Monday, July 23, 2018

22 Ways to Make the Most of Summer with a Baby

We only have so many summers to spend with our kids so let's make the most of it!

Before we get started it's important to remember that every day doesn't need be Pinterest worthy or a big adventure. I think all mothers can agree that it can be so overwhelming to be constantly bombarded with all the things we should be doing with our children, but the reality is some days keeping the kids fed and loved is all we can do. So if you're having one of those days where you feel as though you just can't muster the energy to leave the house or prep an activity, please feel free to bookmark this post and come back on a day when you're ready for an adventure.


1.) Facebook Mom groups for your town are a great way to meet mom friends, ask questions, get suggestions, and plan play dates.


2.) Beach- swimming and meeting up with friends or family
3.) Parks- we're all about the swings these days, picnics, and playing in the grass
4.) Go for a walk
5.) Zoo (look for free days or discount days or find a friend that has a pass)
6.) Festivals- there are so many free festivals in summer!
7.) Farmer's Market- Lily loves people watching!


8.) Local Library- Most local libraries have story time, some also have a play space set up for kids, and if all else fails you can just go to pick out a few books. Reading is so important for babies and young children and it can be a lot easier to get them excited about it if it seems like a special treat to go pick out a book or read a new book.

9.) Museums- Depending where you live this may or may not be free, but even museums that cost money often times have discount days or free days. Kenosha Public Museum is free and although it's small there is still enough to entertain a baby. There is also a kids program called Museum Munchkins every Wednesday.

10.) Play Groups- Search online or ask in your local Facebook groups about where you can attend play group in your area. The KAC runs a program called Sprouts in Kenosha! Some hospitals run free play groups as well.

11.) Indoor Play Centers- There are versions of this all over, but our local favorite is Nest Playspace in Racine.


12.) Play dates can be so fun for your baby, but let's be real sometimes it's just nice to have another adult to talk to.

13.) Mom and Me Classes- Definitely not for everyone, but it can be really helpful to have scheduled activities to look forward to each week. Some examples: swim class, music class, etc.

14.) Support Groups- La Leche League, MOPS, hospital support groups, etc. the best part is that some of these can be online supports or in person whatever works best for you!


15.) Water Play- Use a shallow tote or baby pool and add a small amount of water at the bottom. Give baby some spoons, small bowls, bath toys, etc. Another option is to have several smaller containers with a little water in each so baby can dump them over and splash in them without having to be in the water. We like to do water play outside or in the bathtub!

16.) No Mess Painting- This is one of my favorites because it requires very little prep time, don't have to worry about baby eating the craft supplies, and it's fun. Squeeze a few dots of paint onto a piece of paper or tag board, put it into a ziplock and seal it up, and let baby go to town.

17.) Tugging Box- Poke a bunch of holes into a sturdy, small, cardboard box. Then cut a section of yarn (ribbons, lace, etc.) and tie it on both ends several times. You can also put a knot or two in the middle of the yarn in order to make it a little trickier to pull through.

18.) Velcro Board- There are so many possibilities for this one! Lily loves pictures of people so for hers I laminated some photos of her family. You could also print or cut out shapes, colors, letters, etc. and laminate them and add velcro. Hang up some fabric (just be sure that it's something that can stick to velcro like felt, fleece, etc.) or put the soft velcro up on the wall. You could also cover a piece of cardboard with fabric or velcro in order to make a portable version.

19.) Spider Web- Weave string or yarn through a laundry basket to look like a spider web, add some small toys at the bottom, and let baby explore and try to figure out how to get them out.

20.) Sensory Play- There is an endless number of sensory activities to do with a baby or toddler, but one of my favorites is using leftover baby cereal, mixed with some water, and either food dye or natural dyes (beet juice, blueberry juice, etc.) and let them use it as finger paint. For that one I put a laundry basket in the bathtub and then let her paint in there so that I could just spray her down when she was

21.) Colored Ice- Another sensory play idea is to put a few drops of food coloring in each section of an ice tray and then fill each one with water. When they are frozen take them out and put a few into a shallow dish of water and let baby explore. It's fun to play with and then dyes the water once the ice has melted.

22.) Discovery Baskets- One of Lily's favorite activities is pulling everything out of a basket (or pulling all the books off the shelf). Sometimes I set her up with a basket full of objects she doesn't really get to see often and let her explore. One of her favorites is the basket full of all her headbands!

Pinterest is full of a never ending stream of activities to do with little ones, but often times it can be so discouraging to search through a ton of activities, find something that sounds fun, prep it, and then realize that it isn't baby safe or is more work than it's worth. I love doing activities with my daughter, but I don't want to spend a lot of money or time preparing or cleaning up. If you're interested in this kind of post let me know and I'll be sure to do a trial run with a few more activities to share!


  1. This is a good list. I have a 2-year-old now but most of these definitely apply!

    1. Definitely! A lot of these are toddler friendly as well!

  2. So I used to live for posts like this when my first two were little. These really help. I love the no-mess paint idea and the spider web. How did your daughter like the tugging box?

    1. She loves it! I actually made it for her when she was about 5 months and I was bummed that she didn't seem to do anything with it besides try to chew on the strings, but the last few months she has been really into pulling them back and forth.

  3. Good options. The library is my favorite place to go.

  4. These are such great ideas!Getting outside is so beneficial for baby and mama!

    1. Definitely, we are in Wisconsin and the months of decent weather always seem so short so we try to make the most of it.

  5. I definitely need to check out Mommy & Me classes. That and the Facebook Mom groups. Thanks!

    1. Facebook Mom groups have been a life saver for me, how I met a lot of my mom friends and get support. We have really enjoyed swim class and I've heard great things about Mommy and Me music classes as well!

  6. Wow! Great set of activities you have here. My son loves all sort of sensory plays though it can really get messy. Will be trying more from your list. Thank youfor sharing😊

    1. Thanks! Sensory play is SO important at this stage! I love doing sensory play in the bathtub or backyard for that reason. :)

  7. Thank you so much for these! It is so easy as moms to overthink things. We try to make everything "social media" worthy. Thank you for adding lots of different options. I will definitely be trying some of these.

  8. My likes DIY activites... Nice post. Thanks for sharing