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Summer Toddler

Here’s how to get through the hot months when you have a toddler.


1. Get the garden kitted out

You can plan all the zoo, park and water slide trips you want. Yet there will always be times when you’re home and need something to occupy your toddler while still letting them get their vitamin D. There are lots of great ways to entertain them at home including making your own or buying sand and water tables, having a picnic with cuddly toys or lots of chalk for drawing on the ground.

2. Buy multiple bottles of suncream

You never want to be without any SPF protection so make sure you have a bottle in all of your bags, in the car and in the bottom of the pram. That way you’re always covered. 

3. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re indoors for a morning

Summer always brings with it a whole load of social media-based guilt over what you should be doing today. Try not to feel guilty.

You might have spent the week at playdates or in the park. And if so, you may need a morning where the main activity is ‘help mummy or daddy put the socks away’. And that's absolutely fine.

4. Make your picnics varied

You are happy with whatever sandwich anyone might give you. But your toddler has very specific tastes about the contents of their sandwiches, fruit options, and which type of hummus they want. It can be fun - but sometimes frustrating - figuring out the perfect picnic for your little one.

5. Choose hats carefully

All toddlers need a hat in the sun but trying to get them to keep it on is… challenging. Get something that ties on, or that you know they are happy to keep on. This way you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy battling them to put it back on and stop throwing it down.

6. Keep the paddling pool blown up

If you have space, keep the paddling pool blown up so you can wheel it out whenever the sun’s out rather than thinking about the effort involved in inflating it and not bothering. Most toddlers are very happy just splashing about in water. 

7. Get a few rainy day activities stored up

Whether it’s the library, a cinema trip for that summer blockbuster, or swimming in your local pool, you’ll need a few indoor ideas. We do live in the UK, after all…

8. Book a festival

Summer now boasts loads of family-friendly festivals, and most of the mainstream ones cater well for kids. Do some research online and ask friends and family for their recommendations.

9. Plan ahead if travelling on holiday

It’s not the most fun thing but serious planning will make all the difference to travelling with toddlers. Think carefully about snacks they’ll like and what will entertain them. You could load a tablet with their favourite TV shows, pick up sticker books or magazines they’ll like, or take a few transportable toys.

Then get onto the practical stuff. Sun shades for the car, for example, will make a huge difference to your journey.

10. Park life

Your local park might be the go-to place over the summer. It's a nice way to meet up with friends and their kids too. You might actually be able to sit down for a minute...

This page was last reviewed in 2018

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.

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Summer Toddler

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