Mother and Baby

Outdoor toddler activities your little one will love

Section: Toddler

outdoor activites

To relieve you from your toddler's boredom and give them something to do, we’ve put together some new and fun activities your kids can do outside that should hopefully keep them entertained for a few hours while getting some fresh air. 

Get inspired by these arty, adventurous and all-inclusive activities you can do outdoors with your tot

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Go paddling

When the weather’s warm enough, get the paddling pool out, throw in a collection of Tupperware boxes or stacking cups and let your toddler at 'em.
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Make a den/playhouse/fort

Arm your toddler with some cardboard boxes and old sheets and help him build an outdoor den that he can use as his outdoor play space.
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Do some gardening

Stock up on some seed packs and let your toddler help you plant a seed, cover it in soil and water it. Try some easy to grow plants like sunflowers or something that your little one can enjoy eating such as rocket or radishes. If you don't have any grass in your garden, using a pot is just as good.
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Create an outdoor studio

Set up a small plastic table in a shady spot, bring out a few pots of paints and let your tot use it as her al fresco art and crafts spot. Best part? You won’t need to worry about the mess.
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Plan a nature hunt

Give your toddler some photos of birds, bugs and butterflies and challenge him to find as many of them as possible in the garden. Yep, guaranteed to keep him busy but also may result in him insisting on keeping some creepy crawlies as pets.
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Have a treasure hunt

Put together a simple treasure hunt using very basic clues such as arrows or numbers. You can leave mini treats along the way (such as raisins, small toys and bubbles) and finish with one big treat. Great for when you’re hosting a playdate.
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Build an open-air theatre

Set up an area of your garden that can act as a stage and suggest your toddler puts on a show. You can make props and costumes together and invite friends and relatives round to watch it once it’s ready.
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Host a tea party

Take all of your tot’s favourite toys outside, put down a blanket and have a pretend tea party together. For a special treat, you can use real cakes and food, or even let her have her dinner out there, picnic-style.
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Take storytime outside

Take your usual indoor reading time outside and sit on a rug on the grass together looking at storybooks.
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Have a race

If you’re toddler seems to have endless amounts of energy to burn, challenge him to a race. You can try something fun and exciting like a one-legged race or a calmer game like an egg and spoon race – but remember to boil the eggs first to avoid lots of mess.
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Play hopscotch

If you’ve got plenty of paved space in your garden, draw a hopscotch grid with some chalk and show your little one how the game is played.
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Play with bubbles

Always a big hit with young children, it’s amazing how much delight one pot of bubbles can bring. Yes, you may need to blow them yourself (to stop your tot emptying the mixture on a nearby plant) but at least it’s an activity that you can do from sitting down.
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Build a sand pit

A childhood classic, a sand pit should be a garden staple and doesn’t have to be expensive to install. Simply use some pallet wood to construct a box and fill it with sand and your toddler can enjoy many summers of digging and sandcastle building. Just remember to cover it once your little one's finished playing to stop local cats using it as a toilet!
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Throw a festival

For something a little more special – or as a great birthday party idea – transform your garden into a toddler-friendly festival and get your tot involved in the preparations. Make some bunting from coloured paper to hang, plan some great garden games like apple bobbing and get a brilliant playlist ready to go.
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Make mud pies

Select a patch of ground and give your toddler a small spade to dig it up and fill the muddy hole with water. Your tot will have great fun watching the water disappear and then refilling it – but she’ll need a good scrub in the bath once finished!
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Get on your bike

Whether you’re biking along the Thames, through the countryside or simply around your local town, cycling is a fun family activity when the sun is shining – and a great way to tire the little ones out!
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Berry picking

One for the pot, one for me…picking (and gorging on) fresh berries is a fun way to get your little ones to enjoy the Great Outdoors. You can even have a go at making some tasty blackberry jam with them after.
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Flying a kite

Head up your nearest hill and teach your little one the art of flying a kite – an activity that transcends any generation. Just remember you did buy that kite for your kid, right?
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Have a picnic

Head to your nearest green space for a sunny picnic with friends. Play games of chase, read some picture books – and even bring the teddies along. Guaranteed fun!
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Make petal perfume

Little ones will love to make their own signature smell with rose petals from the garden. They can even come up with fun perfume names.
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Pooh sticks

We still find it hard to resist a good game of ‘pooh sticks’ every time we cross a bridge. Drop sticks into the water and see which one wins the race downstream.
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There’s nothing like a good boogie to keep kids occupied and wear them out in time for bed. Lots of dance schools and professional dancers, like Strictly’s Oti Mabuse, are doing live Instagram classes for all ages during lockdown, too. 
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Tent or den building 

You don’t even have to have a tent to do this one – why not task your little ones with creating a pillow fort using blankets or cardboard boxes? 
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Fairy house

If your children love arts and crafts, the garden can stimulate their imagination in new and exciting ways. Collect household items like lollipop sticks, buttons and glitter and get to work creating pretty fairy houses to put up in the branches of bushes or around the bases of trees. Make sure to bring your fairy house inside over night to stop wildlife eating it and potentially becoming ill.
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Jumping in puddles

Thanks to Peppa Pig and her love of ‘muddy puddles’, you’ll be kitting out your little ones in wellies even in the height of summer. Put your parker on and let the kids make the most of the local park – rain or shine.

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  • Author: Lorna White Lorna White
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!

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