As the weather is starting to become warmer and sunnier, it is lovely to spend more time outside, either in the garden or at the park.
This is a bit of different post for me, but I know it can be a challenge to keep little ones entertained throughout the whole day, especially when it’s warm outside. So I’ve put together a few ideas which have either been a huge hit with the little tester or with other children I have taught in Nursery/School settings, so hopefully, your little ones will love them as well.
I would say these activities would be suitable for children 18 months or older.
- Water tray activities
Most children absolutely love splashing about in water and it is a great way to keep cool in the heat. Water play provides an excellent opportunity for young children to explore concepts, such as full and empty, big and small.
You can buy specific water/sand tables, however, it is not a necessity and a spare washing up bowl will do the same thing. If you would like to buy one, most places like Asda, Tesco and Early Learning Centre have them during the summer months.
Some activities which might add some more excitement for your little one:
- Adding balls to the water, like the ones you use in a ball pit.
- Lots of different sized containers, so they can practice pouring from one container to another.
- Bubbles or food colouring can be a really good sensory activity.
- Nature trail
This activity can be done anywhere and in all seasons. You can also adapt and change the activity based on the things your child enjoys. For example, it could be a search for their favourite toys hidden in the garden.
If you have a child under the age of 3, it might be easier for them to look for the things using an actual photograph rather than drawings. This is because young children find it difficult to relate a drawing to the things they see in front of them.
- Drawing on flags
You can either choose to use chalk or water, the little one prefers to use chalk, as the water dries very quickly, especially when it is hot. But also, I think he enjoys washing the flags with his watering can once we’ve finished, which of course is not needed if it’s just water.
This activity is also very easily personalised to your child’s interests and can be used to make learning numbers/letters/shapes a little more interesting. Also, most children love telling you what to draw and this when you suddenly realise you have no idea how to draw said thing (I have drawn a huge amount of weird looking Peppa Pigs).
- Rescuing toys stuck in the ice
This can be a really good sensory and problem-solving activity.
All you have to do is freeze either one small toy in an ice cube or if you have a younger child who might try to put the whole ice cube in their mouth, a few small toys in a larger ice block.
Things like Duplo bricks or mini dinosaurs work really well for this activity, as you don’t have to worry about how they’ll fair in the freezer.
For younger children, I would recommend just melting the ice ever so slightly, so they can see and feel the toys peeking out. During the activity I like to make a big point of the toys being stuck and that we need to rescue them. You can use anything to break the toys free, such as a spade, toy hammers/screwdrivers.
For children 4 or over, I would try and encourage them to come up with ideas for what they can use to break the toys free.
A simple game of bowling helps to support so many areas of a child’s development, also you can adjust the game according to the needs of your child.
- Physical development – Throwing the ball at the pins.
- Numeracy – Counting the pins.
- Taking turns.
For example, if you have a young child you can have a smaller amount of pins and a larger ball, so it is easier for them. Our little tester really enjoys this game and likes picking the pins back up and counting them as he is doing it.
You can buy a children’s bowling set, but as you can see we like to use plastic bottles, with a small amount of water at the bottom to keep them standing up and just regular ball.
Hope these help to keep your little one entertained during the warmer months.
Thanks for reading,