Categorized | Playtime, Toddler Activities

Outdoor Play: A Great Way for Kids to Get Outside and Use Their Imagination

Summer is a wonderful time of year when children can enjoy lots of fresh air and outdoor play. There is certainly no shortage of excellent activities, toys and accessories to entertain and inspire children of all ages.

Some of the favorite activities among kids include; bubbles, inflatable bouncers and play sets, kites and wind spinners, outdoor furniture, playhouses and play tents, pools and water fun, and sandboxes and beach toys.

Bubbles are one of those outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by babies to adults. Blowing bubbles has never had quite so many options to choose from as it does today. There are plastic bubble lawn mowers, bubble catchers, bubble vision glasses, bubble wands, bubble lights, wands for small to super huge bubbles, no spill bubble buckets, monster bubble blowers, bubble blizzards (that blow nonstop bubbles) and bubble blowers available in popular fictional characters and a myriad of colors and styles. Blowing bubbles is an inexpensive way to have hours of outdoor fun.

One of the most exciting types of play for young children involves using the wide variety of inflatable bouncers and play sets on the market. Your backyard will be the center of activity if you set up one of these wonderful toys. Inflatable bouncers can be purchased in several different sizes from large (9 feet by 9 feet by 6 feet high) able to accommodate several children to small bouncers that only hold two children. Deluxe bouncers offer a fun and safe play environment with continuous air flow for safety and puncture resistant heavy gauge vinyl. There is a wide selection of designs such as castles, popular fictional character themes, inflatable fire engines, school buses, climbing walls, inflatable cars, inflatable play centers and playhouses. Several of the inflatable toys come with soft balls included for tossing, kicking and pushing around within the structure.

Kites, wind spinners and windsocks are a wonderful way for you and your child to interact and enjoy a lovely outdoor activity. The beautiful colors, designs and sizes available will surely be remembered for years to come. Kites can be purchased in an endless array of designs to include; airplanes with spinning propellers, helicopters, birds (flamingos and parrots), sharks, dolphins, butterflies, hummingbirds, fish, dragons, cellular box kites, dolphin kites, sailboats, cellular kites, diamond kites, parasail kites and tri-planes to only name a few. Wind spinners and windsocks come in as many designs as do the kites, in an assortment of fantastic colors and patterns.

Children can enjoy the same comfort that adults do when it comes to outdoor furniture. Whether it be having lunch at their favorite plastic or wooden picnic table or lounging back in their Adirondack chair, it’s always fun for them to be just like mom or dad. Other adorable pieces of children’s outdoor furniture can include; playhouses (complete with doorbell and motion detector), patio sets (with umbrella, table and chairs), fabric patio chairs, plastic mushroom tables, play lemonade stands, plastic mailboxes, plastic stone benches and folding armchairs.

Playhouses provide children with hours of imaginative and pretend play. There is nothing more special to a child than having their own little imaginary home to dream and role play in. Playhouses will often be a part of backyard outdoor toys in either plastic or wooden designs with climbers and swings. Some of the plastic playhouses are available with sounds such as doorbells, phones and motion detectors. Plastic playhouses can be purchased in pirate, cottage, log cabin, mushroom house and camper styles.

Similar to playhouses, play tents are usually made with nylon or plastic and also come in a wide variety of designs and styles. The biggest difference between the two is that play tents are usually much easier to assemble, disassemble and portable if needed. Play tents are available in tunnels (for crawling through), dome play tents, lady bug tents, tents with tunnel addition, school bus, fire engine, bulldozer, playhouses, camouflage tents, popular fictional character theme tents, four tunnels joined by tent in middle, tee pees and castle tents. Fabric parachutes can also be used as tents draped over objects in the home or used for throwing up toys with children in a circle.

It truly feels like summer once everyone has gone for a swim. Pools offer wonderful relief from the hot weather and a refreshing way to have some fun. There are a mountain of pools and pool toys to choose from, whether it be a kiddie pool or a pool lounger there is no shortage of options. Above ground inflatable pools can be found in different sizes to accommodate the kids or the whole family. Kiddie pools are available in sunshade cover designs, popular character themes, different colors and activity pool styles. The pool toys you select will only add to the enjoyment with water guns and canons, kick boards, life-jackets, inflatable water wings, retrieval toys, rafts and loungers, inflatable sharks, tubes, inflatable basketball hoops, seat rings and beach balls to name a few.

Lastly, playing in the sand can provide both learning skills and entertainment for any child, whether it be in their backyard sandbox or at the beach. Building sandcastles and sand play is particularly helpful in teaching social skills (sharing, interacting and cooperation), cognitive skills (measuring sand and mapping out roads) and physical skills (pouring, dumping, pushing and gathering sand etc.). Sandbox kits can be purchased to set up or you can select from several designs such as; turtles, castles, water and sand tables, ladybug, dinosaur and frog sandboxes. Sandbox and beach accessories might include; wheelbarrows, pails of all sizes, rakes, shovels, molds and beach chairs.

Outdoor play is a great way for the kids to get out of the house and use their imaginations. All forms of outdoor activities easily promote well-being and physical development. Children love to play outdoors as it allows them the chance to freely explore their environment while developing muscle coordination, flexibility and motor skills while decreasing restlessness and stress. And don’t forget . . . always remember to put sunscreen on your child whenever they are outside.

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