When I originally wrote this blog I focused on toddlers. However this still applies to kids in grad school!
Okay, let’s be real for a second. It really isn’t that hard to entertain a toddler. You give them an empty box and it’s the best thing ever. If you’re really feeling spontaneous give them a role of toilet paper and let them go crazy, they’ll get some giggles from that, seriously lol.
My point is, if you do a search for activities for toddlers you get a list of crazy sensory activities. It honestly overwhelms me. I know without doubt my toddler would absolutely love to do those activities. However, I personally just don’t have the patience to do all of it. I would have to go buy supplies, which means I would have to go to the store, and then come home and….yeah you get my point.
Call me lazy, but I prefer simplicity. With it being so hot this summer I need simple activities.
Look at her! Balloons and water! SIMPLE.
Below I have put together a simple list to do this summer with your toddler broken, into 3 categories.
- Things To Do Outside
- Things To Do Inside
- Things To Do When You Have The Time, Money, Or Energy
sidenote: Mama, don’t feel you need to constantly entertain your toddler. Allow them to be bored and learn to entertain themselves. Letting them learn to entertain themselves enhances their imagination and creativity.
And some days, they will just want to watch movies or youtube ALL DAY. Let them. We all like to have lounge days sometimes, even toddlers.
THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE
Do a search in your community. Typically they are free to the public and a great way for your toddler to get wet and wild. Bonus is they will take a long nap afterwards!
2. During The Weekend Find A FREE CONCERT
You’d be surprised how many places have free concerts. Check events on social media and ask around. There’s a lake near where we live and they host summer evening concerts. Families come, bring snacks or pizza, and let their kids observe and dance!
3. “Paint The Garage”
Get a bucket of water, and some paintbrushes. Let your toddler dip the paintbrushes in the water and fling or “paint” your garage. They can see the water strokes and they really think they are painting. Harmless, clean, easy fun! Fun with sponges too!
4. Bubble FUN
I think we forget sometimes how much toddlers love bubbles. Make it a game and encourage them to pop the bubbles as fast as they can. You can find a cheap bubble maker at Walmart for like 9 bucks.
5. Go Fishing
Toddlers love new things and trying new things. We bought our girls fishing poles before a camping trip we went on. Before we actually took them real fishing my husband let them play with their poles. They spent a good hour just casting the string out and reeling it back in, in the front yard. So if there’s not a lake near you, let them pretend!
6. Play With Chalk
You can get so creative with chalk! It’s especially fun with you wet the chalk first and then start chalking the side walk. A fun way to explore tons of colors too!
7. Invest In A Water Activity Table
For my girls 3rd birthday we got them a water activity table from amazon that came with a few water toys. They can splash the water, pour cups, put their toys in, and it’s just a fun activity that doesn’t make a huge mess. The water dries and when you’re done, pour the water out. Perfect for those hot days when you want to get outside.
8. Get a Plastic OR Blow Up Pool
Perfect for those days when you don’t want to leave the house but you want your toddler to burn some energy. Sometimes a kiddy pool is more fun then an actual pool because you’re in the comfort of your own home.
9. Let Them Play With The Water Hose
Because this is just a classic summer activity. My toddlers have an absolute blast with the water hose. My husband gets a little mad because they make a mess getting water over everything lol, but they have so much fun with something so incredibly simple.
THINGS TO DO INSIDE
- Build A Fort
Take the cushions of the couch, bring out the blankets and pillows, get the mattress off the bed! You can get extremely creative with this and it’s an easy clean up!
There was a time where I took our mattress and had half of the mattress on the floor and half of it on the actual bed. It became a slide for my girls and they had SO MUCH FUN climbing on the bed and sliding down the mattress. That is pure, cheap, entertainment. This kept them occupied for quite some time let me tell you.
2. Turn Some Music On, AND DANCE
Who cares if you don’t dance well, your toddler isn’t going to judge you. Your toddler will love dancing with you. Bonus- you’re also working out. #momwin
3. Do A CRAFT
Don’t make this too complicated. Let them create art with finger paint or let them make a macaroni necklace. Keep it simple mama.
4. Make Rice Krispy Treats
They will love you forever first of all, and this is something really fun they can help with.
5. GET YOUR TODDLER A WATER DOODLE MAT
Just trust me on this. It’s the best ever. You can buy these mats on amazon. Check out the reviews!
6. READ BOOKS
Need I say more. Buy some puppets and have them read. Become extremely animated as you read them a story. A great way for your toddler to learn and for you to bond together.
THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME, MONEY, OR ENERGY
- Go To The Movies
- Visit a Museum
- Take Them To a Trampoline Park or Some type of Kid Zone
- Take Advantage of “toddler time” at specific places
- Visit the library Or A Barnes And Noble
Wishing you a cool summer! xoxo
What will you be doing this summer with your toddler! Drop it in the comments!