The weather is (relatively) lovely, and you want to be outdoors with your kids while you can.
But getting your children outside and keeping them happy for long enough to make the most of the British summertime can be tricky when you’ve got TV to compete with.
We’ve rounded up the best outdoor toys for summer, so you can spend some quality time in your garden while your children have the time of their lives.
Outdoor play mats for babies
If you want to get on with some gardening or read a chapter of your book in peace, an outdoor play mat is a great investment.
Bright colours, different textures to explore and dangling toys keep your baby amused and out of mischief. This large Tiny Love Gymini Kick and Play mat (£55.99 amazon.co.uk) even makes noise when your little one kicks the pad for extra stimulation.
You can fold the sides up to keep them safely in place too. Make sure the ground is completely dry before spreading it out.
Training trikes for toddlers
This is one seriously luxurious trike. The Little Tikes 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride and Relax Trike (£99.99 amazon.co.uk) gives your child three different reclining seat positions to try, as well as an adjustable canopy to keep them safe from the sun while they ride.
The flexibility of the design makes it suitable for children aged nine months and up. There's also a handle for parents to push with if they're not confident enough to whiz round the garden on their own yet.
Messy fun in the garden
Create a lovely mess outdoors with the deAO Sand and Water Table (£17.99 amazon.co.uk). Watch or join in with your children as they splash and play with this table and with all the toys and accessories that come with it.
It’s not quite the beach, but it’s so much fun for small children that they won’t even notice the difference.
Educational building kits
Build weird and wonderful vehicles and run them around outside with the Mega Bloks Wacky Wheels Building Blocks Bag (from £69.83 amazon.co.uk).
The big colourful blocks can be used to build wheeled and winged creations for test driving on patios, lawns and tarmac, while the big plastic bag provides handy storage so they’re easy to pack away at the end of a tiring day outside.
Backyard family fun
Some toys are fun for all the family, like this Chicco Monkey Strike Bowling Set (from £10.99 amazon.co.uk).
Stack the monkeys in formation and then try to knock them down with the bowling ball. Every element of this toy is fun and stimulating. There are the interchangeable pins that your child put together however they like and then there are the numbers and colours printed on the pins for them to learn as they go.
Although suitable for indoors or outdoors, this is the perfect toy for family fun in the garden on a sunny day, and doesn’t require a great deal of space to play.