Summer is by far our favorite season around here, but it can be tricky with little ones. Especially when one is an infant, another is a toddler, and then you have a 5 year old, and they ALL need to be entertained simultaneously.
- A water balloon fight. I use the term “fight” loosely, since the girls are so little. Mostly, they just love to run around, and pop the balloons on the patio. We invested in one of those hose attachments that fills up 100 balloons in a minute – and it actually works! One minute of mom labor for about thirty minutes of entertained kiddos? I’ll take that trade-off. You can even make clean-up a game, by seeing who can pick up the most popped balloons! I also love this idea, for a reaaaaaally hot day!
- An outdoor scavenger hunt. Since my girls can’t read yet, I have to get creative. We did a Color Hunt the other day, and Peyton was so excited. I gave her a paper bag, and told her to find each color of the rainbow in the yard. It kept her entertained, and also worked on her critical thinking skills! Bonus! If your kids are older, you could write some nature-inspired lists on the bags, and let them go wild (i.e. a green leaf, a stick, a small rock, a pinecone, etc.). Another fun thing to do with their treasures, is to fill a bucket of water, and have your kids guess what will float and what will sink!
- Pool fun. Since it’s an ordeal for our group to go to the neighborhood pool, we’ve been beating the heat in the backyard with our little splash pool. We try to time it when Adaline is asleep, so she isn’t out in the heat forever. We have this pool (you’ll definitely want to invest in an air pump, unless you have bionic lungs), but this one also looks fun!
- Painting! When it cools off in the evening, the girls love to play with watercolor paint on the patio. I rip off a big sheet of roll paper, and let them go nuts painting – and it’s [mostly] mess free!
- An outdoor picnic. I can’t tell you how excited the girls get about eating outside, and their excitement is contagious! We’ve been going out in the afternoon, and laying out a big blanket, and enjoying a little snack outside. Generally, we do little snacks like fruit, smoothies, crackers, or – if I’m feeling like being a cool mom – popsicles!
- Water table. We actually don’t have a water table, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun. I’ve been dragging out a rubbermaid container, and filling it with water, and tossing in a bunch of beach and bath toys. Peyton told me, “this is the best idea you ever thinked of!” I was SO shocked the first day we did it, because they were entertained for HOURS. (Another fun activity: filling the water bucket full of marbles!)
- Feeding the ducks. We don’t live too far from the river, and our neighborhood has a nature trail through the woods. (this doubles as a fun nature hike, too!) We can easily walk to the river with some stale bread, and feed the ducks! Until London starts screaming “DUCK DUCK DUCK” and scares them all away 😉
What are some of your favorite activities to keep your kids entertained all summer long?