What To Do In Summer With Toddlers
Finally, finally, we have surpassed into summer weather here in my part of Canada and I am just begging to be outside all day! Thankfully, I have two little girls who also enjoy endless days outside and we are well on our way to the outdoors! But the questions arise: what to do in summer when you have a toddler? Just like spring activities, I think outdoor activities should be simple, cheap and fun. Anything too complicated (for us anyhow!) just makes for an annoying day.
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This time last year, the weather was gorgeous, but I was rounding in on third trimester and pregnant with my second.
The plus side is clothing options are awesome when it comes to summer pregnancies. The downside though, was having a toddler who wanted to play play play and a very tired mama bear.
Thankfully, Baby Bear is AMAZING when it comes to self play. But unleashing her in the backyard by herself for hours wasn’t really an option.
Besides, summertime is my favorite season of the year and I wasn’t about to miss out! We have a gorgeous backyard which means we’re outside from about seven am until eight pm.
That said, by now you may have realized that I’m a bit of a natural mama (who could have guessed that?!) and so, there was very little time spent on ipads, with motorized cars or anything else along those lines.
I am a firm believer that kids need to play in dirt (read about the benefits of dirt here), burn off some energy, and generally be a bit crazy in the summertime.
But it still comes back to what to do in summer when you have a toddler! So below are all sorts of fun activities we got up to last year and plan to rock this summer also.
Everything on the list is cheap, easy, and simple. Toddlers need to play and do in order to learn and that’s exactly what we rock.
Okay, I totally had to put this on the list because we spent two days per week at a splash pad last year! Not only are they mega fun for kids of any age, but it was also awesome for my preggo butt!
I got to walk around being splashed by cool water for a couple hours while Baby Bear laughed and played. It was golden.
Seriously, go to splash pads.
Anything water related in the summer is necessary. And while there are definitely fancy water tables you can buy (our friends have the one below and we loved playing at their house!), we didn’t even go that far.
Instead of an actual table, I just set Baby Bear up with some buckets, cups and basters. She went to town and was entertained for about an hour.
Given, I had to refill the bucks like four times but still. I could also rant about all the things she learned, but really.. water is fun.
Ice Cube Sorting
This is a fun game but takes a bit of prep! Make a bunch of colored ice cubes. I didn’t have food coloring, so I added food to mine 😉
Once you have 4-5 cubes of each color, fill a bucket with super cold water. Add in the ice cubes and have your toddler sort them by color into small containers.
It’s a wonderful way to learn color, motor skills and to stay cool.
Again, many of our friends have sand boxes they can cover. We don’t, and I wasn’t going to buy one. Instead, we grabbed an old camping tarp, dumped sand onto it and played in that,
We build sand castles, dug for treasure and generally had a great time. Come clean up time, we just shoveled the sand back into a garbage bucket for the next day. You could easily make games out of this by burying “treasure” for your little one to find or counting how many buckets of sand you can fill.
Last year was the year that my little one became obsessed with gardening! Every morning we watered the garden together. She helped me pick weeds and she became OBSESSED with eating raw mint off the plant.
Remember: toddlers like simple small things. You don’t need big activities to hold their attention.
If asking “what to do in the summer with kids” the answer should always be bike riding! Last year Baby Bear was too little to bike ride, so this is her year to learn.
I’m so beyond excited for this that I think it’s me who can’t wait!
Yes, this sounds selfish. But both my girls are used to being in the studio with me and love it. The difference is that in the summer, we bring some of our workouts outside!
Sometimes I set up our TRX straps outside so we can pull and swing. Other times we race on hills, jump and generally stay moving.
If you’re wondering what to do in summer with your toddler… play! Baby Bear loves “chase”, hopping and generally running around.
All of this works out nicely for mamas too 😉
One of the great things about being outside is that cleanup is sooo much easier! Strip your toddler down, grab a tarp or an aisle and let them paint away. Hand/figure painting is so much easier when you can just spray down the mess with a hose.
Gather Nature & Make “Center Pieces”
In order to teach my toddler what things outside were, we spent time gathering our favorite leaves, sticks, rocks and flowers. Once we chose our favorites, I’d get a big jar and put them all together to make centerpieces for the table.
It’s an easy activity but also a learning one- win.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and explore some new trails! I like to bring along a wagon when I can for this as little legs get tired 😛
But it’s definitely fun to walk through a forest and talk about all the new things you see, hear, what you can touch and what you can’t.
These are always a staple for us when I don’t know what to do in summer.
My daughter adores both so it’s easy. Plus, you can make games out of the bubbles (how many can you catch, who can blow the most etc) and you can easily rock some learning (like shapes) with the chalk.
Don’t forget to pin these ideas so you’ll know what to do in summer with your toddler!
Summertime fun doesn’t have to be overly planned, cost a lot of money or even make a lot of sense. Toddlers love to play, explore and generally just be outside- so don’t over complicate it! If you’re not sure what to do in summer with a toddler, go back to basics; run, jump, laugh and play. They’ll love it, it’ll wear them out and truly, watching them take it all in is awesome.