DMV Toddler-Friendly Summer Bucket List


If you are in the season of wanting to stick to nap schedules but still enjoy the summer with your littles- I got you! Check out these toddler-friendly summer ideas to play, explore, and have fun in the sun while still making it home for nap time. Print this toddler-friendly summer bucket list and invite friends to join you!

>> Toddler-Friendly Summer Bucket List FREE PRINTABLE! <<

1. Picnic in the Park

Pick your favorite local park to bring snacks and drinks. Kids can spend the morning running around and exploring nature. Eat lunch at the park. Even better if you can bring some friends! Our favorite garden for snacks, running, and friends is Green Springs Garden in Annandale, Virginia. Check out this list to find a park near you.

 2. Go to a Splash Pad

For those toasty mornings or afternoon a splash pad is a great option to get out and stay cool. Check out our splash pad guide to find one near you!

3. Try a New Treat at a Local Farmer’s Market

We love wandering around a local farmer’s market to check out all the produce but also the yummy treats! Treat yourself and your littles ones to something tasty this summer.

4. Visit the Zoo

There a few options in the DMV for a zoo/ zoo experiences, but I LOVE that the National Zoo is free. When a toddler tantrum or need for a nap strikes than there’s no real loss to cutting the visit short and heading home.

5. Take a Hike

My 19-month old wakes up asking for walks. There’s only so many times I can walk around our block every week. This is a great list of toddler friendly hikes. Our favorite is the trail at Chessie’s Big Backyard. It has animal sculptures and musical instruments along the path to keep your little one motivated and entertained.

6. Water Balloon Toss

Just a few water balloons can go a long way for a toddler.

7. Learn How to Ride a Bike

Let this be the summer that you introduce a tricycle, balance bike, or training wheels!

8. Visit the Local Library

Libraries have so many fun events and programs through the summer! Fairfax County has the Children’s Reading Festival happening at the Woodrow Wilson Library on June 15 to kick off the summer and Chantilly Regional Library on August 18 to end the summer.

9. Attend a Live Performance

There’s plenty of places to catch live music in the DMV during the summer. For toddler friendly times and experiences, check out the Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods calendar.

10. Go to a Nationals Game

Take your kiddos to great American pastime of baseball. Especially because kids eat free all season long! We already bought our tickets for Tuesday Deals & Steals (NOT toddler friendly times but I’m a mama on a budget). Don’t forget to get a first game certificate!

11. Visit or Plant a Garden

A great opportunity for kids to learn about fruits and vegetables. Maybe try something from a local garden!

12. Scavenger Hunt

This can be an indoor or outdoor activity. Keep it to just your backyard or hide items around the neighborhood.

13. Go to a Beach or River

My son could spend HOURS throwing rocks and sticks into water. Go to a beach, a sandy spot on the Potomac, or any nature preserve with a moving body of water. Teach your kiddos how to skip rocks, make mud pies, or a sandcastle. The activities are endless!

Lake Accotink stick and rock throwing

14. Try a New Playground

You probably have your tried and true favorites for which playgrounds your family goes to. Check out this list to find a new one! It just might become a fan favorite.

Visiting Chessie’s Big Backyard for the first time

15. Go to a U-Pick Berry Farm

Check out this list for places to go in the DMV! Toddlers picking their own berries is adorable and a neat experience. This is a must-do for the toddler summer bucket list!

16. Water Table

Create a fun sensory activity using a water table or even a plastic tub.

17. Duck Races

Get some rubber duckies and have them race or swim around in the bathtub or a kiddie pool.

18. Ice Cube Play

Freeze toys in ice cubes to add to water table play. Get out the spray bottles and see if your kid can help melt the ice. Add food coloring or water colors to ice cubes to create a fun art project. Keep cool and learn about colors and animals!

19. Underwater Treasure Hunt

Hide fun things in a pool or bathtub and give your littles a pair of goggles to find them. Help them get comfortable putting their head underwater while looking for fun items!

20. Obstacle Courses

This is an activity that can be set up inside or outside. Use whatever you have laying around! Streamers, couch cushions, and painter’s tape. Chalk, sticks, and water toys. Extra points if you let your kiddo make an obstacle course for you.

21. Bubble Blowing

Bubble guns, wands, or machines. This type of bubble blowers can be great for little ones, do you don’t have to blow ALL the bubbles.

22. Chalk Art

Some sidewalk chalk and a spray bottle can make for hours of fun with your kids! Let them create beautiful pictures and then spray it away with the spray bottle.

23. Nature Walk

Bring a box, bag, or net and let your kiddo collect some nature treasures on a walk around the neighborhood or on a local trail.

24. Storytime in the Park

Get some books, friends, and picnic blanket. Read together in the fresh air and then run around at your favorite park.

25. Outdoor Yoga

Find an outdoor kids yoga class or put on Cosmic Kids Yoga in the backyard.

26. Relay Races

Set up simple races to run out that toddler energy! Teach them some new moves like crab walking, bear crawling, or skipping.

27. Rock Painting

Collect some rocks from a nature walk and bring them home to paint. Even painting a rock with water will be a fun activity for your toddler.

28. Fly a Kite

Fly a kite at home or take it somewhere with friends!

29. Go out for Ice Cream

Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot day!?

30. Make Popsicles

Get some popsicle molds and find an easy recipe. Bonus points if it’s one that your toddler could help make!

31. Make S’mores

Your toddler won’t care if it’s s’more in the microwave or over an open campfire. They will love this summer treat!

32. Puddle Jumping

After a rainy day, throw on some rainboots and find the biggest puddles to jump in!

33. Build a Fort

Another activity that can be done indoors or outdoors! Build an indoor fort to watch a movie or build an outdoor fort to collect nature treasures in.

34. Ride a Ferris Wheel

If you go to a fair or carnival this summer and the only thing you do with your toddler is ride a Ferris Wheel- count that as a win! You can always take a trip to the Capital Wheel.

35. Make a Craft

Keep it simple!

Toddlers are cute, unpredictable, and full of energy! I hope this list gets you thinking of ways to enjoy summertime with your littles. What else would you add to this bucket list? If you have older kids, check out the Northern Virginia Bucket List for 50 must-do activities in the area!

We hope you have an amazing summer with these ideas with our DMV Toddler Summer Bucket List. These are fun things for toddlers and doable for you!

Click for PDF DMV Toddler Summer Bucket List printable


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