Summer is made for fun outside and getting dirty! Help your toddler learn and explore the world with these 5 Summer Sensory Activities for Toddlers!
This is the first summer that Ryan seems fun. That might make me sound like a bad mom, but he was born in late May, so his first summer he was a colicy mess, and his second he was just one and barely even walking. This year, he’s independent, interested, and always learning. I want to make sure that I’m constantly encouraging him to grow that side of him and to keep learning. The library, museums, and the park are all places that I like to take him to learn, grow, and explore, but with Owen only 3 months old, it can be a real pain packing everything and everyone up, especially as it gets hot. So I’ve found 5 ways to help Ryan grow from our own backyard – 5 summer sensory activies for toddlers!
5 Summer Sensory Activities for Toddlers
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 there are a lot of animals (plus Cooper) 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 and you guys – the kid is in love.
Ball and Rings – Cut one or two pool noodles into rings and throw into your kiddie pool and 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 in, 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!
Rainbow Water – Freeze water with food coloring in ice cube trays (or other fun shaped things!) 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.
Paint and Paper – I grabbed a roll of white craft paper from the Dollar Spot at Target and laid some out on out table outside with some tempera paint and 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 and if you’re worried about your grass, you can throw down a tarp. It’s perfect for outside so you don’t have to worry about cleaning your floor later!
Shaving Cream Madness – Grab some shaving cream (I used the 98 cent store brand) and choose a spot – again, 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 pain 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! Full disclosure : this wasn’t the hugest hit for Ryan because he can get kind of weird about having stuff on his hands. He’s not a fan. But he loved using the brushes and watching me smush it all together. typical.
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 – and don’t worry about messy clothes or allergens. They’re only young once, right?
Tell me – what’s your favorite summer sensory activities for toddlers? Do you have allergies? How do you make fun in your own backyard? Let me know in the comments!
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