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11 Inexpensive Summer Activities For Toddlers #MatalanSummerTips


The summer is finally here and the kids have broken up for the holidays. Now whether you are a stay at home mum or a working mum we all have one thing in common - that is to plan some summer activities to keep the little one's busy over the next few months. Even though Amelia is only a toddler and not in nursery yet I have been coming up with ways to keep her entertained and play outdoors more.

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!

Bubbles



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. 

Garden learning


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.

Crayons


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!

Beach


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. 

Park


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. 

Ball pit

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. 

DIY Sprinkler

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. 

Teepee Fun


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?

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79 comments

  1. My kids love playing imitating our usual daily activities and only difference is that I et to be her daughter and gets to be my mom. I love making tea with her tea set which I got for my daughter from Little Kiddies Australia . Pretend play has actually helped me to realize some of my own faults and correct them accordingly thanks to my little moomy.

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  2. I love the chalk dress up dolls, what a great idea. My 3 year old still tears the flowers up.... not good for a garden proud mum!

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  3. Toddlers should stay in bed, every day long

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  4. Love the chalk dress up dolls - never thought of that one!

    Laura H

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  5. I love the chalk and teepee - so much fun (:

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  6. Love the chalk dress up dolls idea... :)

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  7. Auwww tent in the garden, mine love this too

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  8. I really like the picnic idea, it's easy to do and you're sure to have a nice time!

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  9. Love these ideas and definitely will try them someday with my baby son.

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  10. My 2 children have always like painting outside on a sunny day plus it is a lot less messy too

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  11. Amelia is pretty in the pictures. Nice of you to share some toddler activities, as at this age and stage:- little ones are curious and learning lots. Yet we are eager to ensure they are also safe. It is lovely to see children exploring safely, they develop a great deal at this stage given the appropriate opportunities.

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  12. great ideas, will take them on board

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  13. Aww the picnic pic is adorable!

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  14. Love it, I always forget pavement chalking!

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  15. Can't go wrong with bubbles :)

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  16. good ideas, my kids are driving me crazy!

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  17. If we could sit out back and do nothing but blow bubbles i think my little guy would love it! great list, thanks! :D

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  18. Great ideas , though kids can go messy with crayons but chalk is best!
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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  19. Bubbles and drawing with chalk are our favourites and for some reason Amy loves throwing grass around l(

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  20. Fab ideas, thanks. Bubbles are fantastic though, I'm all grown up {go me!} and I still love bubbles, :P x

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  21. How adorable. My favorite is the outdoor teepee!

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  22. Such simple ideas and yet these are the ones that parents forget about and children enjoy the most! And I love the idea of laying out some clothes and getting them to draw the person!

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  23. Some great ideas and gorgeous pictures.

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  24. Those look like great ideas.

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  25. Always looking for ideas thank you.

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  26. Great ideas my grandson will love!

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  27. This is great! My son loves bubbles and crayons too! These are just simple activities but will sure make their summer fun!

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  28. aw she's so sweet! some great ideas there

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  29. We used to buy a very cheap roll of lining paper, lie you child on it and draw around her, then let her have a go at colouring her own body in. Can be done inside or out.

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    1. What a fab idea ,i am going to do this when my neices 2 girls call next.

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  30. Is it me or nowadays babies are more beautiful?

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  31. Haha, bubbles are the best. It was like my secret weapon as a nanny. Toddlers LOVE those things, it's hilarious.

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  32. some great ideas in there and such cute pics!!

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  33. some great ideas will have to try some with my daughter

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  34. These ideas are great, thanks!!

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  35. The children are so absorbed in their play, it looks great. I'd forgotten what fun chalk is, will get some tomorrow!

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  36. Aw she's so cute, and these activities look pretty awesome:)!

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  37. CUTE ideas to keep little one entertained

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  38. Oh, I needed this for my grandkids! Thanks! :)

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  39. my 2 year old's fave is the bubbles

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  40. Bubbles should also be on 11 inexpensive summer activities for adults. I LOVE bubbles.

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  41. Mine used to love dens made of fabric draped over things - indoors and outside.

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  42. Nina Motylinski-Davies2 August 2013 at 21:39

    I took my daughter strawberry picking, she loved helping to pick them and carry the punnets!

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  43. Mary-Anne Barry2 August 2013 at 22:19

    lovely idead

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  44. the kids in our family had loads of fun with just simple pots of bubbles. great for keeping them occupied and good for (nearly) all ages!

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  45. .........some brilliant ideas

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  46. paddling pool for splashing fun

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  47. Aw how cute - I loved teepees/wendy houses when I was younger!

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  48. My girls love to play with bubbles

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  49. My children love playing in our tent,and even have their meals in tere too

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  50. some great ideas we will also be enjoying the sand pit and paddling pool!

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  51. Chalk dress up dolls - what a great idea!

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  52. What a beautiful little girl!! Im loving her bow!! My little boy likes drawing hopscotch with chalk in our garden! x

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  53. We love making an outline of something, which differs everytime we do it - from animals to people, shapes to objects - and fill it with leaves, sticks, stones and anything else we can find outside! Great fun.


    www.thecrazyperfect.com

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  54. totally with you on bubbles.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry