Sure, toddlers and infants don’t go to school yet, but there is something about the long, hot days of summer that makes the time seem to drag on. As any mom knows, there are few things more frustrating than an energetically bored toddler; compiled with a parent who just wants to sit in the cool indoors and read a book, this can be maddening. To combat this situation, plan a few concrete activities each day, and make a weekly “schedule” at the beginning of the week. This will give your toddler something exciting to look forward to, and will allow your days to be filled with fun surprises through the week. Best of all, it will help the time fly by and will leave you with a tired, but content baby at the end of the day.
Ideas for daily activities:
~ Have a baking party. It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday to bake a cake or cookies! Strawberry shortcake, homemade ice cream sandwiches, or even homemade popsicles will be a fun, refreshing way to shake up the day.
~Go fruit/vegetable picking. Most places are within an hour’s drive of some sort of “pick your own” experience, whether it’s blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, or tomatoes. This is a great way to explain where produce comes from. No farms nearby? Go on a hike to pick a pretty bouquet for the house!
~ Treasure hunt. Create a hunt, complete with clues that are hidden throughout the house and backyard. Have the final clue lead to milkshakes in the kitchen!
~ Sprinkler fun. Don’t have a local pool? Sprinklers are often even more fun for young toddlers who haven’t quite mastered swimming yet. Thirty minutes running through the sprinkler will leave them tuckered out for the afternoon.
~ Homemade picnic. Spend the morning preparing sandwiches, deviled eggs, and sweet tea. Then take the spread to your local park, where you can play and enjoy the food!
~ Set up a lemonade stand. If your kids are too young to understand the concept of selling lemonade, consider setting up a “good Samaritan” stand, which gives away lemonade and brownies to passersby for free. The best time of day to do this is usually in the evening, as neighbors are coming home from work, walking their dogs, etc.
~ Check out the local arts & crafts store. Michael’s, A.C. Moore, and even Target and Wal-Mart have great craft section for girls and boys. These are great resources for year-round fun.
~ Tap into local resources. Even the smallest towns these days often offer mommy and me get-togethers, children’s museums, or free events at a park. Look up these websites to see what’s going on in your area. Often they will provide exciting things to do, even on bad weather days.
What are some of your fun summertime ideas for kids?