I’ve never met a child that didn’t love to be outdoors. My son is no exception, he would stay outside all day if I would allow it and he’s only one.
Charlie was a late summer baby so by the time I felt comfortable taking him outside, it was already freezing. So we didn’t really begin enjoying the outdoors until he was around 7 months old. He loved it immediately! I however, found myself at a bit of a loss as to what to do with a baby outside. Thankfully I quickly discovered a few fun toys that made the outdoors more enjoyable for both of us.
After a visit to a local park I discovered that Charlie was in love with the swing. We didn’t have a good place to hang a swing at our house and I wasn’t ready to tackle a building project so I began searching for ready-made swings online. After much delib-eration I decided on the SwingAlong Castle by Little Tikes.
The SwingAlong Castle was very easy to put together and in addition to a swing, includes a slide, swiveling telescope, rock wall and steering wheel. Charlie loved the swing immediately and quickly learned that he could crawl up to a standing position and lean on the slide. It was and still is one of his favorite outdoor activities. Now that he’s a bit older he loves to climb the mini rock wall and “drive” the steering wheel or slide down in any number of strange positions which are all perfectly safe because of the gentle slope of the slide.
Here’s Charlie enjoying the SwingAlong Castle at 8 months old.
One of Charlie’s most recent discoveries is to “dig, dig, dig’. We were able to spend some time at the beach recently and Charlie fell in love with playing in the sand. Needless to say, a sandbox is a must for every toddler. We have been testing out the Hidden Pirate Treasure Sandbox and it has become Charlie’s absolute favorite outdoor activity. He can sit in it and play for around 20 minutes which is a very long time for a one year old to focus on any activity. It includes the sandbox base and a domed lid, and holds up to 300 lbs of sand. We purchased five bags of sand from our local home improvement story and it is perfect. We also added a bucket of water so that the sand would “pack” more easily for building.
The Hidden Pirate Treasure Sandbox features four molded seats which are perfect for multiple children. The base of the sandbox is also decorated with treasures and a map for jewel and coin finding fun – a great activity as your child gets older.
Here’s Charlie enjoying the Hidden Pirate Treasure Sandbox just a few days ago at 20 months.
My final outdoor pick is the Little Tikes School Bus Activity Gym. We’ve had the School Bus Activity Gym for about 7 months now and Charlie absolutely adores it. It has actually been inside until recently when the weather warmed enough that we decided to make the move outdoors.
The School Bus Activity Gym has so many great features and is loaded with fun for toddlers. It has pretend tires that actually spin to reveal letters, numbers, shapes, and col-ors. Charlie’s favorite part is the dashboard which includes a steering wheel with squeaky horn, clicking key, and clicking gear shifter. He loves to sit and pretend to drive and absolutely adores the clicking key which remains attached so there’s no worry about losing it. It is also very easy for him to climb. It has two low steps that lead to the 18” high slide. This is a toy that we enjoy year-round because it is the perfect size to move indoors in the winter.