Backyard Play Day: Baby & Toddler Edition

Backyard Play Day: Baby & Toddler Edition

August 27, 2020

The summer season allows for lots of opportunities to spend time playing outdoors! For babies and toddlers, there is a whole lot of learning that happens through natural play, so what better way to foster that play than by heading out into nature?! From water activities to scavenger hunts, the possibilities are endless! Looking for some ways to enjoy the outdoors with your little ones this summer?! Check out our list below for options that are sure to keep them playing and engaged. All of these activities can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own backyard to help encourage safe outdoor fun in the sun!

Toddler Exploring with Butterfly Nets

  1. Explore with Butterfly Nets - This is a simple, versatile and open ended way to keep little ones busy. Bring butterfly nets along on a walk through the neighborhood or just take them right into your own backyard. They can be used to catch butterflies, to collect leaves or scoop up water toys out of a baby pool! Speaking of a baby pool...that leads us right on into idea number two!
  2. Water Play - Fill up a baby pool with some hose water and add in some water toys. Babies can enjoy dipping their feet in the water and grasping the floating objects. Older toddlers can sit in the water while they explore or just use their butterfly nets from the outside of the pool to scoop up various water toys and drop new ones in. Add in some plastic cups and they can practice scooping and pouring water, too!
  3. Painting with Water - This is a mess free but fully engaging activity that allows toddlers to get creative! Fill up a small pail with some water and add in a paintbrush or two. Encourage your toddler to paint with the water on the sides of the house, along the fence line, on the sidewalk. You can even use the paintbrush to spell out their names on the concrete or paint their little feet and have them create their very own water footprints! You can extend the learning by adding a drop of food coloring to the water and have them observe the way it changes the water's color!
  4. Enjoy a Treat & Story Outside - Grab a blanket, a cold treat and head to a shady spot in the yard! Enjoy a healthy, frozen treat together while reading a story! Try to identify items outdoors that are shown on the pages of the book. From flowers and trees to people and pets, both babies and toddlers enjoy making connections to their surroundings and looking at books outside is a great way to help them make those connections!
  5. Sensory Play - If you are looking for a fun way to expose your toddler to a new sensory experience, fill an empty water table up with some sand, add in some toy shovels and a few buried toys, and let them explore! Allow them to alternate using their hands and shovels to dig and find the toys. Babies can enjoy this activity too by simply filling a small tray or baking sheet with a sprinkle of sand and letting them move their hands around to feel the texture.

Toddler Water Play

Time spent together outdoors allows for so many natural learning experiences and a little fresh air does wonders for little ones and adults alike! Whether you choose to enjoy these activities in the comfort of your own yard or at a local park, we hope they help to spark some new and exciting experiences for you and your little ones this summer!



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