Summer Favorites of an Indoorsy Mom Part 2: The Outdoor Edition


As my son has gotten older, resist as I might, he wants to spend more time outside. If you’ve read my previous blog post, Summer Favorites of An Indooorsy Mom, you’ll know Midwest summer weather is not my jam. This year I have had to resort to a new arsenal of things. The following are my three favorite outdoor toys that keep toddlers busy so you can stay in the shade. Along with three of my favorites to make being outside in the heat more bearable.


For Kids



PVC Pipe Water Table

Our water table was built by my stepdad for our son out of PVC pipe and an under-the-bed storage bin. If you or your partner are handy with tools, you can create your own, or Etsy sells both the plans and completed tables. I liked this table because there is enough stuff on it to keep him interested but also not so much that it prohibits creativity of his own. The more open-ended approach to tables like these keeps kids busier longer than the ones that are full of things already. We have a bin of water and sand toys next to it that he can use as he likes. It’s even big enough that if it gets really hot, he’ll sit in it.


Terra by Battat – Tropical Fish World – Assorted Miniature Sea Animals

These fish toys are great for water tables or use in the pool. My son loves to play fish families and attack of the crabs with these in his water table. They are also good for slightly older kids to use as underwater diving toys. For my son, who is just learning to keep his head underwater, we put some on the steps into the pool so he can put his head just under to grab them.


Reusable Water Balloons

These are the toy du jour of the summer for a very good reason! They will keep your kids busy for literally over an hour. Toss them in a water table or a bin of water, and they almost fill themselves. Push them under the water and tap them shut, and they are ready to go. Afterward, there are no tiny pieces of balloon to pick up or large wasted pieces of plastic like there are from Bunch O’Balloons. And as opposed to paying $30 for balloons to last you one hour, you can use these all summer long.


For Mom


Crinkle Cutter

This one is technically for both. Use it as an activity for kids to do before they go out, to prepare their own snacks. Slice different types of melon and let the kids use the crinkle cutter to cut the melon into French fry shapes. Anything is more appealing to kids when it is in the shape of a French fry. Blend up some fresh strawberries with some plain yogurt for a tasty dipping sauce for watermelon for a tasty treat for you or the kids.


Simply Mixology Juices

These are one of my favorite finds of the summer. You can find them at your local Schnucks. They can be enjoyed by themselves as mocktails or mixed with your beverage of choice for a cocktail. The Lime Margarita is a great premade margarita mix when you just need something quick and easy. The Strawberry Guava Mojito is great on its own or mixed with rum or vodka. Both are great drinks to keep you cool in the heat.


Sorel Cameron Flatform Sandal

These are the most comfortable pair of sandals I have ever owned. They are perfect for walking around all the summer festivals, theme parks and even vacations (they are seriously that comfortable). I have worn these more times than I can count this summer already. I was lucky enough to find mine on sale for $86, but like them so much I would pay full price for them if I had to. They come in 12 different colors. Depending on your shoe size and color preference, there are still some on sale at Amazon.