Top 10 Awesome Summer Activities for Babies Approved by a Sensory Teacher

Summer days are fun to do water-based and outdoor activities to explore the senses. From easy walks around the beach to fun messy sensory bins here are some of our best summer activities for babies you can do this summer.

All of these ideas have been tested by myself and my students. I teach sensory classes and we have done each of the activities plenty of times. It was hard to focus on just the top 10 but when I chose each one to make the list I looked for easy to set up, maximum fun and amazing photo opportunities!

Let’s divide the list into two sections. First, some easy bucket list summer ideas you can just wake up and go! and the second part are sensory summer activities for the days you are feeling a bit more adventurous.

Summer bucket list ideas for babies

Summer Activities for Babies

1. Cool off at the splash pad

The first thing I do every summer and I suggest you cross it off your Summer Activities for Babies list is the splash pad! Grab a group of friends and head over to your local splash pad. Meet early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not as hot.

2. Water play with balls

Summer Activities for Babies can be simple using materials you already have at home

When all you have is a few minutes between naps a great way to cool off is with some water play. You can use a plastic bin or an inflatable baby pool (available on Amazon). Last summer, we even had a splash pad (also available on Amazon).

The splash pad has been a favorite summer add-on and adding small balls to the pool has been a great success.

If you plan to keep the water for a few days you need to add a bit of bleach to prevent the slimy yucky stuff to grow, otherwise, it is best to use fresh water each time or at least every 2 days.

3. Set up a water table

If your baby can stand already, a great investment is a water table. You can do so many activities just using that table. Add funnels, cups, sponges, balls, or even food coloring to make a unique experience each time.

If your baby does not yet stand, you can do the same thing with a plastic bin on the floor. Just add a towel underneath to catch any spills or play on the grass.

This water table available on Amazon is what I have and recommend to my mom friends when they ask me which one to get. I don’t have a photo of my baby playing with it because our table was a hand-me-down that we picked up from a neighbor’s and it has been used and abuse… it looks awful! My table is missing half the pieces it comes with and looks awful! but it’s been 3 years since we got it and still use it often.

When looking for a table, look for the water area to be larger and do not get disrupted by the slides and extra stuff they like to add in. Is not about the toys it comes with but the area they have to be creative with the water. I know I can probably come up with 20 different Summer Activities for Babies using just the water table!

4. Beach Nature Walk

Summer Activities for Babies

If you live close by to the beach, call a few friends and grab a cup of coffee, then take a walk on the beach or even a stroller walk on the beach boardwalk.

Sensory play is engaging all of our senses, touch, smell, hearing, and touch. The beach provides an opportunity to explore each one. Take in the breeze, the sound of the ocean waves crashing into the shore, and even collect some seashells. Is baby too small for the seashells? add them to a plastic bottle so they can explore them safely.


Edible-Safe Sensory Summer Activities for Babies

When it comes to babies, edible-safe sensory activities are a must-do! And when it comes to edible sensory it is best to do it outside, this is why all of these messy sensory activities are on the summer list.

Just lay down a messy mat (these messy mats available on Amazon are what I use in my sensory classes) or shower curtain outside and have some fun making a mess! when your baby is done playing, prepare a bin with water and baby soap and have a second activity playing with water as you clean up. This second bin is a must-have in my classes and it makes cleanup a lot easier when we are at the park.

6. Foam Sensory Bin

Water-based is one of my favorite activities and when I start a new sensory session in my sensory class, I always do a water-based activity. Start things easy and get messier as the weeks go by.

Add about 2 teaspoons of baby soap to a bin and use an electric mixer on high to create giant bubbles. You can add some food coloring to color the water and bath toys and have fun!

7. Do art using edible Finger Paints

Finger painting is one of my favorite activities for this age group. They just love to feel the textures and feel it with their whole body!

There are three ways you can do finger painting, You can do the easiest way using edible paint using yogurt, puffy edible-safe paint, or use non-toxic finger paint.

8. Edible-Safe water beads

Edible water beads

Store-bought water beads are so much fun to play with but they can be very dangerous if consumed. Because of this, I came up with an idea (and then later found out I wasn’t that creative as some people had done it in the past without me knowing…) but nonetheless it is a favorite one in my baby sensory class! Edible water-beads! technically they are not water but they are better! they are full of health benefits so you get a tasty activity and nutritious!

Follow this edible-safe water beads recipe to make colorful edible-safe water beads

9. Jell-O Sensory Bin

Jello is so much fun and so tasty to play with! By choosing different colors you can change the theme up! When I think of summer, I think of the ocean so for this last class, I did an ocean theme bin using blue jello.

Be careful using blue or red jell-O as they can stain the hands. If you want to avoid the staining here is my secret tip I use for my classes.

Mix unflavored Jell-O with blue or red Jell-O. This will soften the color a bit still making it fun for play time, reduce the sweetness and reduce the staining.

Wondering what the “sand” is? I used banana pudding but you can also do edible-safe sand using this edible-safe sand recipe.

10. Farm Themed baby sensory Bin

Talking about edible sand here is a fun activity I did for farm week with the babies! WE made edible sand and I added a side of chocolate pudding to make it messy! Added some farm animals and let them play with the different textures.

Last thoughts…

Summers are fun because of the sun and heat but sometimes it can be too hot! When looking for summer Activities for Babies to do outdoors, aim for activities early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the peak of the sun being too hot (usually between 11-3). Remember to keep your little one hydrated with frozen fruit snacks, water, and lots of water play.

For more ideas to add to your Summer Activities for Babies bucket list, check out the my 35 sensory bin ideas to set up for your baby.