Every year we anxiously await summer, and every year it seems to fly by in a flash. To make the most of the days we have left, we’ve put together a checklist of fun, baby-friendly things to do while flip-flops and sunnies are worn on the daily. From running through the neighborhood sprinklers to summer concerts in the park—here are 20 must-do fun activities to squeeze in before the season changes.

photo: Lori Lange Via Community Table

1. Make Homemade Popsicles
An icy popsicle on a hot summer day is a treat that appeals to all ages. This summer, double the allure by making them at home as a family, using these 20 ah-mazing recipes. By choosing your flavors and ingredients, your homemade popsicles will be both healthier and more affordable than the store-bought alternative.

2. Break Out the Bubble Machine
Babies love bubbles like new moms love a full night of sleep! So break out the bubble machine and watch your sweet babe try to catch those spheres of joy. Who knows, maybe they’ll get so worn out they’ll give you those extra hours of shut-eye you so desperately crave.

3. Run Through Sprinklers
Nothing screams freedom like running through sprinklers in the summer-time. It costs absolutely nothing and is one of the true joys of summer.

photo: Paula Wiseman via Pixabay

4. Design a Masterpiece on Your Sidewalk
Get chalkin’ with some sidewalk art. It’s a great way to be creative outdoors, especially in the evenings. If you need some inspiration, try these 15 ideas that are sure to bring you and your mini-Matisse hours of fun.

5. Read a Book in the Shade
Being outside in the summer months doesn’t always have to be about high-energy, get-sweaty activities. Take it slow by reading a book under your favorite tree. Choose one of these kid classics or opt for a new best-seller. Either way you’re fostering a love of reading and getting to spend time outdoors. It’s a win-win.

6. Go On a Picnic
Summertime equals family time and that means there’s usually more opportunities to do something outside the box and make lasting memories together. Moving dinner or lunch outside by going on a picnic is a perfect way to do it. Pack some easy snacks and a few toys to play with, and you’re ready for no-fuss summer adventure.

photo: Pexels via Pixabay

7. Have A Water Balloon Toss
On a hot summer day, a water balloon toss is always a hit. Younger babies will love to touch and roll the squishy, colorful balloons, and toddlers will love to throw them.

8. Visit a Farmers Market
One of the advantages of having kids that rise early is you can pretty much be the first to arrive anywhere on the weekend. Farmers markets open early, so they’ll be ready for you and your sweet pea. Toddlers love tasting and looking at all the fresh fruits and veggies, and it’s a fun and healthy way to get your day started.

9. Watch a Movie in the Backyard
Skip the high-priced local cinema and cuddle up under the stars to watch your family’s favorite flicks. It’s not hard to set up, and it’ll be a summer memory everyone cherishes.

photo: Andris Romanovski via Unsplash

10. Make Homemade Ice Cream or Gelato
Once you’ve perfected your popsicle recipe, move on to the creamier stuff. Making homemade ice cream or gelato is easier than it sounds. We found a kid-friendly recipe that shows how you can make it with just a Ziploc food-storage bag. You scream, “ice cream,” we all scream for that!

11. Visit a Petting Zoo
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of local petting zoos, where kids can spend hours meeting and greeting their favorite furry animals. You’ll give your animal lover an up-close experience they won’t forget.

12. Go to a Concert at the Park
Check your neighborhood listings to see if they offer concerts in nearby parks. They usually kick off early in the evening and give your music lover a great opportunity to expend that extra energy on the dance-lawn before bedtime.

photo: iStock

13. Go Star-Gazing
Clear, milk summer nights are ideal for gazing at the stars. Here are handy tips on how to have a stargazing adventure that your toddler will be talking about for years to come.

14. Visit a Water Park
Water parks can offer hours of fun on a hot summer day. Try to go on a day of the week that is less crowded and splish-splash your way through the park.

15. Have an Outdoor Tea Party
Pretend Prince Archie is coming for tea and offer him a cup in the great outdoors. A royally fun way to move an indoor activity outside for the summer!

16. Fly a Kite
Soak up the summer days by flying a kite. There’s such magic in getting a lift off!

photo: LittleBoulder via Pixabay

17. Paint Rocks
Painting outdoors is an easy way to let babies and toddlers get as messy as they want without worrying about destroying the furniture. Gather some rocks and relish in a low-cost way to beautify the backyard.

18. Search for Four-Leaf Clovers
We can all use some extra luck! Show your toddler how to find four-leaf clovers and you can turn a lazy afternoon into hours of fun and exploration.

19. Host a Family Bike Wash
Get your neighbors with kids to come over and bring their tricycles and bikes for a family bike wash. Suds plus water always equals a good time, especially when the temps heat up.

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20. Pitch a Tent in the Backyard
Not ready to take the plunge into a full family camping excursion? Test the waters by pitching a tent outside to play in or sleep in. Your little one will feel all of the excitement and you’ll have none of the stress of realizing you got to your campsite and forgot the one stuffed animal baby can’t sleep without!

—Aimee Della Bitta

featured image: StockSnap via Pixabay 

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