It’s Muddy Puddles here, and we’re back to bring you part two of our 20 toddler-friendly outdoor activities guide! If you missed part 1 you can find it here.
And if you didn’t know about us at Muddy Puddles, we’re the children’s rainwear experts, and our mission is to inspire and enable thousands of children and families to enjoy the natural world around them and spend more time outdoors. So, with Summer well on its way, and some beautiful Sunny weather just around the corner, we hope you find these child-friendly outdoor activity ideas inspiring…
1. DO SOME NATURE RUBBINGS 🍂
Bark rubbing is an excellent STEM learning activity for toddlers and pre-school age children, and is so easy to do in your back garden, local park or forest. Just tape a sheet of A4 paper to a tree at the height of your child, and let them draw on the paper using wax crayons – they will love the different textures and shapes that appear on the paper. You could also have a go at leaf rubbings by taping some leaves to the underside of a piece of paper.
2. PLAY A GAME OF SINK OR FLOAT ⛵️
For toddlers who love water, a sink or float experiment is a brilliant way to get hands-on with nature, and teaches them about predicting and testing ideas. Kate from Laughing Kids Learn has some great suggestions for items that you can find around the garden which work really well – such as stones, sticks, tree bark, leaves and flowers.
3. HUNT FOR DINOSAUR FOSSILS 🦕
This takes a little bit more preparation, however, the results are magical, and perfect for any little dinosaur fan! All you need to do is make some salt dough, cut out some circles using a cookie cutter, then take your favourite dinosaur toys and press their feet or their sides into the dough. Then simply leave them to air dry for 24-48 hours and they’re ready to play with. You could put them in some sand and let your little one excavate using a dry paintbrush, or hide them around the garden for them to find.
4. MAKE A NATURE WAND 🪄
Nature wands are so simple and fun for little ones to make - just find the perfect stick, wrap some masking tape around it (with the sticky side facing outwards) and attach leaves and flowers. Perfect for imaginary play, they can pretend to be a fairy, a wizard, or even their favourite Disney character.
5. HAVE A TEDDY BEAR PICNIC 🧸
Summer is the perfect time to have plenty of picnics, and you can make yours even more fun for your little one by having a Teddy Bear picnic. Bring a blanket and their favourite teddies, and have lunch outside. Your toddler can pretend to feed their teddies, you can sing the “Teddy Bears Picnic” song, read some books, and play a game of hide and seek.
6. JUMP IN MUDDY PUDDLES 💦
Our favourite outdoor activity for toddlers (and adults too!) is of course jumping up and down in muddy puddles! If you get a rainy day, put on their raincoat or puddlesuit and a pair of wellies and head down to your local park. In the Summer you can make your own muddy puddles by pouring water on the patio with a watering can – slightly less muddy but still lots of fun!
7. HAVE A GO AT ICE EXCAVATION ❄️
Perfect for hot summer days, ice excavation is a really fun activity to take outside. Take a few small toys such as Lego bricks and small plastic animals, place them in a muffin tray, fill with water and freeze. They can try to free the toys by using warm water, a toy hammer, spade and tweezers. Or just watch them melt under the sun. This is such a simple activity, and magical for little ones.
8. GO ON A BEAR HUNT 🧸
If ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ is one of your toddler's favourite books, this is a really sweet game to play in the garden. Try setting up an obstacle course to go around with your little one, with a teddy bear to find at the end. Walk through long wavy grass, splash splosh in a tub of water, let them play with a tray of squelchy mud, and walk over some sticks and try not to stumble trip. You could even hide the bear under a tree to represent the gloomy cave. Lots of fun guaranteed, and a great way to reinforce a love for books.
9. MAKE A FLOWER THREADING BOARD 🌺
Little Pine Learners have a brilliant guide to creating a rainbow-shaped flower threading board for toddlers. Just take some cardboard, cut it into the shape of a rainbow, and make lots of holes for your little one to thread flowers into. This is such a simple activity to set up, and the results are really beautiful – they will be so proud of their artwork!
10. TRY BIRD WATCHING 🦜
Birdwatching is a lovely way to get toddlers to engage with the natural world, and encourages them to use their senses as quite often it’s easier to hear birds than see them. Mother & Baby have some really useful tips for birdwatching with little ones, and the RSPB have a brilliant activity sheet that shows them the different birds they can find.
Thanks for having us, Mamamade!
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