When the temperature starts rising above my comfort zone, I’m a stay-inside-and-bask-in-the-AC kind of girl. But now that I have an almost two year-old who gets bored easily and is a bundle of energy, that’s not always an option. Besides, there’s only so many episodes of Blippi or Daniel Tiger I can take!
Here are a few fun ideas for keeping your little one entertained when it’s hot outside:
Fun and Easy Ways to Beat The Heat
Splash Pads/Fountains Check out your local parks, zoos, and botanical gardens! This is a new favorite of my son’s. Just remember to pack swim diapers if you need them, and a change of clothes for your child and yourself! (My son takes a while to warm up to the splash pad and insists I accompany him to the water, which means I get wet too!)
Museums There are so many options here! Art, natural history, and children’s museums are all examples of great ways to both expose your child to something new and let them have fun. Check to see if they offer summer activities.
Here in Atlanta the Fernbank Museum of Natural History features fun exhibits, an outdoor trail and playground, and an indoor exploration area for little kids. We’ve done play dates here and I can see us coming back frequently this summer. The kids love running around and climbing everywhere and us moms get to enjoy a couple minutes of conversation here and there before one of us has to go chase a toddler gone rogue (usually mine).
Planetariums If you have one of these nearby, it’s worth a visit! We just recently went to one this past week and caught a show about the planets in our solar system. It was so fun to see how the kiddos reacted – lots of “wowww” and “moon??” And okay, the geek in me quite enjoyed the show as well!
Sand Tables/Sensory Bins Kids love digging around in the dirt and sand! I haven’t warmed up to the idea of having a sand table yet, but I did get a great idea for a sensory bin from a toddler morning at the local botanical gardens: Fill a large plastic bin with whole coffee beans, rice, or lentils, and then get some cheap sand digging toys from the dollar store, as well as some critters dig up and let your child have at it! You can do this inside or outside.
Ice Excavation This is another activity from the toddler morning that I got the sensory bin idea from. Take a small freezer-safe plastic container, fill with water, and various items like sliced vegetables, fruits, or flowers and freeze. Place in a larger bin, add some plastic bowls filled with water colored with some food coloring, and let the kids squirt the water onto the ice block with plastic pipettes to melt the ice and reveal the objects inside.
Water Table Another fun way to pass some time at home! We recently brought out the water table from its exile in the garage and set it up on our deck in a shady area. I found some bath toys we weren’t using and set up a little stool and chair for our son and he has a blast splashing away and playing with the water. And now that we finally have some deck furniture, I can relax while he’s having fun. Plus we can now have friends over to join in the fun! (PS, if it’s super hot, I let him splash and play in the bathroom sink! He’s just as happy!)
These are obviously suggestions with a younger toddler in mind, but could work for different ages. What are some ways you plan to beat the heat this summer? Drop a comment below, I’d love to see your ideas!