This is a guest post from Kate Trout of Maternity Glow
Summer is the perfect season to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with your children.
There are a number of activities you can try to encourage them to stay active, feel fit, and have a totally epic toddlerhood.
In order to have some serious fun in the sun, you must try these six outdoor activities!
1. Abstract Bubble Painting
This activity involves two of toddlers’ most favorite things: bubbles and paint!
All you need to do is unroll a few feet of white paper across your sidewalk or in your driveway. Mix some tempera paint (of the color of your choice) into a cup with some bubble solution.
Have your child dip their wand in the cup, and encourage them to blow the bubbles toward the white paper, allowing them to pop and splatter all over the canvas.
You can even encourage them to add their own “finishing touches” to it, by coating their hands and feet in paint and really “throw” themselves into their art work (just have the hose handy).
When doing this with multiple colors, you truly get one awesome, abstract piece of art (and you’re kids are likely going to beg you to do this at least once a week!)
2. Family Obstacle Course
Some parents spend a fortune on enrollment in local “gym” inspired classes for their toddlers. But, you can set up a pretty cool obstacle course for your child and the rest of your family by using a few things you probably already have in your garage.
Consider turning your yard into an obstacle course for a day. You can stack up items that your toddler has to crawl up and over, tie some rope from tree to tree to encourage them to jump over it, and you an even throw down some hula hoops to jump in and out of (the options are endless!)
Your toddler will love the activity and will burn off some of their energy in no time (just be sure to introduce it to them before nap time).
3. Outdoor Swimming
There aren’t many activities more fun and active than swimming in an outdoor pool! Chances are one of your friends or family members has a pool at their home, or you can visit one in your local community.
What I love about swimming is that it provides a really great workout (for mom) by working so many different muscles, and it encourages toddlers to get out of their comfort zone and embrace new challenges.
Two safety tips to keep in mind: one, always make sure your little one is wearing an infant life jacket (check out my buying guide here to learn more); and two, if you’re going to be swimming in a public pool, make sure your little one is wearing a swim diaper—I prefer reusable ones, but disposable ones will also do the trick—because the last thing you want is any embarrassing messes that shut down the whole pool for everyone!
4. Water Balloon Center
Toddlers love touching balloons, especially ones filled to the brim with water. Near a water source, fill a bucket with water balloons.
Encourage your toddler to have free play with them, or in order to strengthen their athletic abilities and gripping and tossing skills, offer them a target to hit.
You can form a target virtually anywhere by marking an “X” out of painters tape. You can even make “X’s” in different colors, to symbolize different points.
They’ll love trying to toss their balloon to hit their mark and will love it more when the balloon bursts open!
5. Sensory Table Collection
Embark on a daily walk with your toddler. Be sure to have a bag in tow.
When your child sees something that interests them, encourage them to pick it up and place it in their bag. When you have a nice collection going, come home and unleash the items inside a small bin, allowing it to serve as a sensory bin.
Place spoons, measuring cups, a magnifying glass, and even clothespins inside to allow them to better explore and handle their findings using their senses!
6. Puddle Jumping
Don’t let summer showers keep you indoors. Get on out there!
Invest in a great raincoat, toddler sized umbrella, and a pair of boots for your kiddos.
When it rains, dress them up and get them outside (and make sure you’re full dressed too!)
Encourage them to jump from puddle to puddle, splash the leaves on the trees, play a game of “catch me if you can”, and twirl around in the rain.
Their senses will be on an overload, and they won’t be able to stop smiling.
It’s games and fun activities like this that teach kids they can be active no matter what, and that a little water never hurt anything (just have a towel nearby your door so you can wipe them down before walking inside)!
There are a number of outdoor activities you can get your toddler involved in this summer.
They don’t require a lot of time, effort, or money to enjoy.
And, best of all, your toddler is allowed to be creative, get fit, and begin to appreciate the great outdoors!
Image credit: Shutterstock (modified)