It has been said that the most important years in a child’s life are the first 3 years. These early years, especially the first five, are when your baby’s brain develops most rapidly. As the parent of a toddler, this means you’re going to want to instill good habit early on. The habits you’re likely to want your toddler to learn are likely healthy eating, visiting the library and reading, and instilling a love for the outdoors.
Playing outdoors isn’t solely about having fun, but teaching your children to stay active, healthy and fit. For that reason, you may want to encourage your child to play outdoors if you’re not already doing so.
If you want to increase your toddler’s appreciation for the outdoors (and do more than simply taking a walk), check out these popular backyard activities for toddlers. You’ll find you have nearly unlimited options at your disposal to keep you and your toddler from being tired of playing outside (unless you’re in Florida, when it’s often too hot to play outside). This is mainly because toddlers are easy to please (unless they’re in one of their moods). This means that whatever backyard activity you organize, your toddler will likely enjoy it.
Keep in mind, though, toddlers aren’t unlike adults and older children. They can get bored with the same activities. To prevent this from happening, arm yourself with a wide range of different backyard activities your toddler can try.
Backyard Activities for Toddlers
Outdoor activities for toddlers are some of my favorite activities. We should all be spending more time outdoors anyway, right? So why not start your little ones learning to entertain outside in their own backyards?
I don’t know many toddlers who don’t enjoy swinging! Both of my kids thoroughly enjoyed being pushed in a swing for way longer than I liked standing in one place.
Swing sets come in all different sizes and styles. Most swing sets don’t usually just come with swings. Many come with slides, monkey bars, and more, which makes purchasing a play set the perfect investment in regular backyard activities for toddlers and beyond! Because of the variety of sizes or styles, you can get something on a budget or spend lots of money on something elaborate.
Related: Small to Big Backyard Swing Sets
What toddler doesn’t like splashing in a pool? Okay, maybe there’s a few, but I bet most love a good splash or swim in the pool. That’s not to say you even have to have a full-sized pool in your backyard. Swimming and splashing in a kiddie pool is a great choice in backyard activities for toddlers, plus it’s generally safe under supervision.
Aside from swimming and splashing, add some bonus pool accessories like swim rings, beach balls, or small floating toys to encourage gross and fine motor activities in your toddler.
I bet your toddler loves playing in the sand! This is something I generally can’t keep either of my kids away from for any length of time.
Playing in sand is not only a wonderful sensory experience for toddlers, but it’s great to help them develop other skills, like cause and effect. The great part about sandboxes is that they can be relatively inexpensive (as well as the sand to put in them).
As with anything else, sandboxes can also be more elaborate and expensive.
Plus, you can purchase a variety of sandbox toys to mix up the play every time.
Other Backyard Activities for Toddlers
Painting With Ice Activity for Toddlers via Mommy’s Bundle
Recycled Chalk Paint for Outdoor Art via Rhythms of Play
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk via Crystal & Co.
Build a Dinosaur Garden via Megan Zeni
Water Pistol Painting via Messy Little Mosnter
Painting with Flowers via 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Easiest Plants for Kids to Grow via Little Sprouts Learning
Dinosaur Dig Excavation Activity via Fun Learning for Kids
Painting Clouds Sensory Activity via Sugar Spice and Glitter
DIY Wooden Roads and Ramps for Toy Cars via Buggy and Buddy
How to Make Foam for Toddlers & Sensory Play via Crafts on Sea
Climb a Tree via Rhythms of Play
Pond Sensory Bin via In Our Pond
Loose Parts Play Activity and Printables via Ruffles & Rainboots
A Rainbow Walk via Creating Creatives
Painting Fun Bubble Art via Chic ‘N Savvy
Sidewalk Puffy Paint via Fun Learning for Kids
Kiddie Pool Sensory Play Ideas via Parenting From The Heart
Rock Balancing Stone Stacking via Rhythms of Play
Homemade Bubble Recipe via Crystal & Co.
Painting Sticks via Creating Creatives
Build a Mud Kitchen via Megan Zeni
Wishing Bottles via Ruffles & Rainboots
DIY Colorful Moon Sand via Look We’re Learning
Bubble Activities for Toddlers via Red Ted Art
12 Walk Ideas for Toddlers via Bambini Travel
The Creative Water Table via Creating Creatives
Let’s Go on a Listening Walk via Creative Family Fun
Flower Suncatcher via Messy Little Monster
Frozen Flowers Sensory Ice Play via Crafts on Sea
Make a Mud Pie via Rhythms of Play
Super Soaker Sponge Balls via Natural Beach Living
Grow Sunflowers with Kids via Little Sprouts Learning
Drawing Outside with Spring Colored Sand via Buggy and Buddy
Chalk Gross Motor Toddler Activity via Teach Me Mommy
How to Make Homemade Chalk via 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Bubble Snake Blower via Messy Little Monster
Sand and Water Ocean Sensory Bin via Fun Learning for Kids
DIY Outdoor Chalkboard for Backyards and Patios via Rhythms of Play
Flower Crowns & Flower Play via Red Ted Art
Color Golf Gross Motor Game via School Time Snippets
Simple Bug Hotel for Kids via Red Ted Art
Make Way for Ducklings ABC Activity via Growing Book by Book
Paint Rolling on a Slide via Messy Little Monster
Mud Ice Creamery via Mother Natured
Don’t forget to make local friends and set up group play dates with other toddlers. As much as your toddler may have fun playing with you, it helps to give them opportunities to play with other children as well. Set up a group play date and incorporate one of these backyard activities for toddlers to help your toddler hone in on his social skills as well.
If you are looking for additional toddler-friendly outdoor activities or supplies, you may be able to find what you need online or at one of your local retail stores. For an affordable price, you should be able to find bubbles, water balloons, kites, balls, and t-ball equipment. These items may help to create a fun, but memorable backyard experience for your toddler.
Do you have any other backyard activities for toddlers?
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This post originally appeared on this site June 2018 and has been updated for accuracy.