Ways to engage your tot this summer

It’s funny, in the winter my days are filled with story times, crafts, and educational activities. Then summer hits and its like all my creative juices melt away in the summer sun. Throughout the late spring and start of summer, I embraced days that were filled with hikes, swimming, and playdates with friends. But as the temperatures have heated up in the afternoons, often driving us inside, it hit me that I miss sitting down with my son to do an activity together. He will only be little for so long, and this time is more than fine motor skills and lessons in colors and counting, its time shared away from the distractions of the outside world.

I recently found a great website that has numerous activities you can do with kiddos of all ages. Here are a few activities from education.com that I love.

  1. In The Toothpaste Experiment, kids learn about how sweet treats can stain our teeth by soaking a hard boiled egg in soda. I love this experiment because it shows kids exactly why we need to brush our teeth. The second part of this experiment really drives this point home because kiddos will actually see the stains coming off of the egg when they brush it with a toothbrush. I think this is a great way to show this lesson and can’t wait to try it with my little guy!brush-up-a-toothpaste-experiment-slideshowmainimage
  2. Post Office Pretend Play is all about using the things you have in your home to create a pretend post office. My son has spent so much time at children’s museums just sorting the mail. I could see him having a fantastic time creating a mail center and sending letters to everyone in the family. Plus, what child doesn’t want to receive a letter from mommy reminding him to clean up his toys?
  3. Play the Rainbow teaches skills like color identification and mixing as well as sound. I could see my guy really getting into this because he loves banging his spoon on his dinner tray, bowl, and anything else that will drown out mommy and daddy’s conversation.play-rainbow-preschool-slide
  4. I think we need to try egg carton goggles, but mostly because I want to see my son wearing these! They are too cute.
  5. I love the idea of creating a paper plate wind spinner! This idea is so simple, yet would add a lot of beauty and conversation to our back porch.
  6. And finally, the make your own Pull-Along Canister Train! I love this idea for so many reasons. For one, the sound of the tin can on pavement could add a great element of noise. You could also add small rocks or treasures inside the tin can for the train to pull along. How about hooking several tin canisters together to create a longer train? This is such a great activity to perk their creativity and get kids looking at the things in the recycling bin a little differently.file_629246

So on the next hot, muggy day when water play has lost its appeal, I will try one of these activities and spend some time connecting with my toddler.

Please let me know if you have a unique activity that you love to do with your toddler. I would love to hear your ideas!

Also see: Quick and Easy Activities for Your Tot


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