15 Easy and Inexpensive Summer Activities for Toddlers

Summer days are loooooooong, especially with a toddler. We usually figure out a way to pass the time in the morning, but sometime between dinner and bedtime I’ve noticed myself saying, “Whaaaaat do we do now?” a lot. If you don’t have a pool, tons of money, or the will and drive to create elaborate crafts, then I have the PERFECT list for you! Seriously. I was super picky when finding these ideas and I’ve tried a few of them too. They are all easy, super fun for a toddler, and most importantly: inexpensive.

So here you go: 15 Easy and Inexpensive Summer Activities for Toddlers

  • 15 Easy and Inexpensive Summer Activities for Toddlers 1 of 16
  • Ice Painting 2 of 16

    I love an idea that doesn't require me to go to the store! I know my lil lady will love painting with ice to help her cool down and pass a hot afternoon. 

    See how on Playing House In Maryland

  • Iceberg Animals 3 of 16

    We have so many random little toys that I can see working perfectly for this activity! I've seen people freeze things in a large bucket, but I like how these little ice cubes will melt faster and don't require a blunt object to excavate the treasures. It is better for my 2-year-old. 

    See how on Sweet Happy Life

  • Tin Foil River 4 of 16

    Again, no special trip to the store necessary! I think it would be fun to float little bottle-cap boats and rubber ducks down the river.

    See how on Little Panda Play School 

  • Giant Squishy Water Bag 5 of 16

    I cannot WAIT to try this one! I am going to be the most popular mom on the block. This awesome squishy bag is made by using plastic sheeting and duct tape. Genius. 

    See how on Go Kid Yourself


  • Ping Pong Ball Water Table 6 of 16

    Ok this is my idea, but it was seriously a fluke that I thought of it! Haha, I wanted the kids to toss the balls in the cup, but the toddlers loved just moving the ping pong balls around and dumping out the water more than anything. It was so simple and fun, and kept them entertained for 45 minutes. 

    See how on Here's the Thing

  • Pool Noodle Race Track 7 of 16

    I love this idea and I know the kids will love it too. After they are sick of the race track you can cut it up the halves into two inch slices and throw them in a kiddie pool. It will look like macaroni! 

    See how on Ramblings from Utopia 

  • DIY Water Wall 8 of 16

    We made this in our backyard right before a BBQ. It took a while for the kids to get interested in it (I was shocked) but after they did we had to break up a few fights and force some turn taking! I brought out a bucket of pony beads (those fat plastic beads) so the kids could watch them travel with the water. That made it even more fun and they seemed to really like that aspect. 

    See how on Tinker Lab

  • Fly Swatter Sidewalk Painting 9 of 16
    15 summer activities for toddler

    This looks like SO much fun. The author also gives a recipe for your own DIY sidewalk paint that just washes off with a hose. Ginger's flyswatter paint is going to bring all the boys to our yard. 

    See how on Play Create Explore 

  • Shaving Cream Paint 10 of 16

    I think any activity that will end in hosing the kids down sounds like a good summertime activity. Don't you?

    See how on Sweet Happy Life


  • Neighborhood Eye-Spy Nature Walk 11 of 16

    I'm eager to see if my 2.5 year-old can comprehend this activity. Either way it will get us outside and the cute blog Mess for Less has a free printable you can download and use. 

    See how on Mess for Less

  • Painting with Corn 12 of 16

    We are big fans of topless crafting at our house. This looks like another great excuse to paint shirtless. 

    See how at Play Create Explore

  • Rock Painting 13 of 16

    I like the idea of painting the rocks, but I also like the idea of using the rocks to paint. Rolling them on a large sheet of butcher paper and then creating a little rock city...maybe I'll try this one AFTER the toddler goes to bed...

    See how at Freshly Picked

  • Washi Tape Race Track 14 of 16

    I've seen a few of these around ye olde web, but this one is definitely the hippest! I really like the parking spots and little ramp. This is a great activity for when it's just too hot to go outside. 

    See how at Le Jardin de Juliette

  • Giant Bubble Mixture 15 of 16

    I haven't personally tried this mixture, but it has good reviews and I'm all about those. You can use pipe cleaners or hangers to make the giant bubbles, and nothing beats bubbles. 

    See how on Food.com

  • Soapy Water World 16 of 16

    This really isn't anything new, but I hadn't thought of making the water SOAPY, ha, and I know that simple thing will make all the difference for the little people. Do you think this counts as a bath?

    See more at Mixie Studio

Love and Diet Dr. Pepper,


Find more of Alison’s nonsense and craft ideas on her blog.
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