When school ends and the temperature rises, you might worry that your toddler will become bored, restless, and unruly. Fortunately, the summer offers an array of activities to keep kids busy, active, and happy until school starts again in the fall. Whether your child is a homebody or an explorer, chances are you’ll find a program or activity that’s perfect for her fussiness and attention span. Combine the excitement of summer with education and new experiences to get your toddler ready for kindergarten. While it’s not necessary to enroll them in structured programs, doing so can give them an advantage when starting first grade.
Check out these ideas for keeping your toddler engaged this summer:
Toddlers can enjoy almost any activity, so long as it’s safe and developmentally appropriate. Here are some ideas to get you started. At-home discovery boards encourage curiosity and creativity. You can even make your own to fit your toddler’s interests. Simply take a piece of cork board to a wall (or the back of a door) and let your toddler explore. Drama and art classes can help toddlers develop social and creative skills. Toddler dance and music classes are also a great way to build confidence and burn off extra energy. Field trips are a great way to expose your toddler to new things. You can find local events (think farmer’ events, community activities, and traveling exhibits) near you or online. You can even take day trips to nearby cities or towns.
Activities for Toddlers Who Like to Stay at Home
Toddlers might prefer staying at home to exploring the great outdoors when the weather gets hot. If your child is a homebody, try these activities to keep her busy and engaged.
- Reading Board Books: Reading aloud to your child is a great way to bond with him and help him develop language skills. Books are a child’s best friend, and the earlier you start reading to your child, the sooner he’ll be reading on his own.
- Coloring and Drawing: Coloring and drawing activities help toddlers develop fine motor skills. There are tons of art supplies designed for little fingers. You can even take the crayons out of the box and give your toddler a roll of paper to scribble on.
- Arts and Crafts: Get your kid started on a lifelong love of art and crafts by providing him with lots of crayons, markers, and other craft supplies. You can even buy kits designed for toddlers.
- Science Experiments: Toddlers are naturally curious, and science experiments are a great way to satiate their curiosity while helping them learn. You can find experiments online or in books. Many toy stores sell science kits for toddlers.
Activities for Toddlers Who Like to be on the Go
If your child is an explorer, he may prefer going out and about to staying at home. Try these activities that will keep your mobile toddler engaged and having fun.
- Art Classes: Art classes can be found at many children’s museums and art centers. They give your child a chance to explore his creative side while learning some basic art skills, like painting, sculpting, or drawing. (And the more creative skills your child has, the more likely he’ll be to succeed in school!)
- Bowling: Bowling is a fun sport that toddlers can get into. You can find family-friendly bowling alleys, or you can bring your toddler to his first bowling experience at home with a toy bowling set.
- Discovery Zones: Discovery Zones are interactive play areas designed to let kids be kids. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can find one that’s near you or that travels to different areas.
- Park Play Dates: Take your toddler to the park for some open-ended play time. If you don’t have any nearby friends with toddlers, try setting up playdates with other parents online.
- Park and Nature Exploration: Take your toddler on nature walks through parks and your neighborhood. When you get home, he can draw, color, or paint pictures of the things he saw.
Activities for Kids who Want to Move and Be Fit
If your child is more into sports and exercise, try these activities geared towards fitness and movement.
- Indoor Climbing Walls: Kids are naturally climbers, so indoor climbing walls are a great way to channel their energy while giving them a fun activity to do with friends and family. Indoor rock climbing can also help kids develop upper body strength and improve their hand-eye coordination.
- Swimming: Swimming is a great sport for toddlers and children of all ages. It’s low impact on growing bodies and great for burning off energy.
- Gymnastics: Gymnastics is a fantastic way to get your toddler moving. It’s also helpful for building upper body strength and improving spatial awareness.
- Skating: If you live near a skating rink, take your toddler there for a fun, active day of skating. Toddlers can learn to skate on low-level “toddler” skates. Or you can just skate inside on a standard rink.
Activities for Helping Toddlers Develop Motor Skills
If your child is having a hard time with certain motor skills, there are plenty of activities that can help him catch up.
- Music and Movement: Music combined with movement activities is great for toddlers who are having trouble with motor skills. You can dance, march, jump, and do other active movements to music. You can also try clapping games or finger plays with your toddler.
Keeping your toddler busy and engaged during the summer can be a challenge, but it’s important to provide your child with stimulating activities that will help him grow and develop new skills. Take advantage of the long daylight hours and warm weather to find ways to engage your child and keep him busy and happy. We have a collection of educational toys in our Babies and Children collection. Do follow us on Facebook for more parental tips and discounts!