After the lovely weather we have been having lately Noah has been playing in the garden a lot more. Its a lot more fun (and let’s face it, a lot less messy!) than being stuck indoors. He loves it so much that he would spend all day, every day outside. He even uses his favourite word of the moment (“No!!!”) a lot when it’s time to go indoors and sometimes our neighbours are even treated to hearing him having a meltdown as he is carried inside. Aren’t you glad you don’t live next door to us!! If you are looking for ideas on how to entertain a toddler in your garden during lockdown/whatever phase it’s now called, here is a list of outdoor activities and toys that I recommend.
**I appreciate that we are really lucky in that we have a garden when there are many people who don’t, especially during this difficult time when play parks, swimming pools and outside activities are closed. Some of the outdoor activity ideas are suitable for when you are out and about on your walk or in the park. Just make sure that it is allowed during current guidelines.**
Looking for different kinds of bugs and beasties doesn’t exactly fill me with joy as I’m not too keen on creepy crawlies. Little ones love this so I guess I will just have to suck it up. From bees, ladybirds and butterflies flying about to the hidden ones like worms in the soil and wood lice under rocks, there are loads of critters to be discovered.
Take a couple of teddies along with a rug or picnic blanket outside and have a picnic. You could have a bear theme such as Pom Bears, Barney Bear cake bars and sandwiches cut with bear shaped cookie cutters.
Stick some tape around their wrists and collect some leaves, flower heads such as daisies, dandelions and clover or whatever they find outside. There’s an abundance of dandelions around here at the moment so they will be featuring a lot on our bracelets.
Noah is forever watering the flowers with his watering can. I’m surprised none of them have drowned yet as he can spend a good 20 minutes pouring water over them! If you don’t have a patch in your garden, why not get a planter for your garden so they can plant some things and watch them grow? You will just need to decide whether to plant some flowers or veg.
Even on those wet days they can still have a lot of fun. Shove some wellies on and go hunting for puddles to jump in. You can even join in yourself!
When the weather gets a bit hot, a paddling pool is the perfect way for them to cool down. Noah loves splashing around in water so this is a great hit. Unfortunately for him living in the North East of Scotland means that it doesn’t come out very often! Usually I put some bath toys or stacking cups in there too that he can play with. If it’s not hot enough for water you could always fill it with ball pit balls.
When Noah was around a year old he loved being pushed in a swing so we bought him one for his birthday. He no longer loves being pushed in a swing!! We went for the Plum 2 in 1 swing set as it would grow with him up to the age of 10 years old. So we have a few more years for him to like it again.
This toy has been getting a lot of use this lockdown. It has two compartments, one for water and one for sand. Only never trust a toddler not to combine the two. After having soggy sand in both compartments we now do either sand or water only. This is the Early Learning Centre Sand and Water Table and is £49.99.
This roller coaster was Noah’s birthday present this year and he loves it. They sit on the car and it runs down the track. It’s really easy to assemble, you just click the pieces together and they are ready to roll! It is a pricier toy and is currently £186.74 from Amazon.
Toddler’s love to run around the garden so why not make an obstacle course for them. This pop up tunnel is ideal for them to jump over and crawl through. Plus it takes up very little space when stored away. I got this when Noah was around one years old and set it up indoors. He was a bit unsure on what he was meant to do but after watching the cats run through the tunnel multiple times it was then that he realised that he had to crawl through it! My cousin gave us this one after her son outgrew it but you can get a similar one from Smyth’s Toystore for £9.
A slide or a “weeeeeee” as Noah prefers to call it is another outdoor toy that gets a lot of use here. It seems to be that every time you slide down it you have to say “woooooosh”!! We went for the bigger slide as that would last him until he was 6 years old rather than the 4 year old limit the smaller ones had. We got this one from the Early Learning Centre but they no longer stock it but this is a similar slide instead.
I hope that this post gave you some ideas on how to entertain a toddler in your garden. I’d love to hear your ideas if I’ve not covered any, so comment them below!