Summer is quickly approaching Texas y’all. It may not “officially” start until mid-June, but May is the month it really begins in Houston and for much of the south. With temperatures quickly approaching the 90’s, we’re entering summer mode now! Since travel is limited these days, and many summer vacations are being cancelled, I thought I’d share some of my current go-to summer activities at home or near home!
Last summer, Brody was still young enough to just go along for the ride, but I was constantly trying to keep Chloe busy. Now we’re in the throws of toddlerdom for Brody and Chloe is becoming a more independent little girl. Between the two of them, I’m always trying to figure out fun things to do together. These are some of the at home best summer activities for kids 2-6, and really even older kids would love most of them too!
Our Favorite At Home Summer Activities
Any and all water activities
You can never go wrong with any sort of water activity during the summer. Stock up now, so that you’re super prepared when a warm day hits! We’re constantly stocked at our house, so here are a few of our favorites!
1. Blow Up Splash Pad
This splash pad was gifted to us by a sweet neighbor when we moved into our new home a few years ago! Chloe absolutely loved it. This is great for younger toddlers and even babies who can sit because it’s only a few inches of water. There are tons of great options out there that you can find on Amazon or even Walmart! We gave this splash to my nephew to use this summer because we’ve upgraded to a little pool…
2. Blow Up Pool
If your kids are a bit older, you can opt for a blow-up pool for a little more water! We’re obsessed with our Intex Dinosaur Pool that you can get right now from Kohl’s for just $40 which is a steal for how big it is! Both kids love it at almost 5 and 2 years old, and this is our second summer using it.
Here are a few other fun options if you’re in the market for a new blow up pool this summer!
Sprinklers are so much fun and a great way for the kids to run around. I’m pretty sure sprinklers are great for all ages because, I would totally run through one on a warm day!
There are so many different routes you can go with sprinklers!
- If you have a sprinkler system for your yard, just turn it on and let the kids go crazy!
- Set out the hose with a handheld or manual grass sprinkler for the kids to run and jump over.
- Find an inexpensive sprinkler for the kids! There are some fun options now at Target. Something basic to run and jump over or you can find some extravagant ones like a cactus, rainbow, or unicorn!
4. Water Balloons
Grab some next time you head to the store! These self-sealing water balloons are the BEST! 140 balloons are only $15. Grab them at Walmart, Target or order them online for a fun surprise for the kids! It may get a little messy, but it’s worth it. You can make picking up the balloon pieces a game!
These may be geared towards a slightly older toddler/preschooler. My 4 year old thinks they’re great. It’s even more fun if you can get the neighborhood kids to play too!
5. Squirt Guns
Need I say more? Have a water gun fight in your yard! It’s so fun to run around and burn their energy. If they really get into the water gun fight, it might mean they’ll take a good nap later!
6. BONUS – Summer Snacks!
The best part about being outdoors and playing in water is that it’s the BEST time to eat those tasty, and sometimes messy, summer snacks! Here are the best options that we always enjoy:
- Popsicles – get some from the store or make your own!
- Smoothies – check out these awesome recipes!
- Grapes – try freezing them too!
- Frozen yogurt drops
- Chocolate covered frozen banana slices
- Veggie sticks and dip
- Fruit and cheese kabobs
Related Post: 10 Healthy Eating Tips for Summer
Indoor Playroom Tents
7. Playroom Tents
This is another awesome gift Chloe received from one of her friends a few years back! We set it up in the game room with her table and chairs. It currently serves as a place for her to arts and crafts or play with playdoh.
The best part about this tent is that it has grown with her. She used to have tea parties and play with her baby dolls like you see above, and now it may be her art studio, house, school or grocery store on any given day! Even Brody loves going into the tent now to sit and play with his trucks.
There are tons of different types of tents you can get for your little ones. We also have the Teepee above! It currently lives in Brody’s room and we love to snuggle up in there to read together.
If you don’t have a sort of indoor play structure, you can always build one! Build a fort for you little one to play pretend in, you won’t regret it.
8. Head out to your local park
Okay, this isn’t exactly an “at home” activity. But as far as I’m concerned, it is! I tell my kids that we’re going to the park and their faces light up! We’re lucky enough to have a park just a half mile away, so we can load up the jogging stroller and walk over.
Even though we have a swing set in our backyard now, walking to the park is an adventure that the kids still look forward to. They could swing and play for hours!
During the summer, it gets HOT at the park. We try to go in the morning because it’s too hot the rest of the day. I also pack our swim gear in the stroller just in case. If we start to get overheated, we can just head to the pool to cool off! I’m really hoping we’ll be able to go to our neighborhood pool this summer. If now, we’ll be packing extra water, spray fans and whatever we can to enjoy a morning at the park.
Related Post: Our Summer Bucket List
9. Magic Painting
Usborne to the summer rescue! I ordered the Magic Painting Book for Chloe when she was a bitty toddler, as you can see above. Since these painting books have color in the pages, all you need is water to paint! It’s perfect for kids of all ages and even adults! I ended up ordering one for myself too. Now we have at least 5 of these for all of us to do together!
Since every day isn’t a good day to be outside, it’s nice have some great indoor back up activities. We also love the Crayola Color Wonder books and the Magic Ink activity books.
10. Water Colors
When your toddler gets a little older, give water colors a try! It’s a little more fun and challenges them to use different colors.
11. Chalk Paint
Did you know that you can make your own chalk paint to use outside at home? In fact, you most likely have the ingredients needed at home right now! It’s super simple.
Mix together the cornstarch and water in equal parts then add desired amount of food coloring. Then grab some paint brushes and paint your driveway, porch or fence!
Related Post: 28 Indoor & Outdoor Screen Free Activities
Plant a Garden
12. Plant something at home with your littles
You may not be ready for a full-fledged garden, but even planting some flowers in a pot can be fun for your toddler. The picture above was taken at my parent’s house a couple of years ago, but planting our flower beds is on our to do list soon. I know that my kids will get wet anytime there is water around, so I put them in a swimsuit and lathered them up with sunscreen!
You can let your toddler help with shoveling and spreading soil, digging a hole for the plant, and watering your pretty flowers! I found a little Melissa and Doug gardening kit at Home Goods, but it’s on Amazon too. She loved helping and getting her little hands dirty!
There are so many ways to keep your toddler entertained at home this summer!
If you have a little homebody like me, or if you just need a couple days at home if your toddler, here are some great at home summer activities for you and your little one! The best thing about these ideas is that you can tailor them to fit what you have at home. Don’t think that you need to go out and spend a lot of money to make sure your toddler is having fun. For the most part, they just want to play with you! The more you can engage with them, them more fun they’ll have and the longer they’ll want to play.
Happy early summer y’all! Stay safe, cool and have fun. I know we will!
What are your favorite summer activities at home?
Anything you think I really need to add to this list?
I’d love to update to include your suggestions. Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail! I’ll even link back to your blog if you have one!
Yes yes yes to all of these! We had our first super warm day yesterday so of course that meant water play! I love the blow up pool and mini splash pad ideas! Now, how did you go about blowing up that giant thing? Is there a special device to help so we aren’t doing this manually?
Yay! We actually used a bicycle tire pump to blow ours up! You can also use an air mattress pump if you have one!
Everything looks so fun! Thanks for the recommendations!
ummm…Chalk paint! yes please. We go through chalk like crazy at our house. I had no idea that I could make it at home! That is awesome 🙂
We love chalk too! This is a super easy way to make it and since it’s liquid, you can even grab some paint brushes to make it more fun!
We had a plastic craft table that I would move from one shady area to another so that they were outside, but still in the shade. African sun was really hot on their delicate skin.
I believe that! We definitely need some shade here as well. The sun is intense in southeast Texas and the humidity makes the heat even worse. Thank goodness for shade and water activities!
That rainbow sprinkler is everything!
Isn’t it so fun?! I love all the creative sprinklers these days!
Great ideas! My little ones love any outdoor activities that involve water!
Mine too! Bring on all the water activities!
Fun and lovely blog post. Reminds me of when my kids were younger. My daughter once organized a meeting with very important stakeholders (Barbie dolls) in her Indoor Playroom Tents, and I was given the job of the event manager and also the minute taker. Fun memories.
Oh my goodness that is the sweetest! It’s so fun to watch their imaginations at work!
I enjoyed your post, I recently purchased chalks for my little ones. On the pavement, they drew rainbows and a lovely message for the keyworkers. They had such fun!
That is so sweet! Chalk play outside is the best. My kids love it so much!
Those waterballoons are amazing!! We love anything with water! Cant wait to get the garden planted to.o
Aren’t they so cool? Filling up balloons individually is a pain, but I could totally get these to play with!
We love water activities! Another favorite here is meals on the fire!
Such a great idea! Totally adding that to our list!
90’s already? Wow! Up in Minnesota we just hit the 70’s last weekend, lol. I love all of your suggestions, and appreciate the recommendation on the water balloons, the kids would LOVE them!
Even the adult ones will love this activity lol, These are such fun activities
Agreed! I love playing outside with my kids on nice days!
These are great ideas for summer activities! My girls are already doing water balloon fights and sidewalk chalk. We are planning to make our own too! Thanks for sharing these fun ideas.
Yes! We’re all about getting outside every day that we can!
Plant a garden is something that I am trying now. This will also teach them how to protect our environment. Great list .
That’s so true!
OMG those sprinklers are so cute!! I have to get one of those.
Right? They’re really fun! My daughter loves the rainbow!
these are great and look so fun. i wll have to save this for this summer with the kids they would absolutely love it.
Our goal this year is to plant a garden!! We have been putting it off for some time but the kids love being outside and this just provides another fun activity. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!
We put ours off too! My mom always plants flowers with our daughter and I want to be better about it this year!
Such great picks. We’re definitely thinking about getting a splash pad and a pool. There is no guarantee that our neighborhood pool will be open, so we’ll need one for our yard. Both of our boys are in love with water.
Same with my two little ones! The splash pad and pool for our yard have been lifesavers since it’s already hot here and we’re also not sure about our community pool!