I’ve been looking forward to this summer for awhile now where I could share so many new experiences with my little girl. At almost 2 years old, this is the first summer that I really feel like she understands everything and will really appreciate a lot of outdoor, kid-related activities.
If you live in a cold weather climate like where I am in New Jersey, you are probably looking forward to summer, as well! After a long winter stuck inside with a toddler and a newborn, summer is the perfect time to finally get out of the house.
Warm weather opens up so many fun opportunities for your family. From zoos and amusement parks to carnival rides and beach days, the options are endless.
Why Getting Out Is Important for Your Toddler
Since I’m currently a stay-at-home mom to an energetic and very busy toddler, I need to fill our days with plenty of activities to keep her occupied. After running, exploring, and playing outside, she always seem to sleep better for the night.
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Kids needs to explore new environments to learn about the world around them. It encourages them to discover new things, improve their vocabulary, and understand how things work.
Our toddler has learned so much through books, television shows, and toys in the house. She’s learned names of all the animals, plants, and objects you would see outside.
However, learning shouldn’t just come from reading about things in a book. The best way to learn is through real life experiences!
Let them see those animals come to life from their favorite story. Let them feel the grass, smell the flowers and taste the ice cream that they see in their favorite show.
Spending time together as a family can also be so important. In my opinion, the greatest gift you can give your children (besides love and affection) are experiences.
I try to stay away from buying too many toys and electronics for my little ones and replace those kind of presents with activities and experiences to stimulate their minds and get them active.
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Create a summer bucket list for family activities
I decided to create a Summer Bucket List for my toddler and our whole family. I had so many ideas for fun activities and events that I wanted them to experience and if I didn’t write them all down, I know I’d forget!
I jotted down any outdoor activities that I thought she would love. I also chose some indoor activities for those rainy days when we still need to get out of the house.
Since my toddler can’t read yet, I used pictures that she could understand. Each picture represented one activity that we would be doing.
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You can let your child pick what they want to do each day or week. Alternately, you can just show them what you already have planned if that’s easier.
I chose to cut out, laminate, and velcro fasten each picture onto a poster board so my child could take off each picture and hand them to me when she wanted to do them. Also, so we could take off the pieces as we completed each activity.
You don’t have to follow all of these steps if it’s too much for you! Simply print out the pages and have your child point to the pictures. Whatever works best!
*We live at the Jersey shore so beach activities are very easily accessible. A lot of these activities would be more ideal for beach or shore locations. However, If you’re not, you can just omit those images!*
Also, add your own activities to customize it to your specific location. There are so many more options that I probably haven’t thought of!
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Follow these simple directions to make your own Summer Bucket List Velcro Poster for your toddler:
What you need:
- Adhesive velcro strips
- Laminator and laminating sheets (optional)
What to do:
1. Sign up below to download this file. It has all of the images and words right there for you. there are 3 single pages.
2. Print out all 3 pages.
3. Place each page into laminating sheets or pouches and run through a laminator.
*I chose to laminate these so I can use them for years to come. However, this isn’t a necessary step if you want to just dispose of the images after you’re done. *
4. Cut out each image into squares and rectangles.
*Feel free to pick and choose which activities would suit you and your family best. There may be activities that are not available to you or you may want to add your own.*
5. Arrange pictures in rows and columns to fill the board. Do this before sticking them on to make sure you have an even space between each photo.
6. Cut one side of the velcro adhesive (Loop or softer side) into small pieces and stick to the back of the pictures. Place the other side of adhesive velcro (hook or more coarse side) onto poster board where the images will go.
7. Tape the Bucket List headline at the top of the posterboard.
8. Display somewhere accessible to your child or bring it out when showing them or having them choose their activity. Have fun!
I hope you enjoy spending time outdoors with your toddler as much as I do! Leave a comment if you tried this activity.