Summer sensory activities encourage kiddos to get outside and have fun while secretly learning and improving development. This season is made for fun outside and getting dirty – Help your child learn and explore the world with these 5 quick and easy Summer Activities!
With both of my boys, it took about 2 years before they were fun.
That might make me sound like a bad mom, but Ryan was born in late May. His first summer was a colicy mess, and his second he was just one and barely even walking. Owen was much the same with a mid March birthday.
But, by their third summer, they are independent, interested, and always learning.
Summer Sensory for the win!
I want to make sure that I’m constantly encouraging my boys to grow that side of themselves and to keep learning.
The library, museums, and the park are all places that I like to take them to learn, grow, and explore. But it can be a real pain packing everything and everyone up, especially as it gets hot.
5 Summer Sensory Activities for Toddlers
With that in mind, I found 5 ways to help kids learn and grow from your own backyard. Not only are these outdoor sensory activities fun, but your kiddo has lots or opportunity to learn about the world around them and sharpen motor skills.
Summer sensory activity #1: Mini Dirt Box
Does your toddler love playing in dirt as much as mine does?
We have a few bare spots in the yard that Ryan always wants to play in and run his fingers through. But since we live in an area with a lot of animals it makes me uncomfortable to have him playing in questionable dirt.
But this? I’m totally okay with. I filled a 98 cent bin with potting soil, some sticks and rocks and let Ryan have at it! I brought out some of his trucks (the easy to clean cheap-o ones) that he could use as well. Quick, easy, and fun!
Summer sensory activity #2: Ball and Rings
Cut one or two pool noodles into rings and throw into your kiddie pool. Let your kiddo have fun feeling different textures and exploring how different things float (or sink!).
Ryan loved playing with the huge bowl that I carried the cut noodles outside. He was putting them in and out, adding water to see what would make the bowl stay still without floating away.
You can also definitely play some modified versions of these pool games for kids in a baby pool with a toddler!
Summer sensory activity #3: Rainbow Water
Freeze water with food coloring in ice cube trays and add to a kiddie pool. The melting colors and cool feeling will be fun and interesting to your little and the ice cubes will keep them nice and cool on the hottest summer days.
Ryan loved pulling them out of the Ziploc bag I was keeping them in and dropping them into the water himself one by one, rather than me dumping them all in.
Summer sensory activity #4: Paint and Paper
I grabbed a roll of white craft paper from the Dollar Spot at Target and laid some out on our table outside. Add some paint and then let Ryan go wild, smearing it about and learning how different items work with the paint.
We used foam and brush paint brushes and kiddie spoons and forks. If you don’t have a table, head straight to the grass! It’s perfect for outside so you don’t have to worry about cleaning your floor later!
Bonus: use primary colors and show your kiddo how different colors mix to make other colors
Summer sensory activity #5: Shaving Cream Madness
Grab some shaving cream and choose a spot – a tarp would work, or a table, the grass, or even an empty kiddie pool.
I just sprayed it on top of the paper we were using for the paint so it was even less mess. Let your kid play with the foam, feel it, and smush it around and explore.
To make it even more fun and interesting, try adding a drop or two of food coloring! We loved seeing how different colors mixed together to make new colors!
No matter what you do – get them outside!
So feel free to let your kiddos go wild – roll in the grass, rub dirt through their fingers, squish all of the messy things they can get their hands on. They’re only young once, right?
Tell me – what’s your favorite summer sensory activities for toddlers? How do you make fun in your own backyard? Let me know in the comments!
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