Whatever time of year it is, and whether it’s throwing it down with rain or glorious warm sunshine, there are always plenty of outdoor activities for toddlers and children to do outside.
** This is a paid post sponsored by Wickey.
Being outside is the perfect place for children to have the freedom to shout, jump, run, hop or skip – do all the things that children should be doing. Children can learn a lot from being outside and it is the perfect place to ask educational questions through child led play. How does ice feel and sound? Can sticks stand up in sand? How do plants grow? How does mud feel? Why do we slide down instead of up? Learning and investigating all of this outside is particularly effective—and certainly more fun!
There are heaps of activities for toddlers and below, I will share some fun kids garden toys for the home whilst getting closer to nature, developing their early year’s skills and giving them plenty of opportunities to try new things.
If your pre-schooler is on the active side, climbing and active toys are great way to not only wear them out, but to also work on their gross motor skills. Little children need to spend hours every day enjoying gross motor skills activities to get the large muscles in their legs and arms working.
From the moment toddlers learn to walk, they look for trees to climb. Toddlers are constantly looking for ways to pull themselves up and what better way to help them than to invest in a Climbing Frame.
Physical play ideas
There are heaps of climbing frames to choose from and the outdoor play specialists, Wickey, have a great selection to choose from. What I love about this range is that you can start off buying a smaller climbing frame, and then you build on them year on year as your children get older!
An easy all-time favourite. Buy some bubbles and young toddlers will enjoy chasing the bubbles down and popping them while older toddlers can blow on the bubbles to see how long they can keep one in the air. Make sure you don’t just stand in one spot but keep moving and your toddler will follow.
Create an obstacle course in the garden
Use whatever you can find around the house and garden to set up an obstacle course. Use boxes, rugs, large toys, chairs, anything you can think of. You can use the chairs to crawl under, cushions to roll on, plant pots to run around, balance bikes to do a lap of the garden on, rugs to jump on. You can make it up as you go along!
Sandpits are a great outdoor activities for kids. They encourage children to use their imaginations and engage in creative play. Dig, build sandcastles, hide objects, put small world character in and set the scene. The list for toddler activities is endless.
Sand play ideas
Collect together a few favourite small objects and bury them in a sandpit. Pretend to be pirates and encourage your toddler to uncover the treasure using different tools such as spoons, spades and a colander for sieving sand.
Draw pictures in the sand with sticks
Make the sand slightly wet to be able to create a picture. This is a fun way to encourage early writing skills.
Build a quarry
Put aside a little area in your sandpit and add some pebbles, shells and rocks. Throw in some cars and trucks and you will be amazed at your child’s imagination.
Sand , water and some ‘real life’ cooking props never fail to keep children interested in outdoor play. Give your child a small jug of water and some cake tins, trays and spoons and leave them to do the baking!
Mud kitchens are one of the best outdoor toys for kids. They are the perfect accessory to any outdoor play space because they allow children to have some muddy fun without being told to stay clean! The activities offered by a mud kitchen are limited only by the imagination!
Muddy fun ideas
Bake with mud
Find some old pots, pans and cutlery to cook up some delicious mud cakes using mud, seasoned with flowers, stones, leaves and seeds. If you don’t have any old saucepans, car boot sales are always fab for these.
Make fairy soup
Take your little one on a hunt around the garden to find some leaves, petals, seeds and grass from outside and mix them together into a small bowl of water. Use scissors to cut up the ingredients, crush them using spoons and mixers.
Building with mud bricks
Make your own building bricks using mud. I love this idea. Use three parts dirt to two parts water, set the mixture in an ice-cube tray, leave to dry in the sun, pop out and then build structures in the garden with the bricks.
Go jumping in puddles
There’s no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing. Embrace any wet days by popping on the wellies and going in search of puddles – the twins love this activity. And if there is no rain, they just make puddles with watering cans!
Wash your toys
This is one of the simplest water activities for toddlers, but they love it every time. Grab some toys (dirty or not), add some soapy bubbles, and get to washing.
Paint with water
Grab some real house paintbrushes and rollers and go to town painting the sidewalk – they love it and it doesn’t cause any mess!
Bring your favourite books to life outdoors
Go on a Gruffalo hunt – The Gruffalo is one of the twin’s favourite books. We go on Gruffalo hunts whenever we get the opportunity.
A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.
A fox saw the mouse. And the mouse looked good.
Use the story as inspiration for your own forest adventures. We used this story when we had a photoshoot in the Bluebells to keep the girls focused and entertained!
Another fav is ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’. I am sure you know it!
I hide the teddy, set up a small assault course and set off to find the bear saying the rhyme as we go. We pretend to swim, trudge over cushions as we go up and down hills, dive through sheets which are thrown over the washing line. How you get to the teddy bear is your choice but let your imagination go wild with what you need to go through to get there in the end.
Create a magical fairy garden
We love small world play in our house. Fairies, unicorns, and toad stalls. Small world play opens up a world of possibilities – use miniature items to create an inviting scene which your child will love to explore. Your child will love going on miniature adventures.
I hope you have found these outdoor activities for toddlers inspiring and will give some of the ideas a go with your toddler outside. You can also check out our outdoor play gift guide should you be looking for present ideas.