Finally, summer is here! Although the weather is notoriously hit and miss in the UK, every year we live in hope there will be some sunny days to enjoy a bit of family time outside.
Keeping kids of all ages amused is no mean feat, but with the right toys and activities like the ones in this list, it is possible to all have a great time in the garden or at a local park.
Of course, when the weather isn’t with us - which let’s face it is often isn’t - many of these products would also work inside. Though you are a brave person if you set up a water and sand pit in your living room... but needs must, especially in the long summer holidays.
The toys are listen in ascending order of age suitability, from birth to three years plus. Happy browsing.
Suitble from birth
aden + anais playmat
A baby playmat is an essential buy for parents because young children learn through play and sensory experiences. This gorgeous mat from aden + anais includes rattles and tactile elements, removable toys and a mirror which are all fantastic for developing a baby’s motor, and cognitive skills.
It is beautifully soft and comfortable and its cute design means it works in a variety of spaces. It would be a soft and comfortable outside play space for a baby and it is easily portable and rollable to take to friends’ or a park. Machine washable in case it gets a bit muddy or in the event of any oopsies. Suitable from birth.
Buy now £85.00, aden + anais
VTech My First Gift Set Blue
This is a fantastic set of newborn toys for use in the garden or on the go. Featuring a soft hippo teether, a rattle and tuneful piano, this set covers a lot of sensory bases making it perfect for young children.
The piano is perhaps a highlight, with three light up music buttons that introduce animals, numbers and colours to tiny ears. It includes 15 melodies and four sing-along songs and sound effects. While it might well drive adults round the bend, babies love it. Suitable from birth.
Buy now £17.99, John Lewis
Lamaze Octopus toy
Let me introduce you to a cult toy for babies - the Lamaze Octopus aka Captain Calamari. All babies love this cheery, sensory chap. With so many colours, patterns and textures on his tentacles, it is a assault on the senses for babies - in the very best way, keeping them amused for hours on end. The clip on his head means it can hang from play arches, car seats or buggy arms. A sure fire hit. Suitable from birth.
Buy now £17.99, Jojo Maman Bebe
Infantino sensory splish and splash bath time set
Yes, this is a bath set but would work in a paddling pool during the summer months as well. The playset includes 17 colourful sea-themed pieces such as stackable cups, squirty creatures and a fishing set. Great fun, and easily portable. Suitable from birth.
Buy now £22.00, Amazon
Infantino pat and play water mat
Tummy time is important for young children as it helps develop strength in their neck and upper body. But trying to keep it interesting for them, especially as many despise being on their fronts, isn’t easy.
Shaped like a narwhal, this blow-up and water filled mat is great for tummy time in the great outdoors. In the central section, which you fill with water from a hose or water bottle, are six floating sea friends that move when the baby pats or puts gentle pressure on them. The blow up edge helps prop up and support even the wobbliest of children. Suitable from three months.
Buy now £13.00, Argos
Lovevery toy subscription kits
Something a bit different, these kits are great and innovative idea to keep your child occupied throughout their developmental years. The kits cover children aged 0 to 3 years.
Essentially, the kids subscription service company - pronounced Love Every - send you a box of toys suitable for your child at their age every two months. Each of the toys are built to last and made with sustainably harvested wood, organic cotton, nontoxic paint, and baby-safe plastics. A lot of the toys are small and work well on the move or in the garden. A great way to keep your child’s toy box fresh.
Buy now £80.00, Lovevery
Suitable from one year
Mori wooden toys gift set
These cute classic stacking blocks are from Mori (if you haven’t spoilt your baby with some of their sleepsuits do so now!). They are made from sustainable materials with non-toxic paints in pretty colours making them a rare child’s toy that doesn’t look garish. They have soft edges for safety. Sturdy enough to put in a pram and take to the park to keep a child amused while you kick back. Suitable from one year.
Buy now £42.00, Mori
The Plum® Build & Splash Wooden Sand and Water Table
A two-in-one toy that is compact enough for a small garden or patio - this table can be filled with water for warmer days and also sand when your children want to get a bit messy. Made from FSC certified Chinese Fir timber, the table is strong and also comes with a watertight PVC liner and a protective cover. Suitable from 18 months.
Buy now £74.99, Mamas & Papas
VATOS Splash Play Mat Water Sprinkler
Buy this, and you will be the envy of all the local children. Combining two favourites - a paddling pool and a water sprinkler, this unmissable but fun toy will keep children entertained for hours by transforming your garden in to a waterpark. Made of durable, soft PVC materials, it is environmentally friendly and non-toxic, BPA and phthalates free. Maybe not one for a public green space but surely an essential for anyone with young children and a garden. Suitable from two years.
Buy now £26.99, Amazon
Suitable from three years
EDX Education Number & Dot Bean Bags
edx education are market leaders in fun - but educational - toys for young geniuses. These bean bags are one of the most portable and versatile products on the list that could be taken to the park or even on holiday. As well as being good for improving hand-eye coordination, there are a variety of maths and counting games they could be used for. Suitable from three years.
Buy now £19.76, Amazon
EDX education Step-A-Forest Set
Another hit from edx education is the Step-A-Forest set that helps young child nail coordination, balance and motor skills - while also encouraging their imagination. The set contains six stumps, two Y-shaped logs, eight straight logs and six leaves that can be assembled in any formation, inside or outside. For safety, each log has a non-slip ribbed top platform. Suitable from three years.
Buy now £241.44, Amazon
Little Green Sheep tipi play tent
Technially made for inside use, this tipi is so beautiful and looks lovely on a patio - while also providing a patch of shade on sunny days. It is super easy to assemble thanks to its five-pole stucture and canvas, and comes with a cushioned play mat for the floor - though this could be omitted if erected on grass. Inspires hours of fun for children - I mean, who hasn’t had a blast building a den? Suitable from three years.
Buy now £99.95, Little Green Sheep
Jojo Mama Bebe spring croquet game
Super cute and encouraging a bit of competative spirit is the spring croquet game from Jojo Mama Bebe. It works like grown up croquet, though the arches are cute animals. The set is pretty portable, so would be a great asset to take to an adults party to keep the youngsters happy. Also comes in other themes such as dinosaurs and safari animals. Suitable from three years.
Buy now £26.00, Jojo Mama Bebe