10 amazing and fun outdoor toys that'll keep your kids busy in the garden this summer
The sun is out and summer has – finally – arrived.
The summer holidays are only around the corner, and this year, like last year, many of us will spend large chunks of it at home, in the back garden.
Which means, I think, we are all in the same boat when it comes to entertaining our little ones outside.
Luckily, we caught up with the experts at Kaliedy and got their top tips for picking the best outdoor toys – and their roundup of 10 great garden toys that is sure to have the kids begging to go out to play!
Kaliedy’s Top Five Tips for Choosing the Best Outdoor Toys
1. Before buying outdoor toys, take into account how much space you have for your children to play in, and opt for playsets, toys and paddling pools that won’t overwhelm your space. You will want to have some room for your children to run wild but also some space for you to be able to enjoy too.
2. If you are limited in space or don’t have a garden, consider smaller outdoor toys such as a golfing toy set or garden bowling sets that can be easily transported to and from the beach or park, and stored until your next outing.
3. Choose age-appropriate toys. While there aren’t a huge amount of outdoor toys deemed safe for babies under the age of 12 months, they are more than happy to take in their surroundings and explore the grass under their feet (or knees!), along with watching older children play. Choosing a UV gazebo or a UV tent to use when outdoors with your baby means that you can bring your baby’s favourite indoor toys outside and let them enjoy them in a whole new environment, without the risk of spending too much time in the sun.
4. Consider the educational value. It’s always a good idea to buy outdoor toys that bring both educational and entertainment value, which tend to keep children occupied for longer. Sensory toys like sand and water tables or water play options are the perfect opportunity for kids to learn and develop essential skills while also enjoying a new experience.
5. Take into account your child’s interests before you spend too much money on toys they might not have any interest in playing with. Talk to your little one, show them pictures of different outdoor toys, see what TV characters they like are playing with or chat to their creche or playschool minders to find out what they like to play with best when they’re not at home to help discover their likes and dislikes.
1. ELC Tunnel
Ideal for encouraging active play, this soft tunnel will get little ones crawling, rolling and moving around helping physical development and building confidence. With its Y-shape, parents can create secret entrances for their little ones to explore while also having the easy option to pop up and fold away in storage.
Designed to encourage hands-on exploring, the ELC water play table is perfect for splashing and pouring and is compatible with other ELC sand and water tables and accessories. The table includes a water spiral which children will love pouring water into with the scoops to watch it cascading down. With a shallow and a deep end, children will have hours of splashing fun creating waves and watching their toys and the little boat bob up and down.
Little ones love to bounce and will love the bouncy dinosaur hopper from ELC, also available in a Unicorn, Dog and Bunny Rabbit. This ride-on creature is a great way to get toddlers moving through active play, making it a fun way of getting some exercise and building strength.
Great fun used with the Sand and Water table (sold separately), the Pour and Play water run features a winding slide for the water to travel down and kids will love watching the water stream down the run, pouring it through the funnel and making the wheel turn. The chutes can be used by themselves or grouped together for a larger water run and can be used along with the Sand and Water table, which is sold separately. (Suitable from 18 months.)
This classic garden game can be enjoyed alone or with friends, challenging toddlers to knock all the pins down in one go, or counting how many they knock down each time.
Be prepared for the warmer days in no time with the ELC pop up pool. Easy to put up and fold away, you can make the most of the sunshine, even if you do end up dodging a few showers. Paddling pools are perfect for water play on warmer days - playing and splashing about in water is fun, sensory play, helps physical development and instils confidence.
Perfect for a warm and sunny day in the garden, the water sprinkler is a big inflatable ring that sprays water in all directions- challenge the kids to jump into the middle without getting soaked! Brilliant for encouraging active play, the water sprinkler is great fun with friends and family, too.
A great way to encourage active play, simply secure to the ground, attach a garden hose, watch as the water sprays out, run and slide. With two inflatable boards included, kids can play with a friend to see who can slide down the fastest.
The bubble mower encourages walking and toddling play, while the bubbles it produces provide hours of magical popping and floating fun. Just pour the bubble solution into the colourful mower and press the button to see streams of bubbles flow from the front.
Bring the beach to your garden with the sand and water table, with two spacious troughs to fill as well as a removable lid for storage and to have the option to use as a flat play surface.