If there’s one thing I’ve learned about toddlers since my little guy became one, it’s that they have no “off” button. They are go, go, go 24/7 and no amount of asking them to slow down will get them to. With summer just around the bend, it’s time to start thinking of ways to keep our little Energizer bunnies entertained while we attempt to maintain our sanity (without alcohol) over the hot summer months. If you’ve got a
terrible two or three-year old who keeps you on your toes, keep these 9 summer must-haves within reach.
1. “Fun in the Sun” Toys
If your summer plans include splashing in the ocean or making sandcastles, your toddler is going to need some “fun in the sun” toys to play with. Think of beach buckets, shovels, and little toy cars to race. They’ll stay busy for a good while, and then they’ll want to bury you in the sand. Be prepared to get some sand in those “hard to reach places.”
2. A Stylish Sun Hat
Protect your children from the sun while also making a fashion statement by putting a stylish sun hat on them. Kids love dressing up, and a hat is an article of clothing that they can easily put on and take off by themselves. Encourage their big kid capabilities by letting them choose one that they like, and remind them to wear it whenever the sun is shining their direction.
3. Comfy Summer Kicks
It’s crazy how fast our children grow. And with this constant growth comes the constant need for new clothes. If your toddler has outgrown their current pair of summer sandals, it’s probably time to get them a new pair. If they lose their shoes as often as most kids, you might want to get them two!
4. Bubbles for Blowing
There is something about bubbles that fascinates kids. Well, my kids are fascinated. They looooove trying to catch, pop and poke the bubbles that we blow from our little bubble machine. When it’s a hot summer day and your kid needs to burn some energy, let them chase bubbles around. You don’t have to splurge on a bubble machine. Little bottles of bubbles only cost a couple of bucks.
5. Frozen Treats
My little guy requests ice cream or popsicles as a snack on a daily basis. It isn’t even summer yet, and he’s already craving the frozen treats that have become summer staples in our freezer. Growing toddlers need lots of snacks, and one that keeps them cool in the summer will cut down on that A/C bill, am I right? Go with fruit flavored pops or fro yo for a healthier option.
6. Gardening Gadgets
Being the curious creatures that they are, toddlers can often be found exploring nature. And if you’ve got a green thumb, they’ve probably asked to help you in the garden. Make them feel like they belong with their own special gardening tools- a watering can, gloves, or a toddler sized tool set.
7. Books for Reading
I grew up in Arizona, where a “nice” day was anything under 90 degrees. On days when it was way too hot for even Arizonans to go outside, reading a good book indoors was our activity of choice. If your toddler loves reading books, stock up on some summer reads. Look for ones that focus on summer, with stories about water, the outdoors or healthy living.
8. A Cool Pair of Shades
Toddlerhood is a time of self discovery, and that includes figuring out one’s personal style. What better way for your little one to do that than with a fun pair of sunglasses? You’ll not only encourage your wee one to express themselves, but you’ll protect their eyes from harmful UV rays.
9. Sidewalk Chalk
Until they’re able to color inside the lines of a coloring book, sidewalk chalk is a great way to let toddlers scribble their artwork without abandon. And since it gets washed away easily, they can create multiple drawings over and over again. Set up a game of hopscotch on your driveway and use it as an opportunity to work on counting.