With the summer months upon us, parents will need to start thinking of outdoor activities to keep their children busy. If you live in the south, like me, you are probably wondering how to entertain your toddler outside in the heat?
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my disclosure policy to learn more.
Fun Outdoor Activities for 2 Year Old’s & Up
Water stations are a great way to quickly cool down in the summer without the hassle of a pool. I had recently purchased the Step 2 Play Ball & Climber at a local consignment sale. I like that it is multifunctional with a slide and small water station on the side. My daughter is a HUGE fan. Everytime we go outside she looks for her water station.
Water Station & Sensory Bin Play
At her age, my daughter is interested in splashing the water with her hands. For older toddlers, you can transform your water station into a sensory bin. You can add different items such as pom poms, water beads or small rocks to your water station and let your child learn how to transfer them to a container or cup.
Afterwards let your child return the items to the water station by pouring or placing each individual item back in the water station. This activity promotes fine motor skills as well as clean up.
Another popular water station activity is teaching to clean rocks or toys. I like this activity since it encourages your child to learn good cleaning practices. Simply place a container of dirty rocks and medium size toys beside your water station and show your child how to clean each item. An old toothbrush or rag is great for this activity.
My daughter loves collecting rocks and putting them in her water station to wash. She washes them with her hands and puts to the side. This simple activity will keep her busy long enough for me to tend my flowers.
I am a huge fan of the Step2 brand. They have many different toys to choose from and they hold up to my destructive child!
This is an activity my daughter enjoys. We have a large butterfly garden by our living room window. She is able to watch the birds and other creatures even while she is inside. When I started my butterfly garden I wanted a small path to check plants as needed. Now with my daughter in tow, she enjoys exploring the new textures of the plants in the spring and watching the wildlife in the summertime.
Scavenger hunts are another favorite activity for older toddlers. You can easily create your own in Microsoft Word/Google Doc or download my Free Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt from my Resource Library.
Scavenger hunts can be used to help develop problem solving skills and early learning. Remember to incorporate items that will be easy for your child to find depending on their age. Start with larger items, such as a tree, rock or bird. If your child is still learning to talk, be sure to add items you want your child to learn.
That is the great benefit of scavenger hunts, you can customize it to your child’s development!
I spent many hours drawing and playing with sidewalk chalk when I was little. My mom still includes a pack in my Christmas stocking each year. My daughter inherited her love of coloring and drawing from me.
I will draw different shapes for her to name or point to when asked to find. This is an easy way to entertain your toddler outside on a nice sunny day with an added educational bonus.
For preschoolers, hopscotch is a popular outdoor game. If you have toddlers or preschoolers that are learning the alphabet, you can make a matching and tracing game. A great activity for fine motor skills.
How To Create An Alphabet Matching & Tracing Game
- Make 2 columns.
- The first column, write each letter uppercase.
- The second column, write each letter lowercase.
- Ask your child to match each uppercase letter to the lowercase letter.
- Once your child has correctly matched each letter, let your child use small rocks, pebbles or even a different color of chalk to trace out each letter.
This activity is great for infants and toddlers. In my post Cardboard Activities For Infants and Toddlers, I showed you how to make edible finger paint from yogurt and food coloring. That finger paint recipe is great for indoor and outdoor infants that still put EVERYTHING in their mouths.
Another great painting activity for toddlers is painting with water. Yes, just plain water. All you need is a paint brush or roller, paint tray (can use a cup or bucket in a pinch) and a spray bottle. That’s it!
The spray bottle technique can always be used to create artwork. Add a few drops of food coloring to your spray bottle and let your child paint on canvas or a piece of thick paper.
Have patience with your smaller children, they may enjoy splashing or playing in the water more than painting. Mine sure did. *Palm to forehead*
For older toddlers, you can use washable finger paints. I would test the paints on an area of sidewalk or driveway to see how well they wash off. If you are worried about stains, let your child paint on the grass, large pieces of cardboard or plastic.
Don’t have any paint brushes on hand? That is ok! Select a few items from your yard such as leaves, sticks or pinecones to use as brushes.
If you also need easy outdoor activities for infants , visit my post 12 Cheap Outdoor Activities For Babies.
These are just a few fun and easy activities to help keep your toddler and preschoolers entertained outside during the Spring and Summer. Encourage your child to use their imagination with these outdoor activities and have fun!