Here we are, already mid-summer! I cannot believe how fast this summer is going. Although as the years go by, they seem to go faster and faster. I don’t know about you, but I try to soak up all of the sun during summer days and my kids do too. I try to schedule a few activities once or twice a week to help keep the girls entertained too…otherwise we all end up going crazy!! In Ontario the weather is only really nice enough to play outside for a couple months a year so we really try to fit in as much outdoor time as we can. Here are 10 Fun and Easy Summer Activities for Toddlers!
Toddlers can be defined as “The craziest, messiest, emotionally unstable, bundles of energy, tiring people you couldn’t imagine life without. This summer my daughter is in the beginning of the toddler stage as she is just about to turn 18 months on the weekend and is FULL of energy and curiosity which is super fun to watch but also super exhausting. I found that on days when I tried to stay home and have some down time were disastrous as she would get bored very easily so I made it my mission to come up with a list of the Best summer activities for toddlers! The great thing is that toddler activities for summer are both simple and often very cheap if not free.
Thumper loves camping and cottaging as it means she gets to play OUTSIDE all day long which is her favourite as she enjoys fresh air, sunshine, nature, dirt and of course don’t forget BUGS! She loves exploring new things such as climbing picnic tables or going down natural staircases somewhat to my dismay as it makes me nervous but I love watching the curiosity and independence emerge. The challenge with toddlers is that they have very short attention spans and often like to put things including rocks in their mouth so you need to consider these obstacles when planning Summer Toddler activities.
Summer Activities for Toddlers:
- Go for a walk: Head to the park or go around the block. Make it more interesting and double the activity by collecting items such as leaves, rocks and flowers. Once home you can create art and crafts with what you’ve gathered. Take a walk to somewhere new that you haven’t explored before, this year we have made Tuesdays our field trip day and Thumper and Grandpa (whose in a wheelchair) along with mom and grandma head out to explore a new walking trail each week. It is good for both Thumper and Grandpa to get some fresh air and its also an awesome opportunity for grandpa to interact and connect with Thumper as going for walks is something that he can do with her, as unfortunately the wheelchair limits how much he can interact with his granddaughter. We love to use our lightweight SmarTrike Minimi stroller, which I encourage you to read our full review.
- Rainy day puddles: If it has been a wet day or week, put on some old clothes and jump in those puddles!! Kids love to make splashes and it’s fun to get out after being cooped up. Embrace the mess that comes with rainy days and let the kids run wild in the puddles. If your not up to playing in the puddles then bring the water table inside to play on a rainy day.
- Visit your local library: Libraries are great for book clubs, mom and tot classes and more. Even if you are not interested in the activities offered, you could pick a weekly (or monthly) theme and have the kids pick a book relating to that theme to read about. Today we checked out an awesome Toddler Story time program at our local Brampton library which was 45 minutes of songs, choral reading, instruments and movement – all things that toddlers love. I love that we get to collect a stamp every visit and once we receive 10 stamps we can pick out a brand new book to take home. This is a great way to introduce my daughter to literacy and inspire a love of reading at a young age. For kids who are older you can sign up for the Summer Reading Program that is available at most local libraries and offers prizes for completing different literacy activities. Checkout our 6 Tips to Help Kids Learn to Love Reading!
- Water fun: Set up a water table, slip and slide or have some fun with water balloons. Summer is the only season we can get wet and still stay warm so repeat this activity every chance you get. Kids love to play with water, we use water outside at least 2-3 times a week in different ways, it never gets boring!! We also love to visit all the different splash pads in our neighbourhood. Our favourite water activities are the Splash Pad at Creditview Park and the wading pool at Ching Park which are both located in Brampton.
- Scavenger hunt: Scavenger hunts can be so much fun and they are completely customizable. You can have a very large one that takes you around the neighborhood, or a small one kept to your backyard. You can write down clues on pieces of paper, or keep it short and name objects for the kids to find such as leaves, rocks or sticks.
- Take a bike ride: Get on your bikes and ride around town. Bring a picnic lunch to help break up the trek. If you have young children who are not able to ride yet, get a push bike or simply take the stroller. We love using our Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe to ride to the park when we visit the grandparents as Thumper loves to beep the horn and pretend to drive which only seems natural to her as shes always stealing mommy’s keys.
- Draw nature: Get some paper and crayons and have your kids draw the nature that they see. When done, label them, place them in a binder and make a nature catalog. By the end of the summer you can go through it all and remember all the animals, insects and plants you have seen in your backyard.
- Simply Play Outside and Use Your Imagination to Role Play: Thumper got a Little Tikes Activity Garden Playset earlier in the summer and she loves to spend time outdoors playing house as she can open and close the door and enter the little house that is full of different objects for her to play with. She loves to check the mail in the pretend mailbox and grandma even often delivers extra flyers to her mailbox so she can check real mail. I love that this simple play set allows and encourages her to use her imagination to role play different ideas and interact with myself and her grandparents all while having fun outside.
- Plant a vegetable garden or Go to the local farmers market: Try a different vegetable or fruit each time you go and take the opportunity to teach your kids about local produce and farming. Buy some seeds and plant cucumbers, tomatoes or peas, etc at home. The kids will love watering them and watching them grow. When they are ripe, the best reward comes – they can pick, wash and eat them!
- Paint a bird house. Go to your local craft store and purchase a bird house to paint. Once painted, hang it outside and guess what birds may live in the house.
These are just a few ideas that keep my girls busy on summer days. We have a lot of fun together and I’m sure you will too! Any more ideas are greatly appreciated!! For more summer fun checkout our Guide to the Best Outdoor Toys and Science and Crafts with the Kids during the Summer Holidays.