To follow up with easy activities to do with your toddler, I’ve come up with the year round toddler bucket list. I’ve compiled a list of activities you can do on the weekend with your toddler, any time during the year. Let’s face it: you’re always looking for a new way to keep that little person busy.
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I’ve mentioned before that my husband works on Saturday, so we have to make the most of Sunday when we’re all together. My husband, Matt, and I each have a day off to spend with our daughter on our own so we try to do fun things when we’re each with her on a day off.
We try to do things outside of the house to avoid cabin fever, although there are times you just need to chill out at home.
Play! (Put that phone away!)
Just play! Show your toddler how to play with his or her toys. I played with my daughter for a good couple hours last Friday night. We went from her train set, to building blocks, to Barbies with no pressure to do anything but enjoy each other’s company.
I know this is also listed in the easy toddler activities post, but it’s fun to go to the library on the weekend too.
This was on the last list too, but if it’s the weekend, you have time to hang out and play! Kick a soccer ball, fly a kite, or do the monkey bars with your kid!
Go on a Picnic
Find a cool park, like one with a pond, and enjoy the view and a good lunch! We like to pretend we’re European with cheese wrapped in deli slices and olives with a baguette, but a sandwich will do too.
Wash the Car
It’s on the to do list. You may as well have a little help. My two-year-old had the best time playing in the water and trying to scrub the car. Cutest thing ever.
Do Yard Work
It doesn’t sound fun, but your toddler loves to help. Plus, you can’t beat the memories you’ll make together. We’ve raked leaves, weeded garden beds, and planted flowers with hilarious results.
Your little helper is at it again! They’ll especially love the treat at the end.
Build a Fort
Help your little one build a fort. When you’re done, read a book or make shadow puppets with a flashlight.
It’s completely free to visit a farmers market, although I won’t guarantee you won’t buy something. This is a great chance to check out local craftsman, musicians, and fresh produce and flowers.
This happened a couple weekends ago. Matt has been dying to go camping, so I suggested he take our toddler camping in the backyard. They pitched the tent, ate s’mores, and played board games. It took some planning, but she can’t wait to go again.
I’m bummed we only made it to the beach once this summer, but in SoCal, we can go to the beach until October. It’s even nice to go in the winter to watch the sunset and let the kids run around.
It’s tough to find a good day to go hiking due to hot weather but I’m dying to take our toddler hiking. There are kid friendly trails nearby, and we just bought a hiking pack for the trails too hard for a toddler.
Movie Night at Home
I don’t know about you, but we watch the same things all the time. When our copy of The Lion King gets here, we’ll be busting out the jammies and the toddler friendly snacks to watch a “new” movie for once.
Is your birthday coming up? Sign up for free stuff ahead of time and take your toddler out to with you to get all the free treats! Matt did this on his birthday, and our two-year-old couldn’t wait to see where they would go next!
Not So Free Activities
Our city has a community theater in Old Town that has different productions, many appropriate for kids. We took our toddler to see the local youth production of Mary Poppins a few weeks ago. We can’t wait to go to another one.
Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me Breakfast or Lunch Date
I think our kids have the most joy in just being with us. I took my daughter to breakfast one morning after her dance class, and she talked about it for weeks.
Visit a Children’s Museum
It’s nice to go somewhere where your kids can touch everything and not get in trouble. This was one of the daddy daughter days.
Visit Any Museum
There are some museums that offer free admission one weekend a month. In fact, Saturday, September 23rd is free museum day to Smithsonian affiliated museums around the country. Download 2 free admissions to the museum of your choice. We’ve used it on the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park in the past.
Frozen Treat Date
Smoothies, ice cream, frozen yogurt, shave ice…if it’s a treat, your toddler is into it. Just make sure it’s not close to nap time.
Go for a Walk and Get a Treat
We have a donut shop and Great Harvest within walking distance of our house. (If there was ice cream or frozen yogurt, we’d be in big trouble.) I’ve taken my daughter to get a breakfast sandwich and stop on the way home from our walk in a nice spot to eat it and enjoy a view.
Go to the Movies
There aren’t always appropriate movies for your toddler to see, but when there is, go! It’s not too expensive to go to a matinee…unless your child falls asleep 10 minutes into the movie. Then you’re just taking an expensive nap. (True story.)
We invested in annual passes to the zoo the past few years. There are plenty of zoos around, and we are fortunate to live close to 2 world class zoos. It’s entertaining for the whole family and it gets us out of town for the day.
You don’t have to go to Sea World to visit an aquarium. The smaller aquariums also have tide pools and plenty of opportunities to get close to the glass to check out the different species. If you’re local, check out the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla.
Go to a Minor League Ball Game
Minor league games are fairly inexpensive and they’re more geared toward kids. There’s often a theme night, even on the weekend.
Disneyland is the ultimate in SoCal. (I really wish we had passes since toddler age is the best age to go, but you have to refinance your house to afford them.) Our toddler talked about Disneyland for months and we can’t wait to go again!
What did I miss? What fun things do you do with your toddler during the year?