Toddlers learn by exploring. So when the weather's good, and they can finally spend more time outside, there's a whole new world for them to adventure round.
Here are some fun nature-inspired activities that will keep them occupied in the fresh air for hours on end.
Play mud bullseye
Use chalk to draw a target – a big circle with two smaller ones inside, and a bullseye – on a fence or wall, and then make mud balls to throw at it. To make the mud balls, mix soil, sand and water into a thick paste, roll into balls, and roll around in some extra sand. Then assign points for each circle and take it in turns to throw.
Of course, this could get messy, but don’t worry. You can pop their muddy clothes into the wash with a handy, Fairy Non Bio Laundry Capsule. The 3in1 no enzyme pods have an added ingredient to make fabrics huggable and soft on your toddler’s sensitive skin.
Remember, as with all household detergents, keep Fairy Non Bio Capsules out of sight and reach of children. The Family pack has an improved child lock, so make sure to keep it closed tight.
Make leaf art
This is one that will prepare you for the next rainy day. Spend a day collecting pretty sticks, feathers and leaves (children LOVE collecting stuff!) and point out the different shapes and sizes as you go along.
Then when you get home, or on the next rainy day, they can use poster paint to make leaf prints, and non-toxic glue to stick on the feathers, sticks and any other bits and pieces they've found to create a natural masterpiece.
Create a water world
If the sun's shining, it's time to get the paddling pool out! To make it more fun, seek out seashell and fish-shaped toys to put in there (real sea shells are lovely, but make sure they don't have sharp edges), and you can even use non-toxic water colouring (available in toy shops) to colour the water ocean blue. If you have a sandpit as well, place the pool near to it for a beach feel, so they can make sand castles too.
Always make sure your child is supervised in the water – even a few inches can be dangerous if you're not there – and check the water isn’t too hot or cold before putting them in. On hot days ensure your little one has plenty of sun protection for their sensitive skin, including a parasol while they're sitting still.
Go camping in the garden
There's something really appealing for toddlers about the idea of a little house of their own, and it's easy in the summer to help them play this game. If you have an easy-to-erect tent, put it up in the garden, or peg some old sheets up between fences or trees to create a den.
Then take out some plastic bowls and cups and help them make a pretend campfire, mix a mud pie, and serve their imaginary guests a fine campside dinner. Bring out a blanket for cosy cuddling up by the “campfire”, washed in Fairy Non Bio Snuggly Soft Fabric Conditioner. It’s been 100% dermatologically tested for extra soft snuggles!
If you have a path, driveway or patio, you can get some coloured chalk and let them go wild drawing on it. They might want to draw a game, like hopscotch, or their family, or you could encourage them to draw a whole garden on the path, with colourful flowers and leaves.
Then you can either wash it away at the end of the day, or keep it there until the next bout of rain washes it away naturally.
Make a tiny rock garden
Kids love rocks. The endless sizes, shapes, colours and textures, from craggy flint to smooth pebbles. So help them to collect rocks of all shapes and sizes in a bucket, and then lay them out, sorting according to size.
Dig some of the larger rocks into the soil, then pile them up so they're stable, and pot in some alpine plants or succulents for a colourful effect. Your little one will see it as their own magical garden.
What outdoor activities do your tots and toddlers love to do? Share your ideas in the comments box below.