Summer is here! The sun is shining, the weather is warm and – oh – you should probably take your kid outside. Saying so is easy, finding ways to entertain a foot-loose and fancy-free toddler is not so much. Toddlers are notorious for their exploratory nature and limited attention span. And since love for the outdoors is a good and healthy habit for your child to develop, you don’t want to keep them inside merely to ensure they are entertained.
Playing outdoors is fun but it is also a great way to stay healthy and fit. It is important to encourage your child at an early age to play outdoors and to increase their appreciation of the outdoors. If you are stumped as to how to make outside fun and exciting for your toddler remember, toddlers are easy to please (unlike school-aged children, teenagers, adults and old people). It’s likely that whatever you plan for an outdoor activity will be fun for your child and bring them joy. However, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with a wide range of different backyard activities:
If you have the space and the means, invest in a swing set. It is a piece of equipment that will last your child for a few years. Most come with slides, monkey bars and more. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles (which means a nice range of prices as well).
Most toddlers enjoy some form of water play and the great thing about swimming is that you not have to provide a full size pool. Kiddie pools are a safe way for toddlers to swim because they usually have less than two feet of water in them. There are also pool accessories suitable for a child-sized pool including swim rings, beach balls and small floating toys.
Sandboxes are not only fun but they also help your child develop other skills such as cause and effect. You can easily purchase a sandbox (they too come in a nice range of prices) or create your own with a large tote and some sand. Include some sandbox toys such as shovels and pails and watch your child delight in digging and building.
Fun on the Go
Not all of us can accommodate (or afford) large pieces of outdoor equipment, so it is important to consider some inexpensive and portable options. Pick up some bubbles, water balloons, kites, balls, water guns, ring toss and other quick and cheap outdoor activities. You can easily take these with you to wherever you and your child enjoy the great outdoors.
Outdoor activities can be fun and exciting for your child (and maybe for you as well) but you may want to give them the opportunity to play with other children. Organize play-dates with other parents to help increase your child’s social skills – and perhaps the length of time they play with these fun outdoor activities.
It doesn’t take much to please a toddler and it is fairly easy to do outdoors. Invest in some equipment or grab some outdoor goodies to create fun and memorable outdoor experiences for your toddler.