As the days grow longer and the sun’s rays become more intense, it’s crucial for early education services and educators to prioritise sun safety in their summer activities. We all want the children in our care to have a blast while staying protected from harmful UV rays. Below, we’ve curated a list of sun-safe summer activities that guarantee fun, laughter, and most importantly, safety for the children in your care!
Beat the heat with a water play day! Set up water tables and sprinklers in a shaded area. Provide sun-safe water play accessories like wide-brimmed hats, water shoes, and UV-blocking swimwear for hours of refreshing fun.
Plan a delightful sun safe picnic! Choose a shaded location, set up blankets, and prepare a healthy, sun-smart menu. Encourage children to wear their favourite sun hats and sunglasses as they enjoy a tasty outdoor meal.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Organise a nature scavenger hunt with a sun-safe twist. Create clues that lead children to shaded spots or activities. This interactive adventure reinforces the importance of seeking shade and staying protected while exploring the great outdoors.
Sun Safe Gardening
Engage children in a hands-on gardening experience while keeping them shaded. Set up a gardening station with wide-brimmed hats, gardening gloves, and a variety of plants. Teach them about the importance of plants in providing natural shade while they pot, water, and tend to their green friends.
Cooling Sensory Play
Create a sensory play area using materials that provide a cooling sensation, like water beads, chilled playdough, or frozen sensory bags. This not only keep children engaged but also helps them beat the heat.
Sunscreen Science Experiments
Transform sunscreen into a fascinating science lesson. Provide child-friendly sunscreen brands and invite kids to experiment with different application techniques. Use UV-reactive paper or beads to demonstrate how sunscreen protects their skin from harmful rays.
Sun Savvy Storytime
Take story time outdoors and under the shade of a tree or patio. Provide large umbrellas or pop-up tents to create a cosy reading nook. Encourage children to bring their favourite sun hats and sunglasses for a fashionable and sun-safe literary adventure!
How to talk to children about sun safety?
- Make the topic fun! SunSmart have a collection of short songs that promote sun protection, sung to the tune of popular children’s classics.
- Watch the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide video where Sid the Seagull explains how to best protect ourselves from the sun during sun protection times.
- Lead by example through practising good sun protection techniques including shade, protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Often children will follow in the behaviours demonstrated by others. Some ideas on how to involve children in practising sun protection can be found on the SunSmart website.
- Children usually have a natural drive to be independent and do things on their own. By encouraging children to practise applying sunscreen on their own skin, this will give them confidence and excitement to continue doing so
- Talk about the best times to be outdoors (being early morning and late afternoon), and the use SunSmart app or the Bureau of Meteorology UV and sun protection guide to determine UV levels.
With a little planning and creativity, your Educators can offer children a summer full of safe and enjoyable activities. Remember, sun safety should always be a top priority. Provide ample shade, encourage the use of sunscreen, protective clothing and ensure everyone stays hydrated. By following these YA tips, you can create a memorable and sun safe summer for children in your care.