Summer PLAYlist (see what I did there??)
Updated: Aug 26
This list includes some of my favorite summer play items for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through the links I provide (at no extra cost to you).
1. This set from Learning Resources is perfect for honing fine motor skills in the sun, but can easily be as fun and beneficial indoors!
2. Tie dye sidewalk chalk?! Do I need to even say anything else here?!
3. So I'm a little partial to this Melissa and Doug Set because I spent so many of my summers at the beach growing up pretending to run a sand bakery. (I seriously have such distinct memories of this). This is great for sand play on the beach or playdough play indoors!
4. Had to include something on here for my youngest little followers! This adorable teether puts me in the summer spirit. Stick it in the freezer to bring some nice, cold relief to babes teething in the hot summer sun!
5. Green Toys trucks are always a hit with the children I teach, both indoors and outdoors! Great for children as young as 6 months. I love their boats and submarines for summer. Added bonus? This brand uses recycled materials to make their toys.
6. Another great option from Green Toys! This set is great for children as young as six months and works on the beach, in the pool, or the bathtub!
7. Good for play in water or sand!
8. There's just something so special and magical about painting outside with children. For one thing, the often messy nature of painting feels a lot less scary outside than inside your home. This blowup easel by Hearthsong looks so fun for children 3 and up. It comes with brushes, sponges, and paints and clean up is as easy as hosing it down!
9. Also love this option from Colorations! Great for toddlers, and painting both inside and outside. You don't need any paper-- children can paint directly onto the acrylic. Also great for other sensory exploration like shaving cream! It's a super fun one to use with siblings or multiple kids because they can see through to the other side while they each paint individually. I've used this easel before and the cleanup is super easy-- you just have to wipe the acrylic down with soap and water.
10. I know this one's pricey, but hear me out. This table from Kids' Station is what water play dreams are made of, if you have the outdoor space for it. It's great for kids as young as one year old, but this is the kind of toy that will continue to be fun for years to come! The brand makes several other similar options, including a one tier table and a two tier table that are less expensive. I happen to really like this brand, so here are a few other pieces I recommend....
11. We also had this mud kitchen in my classroom this year, so it's one that translates well both indoors and outdoors. Love this piece, because it easily transformed from a kitchen into a doctor's office or a changing table depending on the interests of the children in our class!
12. And finally, something that children of all ages (and adults) will enjoy: a bubble machine! Gazillion Bubbles are my favorite brand of bubbles to use for classes and parties and this bubble machine will not disappoint. It's battery operated so you can bring bubble fun anywhere.