Looking for summer activities for toddlers? This summer activities for toddlers list is practical and doable with little children at home. Toddlers love to be busy, and you’ve stumbled upon a great part of the web for kid activity ideas that do just that. As a mom of three kids, I know what it is like to want to keep them entertained and, at the same time, inspire more independent play. These summer activities are low prep and will cool everyone down on the hot days ahead.
RELATED: Summer activities go hand in hand with our outdoor activity list. Be sure to check that out next for even more super fun ideas!
How do I entertain my 3-year-old this summer?
Great summer activities for toddlers inspire movement, explore texture, and encourage creativity. Toddlers need experiences that allow them to learn information about the world around them. Begin entertaining your 2 and 3-year-olds this summer by keeping them cool.
Offer opportunities for your toddler to revisit ideas they enjoy. This is a great educational article to help explain play schemas. After reading, you will better understand how repeated patterns benefit your toddler’s brain development.
Skills toddlers can learn through play:
- Self-expression through the arts
- Social development
- Gross-motor skills
- Fine-motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Cognitive learning and development
RELATED: My toys for toddlers list is also kept open-ended and simple to inspire independent play.
What will your kids DO this summer?
Take the guesswork out of your days with the Summertime Bundle.
- Startup Guide creates your summer routine.
- Activity cards have easy activities.
- The PDF calendar puts your plan in place.
30 Summer Activities for Toddlers
To keep this list of summer activities for toddlers easy to navigate, I broke it down into three outdoor categories:
- Arts and crafts for toddlers
- Toddler water and ice play ideas
- Summer games and easy toddler activities
RELATED: Summer activities pair well with our Water Games for Kids list!
Outdoor Arts & Crafts for Toddlers
Toddlers love to do art outdoors! If you are just getting started, here is our guide on how to paint with kids. These art and craft ideas are a way to welcome easy art ideas into your day with or without a little mess. You’ll see from the pictures which art idea for your toddler feels just right.
Book Craft The Watermelon Seed – Days with Grey
Have your toddler paint a watermelon after reading this super fun book for summer.
Magic Chalk Paint – Days with Grey
This takes a few steps, but your toddler will be wowed as the colors mix and blend!
DIY Chalk Paint – The Best Ideas for Kids
Don’t want to squirt the chalk paint? Try using a paint brush!
Paint the Sticks – Days with Grey
This classic toddler activity gives them something to do and strengthens fine motor muscles.
Rainbow Sea Shells – Mama in the Now
Go find that collection of seashells. It is time to get your toddler painting and pass some time.
Easy Finger Paint Ideas – Hello, Wonderful
Curious how to make your own finger paints? Follow these steps for your toddler to dive in.
Toddler Fish Art – Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Who has paper rolls? Here, your toddler bends them and dips them into blue paint to make little fish.
Spray Art for Toddlers – Toddler Approved
Pass me all the squirt bottles! One of my favorite ways for little hands and minds to create.
Tissue Paper Sun Catchers – Kids Crafts Room
I am making these tissue paper sun catchers ASAP with my toddler. I have the perfect window for us to watch how the light hits them in the early morning.
Graffiti Art for Kids – Playground Park Bench
Paint dripping and a toddler. This is the winning activity combination to look back and smile at the fun had.
Summer Water and Ice Toddler Play
Water games and water tables are a blast with toddlers. Endless amounts of playtime. Stay close to supervise and keep the water level low. Use this list of water games for kids to inspire even more ways to play to cool down this summer.
Don’t get intimidated by sensory play. Use this parent’s guide on how to introduce sensory play to get your ideas flowing.
Scoop the Limes – Days with Grey
One day I had too many limes. Guess what we did with them? Yep, this toddler sensory bin is a terrific way to build arm muscles.
Bear Soup – Days with Grey
These colored bears give us life. Toss them in a sensory water bin, and now your toddler has bear soup to scoop, stir, and pour.
Easy Ice Grab – Happily Ever Mom
Check out that hand-eye coordination! Toddler ice transfers are fun and improve small hand movements.
Summer Fun Colored Ice Play – Mama Papa Bubba
Colored ice is so simple! Have your toddler add a few squirts of food coloring into an ice tray and wait for it to freeze. Instant activity.
Squirt the Numbers – Days with Grey
Do you have these plastic cookies with numbers? Add then to your toodler’s water bin and get squirting!
Ocean Summer Sensory Bin – Days with Grey
No vacation? Bring the ocean to your toddler. This is a simple set up and a whole lot of fun.
Nature Soup – Happily Ever Mom
After that nature hunt, place a few flower petals in a muffin tin and water. Freeze, and the next day your toddler has an epic sensory bin.
Jello Wash Dragons Love Tacos – Days with Grey
Are you ready for a new texture? Try this gelatin hunt with your toddler.
Splash the Alphabet – Days with Grey
Splashing the alphabet reinforces letter names and sounds the fun way! Grab your squirt bottles and add this idea to your summer activity list.
Ice Boat Racing – Toddler Approved
How cute are these little boats? Another fun use for pool noodles I am not skipping past.
Colored Ice Play – Crayons and Cravings
Colored ice play for my toddler on a warm day? Sign me up! Simple and low-prep fun I am looking for.
Muddy Water Messy Play – Days with Grey
Regarding toddler play, I am all for using our environment. Here, your child plays with a little muddy water while exploring sensory supplies such as squirt bottles and funnels.
Summer Games & Easy Ideas
What is summer without a few games and excitement? Toddlers are learning how to use their bodies when to follow directions and cause and effect. Games and easy ideas are great ways for toddlers to explore the world around them.
Outdoor Name Maze – Happily Ever Mom
Let’s get moving! This alphabet maze is a fun way for toddlers to learn using gross motor skills.
Musical Color Hunt – Days with Grey
This is a favorite toddler activity! Cue up the music. When it stops, have your toddler find something to match the colored space.
Beach and Ocean Sensory Squish – Fun Fantastic Learning
Have you made a squish bag? This is a simple sensory activity for younger toddlers.
Sticky Scavenger Hunt – Little Pine Learners
Head back outside for a sticky nature hunt. Toddlers will sharpen their matching skills through play.
Giant Bubble Recipe – Red Ted Art
Use this DIY bubble recipe to spark curiosity and play with your toddler.
Outdoor Maze Walk – Days with Grey
Grab the chalk! We are going back outside to move with our toddlers on swirls, lines, zig-zags, and turns.
Jello Sensory Play – The Mom Friend
Jello inside? You may want to try this ambitious move with your toddler. (at least once for the memory, right?)
Alphabet Stones – Little Pine Learners
Hide the alphabet stones around your yard for a simple toddler scavenger hunt.
Movement Cube – Days with Grey
Use a movement cube inside our out with your toddler.
Shaving Cream Block Play – Days with Grey (older toddlers)
I like to take these foam blocks outside and add a little shaving cream to stick them together. When finished building, head straight to the hose to shower off.
Run and Sort – Days with Grey
Grab those pom poms you have stuffed in your drawer (just me?) and put them on one side of the yard. Invite your toddler to run back and forth, matching in the correct colored spot in the bin.
Sweet and Tasty Sensory Play – Days with Grey
Are you picking strawberries this summer? Have your toddler head into a sensory bin when finished to squeeze and taste test.
Dry Noodle Sensory Outdoor Sensory Play – Days with Grey
This is a simple tutorial how to color dried noodles to inspire more toddler play.
With summer around the corner, your toddler is now ready to play all day!
Sensory play can be introduced as early as a few months old. Keep in mind sensory play is not limited to a traditional bin filled with rice. One-year-olds learn by looking, seeing, touching, hearing, and grasping. Allow babies to touch new textures and objects for sensory play. Toddlers like to stack, transport, touch, fill, dump, bang, pound, push, twist, climb, and swing. Sensory play can be in a bin or in the backyard.
Keeping a two-year-old entertained for the day is not an easy task. One minute they are content, and the next, they pull on your pants for another snack. Creating a predictable schedule that benefits you and your toddler will help you better enjoy your days.
Save time to play. Toddlers enjoy sensory play. Use this list of 40 sensory bins at home to inspire more play.