We’re an outdoors family, we just seem to be at our happiest when we’re outside. I think having a husband who for the most part of his career has been spent outdoors has just rubbed off on myself and the kids. We find that having a busy home life means that when we get time to be outdoors it is a great outlet for the kids energy levels, keeping the home tidier and everyone is so much more calmer when they’ve all had a good dose of fresh air.
With a mix of ages, I find that having books and toys that encourage outdoors play really helpful as there are always times when we need a bit of motivation to get outdoors. So with the weather getting slightly warmer and signs of Spring in the air, it’s now the perfect time to get outdoors more. I have complied a list of some of our current favourite outdoor toys & books to hopefully give your kids some motivation for more outdoor play.
I have placed a * on the products that we were kindly gifted in exchange for being put to the test for a product review.
My toddler and 5 year old love the classic tale of The Hungry Caterpillar so these *The Very Hungry Caterpillar Insect Lore bug kits are great toys to encourage garden and outdoors play. We love the fact that each bug viewer includes a very realistic grouchy ladybug, especially as Florence thought it was a real ladybug!
With so many varieties of bugs to spot with *The World of Eric Carle™ Creature Peeper it lets kids take a closer look at fascinating insects and small objects.that they have forgotten about since last Summer.
They can entertain themselves with their bug hunting kits for quite some time, they also loved being able to put grass and stones into their *World of Eric Carle™ Bad-Tempered Ladybird™ Bug Jar to make their insects little temporary homes.
They really enjoy taking their bug kits out for a fun bug hunting walk, looking under logs and rocks for different kinds of bugs. I think Teddy’s favourite was a little worm that he enjoyed carrying in his *World of Eric Carle™ Bad-Tempered Ladybird™ Bug Carrier.
What could be more fun than a bug hunt where you have the vision of an actual bug with these *World of Eric Carle ™Bug Goggles. The goggles come with special hinged prismatic lenses that flip forward for true compound eye vision – just like real bugs! Teddy and Florence enjoyed buzzing around with these on their bug hunt.
I sometimes find it hard to initially encourage the kids into gardening, but once they can see that it can be fun as there is usually mud and digging involved they then love to help plant, grown and mess with mud. I find these* Johnson’s Little Gardeners Kits perfect as the attractive fun packaging gets them interested straight away without needing any encouragement.
Florence really enjoyed preparing a patch of ground with her spade to then shake her wildflower seed cereal box as she called it all over the grass. Planting these wildflowers is a great way to to discuss and demonstrate the importance of encouraging bees to the garden.
This Sunflower planter also from Johnson’s Little Gardeners Kits is great for toddlers as it’s design is eye catching and simple for them to do. I find my toddler just loves stickers, so being able to stick them and design her own pot was so much fun for her, and something she was able to do quite independently. Then came the muddy part, which is always a favourite of hers, along with watering the soil and seeds with her watering can. We can’t wait to see how tall Florence’s Sunflowers grow to be and I will help her measure them often.
This is a beautiful hardback spiral bound wipe clean book for muddy fingers, with a great introduction to gardening with top ten plants for little gardeners and useful gardening words and facts.
With so many great ideas for creating gardens from the smallest spaces such as jars, or making living garden dens, pressing flowers, tips for grown ups and even a section on panting trees from seedlings. This is a great practical and fun book to take outdoors and get inspired.
Teddy has picked his first activity he would like to try and that’s sprouting baby beans. The instructions and pictures are really clear for him to follow with minimal help from me. What’s great about this activity is you don’t need a garden, just a sunny windowsill. Florence would like to try and grow the raspberries as they are one of her favourite fruits to snack on.
Things to do outdoors through the seasons, this is a book that is packed full of wild activities. From baking outdoors to bubble games, blackberry tie dying, wild snowballs to wild spying. There are some really different activities which are handily broken down into each season.
A must have sticker book for bug enthusiasts. With over 120 good quality bug stickers to use and plenty of habitats to stick them onto. From the vegetable patch, to the pond to underground to even midnight bugs to learn about complete with bug facts and sticker prompts. My kids love to sticker and so this a fun educational nature sticker book which is bound to keep them busy. At the back of the book there is also a handy bug spotter checklist.
These are a great way to go on a nature hunt, we often print off one of these and put it in a poly pocket for them to either use a whiteboard marker with or a pen to paper letting the poly pocket keep them protected from the elements. We find Pinterest a great place for seasonal hunts.
This is a great one for encouraging a little bit of independent play (if you can trust your little ones not to eat the contents of the mud kitchen).
You can always make a simple mud kitchen with just a wash basin or a muddy puddle and a pot/pan scoopers and spoons, you really done need a lot of space or equipment to do so. Or if you prefer the mess away from home find a local place that has a mud kitchen for muddy play time. Also Sunflower shoots and Muddy boots has a page for inspiration on making a mud kitchen muddy puddle.
I hope that you’re all set for Spring now with several ideas on toys and books that will motivate your kids to get outdoors. We would also love to hear about your recent outdoors adventures.