The sun is shining and it’s time to get outside and soak up the sun. After wrangling my toddler to lather her up in sunscreen and make sure that she has her hat and sunglasses (which she would wear all day if she could!), I sometimes just want to sit back and relax in the backyard while she plays without worrying about packing snacks or diapers.
Here are some easy and fun outdoor summer activities that take very little prep, involve items you probably already have and are toddler-approved fun!
Chalk brings back so many childhood memories of drawing pictures and coloring rainbows on the driveway. Chalk is inexpensive and comes in so many amazing colors these days that it’s sure to be a huge hit with kids of any age. Learning can even be happening at the same time by writing letters, hopping on a hopscotch course (great gross motor activity), or creating an obstacle course with tasks like doing jumping jacks, jumping over lines, or hopping in and out of drawn shapes.
Frozen Pom Poms
Little colorful pom poms that you find at the craft store should be in every home that has young toddlers. There are so many things that can be done with them and they can even be fun outside! This one takes a little planning, but you just need an ice cube tray and some water. Put one to two pom poms in each ice cube compartment and fill with water, let freeze overnight and then pop them out the next morning into a bowl or straight onto the sidewalk and let your kid explore. Add some tongs or scoops if you have them to create a great summer sensory bin.
Round up plastic pitchers, measuring spoons funnels and drinking cups, and let kids go wild with water play. Add some extra fun by using food coloring to some of the containers and create colored water or just keep it simple and let the kids get wet as they explore filling up and emptying containers.
Get moving! Once you have enjoyed sitting for a bit, get up and go for a walk around the neighborhood or even stay in your backyard. Explore different colors of flowers and look at different leaves on the trees. Keep an eye out for fun friends like bees or ladybugs. Create a scavenger hunt with a list of items that your child might encounter on their walk and see how many they can find.
Move Indoor Toys Outside
Sometimes a little change is all that is needed to make an old toy exciting again. Have a truck or some blocks that haven’t been played with in a while? Take the toys outside and see what happens with them in a new environment. A subtle change can spark new creativity and that old forgotten toy might become a favorite again.
Enjoy the warm sunshine and subtle breeze as you help your child explore the great outdoors with simple activities that can be done in your own backyard – no packed diaper bag required!