The most exciting time of the year is here! Summer is here! After months of being stuck indoors, we can finally step outdoors. Finding safe summer activities for babies & toddlers can be a daunting task. This post will help you with all things summer with your little ones. The point is to create memories. This is a wonderful chance to bond with your little ones, and make them #Locallegends
20 fresh and free summer activities for babies & toddlers
Keeping kids active in summer is a task. It’s easy to get exhausted with rising temperatures. Here are some free activities that you can enjoy this summer with your kids at home
- Structured play – Plan structured play at home at particular times every day, like a preschool environment. Isolate certain toys during the most alert time of the day (9-11 AM). Plan an activity in which you can participate with them and teach them something new.
- Unstructured play – Allow for plenty of unstructured play. Most kids love the simple things at home like kitchen utensils or cardboard boxes. Let them be. Let them explore. Just keep an eye for anything dangerous like a sharp edge or an outlet. Otherwise, don’t micromanage. No one appreciates to be micromanaged, it is too much pressure
- Splash Pads – This is an absolute favorite with all the kids. The issue starts when you need to leave!
- Swimming – Find a community pool or a local YMCA that you can use. Swimming is a fantastic aerobic activity for kids & parents. The sooner you start, the less fear of water they will have. Check out these Pool & Beach toys from Dollar Tree
- Water play at home – Find different ways in which your kids can interact with water. Try a simple tub or a hose. Or check out some fun sprinkle play mats
- Sensory play – It is very easy to make some DIY sensory play with simple things you might have lying around. Some examples are: Uncooked pasta, tissues, gel in a ziplock bag, rattle made of some grains in a jar, ice cubes, newspapers. There are a million other ideas you can find on Pinterest. Get creative with making some fun sensory objects that y’all can play with.
- Messy games – Let kids be kids. Yes, it is difficult to get stains off the walls or the carpet, but you need to allow them some space to be themselves. To explore and to learn how things work. Assign a space that they can use to create a mess. It could be a bath tub, the backyard or even the front porch. Give them space.
- Physical activities for infants – If your little is littler, dress them lightly during summer and give them a lot of fresh air. Not in the stroller or the carrier. But probably a play mat or on your legs stretched out. Bond with your baby by gently massaging and stretching them. You will not be hurting them. On the contrary, they love your touch!
- Baby groups – There are a lot of baby groups that regularly meet in different places. Find some in your city or metro area. I’ve enjoyed making amazing friends at these baby & mommy groups. The best part, they are FREE!
- Reading – Do read my post on Reading 1,000 books before Kindergarten about the importance of reading to babies. I have included a lot of ideas on developing early childhood literacy.
- Library story time – Like I’ve mentioned above, I love reading. And I Absolutely love the libraries in the US. Most of them have story times for kids during the day, and sometimes even in the evenings. Make the most of these FREE story times. This is a great way to introduce the library environment for your kid. You will also meet other parents and kids and make some friends! Make the most of this free activity for kids
- Early morning trails – It’s best to avoid taking younger ones out if it is too sunny or too hot. But don’t miss out on the beautiful early mornings. Most kids will rise earlier in the summer. Chores can wait but the beautiful early mornings won’t! An early morning walk can be the most refreshing activity for kids in summer
- Art, drawing, painting– Finger painting is great for kids. Check out these from Dollar Tree or Amazon
- Pretend play – This is a fun activity for toddlers. You can start as young as 6 months but kids start peaking pretend play starting 18 months of age
- Household chores – It can get hard when you have no help around and have kid(s) to look after. But the easiest way to get things done is to involve them from a young age. It does not mean they are expected to work, but make sure they see how much goes into keeping the house tidy. Let them “push clothes into the dryer” or let them “press the soap dispenser” while you do the dishes
- Bubbles – Bubbles are always fun. Bring this in at any time there is a breakdown, and spend some time bursting bubbles.
- Music and Dancing – A baby is never too young nor too old to sing and dance with you. It is a great way to bond and the more animated you can get, the more fun!
- Build – Build something together, like a tree house or a bird’s nest. This is a great activity with toddlers when you include them in your DIY projects. It might take you longer and you you might need to redo it (hopefully not!) but imagine how the kid would feel when they are creating something so important.
- Toy rotation – Now this is quite important to do so that kids aren’t getting bored or over-doing any one particular toy. Keep moving things in and out of storage. By 18 months +, you can allow your child to choose what they would like to play with at a particular time. Also incorporate cleaning up after you are done playing.
- Ice Cream or smoothie, anything as a cooler – This is one of the must do activity with your kids this summer. Do pamper your little ones with something to cool during the day. Kids under 1 need no sugar or salt. In fact, avoid sugars even for older kids. Use a substitute like cinnamon or honey in anything you make. Make sure kids under 1 are given no sugar or honey
Hope you find these home based summer activities useful. Do let me know if I can include some more to this.
This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post.
Paid things to do in summer for babies & toddlers:
- Indoor play areas. If you haven’t already, then go check out POGO Pass. It gives you free access to 100s of venues for a whole year in 5 cities across the US.
- Water parks. You can enjoy water parks with your kids, and the adults can have a lot more fun! And again, POGO Pass
- Gymboree, MyGym, Baby Gymnastics, Music classes
- Children’s Museum
- Zoos or farms
- Go on a drive
- Travel. Take a vacation at the most vibrant time in the year. Wondering where to go? Check out this epic list by 25 top family bloggers on best places to visit with kids.
- Teach a new sport. Soccer or basketball. Check out a local Indoor sports center
Tips to stay safe with babies & toddlers this summer
- No screen time – It’s easy to fall into the trap. But don’t do it. I’m a proponent of No screen time for kids below 2. And that’s absolutely NO.
- Stay indoors between 11 & 4,
- Stay hydrated. Use pedialyte or just some water infused with lime for the kids and yourself
- Ensure a full breakfast. This will set the tone for the rest of the day.
- Avoid ice creams or anything sweet 2-3 hrs before bed time. Avoid all sugars before 1 year of age and use it very sparingly even after.
- Wear proper swimwear in all water bodies. Here’s one from Gymboree that I highly recommend that prevents sunburns and rashes:
Gymboree has been celebrating childhood for over 30 years, dressing kids from newborn to 12 years old. We offer colorful, head-to-toe clothing and accessory collections—quality clothes that let kids be kids. At Gymboree, we’re proud to dress your family for the moments that matter most – offering everything from quality playwear that stands the test of playtime to coordinated dressy looks for the perfect family photo.
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Hope you enjoyed this post on summer activities with babies & toddlers. Do check out more summer fun ideas from Dollar Tree.
This summer, leverage all the ways families and kids are staying close to home and becoming ‘local legends’. How is your family doing that this summer?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
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