My picks for summer must-haves for toddlers.
The weather is changing, the outdoors is calling, it’s almost summertime! Let’s get those toddlers outside and playing with some fun toys, activity must-haves to make this a truly great summer. I’ve compiled a list of my 14 summer must-haves – the favorites of favorites at our house.
Not only does this list include toys but it also includes some open ended activity supplies that I love having on hand to make our summer memorable. It’s not every season that you can play outside in a pool of Jello, so you better be prepared, right?
The Busy Toddler summer must-haves and absolute favorites list.
In no particular order, here is my list of favorites for the summer.
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Sprinkler Pad: We are obsessed with our sprinkler pad. It’s like a kiddie pool for the lazy mom. The hose water fills it up and water sprays out and it is just so much fun. In my busy life, this is so much easier than trying to blow up and fill a pool.
Lawn mower: This lawn mower from Little Tikes must be magical because every kid who comes over is obsessed with it. We’re talking ages 15 months to 8 years old. I’m not kidding. This one is a gem and a total hit!
Giant Bubble Mix: Don’t get caught without bubbles! Make sure you have an economy size container on hand to keep those toddlers happy and popping.
Toddler Wheelbarrow: This is new to our house for the summer and we are already loving it so much. It’s completely functional and feels like a “real” wheelbarrow. The kids are having a blast filling and dumping.
Water Beads: These little guys are so much fun to play with in the summer. I typically make a batch on Mondays and we keep them alive all week long outside. The kids go crazy for them (but do note they are NOT edible, so know your toddler audience when playing with them). Need some play ideas with water beads? Try frozen water beads or 4 simple water bead activities.
Baby Wash: In the summer, I buy an extra container of baby wash for outside play. Water table losing interest? Add bubbles! Need a fun gimmick in the kiddie pool? Add bubbles! Need a quick outdoor activity? Make bubble foam. Having an extra container saves me trip after trip to the bathtub each day.
Watering Can: We love having a toddler watering can so much that we have three! Watering flowers is a perfect quick activity and a chance to practice a life skill.
Sand Table: This particular sand table is my personal favorite. I’d be lost without it. It’s the perfect height, has a cover, and is just the right size for tots. Sometimes I fill it with bubble foam, sometimes sand, and sometimes dirt (yup – we make a dirt box in it!). It is so functional!
Spray Bottle: Probably my toddler’s favorite summer “toy” is a simple spray bottle. He sprays everything. It keeps him focused and occupied and is great for fine motor skills. I’m constantly refilling it.
Bucket and Shovel: Mom confession: I actually keep an extra bucket and shovel in the car with us all summer long just.in.case. You never know. And you can never have too many! Especially when toddler friends are over…
Magnifying Glass: Nothing says toddler summer like a curious scientist with a magnifying glass! Take your toddler outside to find all the bugs and wonders of nature. It’s a magical experience for them!
Jell-o: Yup, you are seeing this right. Jell-o is a must-have item for us in the summer. Like I said before, you never know when it might be a “Jell-o Party” type day and you better have some on hand. Nothing says summer like a kiddie pool full of Jell-o.
Ice Cube Trays: I might have an ice cube maker, but I love having good old fashioned trays to make colored ice and other fun frozen activities in the summer. I get more use out of these than you would ever imagine!
Popsicle Molds: These popsicle molds are our favorites! The loop on the end makes them so easy to hold. Perfect for left over smoothies and juice and hot summer days.