11 Creative Social Distancing Activities for Toddlers this Summer

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11 Creative Social Distancing Activities for Toddlers this Summer

Between working from home, paying bills, and keeping up on housework, it’s difficult for busy moms in quarantine to come up with social distancing activities for toddlers. They’re known for their hyperactivity, constant need for attention, and inability to do one activity for an extended amount of time. It’s hard to entertain toddlers on a regular basis and even more so during COVID-19 house arrest. Here are some of my favorite social distancing activities for toddlers to help keep your kiddo from bouncing off the walls.

Road Trip

Load the family up in the van, and take a road trip to a fun outdoor space, far away from other people. Here are some COVID-safe destination ideas:

  • Drive through a state park
  • Go camping
  • Go swimming
  • Visit a safari park
  • Try a hiking trail

A weekend or even a day away is the perfect way to safely get a break from being cooped up at home 24/7.

Outdoor Crafts

An easy craft to enjoy with your toddler is painting smooth pebbles to put in your garden or use to decorate your house. Another lovely craft idea is making bubble paint flowers. You can buy bubble paint, but it’s also easy to make your own.

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a creative social distancing activity for toddlers. You can have fun together while still sneaking in some education. Try hiding some fun treats and toys around the yard with hints on the location of the next item. 

An alternative idea is to write up a list of commonly found outdoor objects, such as pine cones, flowers, and pebbles. Then the two of you can go on an epic hunt around your backyard or local park, and see how many things you can find.

Driveway Art

Chalk drawings are the perfect way to social distance and still give your toddler some fresh air. You could make a good old-fashioned game of hopscotch, a giant mural, or draw each other’s portraits. There are no limits to what you can do with a bit of chalk and some pavement. This can safely entertain your child (and you) for hours on end.

Make Popsicles

Pink and white popsicles on ice, surrounded by cherries

These fun and easy treats are a delicious way to have some fun with your toddler. Try slicing up some fruit or throwing in some gummy bears to put a fun twist on this classic summer treat. You can try using yogurt instead of fruit juice as the base if you want something a little creamier. Swirl some bright fruit juices in the yogurt for an added splash of color. 

Your toddler will love these adorable popsicle molds for some extra creative fun.

Do a Science Experiment

You can go outside and put various items in a tub of water to see what floats and what sinks. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could experiment with mixing water and oil. All you need is:

  • Baby or vegetable oil
  • Pipettes or droppers
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Plastic cups

First: Pour the water into as many cups as you want colors. Then add the food coloring until they are nice and bright.

Second: Fill a cup halfway with oil (if it’s baby oil, make sure they don’t eat any).

Third: Place a dropper or pipette in each food coloring/water cup and fill up the droppers.

Fourth: Squeeze the droppers into the oil cup, and watch the magic happen!

Make a Backyard Obstacle Course

A mini obstacle course is an ingenious way to get your tiny ninja’s blood flowing. Get creative with an assortment of old tires, ropes, trees, and outdoor toys for hours of outdoor fun and gross motor practice for your toddler. These brilliant ideas of varying difficulty are perfect to get you started making your course.

Grow a Garden

Small boy in orange shirt holding up a pumpkin to the camera: social distancing activities for toddlers

Let your toddler explore her inner green thumb and try planting a little garden in your back yard or even on your deck. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; just a few planters, some seeds, sunlight, and water. You will get some tasty vegetables (hopefully), and it might even help your little one culture a love of fresh veggies! 

Have a Dance Party

Turn on your favorite tunes and dance away some of that pent-up quarantine energy. You can do it inside or outside, depending on the weather. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can decorate for the party with your toddler. Hang up some lights, make some decoration crafts; it’ll be fun! Toddlers love music and quality time with their parents, so your toddler will love having a dance party with you.

Make a Swing (Indoors or Outdoors) 

Little girl swinging against the sky: social distancing activities for toddlers

A swing is a cheap, low-effort way to entertain your toddler for hours. All you need is some rope, aboard, and a tree. You could even set up a swing indoors, in a doorway or from a ceiling if you’re looking for year-round fun. Here is a fun swing that can be used indoors or outdoors if you don’t feel like making your own. 

Go Backyard (or Living Room) Camping

Set up a tent in your backyard (or living room if the weather is bad). You can fill it with pillows, toys, and books to make it the perfect little reading nook. If your little one is too young to camp, you can use it as a mini fort or hideout, even if you don’t sleep in it.

Social Distancing Can Be Fun

My ideas for social distancing activities for toddlers helped make my busy day a bit easier, and I’m sure they will do the same for you! Toddlers love anything involving being active and creative, and these fun activities are sure to brighten up you and your toddler’s quarantine. I know daycare might seem like a tempting option, now that daycares are open again, but check out my article on daycare during COVID to inform yourself about the risk factors vs the pros.

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Catherine Claesson

I'm a mom with a beautiful baby girl and a blog dedicated to sharing the best, most accurate momming tips, based on personal experience and lots of research.

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