Our favourite free summer activities for babies and toddlers

Many families, at this stage of the summer are starting to run out of things to do! While Christmas and New Year has come and gone, and the new toys are starting to get less exciting, you may be looking for activities to keep the little ones busy. On hot or these awful smoky days, outside activities may not always be possible. Here are some of our favourite things to do with your little one, both inside or out depending on the weather!

Have some fun with sensory activities

What toddler doesn’t love messy play? While babies and toddlers are developing their senses and learning about the world around them, these activities will not only be great fun, but will also challenge and help them learn. Our favourites include placing coloured rice in a bowl with some scoops, shaving cream in a baking tray, blowing bubbles and coloured jelly blocks.

Engage them in water play

On a hot day, nothing is more fun than frozen ice blocks. Make them ahead of time with food colours or place animals or natural items inside before freezing for extra fun. A pouring station with containers and jugs or even washing the dishes are also good fun (just make sure the items are not breakable).

Make time for some art and craft activities

While the age of the child really dictates the level of crafting possible, homemade playdough is always fun for children of all ages and can be made to be ‘taste-safe’. Other fun art activities that your baby or toddler will love include homemade finger painting, making toy cars or castles out of boxes or drawing with chalk outside.

Playing at the Beach

Take them out for some outdoor play

While many children don’t have their own fancy mud kitchen, a couple of old bowls and spoons and a bucket of water will do the trick to get dirty and make their own mud pies. Other great outdoor play ideas include playing in a sandpit, running under the sprinklers, visiting the playground or beach or even your local pool.

Sort some objects

Colour sorting blocks or pompoms into colour rings, or placing coloured icy pole sticks into cups is not only great fun for babies and toddlers, it helps them learn colour and develop their visual discrimination skills. Other sorting activities can include their toys or animals

Engage in nature

Take a small container or basket and go on a nature hunt! Whether you guide them or not is up to you but collecting some special items such as gumnuts and flowers, Some guidance could include inviting them to find things such as ‘furry’, ‘green’, ‘slimy’ or ‘shiny’.

Cook together

Making playdough together is fun and easy and your little one also gets to play with it afterwards. Otherwise try making and decorating your own cookies, or even turning a simple fruit platter into an amazing picture such as a butterfly or car! For some family friendly recipes, read this page.


I love to make a list of ten ‘bucket list’ family activities for the summer and check them off as we do them! What are your favourite summer activities for babies or toddlers? Let us know in the comments below!

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