Summer Activities for Toddlers

Anyone else looking for some great summer activities for toddlers? Can you guys believe that it’s already mid July? Summer is flying by so quickly! Molly has already had a summer break and is onto the summer program, so I had time to introduce her to some new crafts and projects that we could do around the house. I thought I would share them with you, because our kiddos need a lot of stimulation during these summer months and coming up with the ideas is half the battle! Ha! And the best part is that you probably have some, if not all, of the ingredients already in your home. So I will spend today sharing a few of our new favorite summer activities for toddlers with you, a few for in the house and one adventure!

Homemade Bird Feeders

Oh my gosh. I recently remembered about how to make homemade bird feeders. I remember making them when I was a kid! It is super simple, and likely you have most of the ingredients around the house!



Items You Will Need

  • Smooth Peanut Butter
  • Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Rolls (Cut the paper towel roll in half)
  • Butter Knife – plastic works just as well if your kid wants to do it on their own
  • Bird Seed – if you don’t have bird seed and want to do this today, you could use items from your kitchen like sesame seeds, poppy seeds, unsalted peanuts (make sure they don’t have any other ingredients in them), or flax! You will likely get more birds to come to the feeder if you use a real mix though, since they have special seeds that birds love!

The process is simple! Take one of your toilet paper rolls and help your kiddo spread a layer of peanut butter onto the roll. You don’t want to put too much (no giant globs) but you will want to make sure there’s enough on there so that the seed sticks! Then pour some seeds onto a paper plate and roll the peanut butter covered toilet paper roll until it is covered!


You can choose to tie a string through it to hang it in a tree, or just put it onto a tree branch! I just realized after I did this that another thing you could do would be to put a hole on either side of the toilet paper roll, near one of the ends, and tie string to those so that you can hang it vertically if you choose to! If you put the string through the roll without making holes, it will hang horizontally. Either way works! It is up to you and where you want to hang it!!

 1. BIRD SEED | 2. TOP | 3. JEANS

Practicing Letters in a Tray of Salt!

This is a fun and easy activity to get your kiddos working on their letters, shapes, numbers, name, anything!

All you will need for this activity is a tray with sides and salt! For the tray, there are quite a few options you could use like a cookie sheet that has edges, a wooden box from a puzzle, or a decorative tray from around your house. Just pour some salt on the tray and you’re ready to go!

 1. TOP | 2. MOLLY’S TOP | 3. SALT

So when I first tried this out with Molly (and took these photos), I actually used sugar because I was low on salt. You might be able to tell because it has a tinge of brown to it.  I truly do not recommend this route! The sugar gets sticky pretty fast on their little fingers, and Molly quickly figured out that it was sweet because she licked some of it off. Plus, it’s just asking for trouble with little insects and creatures. USE SALT! Ha!

If you aren’t feeling super adventurous about this and think your kid is the type that would rather throw it in handfuls on the ground -we’ve all been there – I linked a custom wooden tracing board below where you can customize your kiddos name! And just an FYI, my top in the above photos is only $12.


Take a Day Trip (to somewhere with water!)

So even though it’s really hot outside, sometimes we just need to get out. And for those days, I say, take a day trip to somewhere with water!!! For you, that might be an ocean, a lake, a pool, or heck it could even be a pond! Anywhere where the kids can play and learn from nature and that help them to develop their sensory skills!


Our family went on a trip recently, and we took a day trip down to the water so that the kiddos could play. There were kayaks close to the water, and Molly had a blast going in that with Kevin, even right at the shore! It was just fun for her to be in the boat, even though they weren’t out sailing very deep. They both loved playing and splashing in the water, and being on the sand. I don’t blame them! A change of scenery is nice, and playing with water on a hot summer day makes it even better! So when it’s hot, pack up and head to the beach!!! By the way, a post for everything you need to pack in your bag for the beach is coming soon!

Also for the photo above, I HAD to link our outfits above because they were all so affordable. Molly’s top was only $4.50!! YES! Under $5! I showed you my outfit recently on my Affordable Friday post, check it out for all the details – my top is only $12 and my jeans are $24 (make sure to size down in these)! Also, Riley’s outfit is part of a 2-pack that is only $12 as well. I think all of our outfits were purchased for less than $55!!!! For all 3 of us!

Some of my favorite items for play hot summer days!

Okay so I decided that this would be a good time to mention some of the GO TO items in our house on summer days. And some of these have been around our house since Molly was a baby – I am sure you will recognize them all from my Instagram stories! And they definitely makes for great summer activities for toddlers.

First is this water table that the kiddos can play with in your yard. Molly and Riley equally love this thing! It is so perfect for when it’s a hot day and the kids want to play outside. Especially if you don’t have a pool. It has its own umbrella, so it helps keep them cool in the shade. We fill it up with water and they have all sorts of buckets and shovels and balls that they play with in the water. They both end up soaked and completely happy every single time. I know that this will be around our house for a long time!


Another great item is this play basketball hoop! We actually purchased this for Molly about 2 years ago, and ever since, it has received so much love! I would say that it very durable, considering how rough the kids play with it and it is still going strong after two years! It plays songs, and makes fun noises when you throw a ball at the hoop. Molly and Riley both love it, in fact they both were playing with it this morning!


Below I’ve linked a few more fun toys and summer activities for toddlers for hot days, and ones that will last in your home throughout every season!


That’s it! I hope you have a fabulous summer with your kiddos and enjoy some of these summer activities for toddlers! I’d love more ideas that I can do for the rest of the summer, please comment below if you have any suggestions!


30 Thoughts

30 thoughts on “Summer Activities for Toddlers

  1. Ali – these are wonderful ideas and could equally work great for rainy day activities. Thank you for the suggestions!

  2. I bought a water table for my house when my grands were very little and they still love it! I think about 10 of my grandkids have now used it. Such a good worthwhile purchase and yep, they always end up soaked but have so much fun! Another great idea is to help your child plant something. Even a 2 year old or younger can get into this. They can plant a vegetable or an herb and you don’t even need a garden as such. Do a container garden in a big bucket or pretty pot that they chose! Mint is a great one because they can pull the leaves off and eat them, this is a fav activity of my 4 and 6 year old grandsons. Plus mint keeps spiders away, haha. Anyway, then the plant becomes their responsibility….they take over watering, or pulling dead leaves off. A lot of people do the fairy gardens with plants and then little figurines, but really, just a couple plants in pretty containers is much easier and still fun for little ones!

  3. Love the homemade bird feeder idea! It’s not only fun to make, but also fun to watch the birds using it! My son would love this. Our go to since it’s been so hot lately and we don’t have a pool, is letting my son “wash” his trucks and give his dinosaurs a bath outside. He stays cool, and he feels like he’s helping me clean! 😀

    P.s. I love your new website, Ali! Great job!!

    1. This made me smile, because my 4 year old grandson also loves to ‘wash’ his little plastic dinosaurs in a bucket of water. He will go put them in some dry dirt under the trees then bring back to the bucket to clean. He uses an old washcloth to scrub and this activity keeps him busy for quite some time! I’ll have to bring out some of his cars and trucks next time to make a little ‘carwash’ station. This reminds me of when my own daughters liked washing their Barbies. Nothing like water play!

    2. Awww what a sweet idea. I am sure Molly would love to wash some of her little figurines or dolls!

      Thank you so much for your support! xo

  4. Another great idea for travel is using cookie sheets in the car. They can put books, crayons puzzles on them and thy don’t fly off. Or magnets are fun too!

  5. Hey Ali, I don’t see a link for the wooden tracing board that’s customizable – my little guy is 2.5 and I think it’s the perfect time to start with the salt letters and the tracing board. Thanks so much!!

  6. Hi Ali, love your blog. Can’t believe how big your kiddos are getting! They grow up so fast. My son is the same age as Molly so I love getting some “kid tips” from you.

    My only complaint about your new site is the font is hard to read. Not sure what it is but you might want to consider something like Arial or Verdana that’s easier to read. Consider talking to your website developer about it. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for following along Britney!

      I just had them change the font a bit. Is it still hard to read? Let me know!!!

  7. I love your new website and I know you mentioned there were still some kinks to be worked out, but not sure if you know that all the dates of your posts say July 7,2019 and in the very first Paragraph there is a quick links Icon that is covering part of your story that I cant get rid of. Not sure if it is on my end or yours. Love the birdfeeder ideas, I might even do them for myself. thanks Molly.

    1. Huh!!! I’m scratching my head at the dates thing! Thank you for pointing that out!!! The Quick Links should be in the corner of the first photo, is it covering up your text? What type of device are you on! Thank you for the info!!

  8. Love the bird feeders…I have made
    Them with a pine cone and put the peanut butter all over it plus seed. Hangs in a tree. Love you and your family plus your blog

  9. So excited with these ideas that I shared this link to my family group for my nieces/nephews who have toddlers.

    Thanks you for sharing. Your new website is amazing!

    Note: Thanks for fixing the form. 🙂

  10. Concerned about the badana tied on Riley’s neck. What if it gets caught on something, or it flips up and he can’t breathe. Maybe I’m just overly cautious!

  11. Concerned about the bandana tied on Riley’s neck. Or is it a bib? What if it gets caught on something, or it flips up and he can’t breathe. Maybe I’m just overly cautious!

  12. Love your suggestions and your posts in general! You are such a real mom and inspiration to working moms who try to balance being a great employee and raising great kids while being a great friend and an attentive wife! I really love following you!

  13. Thanks for the great ideas Ali! The salt activity is awesome! My son turned 2 at the beginning of July, so it’s fun coming up with new interactive activities to do with him, he loves anything that’s hands on. Have you created “busy boxes” for your kids? I saw a few ideas for them, but have not made one yet – I like that you can make different themed “busy boxes” so they could focus on a specific activity or season.

    We also have the smart shots basketball hoop, and I agree it’s very durable and it’s been one of my son’s favorite toys. Even when I have to circulate out other toys because he goes through phases of interest with them, he always plays with his basketball hoop.

    Thanks Again!

  14. This was a great post and perfect timing.
    We found a nest with two baby birds on our front porch last night.. We made this feeder this morning to hang up for the mommy and daddy birds. It’s was a fun morning project.

  15. Hey Ali! I’m a long time follower, but I rarely comment. I just wanted to tell you that your new website looks lovely. I’m not a Mom (yet!) but you inspire me to become an amazing mom. You love your kids so much and I can tell what a wonderful Mom you are. You seem like SUCH a hustler, hard working, dedicated Mom and wife, I think you should be so incredibly proud. Xox. Oh and I work with children under 3 and their fave activity is painting with water(jars of water with paint brushes) so simple and easy.

  16. The bird feeder idea is adorable – I assume you could do it with sunflower butter too (if the goal is just to have the bird seed stick)? My 3.5 yr old is severely allergic to PB.

  17. Great job, Ali!!! This is wonderful for parents and grandparents. Thank you for some awesome ideas for the summer and fall.

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