Before you start pulling your hair out wondering what to do with your little one's I have come up with a list of some fantastic summer activities for toddlers to keep those long days fun. Of course you can still do the majority of these with older kids too so don't worry! This list will keep everyone happy and entertained. I have ensured that all of the ideas are very affordable, some are even free, and many use items you already have lurking around your home.
So here you go: 11 inexpensive summer activities for toddlers!
Every child loves Bubbles. Especially toddlers. I let Amelia play with them outside and she is amused and intrigued by them all the time. She could literally watch the bubbles for hours. I really want to buy a bubble machine as this will create larger bubbles, I can definitely see this being a huge favourite for many years to come.
Let your toddler roam free around the garden, its fantastic to see how they react to the outdoors. Amelia loves playing with pebbles and has spent many sunny afternoons moving them from one spot of the garden to the other. She also likes to play in our flower bed and pick flowers and tear them to shreds. You could show them how to plant and get rid of weeds or simply just let them play with their toys.
Fun with Chalk
There are so many ways to play with chalk, however our favourites are drawing on the driveway and patio outside and also playing "chalk dress up dolls". All you need is some chalk and baby clothes. and you draw around the clothes making pictures of people. Another suggestion would be to put different colour chalk powder into bottles with water and spray on the ground or fence to create patterns. This could create hours of endless fun.
Have a Picnic
Grab some toys or dolls and make an outdoor picnic! Take it to the park, the beach or even your garden there's so many options! Pack some messy finger foods, fruit, sandwiches and their favourite food and let them get messy. Get your toddler to help you gather the food together into a basket and once your done set off on your little adventure together.
At this age there is no point giving Amelia a colouring in book as of course she won't know to draw within the lines and what colours to use. However it is a great way to keep your toddler entertained for a while. Amelia loves to scribble on the paper and hands it over to me once she has finished. Let your toddler explore and get to grips with the crayons, they will most probably eat them to begin with but eventually get the hang of it.
Simple Play Ideas
There are endless options for playing indoors and some of these include playing with household items such as pots and pans and anything you can find in the cupboards. I got some uncooked pasta for Amelia and let her play with it. Pots and pans are great for teaching them to get rhythm and make music. This is also a great distraction whilst you are cooking dinner and they will love banging the lids together or looking at their reflection.
You could give them an old phone, utensils, keys, plastic cups or pegs. Amelia loves playing with pegs, I usually allow her to play with them while hanging the washing out and she will take them out of the basket and put them back in. Pegs are great for learning how to count!
There's so much to do at the beach with a toddler. Once they have gotten bored of eating sand, running away from you and eaten all of their lunch they can become rather restless. It's a good idea to interact with them and there's plenty of activities to enjoy. You could build sandcastles, collect shells and write in the sand, play in the rock pools, jump the waves and also make holes in the sand. There's so many options and your toddler will always find something to keep them entertained. If your toddler is younger, speak to them and tell them what they are touching, ask them what they are doing and teach them words of objects.
I love taking Amelia to the park. We have so many nearby and it can break up the day especially if she is getting fussy indoors. If you are lucky enough to live close to a park I would suggest taking an hour out of your day and perhaps making a daily routine of it either in the morning before nap time or later in the afternoon to wear them out before bedtime. You could take along a ball and let them run wild, play on the swings and have a little spot of lunch.
Make an outdoor or indoor ball pit and hide small toys in amongst the balls. Have your toddler find and collect the toys and make it into a game. Maybe reward them with a treat afterwards. They will love playing in the ball pit and finding objects.
With a plastic bottle and a drill, create a DIY sprinkler. Your toddler will love running through the water, perfect for cooling off in the hot summer days! We made one the other week and it only took a few minutes to make.
Children of all ages love building dens and playing hide and seek. If you already have a wigwam teepee then there will be less work to do, just pop it up in the garden and place some toys inside. If not, why not grab some sheets and cushions and build a den! You can use pretty much anything you have lying around in the garden or house and your little one will love being able to hang out inside.
What other ideas do you have for keeping the little one's entertained over the summer?