Toddlers are free spirited little things and they are masters at finding things to get into. We’re newly back in the toddler stage. My little stinker had the nerve to learn how to walk at only 9 months so now at a year old she is everywhere.

The other day I found her inside my dishwasher.

Summer is prime time to explore the world around us though and with everything being so new for my daughter she just can’t get enough of it. These simple summertime activities will keep your toddler occupied and they are a great way for you as a mom to rediscover some of the simple beauty in the world.

sandbox VolcanoSandbox Volcanos

Sandbox volcanos are a family favorite that we started when my kids were toddlers and we’ve carried on in new ways as they’ve grown. Shape a volcano out of sand and create a small well at the top. Fill the well in with baking soda and then pour vinegar on top of it and you have a fabulously erupting volcano. To a toddler, you have just done something magical.

Go on a Nature Walk

Toddlers are great observers. They see things that we have long since stopped noticing. Go on a nature walk and see what you can see. This can be as simple as walking down your sidewalk and finding weeds growing through cracks in the cement or walking through your local woods. We like to walk around a local lagoon trail and my toddler is fascinated with walking across the uneven dirt path. Pay attention to the things your toddler notices and you’re likely to find some new beauty too.

Play with Boxes

Kids love boxes and toddlers may not be up for making elaborate forts or painting murals on the side of their box houses but they sure love climbing in them. Set up a few large boxes (make sure there are no staples sticking out of them first) and let your toddler go to town. Older toddlers love scribbling with crayons all over boxes — just be sure to let them know where the box ends and your floor begins.



Bubbles never really get old, do they? Pull out some bubbles and your toddler will be amazed at how cool you are. You can make your own homemade bubbles if you want to control the ingredients or save some money. Practice blowing bubbles by spinning in a circle or letting the wind blow through your bubble wand. I have great memories of sitting on my front porch and blowing bubbles when my boys were young. Now that my daughter has discovered how awesome bubbles are I’m remembering how important it is to slow down and just play a bit every day.

Make Puffed Shaving Cream Paint

shaving1Older toddlers will love this simple art project. You can create homemade puffed paint using shaving cream. This is best for toddlers who have mostly learned not to put stuff in their mouths, although you’ll definitely want to provide some supervision too. Mix together shaving cream, paint, and glue to create a puffy paint that will dry with a really fun, puffy texture. Toddlers can use popsicle sticks to create their masterpiece and stick smaller items like feathers and buttons into their pictures before it dries.


What are your favorite activities to do with your toddler during the summer?





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