our everyday life

What to Do With Your Toddler on a Sunday Afternoon

by Julie De Savia Dunlop, studioD

In a few short years, your weekends will be full of soccer games, countless birthday parties and school fundraisers. Take advantage of these fleeting carefree weekend days with your toddler before the rush and reality of a school-age life sets in. Sunday is the quintessential day for families to reconnect and enjoy relaxed time together.

Wagon Up

Encourage your toddler to get on and off the wagon to explore the surroundings.

The little red wagon of old might now look sleek and snazzy, but it still serves the same purpose of simple neighborhood fun for toddlers as it always has. It provides room to stretch and roam, unlike a confining stroller, and gives your toddler a full 360-degree view of the world around him. Give him the opportunity to pull the wagon for a bit, too. Pack up your wagon with snacks, a stuffed animal and a bucket for collections you might find as you take your tyke on a version of the old fashioned Sunday drive.

Indoor Fort

Grab some old sheets, line up the dining room chairs and take off the couch cushions to create a one-of-a-kind indoor fort. Building and playing in forts are an inexpensive way to spend a Sunday afternoon with your toddler. Create your own variation based on your furniture. It can be as easy as draping sheets over a dining table or along the sides of a bunk bed or as elaborate as a tunnel entrance with separate rooms made out of blankets and sheets filled with piled up pillows. Whatever the caliber of your fort, toddlers love the make-believe aspect of this indoor hideaway that childhood memories are made of.

Feed the Birds

Even a simple hummingbird feeder placed outside the kitchen window is a big attraction to a toddler.

Take bread to a park, lake or nature preserve. Let your toddler throw the crumbs on the grass or in the water and watch the birds or duck come. Toddlers get a special thrill knowing that they are the ones feeding the birds. To enjoy birds at home, buy wild birdseed and a bird feeder at a pet store with your child and set up a feeding area in your yard or outside a window. Set aside Sunday afternoons to refill the feeder with your toddler. It is a simple task that can cultivate a lifetime love for your budding birdwatcher.

Sprinkler Run

A portable sprinkler is as exciting to a toddler as an intricate underground system.

Allow your toddler to partake in the simple spring and summer thrill of running through the sprinklers. With bath time looming, Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to let your little one get downright soaked until he's had his fill. Parents can don their swimsuits and take part in the fun, too. Remember to have towels -- and a camera -- handy.

About the Author

Julie De Savia Dunlop has been writing in the fields of parenting, food, travel and education since 1997. Her work has appeared in print for Hilton Garden Inn and Hillshire Farms and online at Braveheart Greetings and Livestrong. She holds a BA from San Diego State University and a MFA from Loyola Marymount University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images