Summer is such an exciting time. It is so fun to get out and about with our little ones! Fun at the beach, the zoo, the splash park and more are all on our lists of summer activities to do! Unfortunately, the summer heat can be pretty intense (depending on where you live), and being outdoors for any length of time with a baby or a toddler can be quite a challenge. Children that young simply don’t have a concept of if they are overheated. They aren’t able to communicate in effective ways with regards to tricky heat exhaustion symptoms such as their pulses racing or being dizzy. They may be too distracted (having so much fun) to drink enough water, or stay in the shade. So, when it is 100 plus degrees outside, we like to play it safe and go out in the early morning to beat the hottest part of the day. Then we focus our energy on fun indoor play ideas to beat the heat and still have fun!
- Water play
Who says water play has to only be outdoors!? We love filling up our tub with room temperature water for play time! We break out all of the water toys and buckets, and have some fun! Most babies and toddlers love the water. This is a safe and cool way to have some fun with water indoors. Our daughter has loved having bath play time since she was able to sit up, and still loves it at 21 months of age!
– Separate this from bath time and make a distinction for your little one. We liked bath time to be relaxing (before bed) and focused so we could keep the process efficient and safe. We actually never use bath toys and just let her splash a bit and experiment with the water itself. Play time in the tub is different, however, and our daughter knows the distinction. She gets toys to play with and gets to spend a lot of time. We still don’t allow standing just as a precaution.
– Seal water toys with a hot glue gun so they don’t get mold on the inside and they’ll keep clean!
Painting is such a great activity for babies and toddlers. It allows them to be creative and artistic, and experiment with, and learn about colors! This is another activity that is great for babies all the way up to….well, grandparents! Edible baby paint- Make some edible paint for your little one. All you need is some yogurt (we recommend getting the big tub of Stonyfield Organic Plain yogurt), and some organic food coloring. Separate the yogurt into small containers and mix with a few drops of food coloring. Your little one will be able to paint, and you won’t have to worry if she decides to put the paint in her mouth (as all babies do)!
- Sensory bins
Sensory bins are a great way to engage your child with new textures and objects! Try to find items in and around your home, that you already have, to use in these bins!
– Cooked pasta in a bin (they will have a blast feeling and eating it)
– Heavy and light objects (try including different weights of blocks or balls)
– Smooth and textured objects
– Hard and soft objects
– Large and small objects
– Nature bin (sticks, flowers, leaves, rocks, etc.)
For the older tots, have them try to identify different classifications, try to say the new words they are learning, and even sort the objects into categories.
Stay cool, have fun, and keep those babies and toddlers learning and engaged! Don’t forget to use these ideas when you are stuck inside due to snow and ice as well!