Little Angels Airdrie Calgary Daycare and Preschool

Smart Summer Strategies: Keeping Toddlers Busy and in Routine

 In Blog, Events

Summer is a magical time for children, brimming with fun and adventures. The long days and warm weather provide a perfect backdrop for exploration and play. However, for parents, this time can present unique challenges. Balancing the spontaneity and excitement of summer with the need to maintain a consistent routine for young children requires thoughtful planning and creativity. The absence of school and regular activities can disrupt established patterns, making it essential to find ways to keep children engaged while preserving some structure in their daily lives. Here are some creative hacks to help you strike a balance and ensure your child’s summer is both enjoyable and structured.

Create a Flexible Schedule

Children thrive on routine, but summer is also a time for flexibility. Create a loose schedule that includes consistent wake-up and bedtimes, meal times, and a mix of structured and free-play activities. Use visual schedules with pictures for younger kids to help them understand what comes next in their day. This not only sets expectations but also helps in reducing anxiety and uncertainty.

Incorporate Educational Play

Learning doesn’t have to stop during the summer. Incorporate educational activities that feel like play. For instance, set up a mini-science lab with simple experiments using household items, or create a sensory bin with rice, beans, and small toys to enhance fine motor skills. Reading together every day is another great way to keep your child’s mind engaged. Choose colorful, interactive books that cater to their interests.

Outdoor Adventures

Nature is the best playground for kids. Plan daily outdoor activities like nature walks, picnics, or trips to the park. Create a backyard scavenger hunt with items like leaves, rocks, and flowers to make these outings educational and exciting. Gardening is another wonderful way to teach children about nature and responsibility as they care for plants.

Arts and Craft Time

Encourage creativity with daily art and craft sessions. Stock up on supplies like crayons, markers, construction paper, and glue. Pinterest and other online platforms are full of craft ideas suitable for young children. Projects like painting rocks, making homemade playdough, or creating simple holiday decorations can keep little hands busy and minds engaged.

Water Play

Summer isn’t complete without water play. Whether it’s a small backyard pool, a sprinkler, or just a bucket of water and some cups, water activities are a fantastic way to keep kids cool and entertained. Water play also provides sensory experiences and opportunities for imaginative play.

Routine Chart with Rewards

Create a routine chart with daily tasks like brushing teeth, reading a book, or tidying up toys. Use stickers or stamps to mark completed tasks, and offer small rewards for filling up the chart, such as a special outing or a new toy. This system not only helps maintain routine but also encourages positive behavior.

Music and Movement

Incorporate music and movement into your daily routine. Have a dance party, play musical instruments, or follow along with action songs on YouTube. These activities are not only fun but also great for physical development and coordination.

Quiet Time

All fun aside, it is vital to ensure there’s quiet time built into the day. Whether it’s napping, reading quietly, or doing a puzzle, downtime is crucial for young children to recharge. Create a cozy corner with pillows, blankets, and a few favorite books or quiet toys where they can relax.

Summer with young children doesn’t have to be chaotic. By incorporating a mix of educational activities, outdoor adventures, and creative play, you can keep your child engaged and maintain a routine. Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between structure and flexibility, ensuring that summer is both fun and enriching for your little ones. If you require structured summer child care or 24/7 drop-in services for nights out, Little Angels surely has a program that will suit your needs!