Summer is just around the corner and the days can be long, especially if you have a baby and toddler at home. Keeping them occupied will not only help your little ones sleep better at night, it will also help with your own sanity. There are a ton of fun things to do with your baby and toddler during the warm summer days.
The best thing about entertaining children of young ages is that it doesn’t need to be fancy and most of the time it can be turned into a learning experience too. Playing is learning and with this list of 10 summer activities for babies and toddlers you will be able to find the perfect activities to create wonderful summer memories that the whole family can enjoy.
Be warned, some of the activities below can get messy but what’s summer fun without a little mess?
In no particular order, here are 10 of our favorite summer activities for children of a young age to learn, explore, and engage with the world around them.
Young children and babies love to interact with things. They are discovering their senses and need to touch, smell, taste and learn about the world around them. Sensory games are one of the best ways to help your child play and learn at the same time. An amusing way to do this is to make a batch of jello or freeze colored ice cubes with food coloring and/or juice and when they are ready put them in a kiddie pool or a large tub and let your toddler and baby play around in them. Add other textures like toys and even dry pasta to the pool or bin for extra sensory discovery. This satisfying game of touch, smell and taste will give you a much needed break to relax in the sun while your children entertain themselves for hours.
Get out the baby carriage and strap on your toddlers best summer shoes, the ones with the flames that make them run faster, and go enjoy the outdoors. Choose a day with a relaxing summer breeze and pack a small picnic for lunch. Look out for wildlife, pretty flowers, and weird looking bugs. A game of eye spy can be a great way to work on your toddlers vocabulary and get him or her excited about the world around them. Take a moment to listen to the sounds and when you stop to rest or eat lunch look up to the sky to find interesting shapes in the clouds.
If you baby and toddle hasn’t experienced camping yet, the best way to get started is to pitch a tent in the backyard. Not only does this make it easier for you because you can just walk a few steps to your home if you forgot anything, you child will also feel safer with familiar surroundings. Grab your favorite snacks, warm blankets and all the plushies that you can hold and cuddle up in a tent for an unforgettable adventure. If you are ready for a real campground, check out our blog post called How to Camp with Baby for more tips and tricks.
Going to the Beach:
Some days are just too hot and need to be enjoyed in cool water. If there’s a beach or lake near you pack up the traditional baby and toddler bag and take your little ones to the water. Don’t forget drinks and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protected from the sun. Going to the beach is a great occasion to invite friends and turn it into a group play date. Bring random containers and large spoons to create a sand castle in the sun.
Some days are just yucky. When it rains outside, and your babies are fussy for no reason they won’t want to cooperate with a summer activity. For days like this, it’s best to find a calming thing to do. How about making a magical fort under the kitchen table or with the couch cushions and cuddling up inside with a few good books. If your baby just wants to nap, use a baby monitor to keep an eye on him or her while you spend one on one time with your toddler.
Gardening with your toddler is an amazing way to teach them about life, patience and how to grow their own food. Plant speedy vegetables like lettuce, cherry tomatoes or beans so your child can watch them grow and be happy to pick them even when they are not ready yet. Give your toddler the task of watering their own plants and if you love to craft, use things found around the house to add a fairy garden to your backyard. In the winter you can even bring this hobby indoors by growing indoor plants and caring for them together.
Animals are always entertaining. Petting zoos can be a memorable place to go with both baby and toddler. At petting zoos your little ones can touch and feed the animals and learn about different species. Just watch out for little fingers near sharp teeth. We guarantee that your toddler will have a blast when he hears the donkey fart or tries to pick up a chicken.
Visiting the aquarium, like the petting zoo is also a great learning and discovery experience. The advantage of an aquarium is that it’s usually indoors which means cooler temperatures for everyone on hot days. Watch the fish float around and ignite the senses with interactive displays that allow you to gently touch things like starfish and other small sea creatures. The aquarium near you might also have things like a tank where you can pet stingrays and synchronized seal shows. Grab a seat and watch your baby and toddlers eyes light up in amazement when they see what the seals can do.
Some days you just want to find an activity to pass the time. For days like this we recommend sidewalk chalk. Grab the bucket of chalk from the cupboard and let your little artists use their imagination. This is a great way to be artistic and the cute artwork will surely make your neighbors smile. A good thing about sidewalk chalk is that it’s not permanent, when the rain comes out, the chalk will fade away preparing your driveway or sidewalk for a another work of art.
Clean the Car:
This activity also helps mommy and daddy check something off the chore list. Grab the hose, bucket of soap and clean your car with your toddler while your baby plays in the shade or takes a nap. Your toddler will love to help clean the car and will also learn ways to work. Since the hose and soap is already out, take this time to have your toddler wash down their own play cars and summer toys. If you have a smelly dog, why not use the occasion to also give your family pet a bath.
There are no excuses for being bored in the summer, there is always something to do. Some days are just made for relaxing while others are made for adventure and discovery. Summer play with baby and toddler is a great way to open them up to new experiences and learn about the world around them and spend time as a family and make memories that will last a lifetime. Do not underestimate the ability of your toddler and baby to participate in family activities. They are capable of doing more than you can imagine. Have fun this summer!