This post, 5 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Toddlers, was created in partnership with Stonyfield Organic and Badger Balm Sunscreen. Thank you for supporting these B-Corp brands that are better for our bodies and better for our planet!
This summer we are all about getting outdoors, embracing the heat, and exploring new places. Some things on our summer bucket list include:
- Splash Pad
- Berry Picking
- Farmer’s Market
- Wildlife Sanctuary
- Beach Day
- Road Trip
As a stay-at-home mom of two, I’ve found that it’s best to “keep the babies busy” – as we like to say. Now that the girls are 3 and 1, heading outside for daily adventures is a must.
Throughout the summer I like to keep the kids on their daily routine, but also with some flexibility since we are out and about so much. This means keeping the TV off (until late afternoon) and the girls outdoors!
I get asked so often on Instagram about the daily routines I share – so I thought it would be fun to turn our daily routine into an easy-to-read graphic.
If I’m being honest though, sometimes the allure of the air conditioning calls to me and I have a hard time convincing myself to “embrace” the summer heat in the South – and have you noticed this as well? – toddlers do not seem to care how unbelievably hot it is outside, they could actually play outside all day if we let them.
I think that’s why it helps to have a game plan in place. And if you can’t convince your little one to come inside, “let’s go inside for a popsicle” usually does the trick 🙂
That being said, both girls have blue eyes, blonde hair, and fair skin, so heading outside for any screen-free summer activities is no small feat.
Some of my non-negotiable summer essentials are:
- All-Natural Mineral Sunscreen
- UPF 50+ Sun Hats
- Sports Bottles
- Healthy On-the-Go Snacks (Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Pouches, Bananas, Blueberries, Granola, etc.)
Using all-natural products is so important to me, especially when it comes to my kids. Whether it’s going in their bodies or on their bodies, I want it to have the best ingredients possible.
One of my favorite things about Badger Balm Kid’s Sunscreen is that it’s made with certified Organic ingredients – but my toddler’s favorite thing is that their kid’s sunscreen smells like tangerine and vanilla. She now only asks for the “vanilla” sunscreen when getting ready to play outside. Hey, whatever works!
More Toddler Activities
5 Screen-Free Summer Activities for Toddlers
These summery activities will keep toddlers away from TV screens and enjoying the outdoors!
1. Splash Pad
We are lucky enough to have several public parks near us that have splash pads during the summer. This was our first time and both kids (3 & 1) really enjoyed it.
When heading out for the day, I always over-pack my diaper bag with all of the essentials. Of course I always bring my sun safety stuff, but on top of that, I probably bring enough snacks to feed a small army of toddlers.
I always pack a cooler bag full of nutritious snacks to help the kids cool down after playing in the summer heat. I used to bring along yogurt cups, but now we are in love with Stonyfield’s new yogurt squeeze pouches for kids.
The girl’s both love Strawberry-Beet-Berry and the Pear-Spinach-Mango variety which are both made with Organic Whole Milk, and contain up to 35% less sugar than the leading kid’s yogurt! If they don’t finish (which is rare), you can just twist the cap back on! Definitely much easier than bringing along yogurt cups.
2. Berry Picking
This is on our yearly summer bucket list and we haven’t missed a picking season yet!
This year we came home with over 4 pounds of fresh blackberries. Our toddler is a berry-picking machine and she just loved being outside and getting her hands dirty.
3. Wildlife Sanctuary
Toddlers love animals and being outside, so a visit to a wildlife sanctuary is a win-win. Since we read so many books about animals, it’s fun for them to see their favorite animals being rehabilitated in their natural habitat.
For this type of outing we load up the double stroller, pack a ton of easy, on-the-go snacks, slather everyone in sunscreen, and head out early before the sun becomes too strong.
After some exploring in the sun, we loaded both kids back up in the stroller and gave them each a yogurt pouch to cool down!
Little kids love getting their hands dirty, and activities such as gardening (where toddlers are using tools and putting their hands in the soil) are perfect sensory-building experiences. Gardening is probably one of my favorite screen-free summer activities because it allows my toddler to be fully invested in what she’s doing.
Despite how much I love planting things, I seem to have the worst black-thumb, so succulents were the perfect plant for this outdoor summer adventure.
5. Pool Day
While packing up the car and heading out to the pool is fun and all, sometimes setting up the kiddie pool in the backyard is just so much easier.
We got this fun Little Tykes slide that we set up inside the pool (excuse me, DONUT pool) and this has actually entertained both kids for an unlimited amount of time.
Great ideas! We have a splash pad not too far away, and I definitely want to get the kiddo back there! We’ve packed some structured activities into the beginning of summer (swim lessons and farm school), so that will probably be a July outing.
Also, we have never been berry picking before – myself included – so I would love to do that! You got me thinking. 😉
Lisa Mason says
These are wonderful ideas! My kids are all older now but we still enjoy some of these activities. Fabulous list!
Tabitha Blue says
Love getting out an about and finding fun things for the kids to do! Great ideas!
Terri | Love and Confections says
We love going to the splash pad in the Summer. Sunscreen, snacks and extra water are a must!