8 Toddler Friendly Summer Activities

By Kelley Boymer
31 May 2022

The weather has (finally!) been gorgeous and it is so refreshing to be able to spend extended time outdoors without being unbearably cold. Thankfully, we have a whole summer of warm weather ahead to enjoy with our little ones. Sometimes it can feel like we get stuck doing the same activities everyday with our kids, and not only do they get tired of it but we do too. If you’re looking to mix up your day-to-day with your toddler, try out some new spots and activities this summer. You don’t need to do complex crafts or intricate recipes to win parent of the year, keep things easy and help your child learn to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of nature and the outdoors. If you need a little help, here are a few ideas for toddler friendly summer activities. What are your favorite things to do with your kids in the summer? Let us know in the comments!

You might also like: Activities To Do With Kids in Newport, RI and if you’re headed to Newport, check out The Newport Guide with tons of family and kid friendly recommendations.

8 Toddler Friendly Summer Activities

Book Summer Camp

Kids love summer camp. They get to spend time with other kids, make new friends and do activities they love like swimming, art, playing and creating. Not only do kids love summer camps but adults do too… You will have a morning, afternoon or maybe a full day to yourself. If your little one is too young for summer camp, many camps offer “mommy and me” activities which can take the pressure off for a few hours and let you do something creative with your toddler where you don’t have to plan everything!

Swimming & Water Fun

I can remember spending hours swimming in our local pond as a kid. Diving off the dock, collecting muck from the bottom, catching crawfish and building sand castles with friends- those days were the absolute best. Swimming is a great activity for toddlers and parents because you can both enjoy yourselves. Meet up with friends, bring lunch and snacks and post up for the day. Don’t forget floats, sunscreen, bug spray and hats.

Switch it up by trying out different beaches, pools, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams. Your little one will love exploring all of the different settings and fun play opportunities at each.

Some of our favorite local Vermont Upper Valley spots: The Kedron Pond, The Woodstock Recreation Center Pool, Silver Lake, the Ottauquechee River- there are a few “sandy” river access spots in downtown Woodstock.

head to the Museum or Library

Children’s museums can be a wonderful option for both sunny and rainy days. The exhibits are designed to spark the interest of toddlers and they will enjoy being able to learn and interact with models, animals, machines and all sorts of fun things!

Billings Farm and Museum and The Montshire Museum are our favorite local museums for toddlers. The Montshire Museum has a great water feature in the back that is great for a warm day as well as plenty of exciting indoor exhibits for rainy days. We love the bubbles.

Libraries are a great option for rainy or extra hot days when you are craving some shade and air conditioning. Your kids will enjoy new toys to play with and an endless selection of books. Check some out books to enjoy at home for the coming week.

make a trip to the Park

Kids love the freedom and choice in a playground! We are so fortunate to have lots of local options for parks and playgrounds in Vermont. Another benefit of the playground is it provides lots of entertainment and may give you an opportunity to sit and relax for a bit while your little one plays. Invite a friend with a similar aged child and they might even entertain each other (for a little while anyway).

Go For A Walk Or Hike

Walks and hikes can be challenging for toddlers, but I think these are such important and wonderful opportunities to get out in the woods and explore and experience nature. Make it fun by creating a scavenger hunt for spotting different plants and animals and bringing snacks to avoid meltdowns. You can give your toddler opportunities to walk on their own and also have a backup stroller/backpack for when they get tired.

Pack A Picnic

Picnics are a fun way to make a meal feel special with your little one. Pack cut up fruits, veggies, cheeses, crackers and other easy on the go snacks. Pick a spot that has a pretty view to enjoy your picnic. Maybe there is a short walk or hike to get there. Bring a backpack/basket with a blanket, tableware and maybe a fun game to play. You can always invite friends or family to join too.

Schedule Playdates

A playdate may seem daunting, but it can actually make life as a caregiver so much easier! If your toddler has a friend they play well with (and that won’t make your life a nightmare) it can provide some entertainment and you may even have an opportunity to get a little time to yourself. Bonus, your little one will be so thankful and happy for a fun day with a friend.

Set UP Backyard Activities

Let’s face it, sometimes leaving the house feels hard or isn’t an option. You may have things to get done around the house or maybe you don’t feel like loading up the car to go somewhere. Staying home can be fun too! Use your outdoor space for summer activities so you can stay home and keep your toddler happily occupied. Bubbles are always a hit and a bubble machine makes life even easier. Seriously these things are a game changer, hours of entertainment. A small sandbox is another great activity that toddlers can do on their own. For hot days a kiddie pool is nice for everyone and a good way to keep cool. If you don’t have a lot of space a water table is a nice option.

More Resources for Toddler Friendly Activities

Favorite Instagram Accounts for Toddler Activities: Busy Toddler, Happy Toddler Playtime, & Simplifying Play

Toddler Games, Activities and Gear

Keeping a toddler entertained can be exhausting. Make it easier on yourself by picking an activity that will provide (most of) the entertainment. Go for a swim with friends, let them play in the sandbox or turn on that bubble machine and maybe get a few moments to yourself!

What activities do you enjoy with your toddler during the summer? Have any tips for getting through those busy toddler stages and staying sane? Share in the comments!

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