My first week as a stay at home mom has been mostly dedicated to getting my house back in order.
And while I’m not 100% caught up yet, I’m already planning our summer days together.
The last time I had an extended vacation with Luca was my maternity leave. I went back to work when he was 10 weeks old.
Since then, most of our time off together has been mostly chores with sprinkles of fun.
Well, I am ready for a summer packed with toddler fun. Here are the ideas I’ve come up with to have an epic summer with your toddler.
How to Have Fun With Your Toddler This Summer
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Duh! The sun is shining. Get that vitamin d while it’s hot. Here are some great outdoor activities you can do with your toddler:
Luca is ALL about baseball lately. And it seems most other two year olds are, too.
We got Luca this cute t-ball set and he is ALL about it. And the big, hard plastic balls have held up well, even with Pip’s attempts to destroy them.
Create (or add to) Your Own Nature Box
We have a nature sensory bin that Luca just LOVES to play with.
I put our nature sensory bin together this past winter. Now that it’s warm outside, I plan to add to our collection with things Luca finds on our walks.
I tell him we’re going on a nature walk to find new things to add to our collection. And he is obsessed.
Leaves, rocks, even cups of dirt (you can use these containers), are all great for a nature sensory bin.
When we get home, we study what we find and put our favorites in the box. Then, on a rainy day, we still get a taste of the outdoors by pulling out the nature sensory bin to play with.
I’d suggest a good mat or even a plastic table cloth to put on the ground if you’re bringing dirt inside.
Luca has been all about fishing lately. We got him this Melissa and Doug Magnetic Fishing Game over the winter and he plays with it almost every day.
So this summer, we are utilizing all the creeks and lakes in our area.
We picked him up an adorable, lightup, Mickey Mouse fishing pole. Because what toddler isn’t obsessed with Mickey?!
“I’m gonna catch the fish, AND REEL IT IN!”
He is super excited about this one. Even if he doesn’t catch a fish, I think he’ll still have a great time.
Outdoor Water Play
We’ve got an inflatable kiddie pool that Luca likes to throw things in.
This summer, we’re expanding with this awesome water play station.
Luca can spend a good half hour playing at the sink in our laundry room. Having his own dedicated water play area will be key on these hot summer days.
Bubbles are a huge hit around here.
Luca loves them. The dog loves them. Heck, even I find them relaxing!
We have a ton of different bubble options here.
These bubble containers are just the bees knees. You can tip them upside down and roll them around and it won’t spill!
They come with three wands and so many different character sets.
We’ve also got a long bubble wand. This is great because Luca can just wave it around to create bubbles instead of blowing.
And of course we have not one, not two, but three bubble guns.
Practical Life Idea
The Montessori method is all about giving practical life work to your toddler to help them gain independence.
One great outdoor practical life activity we have Luca help with is sweeping the porch.
Grass clippings, broken sticks (thanks mostly to Pip), and other random messes always wind up on our porch.
Luca has this Melissa and Doug House Cleaning Set. He takes the broom outside and helps sweep off the porch.
It’s ok if he doesn’t complete this on his own. Practical life during the toddler age is more ‘it’s the thought that counts’ than completing a task perfectly without help.
Whether it’s raining or just too hot outside, there will be days you need to keep your tot inside.
I try very hard to limit Luca’s screen time. He gets to watch one Mickey show a day. He’s not allowed to play on our phones. And the only time he uses the tablet is to facetime relatives.
Molding Sand Sensory Activity
This stuff is AWESOME. I picked it up last week at Target in the dollar section (you can find comparable items here and here).
It’s not gritty like normal sand is. And it doesn’t spread as easily either.
It comes in lots of different colors. Ours came with 4 small molds.
To this activity, I’ve added some Hot Wheels monster trucks and a straw.
The straw was actually Luca’s idea.
He wanted to try to put the sand down through the straw. I guess this activity could also double for fine motor skills, too!
Make a Salad Together
A lot of practical life activities for toddlers revolves around peeling and cutting. But we are not quite there yet.
Luca can spread cream cheese on his bagels. But when given a knife to cut vegetables with, he waves it around and tries to stab the table.
Still, I personally get immense satisfaction from creating and eating my own food. And I know this is an excellent disposition to pass down to him.
So now we are making our own salads!
Luca gets to pick out all the vegetables he’d like to add to our salad. I cut everything up. He puts everything in the bowl and tosses the dressing around.
We usually eat side salads with either sandwiches or soup.
He loves creating something that I eat, too. The whole time we’re eating he’ll ask, “How is it Mommy? Is it good? Do you like it?”
Summer Memory Game
I created a fun memory game using popsicles for Luca and I to do on a rainy day.
Luca loves popsicles. Of course, he only eats ones I’ve made at home out of fruit.
So a popsicle memory game is the perfect game for us.
You can download your own free copy of the game by clicking here!
I’ve started him out with just two pair until he understands the game better. Right now, he just likes to sort through each and count them – which works, too!
And he has really improved on naming his colors! He now knows green, pink, orange, and occasionally purple.
What other fun activities will you do with your toddler this summer?