Summer Fun with Little Ones

summer swim

I’m new at parenting, and I’m definitely learning as I go. Advice we took to heart from the very beginning is that kids don’t need a lot of toys. We live in a one-bedroom apartment, so we really have to keep the toys to a minimum.

Lane stays close to me most of the time, and she’s really into “helping mommy.” She loves to wash dishes, dust, and carry my stuff around. She dresses up in my clothes and clomps around in my shoes. Sometimes when I write emails, she’ll climb up and help me type. She can spend an hour outside playing with mud, spoons, and rocks. We like to go places during the day: to the park, or to the pool in the evenings. She loves to go grocery shopping.

grocery shopping play

It’s getting hot outside and we’re trying to drive less, so I need some ideas for fun things we can do at home.  (When repeating “bonkey monkey” for 20 minutes straight while running on the couch and laughing hysterically isn’t enough.)

Online resources for activities and crafts:

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I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for the mention! i am off to check the other two!

  2. have a picnic,

    get an old white sheet and some paint and make a special family table cloth,

    for that matter – good old fashioned finger painting is always a riot… and I’m pretty sure you can find recipes for making finger paint yourself.

    Twister, books and board games…

    OK, just a few ideas – my little one is only 10 months old but I was the big sister and I remember doing fun things around the house.

  3. I love that photo of Lane with the shopping cart!!! too sweet.

  4. Thanks, Dana.

    Blessed, those sound like fun ideas! Using a sheet is making me think of making tents, and forts, and secret hideaways. You must have been a great sister.

  5. My kids are entertained pretty easily too. Any type of water play seems to keep them amused. I am using that Busy Book for Preschoolers and they have lots of great ideas in it with stuff you already have around the house. One idea was to give them toothbrushes and soapy water and have them wash stuff ;) My kids love to wash stuff so that can keep them busy for a long time!!

  6. Oh, that’s right Amy! I’m afraid Lane would brush her teeth if I gave her an old toothbrush, but I bet she would absolutely love a paint brush with some soapy water. I’ll have to check out that book.