Hello Wednesday! Time to make weekend plans locally. My weekend festival is Aldergrove Fair Days. For local fun, I’m sharing 3 ways to maximize backyard fun with toddlers.
Weekend Festival: Aldergrove Fair Days
Check out Aldergrove Fair Days this weekend (July 15 and 16). The parade starts at 10am on Saturday, July 15 with a flower power theme. Catch the parade on Fraser Highway starting at 270 Street and ending at 273 Street. Trooper is headlining the fair at 8pm on Saturday at the Aldergrove Athletic Park.
Local Fun: Maximizing Backyard Fun with Toddlers
It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard. Our backyard is fairly small, but we do have a lawn, small garden area, 4 potted tomato plants, and a concrete patio area where we can BBQ and sit at our patio table. In our own yard, we can have hours of fun with our toddler.
Below are my 3 tips for maximizing backyard fun all summer long with your toddler
1. Garden as a Family
I don’t have a green thumb, or even a green pinkie finger. However, I still like to grow my own cherry tomatoes in pots. This usually starts as a fun task at the end of May and then we get lots of rain and I don’t need to water them nightly. We are now in summer and watering the tomatoes has become a chore. When you involve a toddler in a regular chore and see the task through their eyes it becomes fun and meaningful. On weekend mornings we water the plants in the back yard together – me with the hose, her with a 100 millilitre watering can.
Earlier this year we planted some marigolds and snap dragons in the front yard and my daughter loved getting her hands dirty and shoveling. Thankfully, I don’t care about my back garden since it’s only a tree and a dying hydrangea that the neighbour’s cat sleeps on. I let my daughter rake and dig (from her own garden set) in that back garden and it keeps her amused. A friend dropped some coins in her dirt pile and that brought out the inner archaeologist in my daughter.
2. Enjoy an Inflatable Pool
Inflatable kiddie pools can cost anywhere from $20 to $60 and there’s a large range in sizes. The baby sized pool is ideal for a baby that is able to sit up and splash. Consequently, the amount of water used is minimal. The next range tends to be slightly larger (two babies would fit) and the water level could get a bit higher. From this size they just keep getting bigger and deeper.
We opted for a 3 ft by 4ft pool and we rarely fill above 8 inches deep. This size pool means on a hot day my husband and I can both sit in the pool with our toddler. The neighbour kids also like to get in on the fun and it makes for a great afternoon of relaxing under the warm sun while endless laughs and splashes are enjoyed by all.
It is important to note that you can’t leave young ones unsupervised when the pool is filled – let’s be safe parents! Add some buckets, shovels, or even water bottles to the pool and you’ve got a new game to play. After each weekend, we scoop out the water and use it to water our plants so we don’t waste the water.
Inflating tip: if you don’t have a special inflater then use your hairdryer to cover the hole and it will inflate. Remember to be quick fastening the hole once its filled.
3. Kicking and Throwing Balls
I fell in love with my house after we toured it and my husband described the backyard as the perfect size to play catch with his future kiddo. The yard and our kid have both lived up to my husband’s expectation. Walmart and even dollar stores have cheap balls of varying sizes. We have beach balls, a soccer ball, and a football that we pass around. At 16 months my daughter was mesmerized by our beach ball – it was soft, it was flimsy, and it was large enough for her to be able to swing her leg and make contact with it. This summer she’s amazed by it, but likes throwing and kicking it. Most of all, she looks at her father and I like we are professional athletes when we can rally the ball back and forth.
I hope you find these tips fun. Stay hydrated, wear a hat, and don’t forget to to reapply sunscreen often!