Getting Outside with Toddlers


toddler looking with wonder at something outsideIt’s warm at last. We can stop looking for things to do indoors, but for many of us that may actually be harder. We have simply gotten used to building our schedules around colder weather. Here are some ideas to get moving and take it outside with our toddlers!

Pro-tip: ‘Tis the season to double-check your footwear! Be ready with sneakers and boots to head out into a possibly messy Spring!

Eye Spy

For some of us, our little ones seem too young for the classic game, but don’t forget you can make the rules! Walk or drive to the park and chat about what color or theme you are looking for. You can simply look for blue items, or perhaps bring a bag of special items. We love to do this early in the morning when there aren’t many older kids around to snatch up an item I may “drop” as we head down the slide. My little lady is a big fan of telling me whenever she sees the color blue when we are out and about, as well as water!

What’s New in Your Space?

Adding something unexpected to an outdoor playhouse, water table or favorite spot can trigger an instant “wow factor” for a toddler. Snatch up a new brightly colored rubber ducky, an old pair of garden gloves, or a unique hat. Your little ones will love it.

In the Wagon, We Go

I’m a big fan of having a “themed week”. We pick a color, or an animal, or a mode of transportation…anything we can make a little pile of toys and books from. We certainly don’t spend every waking minute on our topic, but we start our mornings focused and keep chatting throughout the day. Now that it is warmer out, we are pivoting these items into a little red wagon. We move from room to room and outdoors to chat about our topic of the week.

Help and Distract

Toddlers are natural-born helpers and sometimes it’s amazing, and sometimes it’s well…hard. And of course, it pivots! One day they’re into something and the next day they are not. It’s time to start clearing garden beds and things of that nature. I have found that some days a child safe rake is amazing. Some days I need to hand over the bubbles or sidewalk chalk and safely distract my little one as I get some outside work done. Whatever works, mamas!

Picnics and More

A blanketed area can be a sweet little cozy spot for toddlers. Sample and learn about new treats. Enjoy a tea party or cozy up with books. Let our indoor activities come out of doors while we can.

More Than Just Our Interests

My little lady LOVES golf and soccer. These aren’t things we ever did regularly in our household but I have made a point to expose her to a little bit of everything in a cost-effective way. I may have been more comfortable with other sports, but the reality is that learning together is just as much fun.

Keep it Local

Keep an eye out for local crop share locations, berry picking and fresh flower cutting. These spots can make for an exciting and regular outing with your little ones.

Grow it

Anyone can grow a little something with their toddler, honestly, even if it needs to be in a window box or a grow light indoors. Planting seeds and nurturing a plant, fruit, or vegetable helps to teach patience, empathy, teamwork, appreciation, and more!


While the weather may be great it isn’t always possible to go outdoors. Our little lady loves to bird watch and ‘oo and ahh’ at flowers and trees coming to life. Childproof a little spot indoors where it is safe for your little one to appreciate the outside world.


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