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Surviving Summer (with Toddlers)

I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that we’ll have TWO very wild and crazy toddlers this summer to entertain. 

The one thing my kids absolutely hate is being stuck inside on the weekends so we usually do our best to be out and about or try to spend as much time as possible outside playing. We’re currently trying to spruce up our backyard in preparation for lots of outdoor entertaining and play time. We also just power washed our tried and true favorite toys from last summer and it got me thinking that I should share our top 10 items (in no particular order) with y’all today. Most of the toys are inexpensive and we’ll get mileage out of them for years to come…

Surviving Summer with Toddlers

1. Mini Pool: We picked up a plastic pool last year and have filled it with water for some activities and sand for others! An easy way to cool down, we get so much use out of this pool!

2. Sand Tools: To go with your water or sand play in the mini pool! Caroline also uses hers to “garden.”

3. Contigo Water Bottle: Pretty much the kiddie version of the Yeti.

4. Tree Swing: The popular and most fought over backyard toy for our kids. 

5. Radio Flyer Grandstand 3 in 1 Wagon:
Y’all know my love for the wagon so I won’t even go into a long explanation as to why it’s worth every single penny. See this, this, and this.

6. Water Activity Play TableA gift for Caroline’s first birthday
that has been one of our favorites!

7. Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine: Cheap entertainment!!! Bubbles are always such a hit.

8. JJ Cole Picnic Blanket: We’ve used this at the beach, at the park, in the backyard and more! See this previous post for more information! 

9. Velo Balance Bike:  Caroline is just starting to get the hang of this but she loves her bike. Right now she’s still just walking with the bike between her legs but by the end of summer I foresee her going 15 mph down the sidewalk. 

10. Pop Up Play Tent Set: This toy is so versatile. We love busting out the tents inside the living room on rainy days or popping them up outside for play time. I love that all 3 pieces fold up into a tiny circle for easy storage and transportation.


Also, not toy related but I wanted to share a game changer popsicle my friend Lisa introduced to us last year – Slow Melt Mighty Minis. These popsicles stay frozen longer than regular popsicles which helps cut down on the number of destroyed shirts, sticky fingers and stained furniture around our house. I stock up the second these suckers go on sale at the Teeter. They are also a wonderful bath time bribe tool for us.

And one more thing – Natives! We love Natives shoes for daycare, outdoor play, splash grounds and more during the summer! In fact, I wrote a whole post on these shoes here and am always getting questions about Caroline’s pink shoes! Keep an eye on Amazon because they run sales all the time. Sometimes as low as $11!

Okay, seriously the LAST thing and then I’m done – skin protection. I highly recommend grabbing a ThermaCell for your backyard fun this summer to avoid mosquito bites and Blue Lizzard sunscreen to prevent sunburns. The ThermaCell is the only mosquito repellant we’ve found that works and it does not require spraying our kids down. We use ours for parties, picnics and other outdoor fun.

Now tell me, what are some of your mini’s favorite outdoor toys?! We are always looking to add to our collection!



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Alysa Friesen

Friday 29th of April 2016

this is such a great list! this year I have one toddler and one newborn, but I'll definitely want a lot of these things for next year when I'll have 2 toddlers as well! :)xoxo,

Julie @ Just the Joy's

Thursday 28th of April 2016

This is such a great list of suggestions! Definitely saving them to my want list! This is my first summer with chasing a little one around! :)


Thursday 28th of April 2016

Chalk chalk and more chalk!

Caley-Jade Rosenberg

Wednesday 27th of April 2016

So many fun ideas - Summer with toddlers and being outdoors is just the best!! I don't want Winter to arrive for us... We are also on the hunt for a gorgeous little outdoor house for my girls x


Wednesday 27th of April 2016

I bought those sand toys after you mentioned them the first time and we loved bringing them on our vacation! Great toys and loved the compact packaging! Also love a good water and sand table!!!