The summer holidays have officially started and outdoor play is, hopefully, what it is all about. Six weeks can seem like a long time and trying to fill the days with endless activities and days out can be hard but a few versatile outdoor toys can really help your children get creative outside without moaning that they are bored after 10 minutes. Here I have created a round up of some of our favourite outdoor toys covering all ages from 2 to adult hood. I hope you find something that you think your child will like.
The AlphaBee is a really popular toy from Learning Resources who specialise in educational fun. The AlphaBee is aimed at children aged 2 and over and consists of a bee shaped carry case that contains 40 letters, numbers and shapes as well as 3 double sided activity cards.
The children can practise matching up the pieces to the cards and then, once they get more familiar with their letters and numbers they can start creating their own words, patterns or number lines. The great thing about the AplhaBee is that is comes in this lovely carry case that is easy and light enough for the child to carry themselves, meaning it is the perfect game for on the go. It is ideal for traveling, nights away or even to taking to restaurants or other events where you need to entertain the child but don’t want to rely on technology. The AlphaBee retails at £18.50 and is a great educational toy that can grown with your child as they learn from ages 2 to 5.
The Underwater explorer boat
The Underwater Explorer Boat is also from the Learning Resources and is aimed at children aged 3 and over. It is a brilliant summer toy as it can be used in water stations or paddling pools to help your little one explore items under water. It has a clear plastic bottom with built in magnifying glass so that they can examine a variety of objects in more detail and get their scientific brains working. As well as having the magnifying glass that promotes STEM play it also has a moving steering wheel and propeller’s to get their imagination going too.
Once the summer has passed this can also become an indoor water toy for bath time fun. The Underwater Explorer Boat retails at £14.50.
Sand and Water Fine Motor Tools
These are brilliant if your little one has a sand and water table. The sand and water fine motor tools are bright and colourful and help your child explore how to make different patterns, move sand and transfer liquids using different methods.
As they say in the name they are good for helping improve the fine motor skills of children whilst also sparking an interest in STEM play. Using these tools will also help your child strengthen the muscles needed for writing so have long term benefits as well as being short term boredom busters.
Ice Cream Counter
What better fun in summer than to create your own ice cream parlour and serve your friends and family copious amounts of exotic flavours with all the toppings. Well this Ice Cream Counter from Melissa & Doug is perfect for just that. It comes with 28 pieces including the
wooden ice cream counter
ice cream scoops
reusable menu card
and six bills.
It is perfect for indoor or outdoor play. A brilliant way to help children get their imagination working whilst also practising their hand and eye coordination skills as they scoop up the ice cream and balance it on the cones as well as practising their maths as they take payments and give change. The ice cream parlour is aimed at children aged 3 and over.
Sand Baking Kit
Whether is is fun in the sand pit at home or a beach day you are packing for, your child will love this Sunny Patch 7 piece Sand Baking Kit by Melissa & Doug.
3 different sized shell-shaped measuring cups,
an octopus whisk,
a crab mixing spoon,
the mixing bowl that doubles as the container and
the turtle lid that doubles as a sifter!
Your little one will have so much fun sifting, mixing, pouring and “baking” sand pies and once finished storage is really easy at it all fits neatly back inside the mixing bowl ready for your next beach adventure. The Sand Baking Kit retails for £14.50 and is suitable for children aged 3 and over. If you don’t have a sand pit however, this still works really well as a water toy.
For those children that are a little bit older (5 plus) we have found these really impressive award winning kidnoculars extreme from Learning Resources. They are focus free binoculars with dual eyepiece for easy viewing. They have 3 times magnification with built in kid safe headphones meaning they can not only watch the birds from afar but also hear them too.
These are perfect for outside play at home or when out and about exploring the parks and the countryside. The kidnoculars are sure to offer hours of fun but will also encourage STEM learning and promote an interest in nature and the world around them.
Epic Cereal Box Creations Book
For the arts and crafts lovers we have this awesome Epic cereal Box Creations book that comes with instructions on how to make 20 different creations from cereal boxes. And to ensure you can actually make these things it also comes with 30 magic corners.
The magic corners are a brilliant invention as they ensure your crafts stay together just as you intend them to with no more faffing with glue and sticky tape. Plus they are made from recycled plastic too.
Encouraging those over 7 to step away from the TV or their latest piece technology can be much harder but we think that the HydroClash will certainly help. The Hydroclash is fab for summer play, getting them to run around and burn off some steam and if unlucky, they will also get wet and cool off too!
The aim of the Hydroclash is to take it in turns trying to hit the other player on the provided vest with a wet bullet using the provided sling shot. You have to be fast to avoid getting wet. Great for those that are competitive and like things that are similar to nurf fights. Just remind them to wear the safety goggles!
For those that are older still, (8 plus), but who are maybe less energetic and prefer puzzles then this handy travel game is great for indoor or outdoor fun.
Kanoodle Duplexity comes in a handy travel case and contains 100 double sided challenge cards and 28 magnetic puzzle pieces. The aim of the game is to recreate the pattern on the challenge card using the magnetic strips but as both ends of the strip must match the card it is harder that it sounds.