It’s easy to give up and give in to a tearaway toddler. They are somewhat notorious for throwing seismic tantrums and hammering tiny fists at you when they don’t want to do something – and going out on trips, no matter how quick, are responsible for a very large portion of these meltdowns.
As a result, I know how getting your toddler outside can be a big challenge; especially during the winter months when it isn’t so pleasant to be outside. They might hate wearing a hat, repeatedly throw their mittens out of their stroller, and simply refuse to walk while out on a supermarket run.
I’ve made a list using top tips from mums and dads about how they managed to get their kids loving playing outdoors. It’s best for their health and wellbeing to get at least 30 minutes of outdoor play per day. I know this isn’t always possible, but here are some easy ways to sneak outside activities into your family’s daily routine.
- Toddler Vehicles
- Play While You Walk
- Water Baby
- Feed the Ducks
- Scavenger Hunt
- Learn to do Cartwheels
Treat your little one to a baby-safe ride-on, and watch them turn from reluctant to all-of-a-sudden very eager to go outside! There are a huge range of scooters and ‘cars’, which have handles for parents to push while your child is too small to ride independently.
Your toddler will LOVE outdoor time when they can ride their little bike – take it for your child to ride on while out running errands, or just for a leisurely walk. Check out this guide for the best scooters for toddlers.
Children can easily get bored when you need to walk with them to do the school-run or grab a loaf of bread. Make things more interesting by playing games: teach your baby some new animal noises, count the cars that go by, shout out the colours of objects that you pass.
Your baby will build their knowledge, and you’ll keep them entertained and occupied while completing boring tasks!
Come rain or shine, there will be a public pool facility near you! In bad weather, pack your swimmers and head to the indoor pool for a splash around with your baby in his water wings. In the summer, take a day trip to the seaside, or your nearest outdoor paddling pool. Your child will love playing with inflatables and other children in the pool.
Babies are natural swimmers, but gradually lose that ability if it’s not used as they grow. Make your baby a strong, confident swimmer from the get-go by regularly hitting the pool. It’s amazing exercise for both of you!
Introduce your baby to new animals by taking them to the nearest pond or lake to feed the ducks and swans. You might even see some carp and frogs, too! Practice your quacks and ribbits while letting your baby run riot with chunks of bread – children absolutely love watching ducks guzzle their treats.
If there are no duck ponds nearby, why not put out a birdhouse full of nuts and seeds for the sparrows and robins in your area? If you don’t have a garden, this is still a fun idea and nice activity. Hang a bird feeder outside your front door, even if you live in a flat.
Make a fun afternoon activity in the garden with a scavenger hunt. Hide some plastic toys around the yard – make sure you count and find them all! Once your toddler has found all the toys, you can head back inside for a treat; like pancakes or ice cream!
…or, do some wheelbarrow-walks, star jumps, forward rolls… any new acrobatics that your toddler hasn’t tried yet! Toddlers are new on their feet, but once they’ve started walking, you can start learning new ways to move!
If you don’t have a garden, that’s fine – make it a full day out by packing a picnic and a blanket, and heading to the park to practice your new moves.