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  • Writer's pictureTori Beans

Toddler Must Haves: Summer Outdoor Play

I guarantee you haven't seen these items on any other "Summer Must Have" lists. I tried to think outside the box and find items that you wouldn't obviously think to buy for summer outdoor play. But trust me once you have these items you will wonder how you survived without them!

toddler in pink bathingsuit

This play mat is absolutely necessary if your backyard has a hard surface such as concrete or pavers. My parents have an inground pool which is surrounded by a concrete slab surface. This is not ideal for toddlers to play on, and so we pull out the trusty mat and my toddler can sit and play for house without burns and scrapes on her hands, knees, and everywhere else. Also, it keeps bathing suits from fraying! This mat is light weight so it’s really easy to set up and put back away out of sight when you are done. It is easy to clean. Now, if you are not familiar with swim diapers, they do not absorb urine. This may be a shock to some but trust me it’s true. If your little one decides to tinkle on this mat, it is super easy to rinse and clean and put back out for more play. It also dries really quickly we just leave it upright in the sun for about an hour and its dry and ready to put away for tomorrow! Also, this is reversible and comes with different prints, so it is a really fun and pretty option.

bath toys

For play time in the pool and near it, we like to use bath toys. To be honest this wasn’t a conscious choice, so much as we had some extra bath toys we weren’t using and we thought well they are waterproof, so why not? And they work just great! Make sure to buy toys without the hole, think a rubber ducky with a hole in the mouth to spray water. While those toys can be so much fun, the hole allows water to sit in the toy and these grow mold

pretty quickly. If you don’t believe me, cut open one of yours and trust me you will see mold – GROSS! Anyway, try it out these are so fun for water play with your little one.

toddler playing with water table

Okay so I don’t know about you, but I had always told myself I wasn’t going to get one of these for my kids. I always felt that they were super gross and moldy. I thought they would require a lot of maintenance to remain clean, and I honestly just didn’t want to deal with that. But, for our daughters first birthday she got one and we put it out at her birthday party (we got a lot of gifts mailed to the house ahead of time) and everyone loved it.

little girl in beanie and winter coat playing with water table

We left ours outside all winter and our daughter continued to play with it even without water in it. She truly loves it and I’m glad we got one.

portable play yard

This was so helpful. It is made to be lightweight and easy to transport. It comes with a carrying case with a strap and it folds up in a few seconds. I was able to put it together and take it apart by myself which I love because my husband isn’t always home when I would want to take the kids outside. This will be the place my son can roll around and play while my daughter runs around the yard or plays in the pool. It provides a safe place to lay your little one down without having to worry about them for example falling into an open pool, or down a set of stairs on your deck. This is probably more suitable for kids under 1, but I bet my 19-month-old will be wanting to jump in there to torment... I mean play... with her younger brother.

pink crocs for toddlers

Okay so this may not seem like a summertime water play item, but to me it was a huge help because they are so comfy and easy to get in and out of also, they don’t have tiny buckles and snaps to secure. My daughter had 2 pairs of crocs and this is what she lived in all summer. I am absolutely buying new pairs in her current size for this coming summer. They are so easy to get on and off you can leave the strap toward the front for easy slip on and off or put them in “expert mode” ahhaha tell me if you’ve seen those memes... but anyway when you put the strap in the back it just gives an added layer of staying power, so those crocs aren’t going to slip off when your kid is running around. Also, they dry really quickly because they are rubber and have holes all throughout, so they are easy to rinse in the sink and let dry and use again tomorrow. My family are huge croc supporters and we all wear them constantly. Highly recommend, and hey how cute is it when you can all match? ;)

pregnant woman holding toddler

DISCLAIMER: These are my personal opinions and none of these products have been sponsored.

Full Product Name/Hyperlink

MEM Baby Play Mat 71" x 59", Foldable Baby Play Mats for Floor, Reversible Waterproof Foam Playmat for Babies and Toddlers, Large Non-Slip Baby Crawling Mat with Travel Bag

Nuby 16-Piece Floating Foam Bath Animals Set

Mold Free Infant Bath Toys for 1 Year Old - 6pcs No Hole Ocean Sea Animal Bathtub Toys, Baby Bath Tub Toys No Mold

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table | Kids Water Play Table with 13-Pc Accessory Set

Evenflo Play-Away Portable Playard Deluxe, Adventurer , 15 Sq Ft (Pack of 1)

Crocs Classic Littles Clogs |Baby Shoes, Taffy Pink, US 2-3 Unisex Infant

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