7 Summer Playtime Ideas

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Summer PLAY

These are super simple ideas but I thought I would share them because:

a) I am a mom all about the simple play activities that involve toys or items we already have.

b) None of these require much extra work, prep or clean-up but they entertain my kids for long periods of time, and that’s saying a lot. 🙂

Play Flower Baskets

What you need:

Ever have a bouquet of flowers that is not quite dead but is starting to wilt? I had such a bouquet on our kitchen table and my three old inspired a great idea today when she asked to hold a flower. Actually, the idea was inspired when she tried to grab a flower and spilled the entire vase  on the tablecloth, water and all. As I was cleaning up the mess, a thought struck that afforded me a good hour of playtime for my toddlers. I cut the stems shorter so that the flowers were loose and just the right size for little hands. Then I divided them into little baskets I had around the house and handed one to each child. They spent the next hour carry their baskets around the yard, scattering and picking up their flowers and smelling them to their heart’s content!

Warning: Best if played with outside so that you don’t have a mess of dropped petals on your hands!IMG_4001IMG_3994

Picnic Toys

What you need:

Sometimes old toys need a new background to make them exciting again. Spread a blanket outside in the sunshine with a tote of toys and violá, exciting “picnic” spread!

Picnic Toys


Floor Painting

What you need:

Painting on the floor instead of a table has always been my children’s preference. When they paint on the floor it holds their attention longer but there is also the opportunity for it to get a bit more messy so be ready with paper towels for clean-up!

Floor Painting

Puzzle Play Mat

What you need:

  • Large floor puzzle
  • Assorted play figurines

My kids love putting together their Melissa and Doug princess floor puzzle, with help from me of course. This is a beautiful puzzle, only $12 on Amazon:

It’s big enough that when the puzzle it finished, it creates a perfect playmate for pretend play with their assorted magic clip princesses and animal figures. I found it works best to assemble the puzzle on a table or flat surface so that it doesn’t break apart when little fingers are pushing toys along it’s surface

Warning: May involve children standing on chairs and leaning across the table to reach a desired toy placement 🙂


Hose Entertainment

What you need:

Give children a hose and something to spray the water in and they will have a blast. Add swimsuits, Popsicles and a baby slide for a fun filled and wet afternoon!

Warning: Be prepared for a soaked deck, an increased water bill and puddles in the nearby sand box . Bonus Feature: Wet sand in the sandbox for packing into plastic stacking cups for additional sensory play! My kids still love to use their stacking cups for sand and water play even though they are technically baby toys 🙂


Bubble Pool

What you need:

For a twist on the regular baby pool experience, fill pool with bubbles and warm water. Perfect for a cool summer evening to keep kids occupied while Mom is doing after dinner dishes. Give them toy dishes and a few rags and let them “clean” their own dishes!


Soapy Clean Sand Toys

What you need:

Letting my daughter “wash” her sand toys at the end of summer before putting them away for the winter was the best creative 60 minutes I’ve thought of in a while. I might have to do this more on a regular basis with her Little People or our other plastic toys. By the way, she is standing on one of the best kitchen accessories we have: a fold-able step stool! It fits perfectly between the fridge and the wall and it’s light enough for the kids to pull out themselves but durable enough that it doesn’t topple over.

Warning: Bubbles will cover your counter and water will drip onto the floor so have plenty of towels ready for this activity!


I hope you enjoyed my little tour of what my kids have been up to recently. Happy playing!

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  • Looks like your kids are having a blast this summer. I love putting a blanket outside for my kids to play on too. It’s hard where we live because it gets in the 100’s almost daily during the summer.Thanks for joining the Family Joy Link Party!

    • Haha yeah it’s been up in the 90s and 100s here too. Some of these pictures were taken back in may when it was not quite so hot 🙂 We just spend most of our outside time in the baby pool and sprinklers now 🙂