Since summer officially started in all parts of the northern hemisphere, I am sure that mommies of all kids all ages are trying to figure out ways of getting everyone outdoors, keeping them outdoors and keeping them entertained there. Usually, it doesn’t take much to have fun outside, if you’re willing to run around with your toddler, roll in the grass, throw the ball around. But toys can always be an enhancement to a parent involved play or a welcome distraction for some alone time.
Unfortunately, in Florida,summer often means HOT (not always, but most of the time), so we are actually going back indoors. That’s fine by me, because we’ve spent months playing outside while others bundled up and stayed at home.
But I’d like to share some of the items that have been thoroughly enjoyed by Lexi while playing outdoors while summer is still in full swing everywhere else.
Technically this toy can be used as a walker, but we started using it after Lexi was walking confidently, so we didn’t get to experience it as one.
As a ride-on toy AND a walker, it is a bit different from what’s on the market currently. It has a wide set base and wheels that go over any surface and spin in any direction making it easy for toddlers to manipulate the toy. Before Pewi bike we had a Little Tikes unicorn, but Lexi displayed zero interest in it and couldn’t figure out how to make it move aside from pushing it. The issue was it was too low to the ground.
I figured we needed something where she would be sitting higher with her feet touching the floor. I assembled Pewi myself and to my surprise Lexi didn’t hesitate sitting down on it and instantly started riding it. I was floored: just two seconds ago she couldn’t ride the unicorn but there she was riding this Pewi toy with no problems. I was right about the height, having her legs in a more natural position for movement helped a lot. The funny part was that after riding Pewi, she was able to sort of figure out how to move on the unicorn.
I love that it’s really well made too, it’s not one of those really flimsy plastics that would make it less sturdy. It’s a good quality rider that will last even through some rough play, no doubt. So now she often “races” (she doesn’t go too fast yet) down the hallway on her Pewi and I can see that it’s only the beginning. It is a really nice outdoor toy because it goes over uneven surfaces easily, so our paver driveway does not cause any issues like it would with some other toys.
I only wish we had it when Lexi was beginning to walk. I was so against traditional walkers that I didn’t even look into this other option where there are free to move however they want and are not encased in a box. The toy can take a baby from 9 months to 3 years and is very affordable which is always a plus.
Speaking of balance bikes….
Strider Bike is another bike type toy. Lexi can’t ride hers yet, since I think she’s not ready for it yet, but I wanted to mention it here for anyone who has a kiddo slightly older than Alexis. Strider is a balance bike that is meant to teach little ones how to bike without using a tricycle by teaching how to balance. Apparently, pedaling isn’t an issue when it comes to learning to bike. It’s the balance that is difficult to achieve ( hence the widespread use of training wheels). However toddlers are able to balance on a bike and ride without having to pedal. I was skeptical at first but I’ve looked at some videos and it’s amazing that tiny toddlers like this can ride a balance bike. So we’re very excited to get started. It will take a long time, but it’s so much fun. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes. It’s supposed to be 18 months+
One of my readers told me about Axel Project, a non-profit that was created in loving memory of a little kid Axel who was killed in Mexico, that donates a Strider to a person in need for every purchased Strider bike from them.
This is a no brainer, as an outdoor toy, so the only thing I want to mention is that I’ve tried 3 different push toys and Lexi seems to like this Plan Toys one the most. It pushes easily and makes nice sounds. She was obsessed with it from the day we bought it.
She’s sort of cooled down on the Badger stroller we bought her for her birthday, but it used to be her FAVORITE toy. Pushing books, toys and dolls in it was something she would do daily. It was actually quite funny because she would put one of the shapes from her shape sorter into the stroller and ride it around in a stroller.
Another obvious choice. She looooooves balls. But the issue here was to find a ball that wasn’t made of yucky PVC. I found out about these balls a long time ago and we stuck with that brand. You can find their assortment here.
I am torn on this particular purchase. On one hand she does like it and enjoys playing there. But at the same time I rarely see her going there on her own without my involvement. It also gets pretty dirty, considering it sits outdoors all the time. In the summer, the nasty spiders weave their webs around it. Technically, if you take the time to wash it it daily it’s a fun toy, but who has time for that? So while I don’t regret buying it, I think it maybe isn’t as fun as I thought it would be for her. The disappointment probably has more to do with my expectation than the actual value and usefulness of the toy, so I am going to wait till she’s a bit older and can utilize the climbing features that she has no interest in right now to make a final decision. You can find the playground here.
That’s a great inexpensive option for an outdoor toy. What toddler doesn’t like carting things around? I bought it after Alexis loved the cart at the Children’s museum. I can also see it being a fun toy for a while. SHe’s cooled down on it at the moment, abut I can tell it will come back.
A surprising toy, but Lexi is obsessed with copying mommy and pretend watering the plants. It’s really sooooo cute. I haven’t had a chance to buy a toy watering can, but I’ll be ordering this one from Hape shortly. Made of ABS plastics and is super cute in yellow.
I love chalk, Lexi likes chalk, who doesn’t like chalk? What I don’t like is her propensity to put things into her mouth when she’s teething.
Enter the world of non-toxic chalk.
Probably not necessary for older kids, but a toddler- yes! Awesome colors, smells like candy ( which doesn’t help the whole hand to mouth thing) and draws really well and it’s EDIBLE! It makes really fun swirl colors too!
And of course, let’s not forget about a bucket and a shovel,along with some sand. What toddler doesn’t like playing with that? We love our Green Toys set and I want to buy another one from Hape too. Both are completely non-toxic with Green Toys one being more so.
What are some of your and your toddler’s favorite outdoor toys?
I love discovering new things.