At-Home Summer Activities for Toddlers

Remember how I said we had a few camps this summer? I take all of that back. We have no camps. We recently decided to have Eloise do one more year at her preschool so she no longer qualifies for our 5-week town rec camp, and I'm pulling the girls from the nature camp and vacation Bible school since Mimi is only newly potty trained and truthfully, I don't feel like all the schlepping with a baby. Everyone seems content at home, so home they will stay.

It's all kind of a relief, but the days can also be very long if I don't give them some structure. Yes, we are all about keeping it simple, but sometimes you need an activity! This week it's so unbearably hot that we mostly can't leave the house, not that we would anyway because I decided it would be a good week to tackle potty training Mimi.

I figured it's a good investment to stock our craft and activity drawers, which I'm sure still ends up being a fraction of the cost of having even just one child attend a couple of camps. (I've been thinking about that long-term, too--with three kids, maybe we should always keep them home in the summer instead of go to camps and just use that money toward a family vacation?)

Here are the activities we've been reaching for during these summer days at home.

Wikki stix and pipe cleaners

sooper beads-- these bought me a whole day this week!

perler beads (I got the big ones for toddlers) (don't forget the trays and cards like I did)

for a kitchen activity: make jello jigglers and popsicles (blueberry frozen yogurt pops / coconut water and berry popsicles)

puzzles (love Melissa and Doug for one, two, three, and four-year olds)

stickers (I like the Melissa and Doug sticker books but also these ugly junky stickers have been the biggest hit and they're easier for little ones to peel off themselves--just be prepared to find them alllll over your house for eternity)


have a lemonade stand-- we haven't tried this yet but the girls have been expressing interest so we might do a really low-key one and make one small pitcher of lemonade and set up in front of our house around 4/5pm when everyone's coming home from work and hope that 5 neighbors are around to buy a cup. I plan to use this recipe)

and I've already mentioned that our Magnatiles and Boogie Boards are getting lots of use, as well as our art caddy

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