6 Summer Activities For Toddlers (That Don’t Involve Eating Crayons)

454962713For reasons still not well understood by modern science, crayons are considered a delicacy by much of the preschool set. Fortunately, the advent of summer means pleasant weather and sunny skies that let us move play time into the great outdoors, far from beleaguered crayons and shredded coloring pages.

1. Sidewalk chalk.

Little ones love bright colors, creative outlets, and the horrifying texture of chalk dust in their teeth. If the chalk disappears too fast, you can continue to color by rolling your chalk dust-covered child back and forth on the pavement.

2. Collecting leaves.

Leaf collections are a fun and easy way to learn about nature while learning about shapes and colors. You can even help the baby trace the outline of the leaves onto a page for a special leaf book, at least if you’re fast enough to do so before she crams those leaves into her face-hole.

Crap. What does poison ivy look like again?

3. Gardening.

A little flowerpot and a few carrot or pepper seeds can be a great way to teach about responsibility, and about where our food comes from. It is also a good way for you to learn how fast you can dial poison control after you catch your kid with a double fistful of Miracle-Gro smeared around her mouth.

4. Blowing bubbles.

For unknown reasons, bubble wands seem to tap directly into to the “OMG YES OMG OMG” centers of toddlers’ brains. You can make good use of this primal delight at least until either the bubble solution runs dry or the baby starts sucking it directly off the wand. Mmm! Soapariffic!

5. Taking the dog for a walk.

Exercise for you, your child, and Fido? Sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it? Just be very, very careful about where you put down that plastic baggie once it’s been used to clean up after Fido’s thank-you present.

6. Watching Disney movie reruns on Netflix.

Okay, the great outdoors has had its chance not to get crammed into your toddler’s gaping maw, and it fell down on the job. So settle in with some good old Mulan 2 — because what is he going to do? Eat the television or the DVR? Good luck, kid … Hey! Put down that HDMI cable right this minute!

(Image: ostrinka / iStock / Getty)

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