It won’t be long until we’re allowed to mix in our six outside in the sunshine, and Little Tikes is the go-to when it comes to the best outdoor toys.

So many families will be looking forward to watching their kids play with the friends they haven’t seen in months. For those with toddlers that might have spent most of their lives so far viewing lockdown life as the norm, they’ll be lots to catch up on. Social interaction is an important part of childhood development, and with the weather improving, it’s time to brush up the back garden and make the most of your outdoor space.

To celebrate the launch of the Little Tikes ‘Let Them Play’ campaign we’ve picked out our top indoor and outdoor toys to keep the little ones entertained no matter the weather. All are fabulous for exploration and physical activity, developing self-confidence as well as having lots of fun with friends. As part of the Little Tikes ‘Let Them Play’ campaign Little Tikes will be hosting a summer of giveaways over on the Little Tikes’ Instagram channel @OfficialLittleTikesUK, so keep your eyes peeled!

The benefits of outdoor play

Kids love being outside, it gives them a chance to explore and gain confidence. Outdoor play is good for the soul; it promotes wellbeing and encourages physical development. Different types of play can help your child develop and hone a wide variety of skills including fine and gross motor skills.

When choosing outdoor toys for your child, opt for equipment that will last for a good few years for maximum play value.

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Benefits of gardening with kids

There are so many benefits to gardening with your little ones. As well as teaching them about nature and the environment, gardening encourages a love of the outdoors.

Kickstart your child’s interest in gardening with this awesome new range by Little Tikes – the Growing Garden range. With true-to-life tools your child can join in with gardening as well as letting their imagination run free. What’s more, each set comes with its very own Gardening Tips book, so they can make the most out of their new toys.

The Growing Garden Range by Little Tikes

The importance of sand and water play

Little Tikes know that as well as being super fun, sand and water play offers kids so many opportunities to use and develop their fine motor skills. These bases for sensory play provide endless possibilities for storytelling and imaginative play, as well as scientific experiments, of course!

Top tip – don’t forget that both sand and water reflect the sun, so make sure your child is wearing sunscreen.

Outdoor physical exercise and activity for kids

Children will soak up any opportunity to engage in physical exercise and activity. It gives them the chance to use their muscles, whether it’s riding a bike, running, swinging or climbing.

Slides have always been a huge attraction to kids because they’re completely exhilarating, and young thrill-seekers will do pretty much anything to get up to the top in order to slide down, time and again. This repetitive play teaches kids about balance, coordination and spatial awareness, as well as learning about social organisation, and waiting for their turn. Swings are also brilliant at getting your child to use all of their muscles to hold on, and to balance and coordinate their body in order to get the swing to move. They’ll be learning first hand about cause and effect – the harder they propel their legs forward, the higher the swing will go.

Trikes, racers and ride-ons

Outdoor play wouldn’t be complete without a serious set of wheels. We love the 4-in-1 My First Trike, which adapts cleverly as your child grows older. The Sport Racer with its robust wheels looks like the ultimate fun a child could hope to have and I really wish I was three again, and for unicorn lovers, this carriage is beyond all wildest dreams.

Classic outdoor toys for kids

Little Tikes’ iconic Cozy Coupe® was first introduced to the market in 1979 and it’s been loved by generations since. The little car with the big personality has come a long way since the 70’s, and has undergone many a makeover. There’s now a Cozy Coupe to suit every personality, from the Classic to the Fairy and Princess, this has to be a must-have outdoor toy for little ones aged 18 months and up.

Best indoor and outdoor toys for role play

Role play builds confidence, improves problem-solving abilities, and helps aid physical development. These three toys can be used both inside and outdoors depending on the weather, to help your children get into character for the ultimate in fun playdates with their friends.

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