Spending time outside is essential to the growth and development of your child. Creative and imaginative outdoor play provides your child with a safe place to get moving and allows them to be completely themselves without worrying too much about making a mess! This completely carefree play will see their confidence soar.
If you have an outdoor space, why not set up a play area outside for your little one this summer? All you’ll need is a designated area that’s safe (not close to a road, fast-flowing river, or any gardening objects), shady and somewhere you don’t mind getting a little messy. We’ll talk you through the rest!
Install an Outdoor Kitchen:
No play area is complete without an outdoor kitchen! We aren’t talking all of the bells & whistles of a functioning kitchen; the Multifunctional Play Store from Small Foot will do perfectly! Watch your blossoming chef create fantastical meals and cook up exciting new creations as they take charge of their kitchen. Why not dress the counters up a bit with some realistic kitchen roll from Erzi, as well as a refreshing Fruit Salad Cutting Set. Breakfast al fresco on these sunny mornings? Your little Master Chef will be serving up some deliciousness with the Breakfast Set from Small Foot!
Build Their Imagination with a Construction Sensory Bin:
It’s no secret that we love sensory bins here at Noah’s Forest Friends. Not only do they nurture creativity and develop fine motor skills, they’re also incredibly calming and are a fun way to introduce different textures.
To encourage a love for more dramatic play, why not fill up a big plastic container with a mixture of sand & pebbles, and add some construction toys in there? We love the Tractor Trails from Le Toy Van, and think they’d navigate the terrain really well! Watch how your little one organises their construction site; will they separate the sand and pebbles neatly, or leave the pebbles all over the place? Add some more fun into the mix by employing a Flexible Puppet Builder from Goki to oversee the chaos!
Let’s Get Crafty!
It wouldn’t be an outdoor play area without a craft corner now, would it? This little designated space allows your child to express themselves freely through art, while also teaching them responsibility in keeping the area clean(ish)!
We have always thought that chalk is a great way of allowing your little one to explore their creativity to their hearts content, all whilst knowing you can easily clean up at the end of playtime. We love the Small Foot Chalk & Magnet Board for these more creative activities. Simply prop it up in the corner of your outdoor play area, and let your mini Monet get to work!
Nature Scavenger Hunt:
The perfect activity for a summer’s day of outdoor play! Before your little one awakes from their mid-morning nap, go into your outdoor space and hide some Holztiger animals! Behind plant pots, sat on garden furniture, hidden in some flowers – the options are endless. When your mini-me wakes up, they’ll have an exciting activity to look forward to which gets them thinking and moving at the same time!
Every outdoor play area needs a little storybook nook – it’s an unwritten rule! For a more rustic, magical feel, why not gather some large logs to sit on?
Nothing is more magical than reading your little one to sleep outside on a warm summer’s evening, surrounded by slowly dwindling light and the scent of fragrant flowers. We adore the Usborne Look & Find Night Time book for these special occasions, where we can see if we can spot some of the nocturnal animals in real life!
There you have it, our top tips for creating an outdoor play area dedicated to nurturing and expanding the imagination! We hope you have so much fun in the sun, but don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of shade!