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Summer Activity Ideas for Infants and Toddlers

Jun 03, 2022    |   Infant & Toddler LearningSummer

As summer approaches and the weather warms up, it is time to start thinking about refreshing your curriculum by adding in some outdoor activities. Infants and toddlers enjoy being outside in the sunshine and engaging in sensory activities that encourage them to learn, play, and explore. In this article, we share several fun and easy-to-set-up activities for enjoying summertime weather with infants and toddlers.

2-Ingredient Edible Ice Cream Play Dough

This simple play dough recipe only requires two ingredients: frosting and powdered sugar, which means that it’s quick to put together and taste-safe for the little ones in your care. Different flavors of frosting will create different colored playdough (the strawberry frosting was used to create pink ice cream in the image on the left). Young children will love squishing, squeezing, and molding this ice cream dough. This activity is a fun sensory experience, while also giving children an opportunity to strengthen fine motor skills in their hands and fingers.

This playdough can also last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Set up this activity with spoons, bowls, and ice cream scoopers to go along with the theme!

Taste-Safe Ice Painting

Painting with ice offers little ones a creative sensory experience and a way to cool off on warm summer days! To set up this activity, all you will need is colored packets of Kool-Aid, ice cube trays, popsicle sticks, and plastic wrap. Mix the different colors of Kool-Aid with water and then freeze them overnight to make frozen taste-safe paint cubes. 

Young children will enjoy watching the ice cubes melt into a cool, fruit-fragranced liquid that they can then use as paint. They might enjoy painting with their fingers, and even their feet! This activity is nice and messy, so it is a great one to enjoy outdoors! 

Natural Finger Painting with Blackberries

Have you ever squished blackberries between your fingers and noticed the vibrant purple color that it leaves behind? Young children will love squishing fresh blackberries onto paper to make brightly colored purple masterpieces. Pick up some blackberries from your local farmer’s market, or ask parents if any of them happen to have wild berries growing in their yard. Then grab some paper, and encourage children to finger paint!

This is a fun sensory activity that is completely edible and safe for little ones to snack on while they create. 

Edible Water Beads (Tapioca Balls)

If you aren’t familiar with tapioca balls, they are squishy, slimy, sweet balls that are used in bubble tea and other desserts. Their unique texture also makes them a great sensory experience for little ones! Creating colorful tapioca balls requires only a few materials, is safe for tasting, and is a great way to cool off on a hot day. 

To create the different colors of tapioca balls, put them in cups with food coloring and water, and let them sit for a few hours so that they become vibrant. When you are ready to set the activity up, put all the different colors of tapioca balls in a large plastic bin with water and offer little ones spoons, cups, and other fun items they can use to scoop up the water. 

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