This summer I want to spend as much time as possible outside and I scoured the internet for some summer must haves to make sure we weren’t missing any opportunities for fun!
All the Toddler Summer Must Haves that you could need for an AMAZING summer
My toddler summer must haves are geared towards the toddler/preschool crowd as I feel these are the kids that need a little more inspiration to play! Older kids would definitely get a lot of use out of a lot of the items that I found too but keep that in mind!
I am in no way suggesting you NEED all of the items that list below I am merely listing some of our personal favorites or things that I am considering picking up to add to our summer fun! Hopefully, this sparks some ideas for your family!
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A lot of outdoor must haves for kids are massive! I am well aware. You will want to pick and choose what you have space for in your yard and what your kids get the most use out of but all of these toddler summer must haves are bound to keep a kid busy!
- Picnic Table – I would advise against the Jr. model its really very small
- Climbing dome
- Swings – big kid & toddler
- Background Playground – this is the dream that most people just don’t have the space or budget for but that’s why it’s a dream right?!
- Trampoline – at your own risk trampolines are not recommend for small kids, but use your own judgment and do your own research!
- Soccer net
SENSORY & SAND PLAY
A lot of these items sorta feel like the OG toddler summer must haves and there is a reason for that! Endless hours of fun!
- Buckets – this nesting set of buckets gives you lots of sizes to work with!
- Shovels – I always go with metal tools, they hold up so much better
- Sandbox – I love the built-in bench lid and the canopy to help keep everyone cool
- Construction trucks
- Sensory Table – if you want to elevate your sand play and open up the idea of other sensory filler this table would be great!
- Science Exploration Kit
Don’t be afraid to bring your arts and craft supplies outside! Getting creative outside lends itself to bigger bolder messier art and that can be so much fun!
- Bubbles – this is a no-spill bucket and will be perfect for both my tiny toddler and the preschooler
- Paper Rolls – the space outside just begs for large format art!
- Washable paint
- Acrylic Easel
If your kids are like mine then the way to their heart is to add water. They don’t care how or even really how much just access to water and they are happy!
- Spray bottles – your preschooler will LOVE spraying every surface known to man
- Splash Pool – I love this style as you don’t have to blow it up but it can fold up and be put away easily
- Sprinkle pad
- Mud kitchen – we love a good mud kitchen and free access to water seriously, allow them to get wet and messy!
- Watering can – this follows the same concept as the spray bottles.
- Water squirters – I prefer these to “water pistols” they are easier to use and generally work better anyway
honorable mentions to water balloons, super fun and kids love them but my crew is too little
TINNY TODDLER GROSS MOTOR
My Beanie baby will be 15-19 months this season and is a super confidant walker, that said her needs in gross motor are vastly different than a preschooler so her tiny toddler summer must haves for gross motor focus more on riding on than running.
- Pushing toy (bubble mower, shopping cart, wagon, babydoll stroller) seriously this age loves to push stuff
- Ride on toy
- Cozy coupe – we have never had one of these but they are beloved by every tiny toddler I have ever known.
- Roller coaster – again we have never had one but I hear kids LOVE this thing
- Ball – this ball glows in the dark and has a super easy texture to grab perfect for little hands
PRESCHOOLER GROSS MOTOR
Bitty will be turning 4 at the end of the summer and her big deal this summer is learning to ride a big girl bike. Your older toddler summer must-haves for gross motor will likely be based around burning some of that energy and allowing them some freedom!
- Bike and helmet – make sure and measure and find the right fit for your kid and if your preschooler was a balance bike kid take that into consideration
- Ball – this ball is massive and I think that would be sooo much fun!
- Wiggle car
- Stepping stones
- Balance beam
While I am all for kids running naked through the sprinkler in the backyard, there are times and activities that call for a little more protection or coverage
- Swimsuit – I personally prefer rashguard style as it’s built-in sunscreen!
- Water shoes
- Bugcream – this stuff isn’t bug spray, but for whatever sciency reason mosquitos leave us alone when we wear this stuff.
- Puddle jumper – a must for pool and ocean fun and mama peace of mind!
- Swim diaper – if your going to take your diaper-clad kid to a public pool these are generally required and they will save you money in the long run if your able to tolerate a little extra laundry
ON THE GO
While we plan on spending most of our time at home occasionally we will be heading out and there are a few toddler summer must haves that we will be taking with us!
- Picnic blanket
- Soft-sided cooler – I love this backpack option for hands-free!
- Strollerwagon – this is great for hauling kids and stuff on most any terrain!
- Waterbottle – an insulated option would be great if you’re going to be out for long
- Hiking Carrier – do your research and find the right fit for you babe and who will be wearing it!
- Shade Umbrella
Toddler Summer Must Haves for 1000 Hours Outside!
I have grand dreams of hitting the 1000 hours outside challange with my girls this year and I will be honest so far we arent doing great…I’m hoping for long days outdoors as much as possible this summer with early mornings in the garden water play all day and campfires at night. These Summer must haves I hope will help keep everyone happy and active while we are outdoors!
What are your Summer must haves? Anything that I am forgetting that your kids LOVE!? Share it down below!
If you want to keep up with our 1000 hours outside and keep me accountable with the tracking…follow me on Instagram where I am sure I will be sharing!