Who else LOVES berry picking during the summer months?! Berry picking is not only a fun activity for adults, but it can also be a wonderful experience for toddlers. It provides an opportunity for them to explore nature, engage in sensory play, and learn about where their food comes from! However, berry picking with a toddler requires some extra planning and preparation. In this guide, I’ll provide you with tips to ensure a fun and successful berry picking adventure with your little one! Want more summer fun activity ideas? Check out my 60 summer fun activities for toddlers guide here.
choose the right berry farm:
When selecting a berry farm, opt for one that is toddler-friendly! Consider the size of the farm and whether it allows strollers, has options for shorter walking distances, or provides transportation for you, as we know toddlers may tire easily! Also, ask about any special activities or attractions for children that can enhance their experience!
time it right:
We opt for an early morning picking session, before the sun gets too hot, and well before nap time! Between 9-10am is right up our alley!
dress for success:
Dress your toddler in comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics suitable for the weather. I love lightweight flowy dresses for our girl! You can also consider dressing them in long sleeves and pants to protect against scratches and sun exposure. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen, bring insect repellent (just in case!) and a sun hat to protect their little face. Also, bring along an extra change of clothes for them, as berry picking can get messy!
pack snacks and drinks:
Anyone else’s toddler ravenous anytime you leave the house?! Pack a variety of healthy snacks and drinks to keep them fueled and hydrated throughout the berry picking adventure. Although I’m sure they’ll eat a few berries along the way, too! Finger foods like cut-up fruits, crackers, and small sandwiches work well. Avoid messy or sticky snacks that may make berry picking difficult. Bring along water or juice in spill-proof containers to keep them refreshed! We love this snack pack to travel with!
teach them about the berries:
Before heading to the berry farm, introduce your toddler to the concept of berry picking. Show them pictures or read books about different types of berries and explain how they grow. You can also let them taste and explore different berries at home to get them excited about the flavors they will experience during the picking activity! Here are a few cute berry picking books: The Very Berry Counting Book, It’s Strawberry Picking Time, Jamberry!
engage their senses:
Berry picking offers a sensory-rich experience for toddlers. Encourage them to touch, smell, and taste the berries they pick! Let them explore the different textures and colors, and talk about their observations. This hands-on engagement will make the experience more enjoyable and educational for them!
Prepare your toddler for the outing by setting simple expectations! Explain that they will be picking berries gently and putting them in a basket. Encourage them to listen and follow your instructions to ensure their safety and the preservation of the berry plants. Toddlers thrive with clear guidance, so provide simple and age-appropriate directions throughout the activity!
embrace patience and flexibility:
Berry picking with a toddler may take longer than expected, as they may need frequent breaks, get easily distracted, or wander off. Embrace the slower pace and allow your toddler to explore their surroundings within safe boundaries. Be patient and flexible, understanding that their curiosity and attention span may vary. Enjoy the journey and the quality time spent together!
capture the memories:
Don’t forget to bring a camera or use your phone to capture the special moments of your toddler’s berry picking adventure! Take pictures of them exploring, picking berries, and enjoying the experience. These photographs will serve as cherished memories of this precious time in their childhood!
Berry picking with a toddler can be a memorable and enjoyable experience for both of you. By choosing a toddler-friendly farm, dressing appropriately, packing snacks and drinks, teaching them about the berries, engaging their senses, setting expectations, embracing patience, and capturing the memories, you’ll create a positive and fruitful outing. Enjoy the joy and wonder in your toddler’s eyes as they pick berries!!