Friday, 2 August 2013

Top garden toys for toddlers playing outside

Toddlers love spending time outdoors. It's important that children do spend a lot of time outside, they will get plenty of exercise and it will help them to sleep at night. Playing outside is great for developing gross motor skills and strengthening muscles. If you are lucky enough to have your own garden then there is a huge range of outdoor play equipment available. I've put together a list of some of our favourites, which have kept my two entertained and active in the garden.


There are some great toddler slides around, but if you are planning on staying put then it might be worth investing in a larger slide as toddlers grow so quickly and you might only have one summer's use from it. A wave slide adds a bit more interest, and look for one that you can take apart to store inside in the winter to protect it.


I loved our swing when I was little. Most swings have different seats available to take your child from baby through to toddler and beyond. Just make sure that you anchor them properly to the ground! A wooden swing will be more durable but difficult to store inside or move, a plastic swing will be lighter meaning that you can move it around the garden and take apart for winter storage.


Paddling pool

Paddling pools come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the size of your garden and number of children. A small paddling pool can be filled quickly as and when you want it, a larger one will take longer to fill but will be more if you have more or older children. If you want to leave it out for longer than a few days look for one with a cover and/or a filter to keep the water nice and clean.


Sand and water activity table

Sand and water tables are brilliant fun for the garden. They are so versatile, and in the winter you can bring them indoors and use them for all sorts of sensory play, I fill ours with dried pasta and cups for pouring. Try and find one which has a cover to keep it clean and dry when not in use.


Wheeled toy

There are so many options for wheeled toys for toddlers, and they are brilliant, not just for the garden but also for out and about. My son is able to travel a far greater distance on his scooter than when he is walking, and at a decent speed too! They are also great for role play, for example trips around the pretend shop or farm.


Play house

A play house for the garden can be a simple pop up tent which is taken down after use, or a solid wooden feature which will last for many years. Pop up play houses can also be used indoors in the winter or inclement weather. They are brilliant for encouraging role play, and also a great place to store garden toys when not in use!


Bouncy castles

Many family gardens feature a trampoline, but they are really aimed at slightly older children and may not be suitable for younger toddlers. Instead, a bouncy castle is a great alternative. They can be stored neatly away when not in use, which means that they stay clean and in good condition. You don't need to spend that much to buy a decent one, and they will last for years. Children love them!

Wet weather clothing

Unfortunately, living in the UK you can't be guaranteed good weather, and certainly not normally for sustained periods. But with a pair of wellies and a puddle suit, toddlers can enjoy splashing about in the mud and rain and stay nice and dry and cosy underneath!

If you're lucky enough to be enjoying some lovely weather, why not check out some fun sunshine toddler activities.

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