Summer is almost 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 staying protected from the sun.
Currently, we’re experiencing the need to stay at home due to the state of our nation, but it won’t be so bad as long as we can get outside and play.
My favorite must-have items for a toddler in the summer range from toys and water games to sun protection and safety.
This year I’ll have a 3 year old and 1.5 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!
Related Post: 106 Fun Activities for Toddlers When Stuck at Home
For Toys and Fun:
Let your toddler enjoy some fun in the sun with these awesome toys and play things. You don’t even need to reinvent the wheel for toddler to have fun outside!
Sometimes simple objects and even household supplies can provide them with loads of fun.
1. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Your child will love being pushed around in this classic Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes. I remember loving this when I was a kid and my toddlers love it just the same!
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.
2. Water Table
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.
3. Baby Pool
A baby pool is an essential item to beat the summer heat outdoors. Even if you are fortunate enough to 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 lightweight that we could bring it to the beach, a park, or friend’s house all summer long. It even comes with its own canopy to shield them from the sun’s rays while playing.
That one is great for younger toddlers, but you may want a larger size pool for 2 and 3 year olds. They make some pretty big inflatable pools now that are affordable and can even fit adults!
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4. Sidewalk Chalk
Your toddler will have a blast writing on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. There are so many colors to choose from and the fun is endless.
There’s recently been a big push for sidewalk art from #chalkyourwalk, as everyone is staying home. Get them into this and they’ll have a blast.
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. It’s a bit messy so make sure they’re in knock around clothes.
Also, don’t get sidewalk paint markers! Those stay on your sidewalk forever! Even after the most intense rain we had, the imprint was still stuck on the sidewalk.
5. 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.
6. A Watering Can and Play Gardening Tools
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 some gardening tools will give them lots of opportunities for imaginative play. They’ll have so much fun pretending (or actually) watering the trees and flowers and filling and dumping buckets.
You can even just give them your own watering can and they will love it. You’ll even get free grass watering!
7. Electric Car
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.
They’re very pricey, but if you’re willing to spend it, your child will love it! Maybe get a grandparent to purchase it for an early birthday present.
Related Post: 6 Good Habits You Should Be Teaching Your Toddler
8. Water Sprinkler Sprayer
9. Outdoor Play Set or Bounce House
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 play set 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. It’s meant for younger toddlers however, around 1 or 2.
For an older toddler, you may want to invest in a larger swing set, like this one.
In addition, my kids absolutely love this bounce house we just bought them. It’s perfect for toddlers and can grow with them for many years to come. It looks large, but it really doesn’t take up that much space.
Definitely a great item that your kids will LOVE!
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!
Also, these lawn mower bubble machines make a great activity!
11. Kitchen essentials
These simple household items can be great for outdoor water play. If you don’t have a water table, simply fill up tubs, bowls, Tupperware, or bins with water. Give them some spoons, utensils, and other cooking essentials and let them play. They’ll have tons of fun!
You can even freeze small objects in ice cube trays or water in a bowl to form a large block of ice.
12. Outdoor obstacle courses
You can buy items to make your toddler an outdoor obstacle course, like these stepping stones and balance beams.
13. Toddler-sized sports equipment
14. Sandpit and sand toys
If you can’t get to the beach, bring the beach to you! If your kid loves playing in the sand, a sandbox would be such a fun activity for him or her.
Just give them some sand toys and they’ll have fun digging and building all day. It’s also a great sensory activity if your child has issues with the sand. It will get them used to it quickly.
How adorable is this little pool float for toddlers? Just like the Cozy Coupe listed above, but it can go in the pool! Your toddler will love it!
16. Scavenger Hunt
If you’re like us, you’re probably outside a ton and getting in as many walks as you can. We love riding through the neighborhoods, but our kids can get quite board even when we’re pointing things out to them.
For Safety and Practicality
Since your little one will be outside a lot, you’ll need some things to keep them safe and cool.
17. Natural Sunscreen
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 chemical-free sunscreen is the best way to keep them safe.
Blue Lizard Kids Sunscreen is one of the best natural, mineral-based sunscreens that offers superior protection without any dangerous chemicals or ingredients.
18. Puddle Jumper
These Puddle Jumpers are the best floatation device for your little one. The design 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 won’t be suitable until your child is at least 2 or older.
19. Supportive Sandals
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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. Swim Diapers
These are necessary for an un-potty trained toddler, even if they are 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.
26. Deck Box
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 toddler’s 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!