Summer Play Ideas

Summer is just around the corner! Can you believe it? We’ve spent the last seven weeks exploring play and nature in spring. It’s been a blast! We’ve had fun, experienced new things, and spent time learning and growing together. While the spring weather hasn’t been so friendly, we’ve been lucky to spend time outdoors during a few classes.

As we wait for the rain, rain to go away and the temperature to rise, let’s look ahead to some great ideas for spending your summer outdoors! We even asked the Learning Department to share some of their favorite outdoor activities.



Chicago is lucky to share a shore with one of the Great Lakes. Spending time at the beach is always full of fun, relaxation, and exploration! Bring a bucket, scoop up some Lake Michigan water, and see what you can find living beneath the waves.




Walk around your yard or neighborhood and lift up rocks, look in branches for webs or on leaves for aphids. If it’s your yard, dig in the moist soil - bug hunts are best on warm days after a rainstorm! – Allison Price, Director of Learning Experiences


Sun catchers!

Clear contact paper and assorted items make perfect sun catchers! Head out on a walk and collect natural items: leaves, flower petals, pieces of bark. You can sandwich these findings between two pieces of clear contact paper, hand it on your window, and – voila! – you have a sun catcher! Can’t make it outdoors to find materials? Tissue paper is a colorful substitute! Paper plates make great frames to keep your sun catchers sturdy.



The Learning Department sent us some of their favorite locations to spend time outdoors. Sending a special thank you to Stephanie Bohr, Director of Community Innovation and Collaboration, Andy Weber, Teen Programs Coordinator, and Dena Owens, Registration Specialist! Click each picture to learn more about the location!

Written by Nicole Filippone