Well, we made it through another school year! Now is the time for a lot of fun in the sun, right! However, this year, I was feeling overwhelmed with that new task at hand. Being a full time Mom with a multiple jobs can sometimes make this task nerve wracking. I am not sure why, but earlier this month I felt like I had to create lots of busy activities for my children in order for them to be happy. I learned soon- that’s not the case! Their exhaustion would set in two hours before bedtime- hence, crazy emotional threenager! I over did it! A simple, fun, unique activity a day is plenty for little toddlers! That being said, I have done a ton of research and thought I would share some helpful resources for the summer. I hope you find this small survival guide to be helpful, we are in this together, so let’s make this summer great!
Playground Buddy – Search from all over the world to find the nearest playground from your location. Filter specific needs such as water park, restrooms, sandbox, basketball court etc..
Kids Eat Free! – I’m all about saving some money and taking a break from cooking three meals a day! Kids Eat Free app will give you local restaurants that have a kids eat free menu, or offers discounts for children.
Splash Pads- Great for non-swimmers
(In Central Houston- Levy Park, Ervan Chew Park, Riverpark Splash Pad (our favorite))
Library- check your local library for their weekly readings. Most will also offer arts and crafts or music afterwards
Build a fort or Backyard camping- Who does’t love a fort? Grab those old blankets and put together a fort. Relax and watch a movie. Or backyard camp, don’t forget the smores!
Visit the Zoo! If you don’t want to get in the heat take those Toddlers to a Pet Store! My kids love looking at the adoption animals, birds, and reptiles… and better yet, its FREE!
Cooking Class- make easy fun recipes for the kids to enjoy
Music Class- check your local area for summer music classes.
NASA Space Center Houston – If you live in Houston, this is a must go see with the children! (Ages 3 and under are free!)
Alligator Farm– take a tour of Crocodile Encounter farm – the largest in Texas! (30 minutes from downtown Houston)
Blessington Farms– Summer is fun on the farm! Mazes, slides, pedal cars and more fun.
Strawberry picking– Grab a bucket and let the kids run in the strawberry fields at Froberg’s Farm
Moody Gardens- Stay a night in their hotel and enjoy all the amenities and activities for toddlers!
Indoor Playgrounds- Beat the heat and play inside- Frolic Castle at Memorial City Mall, Ikea Smalland, Houston First Baptist, Funky Monkey Playland, Altitude Trampoline Park.
Discovery Green and Miller Outdoor Theater- Check the events page for weekly family activities!
Houston Astros or sports game- check event calendar for family nights, they usually offer discounted tickets for children.
Magical Dessert Bar- A magical dessert bar and serves all things unicorn!
EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (for Toddlers)
Summertime can sometimes be a drag in the educational department, especially when they are not in a controlled learning environment. Hence why I have personally enjoyed play learning. Below are links to some of my favorite resources to continuing their education throughout the summer!
Busy Toddler! – Playing Preschool – This book has been a game changer for me as a parent. I am not a teacher, so this book dummy proofs everything. It helps you create a daily routine with your children and provides you with an outline and new themed units weekly. I highly recommend this tool for at home learning with the kids!
Speech Tree Co.
A play based set and tools to perfecting speech. Needing to work on speech over the summer? I know both my toddlers need help in this area! The speech tree makes practice fun with flash cards that come with interactive toy pieces. Or if your trying to help your children learn to read- this is a great resource for you!
Young Wild and Friedman – Customized monthly sensory kits complete with homemade play dough. The first time I heard about sensory play, was from my sons speech and food therapist. Douglas struggled with eating independently and little did I know, it was also effecting his speech. His therapist encouraged me to start incorporating sensory play into his daily activities- its been a game changer! Even for those who do not have issues with speech- I still highly recommend sensory play.
I hope you enjoyed this quick guide. I would love to hear your ideas and/or experiences this summer with your kiddos!
Until next time,