Here are some good basic ideas for family fun outings. You can learn more about Ryan’s website at SmartParentAdvice.com. This is a great help for parents with younger children.
Five Family Outings that are Fun for Toddlers
If you’ve got a toddler or two in the house, you may have noticed that staying cooped up inside all day isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. Just like anyone else, toddlers do tend to go a bit stir crazy after a while. However, they have their own way of expressing their frustration. Instead of simply mentioning it, they might decide to throw a tantrum or have a meltdown.
So, if you find yourself with a weekend ahead with nothing on the social calendar, you might want to come up with some sort of outing. A few good ideas of just what to do are below.
Day At The Beach
If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, this is a great one. Young children are often awed by the ocean. When the weather is hot, you can all run down to the shore to put your feet in the water. Even on cooler days though walking around on the sand, while surrounded by beautiful scenery makes for a great day. Bring a ball to toss around or some shovels and buckets to build a sand castle.
Take A Hike
For those of us that don’t live near the beach, a hike can be a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. Your bound to come across a few animals, plants or trees that your little one hasn’t seen before. Something that’s mundane to you might actually be really exciting for your toddlers. My son shouts with joy every time he finds a pine cone, and it always makes me smile. My daughter on the other hand is fascinated by all kinds of animals, including squirrels and chipmunks.
One tip though, it’s a good idea to bring a stroller or carrier when you go hiking. While toddlers often start out with lots of energy and enthusiasm, those little legs do tend to get tired after a while. This is particularly true on longer hikes. So, unless you want to work on your arm strength, it’s a good idea to have a way to carry them.
The Right Restaurant
While fine dining might not be at the top of your list for toddler activities, the right restaurant can be a fun way to get out. This is a solid option, especially on foul weather days. So, just what is the right restaurant? For starters, you want to make sure it’s family friendly – nothing too fancy.
The hardest thing about eating out with a toddler is sitting at the table waiting for the food to arrive. So, places that serve fairly quickly are in. It’s also nice if they happen to have crayons and something to draw on. Of course, fast food is always an option as those spots sometimes have ball pits or playgrounds. I have had good luck with teppanyaki as well, since the kids enjoy the show while we wait (and so do I for that matter!).
One other tip is to try eating at slightly off hours. For example, go for lunch at 11am or dinner at 4:30pm. That way, if your kids do start to get a little restless, at least there won’t be a huge crowd of people around. Service tends to be a bit faster at off hours as well.
Picnic At The Park
Speaking of dining, picnics can be an absolute blast. You can keep the food simple if you want. Sandwiches and fruit are enough to keep everyone happy most of the time. Bring a picnic blanket as well, and presto you’ve got a great family outing on your hands.
It’s a good idea to bring some toys along as well of course. Perhaps a ball to kick or throw. Or, if you’re really feeling ambitious maybe a kite. Some parks even have playgrounds, which of course provide plenty of entertainment.
Zoos just never get old for toddlers. You could probably go every weekend for a year, and they would still love seeing all of the animals (not that I’m recommending going quite that often!). This is a great way for kids to learn about the world, and to get a little exercise walking around as well.
Most of these ideas can be pulled off with very little planning. So, the next time that you find yourself home for the weekend, give one of these a shot.