Friday, June 28, 2013

It's Summer! Outdoor Activities for Toddlers (A Bucket list)

bucket list activities for your toddler
Take the "thinking" out of planning: create a list of activities for your toddler.

I was in the middle of spring cleaning when summer arrived.  Then it dawned on me: what are we doing this summer?!   

Thank goodness for bucket lists.

As a SAHM, a bucket list (of anything, really) can save us time---time usually spent on thinking about what to do this summer.

A bucket list is a wish list of different activities that my toddler can do outside. The activities are supposed to be fun for my son, who is 17 months old.  Because, you know, a toddler at that age has too much energy to be cooped up at home. There's a whole earth to explore out there! 

He needs to explore, feel, giggle, and see new things--all safely and within eye shot of mom.

And it needs to be different activities to keep him busy and keep him from being bored.

Seriously, once you've written the list, it's a lifesaver. 

Additionally, my bucket list was born out of two personal philosophies:

(1) Priorities put people first. I can easily get caught up in all my summer to-do list. However, I want to give my son at his age new experiences to grow and to learn. I want to spend this precious time with him!

(2) Family traditions are intentional, not accidental.  If I don't plan, summer will go by in a flash. I want my son to expect certain activities in the summer and to enjoy the season. I want him to know that he is a part of our family's shared experiences and therefore, a part of the family.    

bucket list for toddlers
Print out your bucket list and stick it on the fridge!

To draft the list, I researched online, checked what perks we had for being members of certain asked a few moms out there (including my own sister) and thought about my own childhood. I asked myself, what did my own mom do to help spark my imagination and drive for creativity? What would I want for my son?  

So far, we've managed to do a lot on the list:  I bought him a toddler pool to splash around in the front yard. We visited an aquarium with other mommies. And I've even made my own bubble solution (first time mom here).

I'd say it's energy well spent (on my behalf) researching all this. And it's his energy well spent and just in time for a long afternoon nap.

A final word on the list. The bucket list includes activities that  can be done even in your own backyard (it's simple enough that when it's your husband's turn to watch the baby, he can choose an activity without resorting to the TV as the "activity"). Some of these activities do require supervision. Also, make sure your little one is safe and protected from the sun. 


Outdoor Activities For Toddlers  
  • Pool time  
  • Fun with bubbles  
  • Play with cardboard boxes  
  • Catch and toss a ball  
  • Play with toys (especially ones with wheels)  
  • Play with a treasure/sensory box 
  • Explore your own yard: water the plants, watch an ant trail, etc. 
  • Draw with chalk on the sidewalk   
  • Paint /stamp with water (using brushes and sponges) on the sidewalk  
  • Do baby yoga and light stretches 
  • Play with play dough or clay   
  • Pitch and play in a tent 
  • Play with a water table 
  • Play with a sand box 
  • Sing and perform nursery rhymes or play with musical toys 
  • Take a walk in the neighborhood with a push toy
  • Have a picnic outside and read under a tree 
Outside of the Home  - Events for Toddlers
  • Go to the park 
  • Schedule a play date
  • Attend toddler reading/playtime hour at a local library
  • Go to your city or church's outdoor movie night 
  • Visit a petting zoo or a pet store
  • Attend at least one mommy group event near you
  • Go to the beach
  • Attend festivals and fairs near you: art, music, holiday or themed 
  • Go to a shopping center and visit the kids play area or bookstore 
  • Go see a fountain 
  • Visit a yard sale
  • Feed the ducks at a pond
  • Visit a botanical garden or explore your own  
  • Go to the farmer’s market  
  • Attend a summer holiday event  
  • Visit a toddler friendly amusement park
  • Eat at a toddler friendly restaurant (with an indoor play area) 
  • Visit an aquarium
  • Plan a family BBQ

I hope you feel inspired to make a summer bucket list!   I love this concept so much that I hope to create and share with you other seasonal bucket lists as I create them.   

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