Even if you are not local to Raleigh, you likely experience hot and steamy summer days. After a long winter of snow after snow in Raleigh, my little one was excited to get out and enjoy a few outdoor toddler activities. Yet ever so quickly, the temperatures have gone to the extremes!
My toddler is crazy about “indoor races” and coordinating a short indoor field day can tire out a toddler without worry of sunblock or heat. Try three-legged races, sac races, or a mess-free balloon toss with rice or dried lentils. (Save the water balloons for outside!)
We have already had a week straight with over 90-degree temperatures and we still have the whole summer ahead. (Even when the heat is at a tolerable level, summer activities with kids mean sunblock patrol!) Also, as a Realtor I’ve noticed an influx in residential properties in downtown Raleigh. Whether you are trying to have fun in the shade at home, or are an urban dweller and find yourself inside, here are a few ways to enjoy family time inside away from the summer heat. Each of these activities come with “prize” ideas to keep your kids busy longer:
Scavenger Hunt – These never get old! Draw (or print out if you are not an artist) a picture on a small piece of paper where the next clue is hidden, and leave a trail of 10-15 clues around the house. The last spot hides the prize. Prize ideas for inquisitive toddlers: Memory matching game or puzzle.
Soap Crayons – This may be a slightly deceiving way to trick your kids into cleaning house! Give toddlers soap crayons and let them go wild on tile floors in your kitchen and baths. Then have a contest to see who can ‘erase’ the fastest with a mop. To make it festive for the Fourth of July holiday weekend–only use red, white, and blue soap crayons. Prize ideas for active toddlers: Container gardening kit or water play table.
Make Your Own Book – Help your toddler tell a story about a recent experience. Take a beach trip? Visit grandma? Start with what was for breakfast, then how they got to where they were going. What did they do? Who did they see? What did they learn? What was their favorite part of the day? Least favorite? Create the book the old-fashioned way with paper, crayons or colored pencils, magazine cut-outs—you can even make “pop-ups” or lift-the-flap features. Alternatively, let your little one start navigating storytelling with digital formats. Scribblit is an online platform that connects kids with illustrations, story ideas, and publishing tools to tell their story and get it printed so that you can have it for years to come. Create a ‘book award’ to congratulate your young author. Prize ideas for literary toddlers: Winner gets to choose a book or eBook on Amazon or a visit to your local library.
Art – As a sensory activity, let your toddler mix glitter, beads, and other craft pieces into a zip-top bag. Add a bit of hair gel, seal the bag, and they can squish the pieces around mess-free. Make different ‘themed’ art pieces and reward them for the best one. Prize ideas for budding artists: Bath tub crayons or Button Art Kit.
Dinosaur cookies – Or pick any other theme your little one is interested in! These cookies can follow your go-to basic sugar cookie or peanut butter cookie recipe, but before baking, stamp a toy dinosaur’s foot into the dough. Prize ideas for junior chef toddlers: Kid-friendly cooking knives (these are made out of nylon) or Curious Chef Pizza Kit.
Before you know it summer will be over and we will be complaining about snow again. For now, stay cool in the shade of your homes and keep your little ones busy and learning!