readers get to hear about all the most fun parts of a camping trip, from cooking over a campfire to sleeping under the stars.
Extending the learning: Create a simple camping area in the dramatic play center by stocking it with plenty of blankets or an old pop-up tent, toy fishing poles, and brown paper logs for a “fire.”
Beat the Heat: Summer Books About Water Fun
Maisy Learns to Swim by Lucy Cousins
Maisy and her friends experience the swimming pool for the first time. Will it be fun? Scary? This book does an excellent job showing how friends of different ability levels can all enjoy an activity together.
Extending the learning: Students may not be able to go swimming in the classroom, but a sensory table full of water can be a fun substitute. Add small animals so students can re-enact the story.
The Whale in My Swimming Pool by Joyce Wan
This silly story about a little boy finding a whale in his kiddie pool is bound to bring the giggles! A great story on learning how to compromise.
Extending the learning: Summer is a great time to introduce water safety. Remind students that they should never swim alone, that they should always have an adult present, and they need to follow the rules about running and diving as well.
Pool Party by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown’s incorrigible farm animals are back at it. This time, they are all enjoying a cool dip in the pool. Well, almost everyone…
Extending the learning: If allowed, a splash day outdoors with sprinklers and water toys can be a great way to beat the heat when learning about swimming.
Other Topics for Fun Summer Reading
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
An imaginative crocodile accidentally swallows a watermelon seed and worries about his dire fate. This adorable story is excellent in both a summer lesson plan and one about seeds and plants.
Extending the learning: A watermelon “dissection” is the way to allow students some sticky and safe sensory fun. Cut open a large watermelon and encourage students to examine it with their hands, spoons, and simple tools. Concerned about germs? Cut large slices for each student to examine individually with trays.
Lemonade Stand by Dee Smith
Follow a charismatic little bee as he zips around, enjoying a lovely lemonade stand. Simple rhyming text and bright illustrations will have students thirsty for more!
Extending the learning: Lemonade is so simple, a child (or classroom of them) can do it. Lemons (and sometimes some extra lemon juice), sugar, water, and ice are all that are needed. Have a classroom lemonade stand, and invite parents to stop in and have a sweet drink with their child.
Looking For More Just-Right Read-Alouds For Your Preschoolers? Click HERE.
Want more summer fun for your classroom? Here is our list of circle time ideas and activities just for summer!
Pin these summer books for later!