Summer is finally here and I’m so excited to get outside and soak up some sunshine with my kids. There are a ton of fun activities to do outside and enjoy the warm weather while still staying protected from the sun. My favorite must-have items for a toddler in the summer range from toys and water games to sun protection and safety.
Last summer I had a newbie toddler who just turned one and this summer I’ll have a 2 year old. So I’ll be pretty well experienced in summer toddler fun. We got a lot of sunshine and playtime last summer and I can’t wait for the outdoor activities to start once again!
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Your child will love being pushed around in this Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes. When they’re 1, they can easily sit up and honk the horn while you push the car through the neighborhood. As they get a little bigger and their feet can touch the ground, they can even ride it around themselves! They will love feeling like the driver and getting behind the wheel in this fun car as they toot and beep around town.
Your toddler will be fascinated with a water table and it provides endless fun. They’re great for cooling off as they splash and play with floating toys at table level. This Water Table by Step 2 has a water maze and lots of little gadgets that your toddler will surely be entertained by.
A baby pool is an essential item to beat the summer heat outdoors. Even if you have a regular sized in-ground pool, you won’t want to be holding them in there all day if they aren’t independent swimmers yet. This Intex Inflatable Pool was so compact and light weight that we could bring it to the beach, a park, or friend’s house all summer long. It even comes with it’s own canopy to shield them from the sun’s rays while playing.
Related Post: 9 Simple Ways to Teach Colors to Your Toddler
Your toddler will have a blast writing on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. There are so many colors to choose from. You can draw things yourself and have your toddler color them in or practice their shapes by having them draw circles and triangles! They’ll also be so excited they can draw on something other than paper and they won’t get in trouble. The fun is endless!
Radio Flyer Stroll ‘N Trike
A tricycle like this one from Radio Flyer will get your toddler familiar with riding a bike and provide a great time outdoors. This trike can be used several different ways as your child grows out of toddlerhood. There’s a handle so an adult can push it as they practice learning to control the pedals. Once they have full control of pedaling, the handle can be removed for easy riding.
A Bucket and a Watering Can
Sometimes there’s no need for fancy, expensive toys and a child will just be happy with simple everyday tools and objects. Providing them with a watering can and a bucket will give them lots of opportunity for imaginative play. They’ll have so much fun pretending (or actually) watering the trees and flowers and filling and dumping buckets.
Although it’s best to keep your child in the shade or out of the sun as much as possible, you can’t fully control where your toddler is going to play. If your child must be in the sun, using sunscreen is the best way to keep them safe. ThinkBaby Sunscreen is one of the best natural, mineral-based sunscreens that offers superior protection without any dangerous chemicals or ingredients. Check out the EWG score here.
Riding around the neighborhood in a cool whip like this will make your child feel so special. They may even have a nicer car than you! This electric car has a remote so you can steer and control it if your toddler is too young to reach the pedals or steer correctly. They’ll love taking this car for a spin around town.
Related Post: 6 Good Habits You Should Be Teaching Your Toddler
These Puddle Jumpers are the best floatation device for your little one. The The design offers a floatation device that wraps around both the chest and arms. Your child can safely float in the water wearing this life vest with supervision. However, the minimum weight requirement is 30 lbs so they wont be suitable until your child is at least 2 or older.
If your child is a new walker, you want to make sure they have good supportive shoes throughout the summer. In the heat, you may not want to put socks and sneakers on them. Therefore, sandals with good ankle support can help as your child bears weight onto their feet.
Make sure the shoes have closed toes and supportive straps around the ankles so they don’t fall. Flip flops or thong sandals don’t provide enough protection for their little feet and legs that haven’t fully built up the muscles to support all their body weight. Stride Rite is a great brand that offers supportive shoes with flexible soles. These Stride Rite sandals are perfect for a little girl’s first walking shoes and these sandals for boys, as well.
Two-piece Bathing Suit with UV Protection
When buying bathing suits for your toddler, two pieces are the best way to go. Whether or not your child is potty trained or not, pulling off a wet bathing suit from a squirmy toddler can be tough. At least if it’s a two piece, just taking the bottom off will make it easier to pull on and off for both you and your child. This two piece suit is perfect for easy on and off.
Also, be sure that the bathing suits have a UPF index. UPF is similar to SPF that you are familiar with for sunscreens, but is a measure for the UV rays that can penetrate through a fabric. Although you may be thinking that you don’t have to put sunscreen on your baby’s body because they’re wearing a swimsuit, it may not be giving them all the safe coverage that you think unless it has full UPF. Here is an example of a bathing suit that is two pieces and offers UV protection.
Water Sprinkler Sprayer
Beach or Picnic Chair
Give your toddler a small chair to sit in while outside. Whether you’re just in your backyard or at the beach or pool, your toddler will love getting their own child-sized chair to sit in. The added umbrella in this beach chair is also a big plus.
Stroller Fan or Fan Sprayer
It can get awfully hot for a toddler sitting in a black stroller with the canopy over top. A stroller fan, like this one can help get some ventilation in the stroller so your child stays cool and comfortable.
I also love these fan sprayers that have a mist feature when it’s really hot. If you’re out in the heat often, I’d highly suggest these water fan sprayers for both you and your baby to cool off with.
Stroller Hook, Cup Holder, and Parent Organizer
You will probably be getting out for walks a lot now at the park, zoos, boardwalks, or just strolls around your neighborhood. Make sure your stroller is equipped with the essentials. Some strollers may come with these essentials, but for many, you will have to purchase them separately.
The stroller hook is perfect when you’re shopping to hang your groceries, shopping basket, or bags. A cup holder for your coffee on your morning stroll and an organizer for your keys, phone, and any other belongings.
Wide Brimmed Hat
A wide brimmed hat will help to keep the sun’s harmful rays out of your child’s face. Even if you apply sunscreen, you want to also protect that fresh skin on their scalp, so a hat is always advised.
Outdoor Play Set
When it’s a nice day, I always love to take my daughter to the park to get some energy out. Although, I don’t always feel like driving there. Having a small playlet in your backyard for your little one to play in is perfect. This Step2 Game Time Sports Climber and Slide Play Set has enough for your toddler to do so they won’t get bored and will love going up and down the rock wall and slide.
What child doesn’t love bubbles? Some of my favorite ways to create bubbles are using long bubble wands instead of the tiny little bottles or a bubble making machine which produces thousands of bubbles with just the touch of a button!
These are necessary even if your toddler is just playing close to the water, with a bucket of water, or at a water table. As soon as you splash those regular diapers with water, they expand. So if your toddler isn’t potty trained yet and dumps a bucket of water on himself, he’ll be drenched and uncomfortable. Buy a pack of disposable swim diapers to use during water play or try these washable and reusable swim diapers.
This isn’t exactly something for your toddler, but I promise it’s related! If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors in your backyard, a large deck box will really come in handy. You can store all of your toddlers games, toys, and equipment out there, as well as sunscreen, bug spray, paper towels, and even a first aid kit. It’s just helpful to have everything outside rather than bringing it inside and out every time you want to play.
This is the deck box we have and I love it. It has plenty of space for all our needs. We keep our playard and water toys in there, as well as a ziplock with sunscreen, big spray, paper towels, etc. It keeps everything safe from the elements while outside.
. . . . . .
You and your toddler will have so much fun this summer with or without any of these essentials! However, if you’re looking to keep your child occupied and exploring all summer, some of these items may suit them perfectly. Get them outdoors as much as possible because there are so many fun sensory and learning experiences for them out there! Enjoy!