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Toddler Summer Activities and Essentials

Updated: 4 days ago

If you follow me on social media, you know that this year we are trying to hit 1000 hours outside! So far, it has been a great challenge to get us outside, even in the cold! But as it begins to warm up, we are starting to pull out some toys and get creative with activities!

I want to share a bunch of awesome activities, toys, and essentials with you that'll hopefully spark excitement, learning opportunities, and plenty of unforgettable moments for your

little ones!

I make a percentage of money off the affiliate links provided in this post at no additional cost to you; thank you for your support.

Whether your child is an aspiring scientist, an outdoor adventurer, a budding artist, or a lover of games, I've got you covered.

Summer Must-haves

Summer Toys

One of the BEST ways to have fun outside with your little one is to invest in some awesome outdoor toys! Whether you have a "normal" backyard, tons of land, or just a small patio, outdoor toys are a MUST for enjoying time with your toddler.

Check out my Amazon list with a bunch of outdoor toys, but I'll list a few of my personal favorites!

  1. Water Table: Our water table was an absolute FAVORITE for Addy. It is excellent for sensory play and it can be used with water, sand, or even rice. I was able to join in and play with Addy and let her play by herself. We actually brought ours inside (inside a kiddie pool) a few times when it was too cold to use outside! Click the picture here for a link to grab any of these great water tables.

  2. A kiddie pool is another great option for outdoor water play! And you can even get in with your little ones. Grab some sand toys and/or bath toys and your toddler will have so much fun splashing and playing.

  3. Bubbles: A bubble machine is PERFECT for when your toddler wants to have bubbles blown for them and you don't want to have to be the one continuously blowing (hello pregnant mommas). If they're looking to blow their own bubbles, this one is perfect because it doesn't spill - allow them to practice holding and blowing their own bubbles without the mess (and tears!).

  4. Scooter: Addy has a blast on this scooter! We've actually used it outside in every season but it's perfect for summer. This one has a removable seat, so you can push them and they can learn to scoot while sitting - once you take it off, they'll have the skills to push off themselves! This 5-in-1 tricycle is also a fantastic option that grows with your baby and toddler!

  5. Sidewalk Chalk & Paint: If you're looking to foster creativity while spending time outside, sidewalk chalk is an awesome way to do this! TIPS: To make sidewalk chalk paint, crush up a few pieces of chalk and mix with water in the sections of a muffin tin. Grab some painter's tape and make some fun designs!

Summer Activities

  1. Create a Nature Scavenger Hunt: This activity can be so easy and so much fun for your toddler! Create a list of nature items they can find in your backyard, a park, on a walk around your neighborhood, etc. This activity helps toddlers engage with their environment and develop observational skills. This nature scavenger hunt card set has a bunch of ideas! This adorable binocular and compass set might make it even more fun for your toddler to participate.

  2. Create Nature Art: After your toddler has fun finding a bunch of nature items outside such as different leaves, rocks, sticks, flowers, etc. bring their favorite ones home and make art with them! You can arrange the items on paper to create pictures, color leaf and petal rubbing art, or even just arrange them in a fun way on the ground. TIP: If you arrange the art on the ground, definitely take a picture of it - it's a great way for them to remember and for you to talk about all the different, colors, and textures in the future!

  3. Paint Rocks: Another great way for your little one to get creative is by painting rocks. It could be fun to go on a scavenger hunt with your toddler to find a bunch of big, smooth rocks that would be the perfect canvas for their designs! Grab this nontoxic watercolor set!

  4. Garden Together: One of the BEST ways to get your toddler to interact with and appreciate the nature around them is to garden together! It doesn't have to be a big garden, even just a few small pots would work out great. If you want them to REALLY get involved, go to your local nursery and let them pick out the seeds/plants that they want to grow (within reason of course)! Let your little one pour dirt, dig, plant seeds/plants, water them, and watch them grow! This is such a great activity to foster responsibility and respect for nature as well as learn about the science and life cycles of plants. This gardening set would be perfect for your little one so that they have their OWN tools and can feel like a true gardener.

  5. Make Popsicles: After all the time spent outside in nature, you'll most definitely want to cool off - and popsicles are one of the best ways! Most traditional popsicles that you buy at the store are full of a bunch of ingredients you want to avoid. Instead, make your own and involve your toddler! All you typically need is some yogurt, fruit, and some natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. They're healthy, delicious, a great way to cool off and your toddler will have SO much fun helping you in the kitchen. This is a great option for a nontoxic popsicle mold!

Emergency Car Bag

While you're out and about having fun with your little one, expect some mess and possible "emergencies". Exploring in nature can often involve mud and water-soaked clothes, cuts, and scrapes, lots of snacks and water breaks as well as diaper changes or potty accidents. Don't leave the house unprepared - make sure your car is fully stocked for any emergency!

Here are some of the best ways to keep your car organized and packed for any emergency:

  1. Grab a Trunk Organizer: A trunk organizer is the perfect way to create a set-up with all the necessary items, easily accessible and visible. In this organizer, you can keep EVERYTHING you may need to be prepared on outings with your little one.

  2. Use a Travel Changing Pad: Things can get MESSY when you're out exploring and playing with your toddler. A travel changing pad can keep the mess contained while you change diapers and outfits.

  3. Pack Extra Outfits: As I already mentioned, outdoor adventures in the summer can mean lots of mud, dirt, and water. Be prepared and pack 1 or 2 extra outfits for your little one! TIP: Keep waterproof puppy pads or towels in the back of your car to line their car seat if you do find yourself with a wet or muddy toddler and no change of clothes!

  4. Keep a lot (and I mean a LOT) of Wipes: Sometimes a change of outfit is not the only clean-up necessary. You will want to keep an extra pack of wipes in your car for messy adventures, meals on the go, and so much more. TIP: Grab a car trash can to easily discard dirty wipes!

  5. Keep a First Aid Kit: Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts are so common with a toddler - especially when you're playing outside! Besides all the kisses and hugs, your toddler might need first aid care. Check out my First Aid Amazon list for a bunch of the items we love to keep stocked- in both our car and our home. TIP: We LOVE this Active Repair Spray - it's safe for little ones and really helps with any bump, cut, scrape, bite, sting, etc.

Hopefully, this blog has given you some ideas for toys and activities to incorporate this summer with your little ones! Whether you plan an awesome activity or enjoy some time in the sun playing together, just remember that the most important part is having fun and creating memories.

I hope you have the most memorable summer with your little ones!



L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!


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