An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Outside Summer Activities For Toddlers

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Outside Summer Activities For Toddlers

Summer break is on it's way! Here are some fun activities to do with your toddler in the hot summer months

This happens to me every year. Every single year! Spring break rolls around and then all I do is blink, and we have a mere few weeks of school left before summer break. It's almost like once we hit spring break (ours is always in March) I can just kiss the rest of the school year goodbye. I looked at my planner this morning as I prepared to write this post, and low and behold! May has started and we have about three weeks left of school. Good news is, there's time for me to do some planning and purchasing to prepare for summer break! The bad news is... Well, summer break, reduced time to work and nearly zero personal time. That's ok, because some of these outside summer activities I do with my toddlers are actually, really, truly fun. *affiliate links used*

I'm a hot weather lover. Summer has always been my favorite season, even after moving to Texas where our summers don't mess around. Henry is off to kindergarten this fall, so this summer is my last chance for leisurely mornings before I have to have four kids out the door and in the carpool line by 7:30am. I'm not a morning person. This next school year might indeed kill me! At the very least, it will be a steep learning curve, juggling four kids and two different school drop offs and pick ups at four different times. Don't worry, I've already updated my resume with "professional manager" and "legit chauffeur" under my work experience and "multitasking and prioritization extraordinaire" under my skill set.

Water gun pool toy shenanigans 

Back to outside summer activities for toddlers! I'm going to break out in hives if I start to think about my fall schedule already. If you follow me on Instagram, you're well aware that we basically live outside. Everyday, year round, we spend at least an hour outdoors. In the summer, we spend nearly all our time outside. Yes, it's 105 before 9am here from June through September. That doesn't stop us! That just means we have to get extra creative in how we spend our summer months. And by creative, I mean usually water has to be involved. Turns out, toddlers (and babies) love water - at least, mine do - maybe because they don't have a choice? - and so the bulk of these are water activities, or activities that can be done in or around water.

First things first, our favorite summer activity! One that my older boys ask to do even in the colder months here. I'd say about half the homes in Dallas have in-ground pools; we did not buy one of them (intentionally - too risky with young children!) So we buy a blow up pool every year. This is the one we bought last year and this is the one we got for this year (both under $30, you can't lose!) We blow it up, fill it up and use it for two days before we dump it and clean out the pool. We probably use it four of the seven days of the week, so two fills in a week. I'd love to leave it up for longer, but in the South it attracts killer mosquitoes and other critters, and I just can't have that! Not to mention, two babies sit in there naked. The big boys are potty trained, but the babies likely pee in it... And the water isn't treated so - to keep things sanitary(ish), we dump it after two days of swims. But we water our garden with the used water and filling it with the hose is easy! I like how I can control the water level. I keep it low if the babies will be joining their big brothers in the pool, or fill 'er up if the babies are staying inside.

Cloth swim diapers are the way to go! Look at little baby Otto. Shaaaapppp it!

We get these swim diapers for the babies, btw. Much more cost effective than disposables, and since we're outside in the pool so much, I don't want all those plastic swim diapers in landfills for 200 years. Washable and frankly, softer and easier to use. I highly recommend getting a cloth swim diaper!

If you're getting a blow up pool, get a few water toys to throw in there. We like these for shooting water into the yardhave these and the boys love racing these.

Examining and bartering cool pool toys

Next favorite outside summer activity: this cool sprinkler to run through. This is great because if the babies are napping and I don't want to take the time to set up the full pool, we can strip down and get this going in under 3 minutes. I don't have to be outside with them the whole time like I do when the pool is out. Kids can drown in a few inches of water but the worst that will happen here is they'll slip and fall in the wet grass and get an owie. So this is a great, lower-key alternative to the pool!

Some of our favorite non-water activities? Balance bikes! This is the exact one the boys have and it's been great. The older boys race them in our courtyard. Both could ride a pedal bike without training wheels by 3 years old. Now when we go to our neighborhood park, Henry and Otto ride their bikes and I push the double stroller with the twins. Balance bikes are great for toddlers! Beyond the pool, it's their favorite outdoor toy and probably their favorite year-round toy, hands down.

Perfect balance on the balance bike - seriously, these things are the best!

Ahhh, bubbles. Do they ever get old? They're such a favorite around here that I have to regulate them. We buy them in bulk and then they get a container for a few days (or just one, if it get's spilled, which it normally does.) The coolest thing about bubbles is that my older two can entertain my younger two. And if I'm being honest, I'm entertained by bubbles still too!

Most of the time, we're hanging out in our backyard because it's totally enclosed with an 8ft privacy fence. But every now and again we need a change of scenery in those long, summer break months. For that, we transition to the front yard and bring out some sidewalk chalk. The sidewalk is a smooth concrete surface unlike our agate stone courtyard, so it's much more conducive to chalk art. This stuff gets everywhere though, so plan on an immediate outfit change and/or a bath afterwards unless you want it all over your floors and walls!

Activities to do outside when your young children are on summer break
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Those are our top activities to do during summer break. We do other things too, like go to story time at a local library and hit up splash pads. Our community center built a new pool that's opening soon with shallow areas for babies and toddlers. I *think* I'm brave enough to go with all four kids... Maybe. But when we're chilling at home, all these outside summer activities are a blast and bonus: super cost effective too.


  1. Aww these are such fun activities to do as a family together!

  2. Bubbles and sidewalk chalk are two of my twin toddlers' favorite things to do outside!

  3. These are such great family memories and I want this cool pool now. Its already so hot here in GA

  4. We have a toddler as well and am so glad warm weather is back! My kid gets so stir crazy when we are trapped in the house all day!

  5. What my childhood like is really. Hopefully they'll grow not much dependent on the internet like us lol

  6. Oh, I love these! We always do some sidewalk chalk with my toddler. He keeps me on my toes and I'm always searching for ways to keep him busy. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Thank you for helping people get the information they need. Great stuff as usual. Keep up the great work!!! toddler

  8. Swimming pool toys are available in various forms. Pool ball is simple, cheap and yet favorite toy of all for many people. water toys for kids

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