Categories: Activities, Tips / How-Tos, Toddlers

12 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers

Ahhh, summer. Finally! With most daycare and camp plans canceled this year, the sunshine brings new opportunities to entertain your toddler outside. Sometimes the most fun outdoor activities for toddlers are the simplest, and they only require a little planning. Here are 12 fun ways to maintain an active outdoor routine with your toddler this summer. 

1. Go camping—in your backyard

If an all-out camping trip isn’t in the cards, set up a tent right in your backyard and sleep under the stars. With the comforts of home right inside, kids (especially younger ones) will feel at ease but will love the novelty of sleeping outdoors.

2. Entertain artistry with sidewalk chalk

toddler outdoor activities

Colorful and easy to clean up, sidewalk chalk can provide hours of creative fun. Give kids a prompt such as “draw a magical forest” or offer ideas for outlines, such as their hands or outdoor toys.

3. Start a mini vegetable garden

A full-bed veggie garden is a big task, but container gardening makes it much less daunting. Try growing tomatoes, zucchini or green beans—or check with your local nursery to see what grows well in your area. Your toddler will love the task of watering their garden and watching what they’ve planted grow.

4. Build a birdhouse

A birdhouse doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Assemble one quickly with popsicle sticks or even twigs. Another fun outdoor activity for toddlers is to set up a birdbath and let them toss in some seeds.

5. Get messy with mud

Give kids a few hours where it’s perfectly OK to touch the mud. Think of it like sand and build castles, using plastic cups for molds. The best part? Everything rinses clean with a garden hose.

6. Pack up a picnic

healthy kids meals

Walk, bike or drive to a nearby park, or simply set up camp in your front or backyard. Bring a blanket, some bubbles and a picnic basket filled with sandwiches, sliced fruits and veggies and other easy-to-eat bites.

7. Paint a pot

Simple terra cotta flowerpots are inexpensive and easy to find. Grab a few and let kids personalize theirs with paint. Then, you can use them to plant seeds!

8. Play in the puddles

After a good rain, pull on some rainboots and go for a walk. Better yet, don a raincoat too and let them play outside while it’s raining and jump in the puddles.

9. Visit a petting zoo

Kids love feeding animals by hand, and a petting zoo is also an opportunity to learn about different animals. If your local petting zoo is staying closed this summer, head to a local pond to watch the ducks.

10. Give them the runaround

Looking for outdoor activities that keep your toddler active? Tag, hide-and-seek and dryland Marco Polo are interactive ways to get toddlers and kids active in the great outdoors.

11. Have a bubble bonanza

Load up on wands of all different shapes and sizes. One no-fail option? Kids love the oversized wands that produce bubbles as big as they are.

12. Relax at the beach

Whether your local beach is open or not this summer,  you can enjoy a beach day! Social distance sunbathe with your toddler on the shore or lay out beach towels and fun water activities in your own backyard. 

Outdoor activities for your toddler don’t need to be stressful or intricate to be fun. Use these ideas as a starting point for a summer full of bonding and sunshine with your little one.

Need some easy, healthy toddler meals to fuel all these activities? Explore Nurture Life’s ready-to-eat Toddler Meals menu.

meals for picky eaters

Katie Headshot

Katie Klepek

As the director of marketing at Nurture Life, Katie gets to combine her passions—family, food and healthy lifestyle choices—with crafting a personalized experience for Nurture Life’s brand. She has over 18 years experience in business, communications, marketing and event planning, having co-founded the successful event production company Reinventing Events. Katie’s diverse background allows her to effectively combine communication and organization skills to develop, plan and deliver results. Born and raised in the Midwest, Katie attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, specializing in English and Communication. When she’s not spreading her cheer (and eating cookies) at Nurture Life, Katie runs marathons and co-hosts a horror movie podcast with her husband. She has a 3-year-old daughter who has grown up on Nurture Life with another girl on the way!

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