Monday, May 28, 2012

Fun, Free Things To Do With Your Toddler

Its that time of year again! Heat and humidity radiate throughout Virginia. I am not one of those to hide inside with the air conditioning on full blast. Nor do I want my daughter to grow up a couch potato. So it's time to have some free fun outdoors! If you haven't already, click the little thought bubble up top that says "Summer Bucket List" to see some of the fun things we're planning on getting into during the hot season!

Play in the sprinkler!
I think everyone does this at least once throughout their childhood. It's a great way to cool off during those hot summer days, without having to leave the comfort of your yard. Moms, do you want to read a book, or blog, but your child has decided that its time to be loud and disruptive? Go catch some rays while your little one gallops back and forth, over, and around the sprinkler. Don't have a sprinkler? has a great post about turning a plastic soda bottle into a sprinkler! Reduce, reuse, recycle!
[Image credit]

Have a picnic!
This one is pretty self explanatory. Pack up some food, a blanket, and head out to a beautiful grassy area. We're lucky where we live, there are tons of battlefields, and the Appalachian Trail is close by. We tend to go there for quick picnic places. But any park will do, or monument! My go to picnic foods are sandwiches, baby carrots and hummus, grapes, some sort of cracker (Cheddar Bunnies have been a family favorite recently), and of course water bottles, and/or juice. If you have dogs this is a great opportunity and take them somewhere with you! A perfect thing to do as a whole family. Make sure they have flea and tick protection on if you do take them! Remember to bring toys to play with before and after to keep the kiddos entertained. Friends are also great entertainment :)

Give your pet a bath!
This is another great way to cool off, and works best with dogs. Cats, well.. you can bathe them, but unless your kitty thinks she's a pooch, or happens to love water, you'll probably end up with some scratches and more of a battle than a bath. Although your toddler may be greatly entertained watching you struggle! Anyways... works best with dogs. Take them outside, you can have them stand in a hard plastic kiddie wading pool if you have one, and bathe with the hose and any shampoo you want really. I use my daughters shampoo when we let her help us, since it's tear free. This is a entertaining activity for everyone, expect maybe the dog, and it gets all bodies participating cooled down. End result? Fun, cool times and a fresh smelling doggy. Can't beat that!

Super GIANT Bubbles!
Bubbles are always fun. Super giant bubbles are super great fun! Here's a recipe I found by Design Dazzle to make super giant bubble mix with things that are already in your home.
12 cups water
1 cup dish soap
1 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons of baking powder (not soda!)

Mix together in a big bowl, stirring gently. You do not want to create bubbles while stirring! let it sit for an hour, then enjoy!

How much fun does this look like?!
[image credit]

Water table
Get a big old tub of some sort, I used a plastic one that usually stores things under our bed, and fill it up with water. Then grab a bunch of different sized plastic bottles, strainers, boats, whatever you can think of. Take it all outside and let them have at it! They'll learn how to fill up bottles, pour, splash, dribble, etc. My little bean loves there are some pictures in my Bean Loves Water post, down at the bottom, from when we did this indoors. It's a fantastic way to stay cool, let them enjoy sensory play, and teach them a lot! You'll have fun watching your little tot learn, play and explore.

For the older kids..
Slip & slide!
Get a long sheet of plastic lining, pour some dish soap on it, and then put a hose at the top. Run and glide! You'll have to reapply the soap every now and then to keep it lubricated so everyone slips down it nicely. You can make this exceptionally fun if you put it going down a slight hill!

Have fun with these activities! And don't forget to drink plenty of water, and apply sunscreen every two hours!


  1. We do the homemade bubbles, I never buy them! They love the sprikler and the water table, my hubbie is getting the pool together, should be ready this week! Thanks for sharing

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