Imaginative ideas for outdoor play
Of course, there is a great selection of traditional toys to play with outside, and don’t get me wrong we love these toys, bats and balls are enjoyed massively by us. There are also the toys given to us by nature, sticks, puddles, stones waves and more - we love all of these. But one of my favourite things as a parent is to watch imagination develop, see magical worlds created, and listen to narrative dreamt up by my son.
Small world play takes up a big chunk of our day, at the moment, Finn who is three has to give everything a voice, create a story or retell a story from a book. So we took the small world into the big world, the walls were taken away, the environment changed, there were new challenges, new places and a different type of play was discovered.
I found his imagination expanded, he became more creative, he included everything around him that was in his reach (which in a big open space is a lot). His narrative changed and he noticed, and included EVERYTHING bugs, leaves, stones, feathers and more. We’ve taken a variety of toys outside that are traditionally played indoors which has resulted in endless play possibilities, endless learning possibilities and so much joy.
Our favourite toys from The Wooden Play Den that we have loved playing with outside include the Tickit Organzas. Playing with these in the sunshine and wind was magical, they sparkle and ripple, they became capes, tents, started conversations about colour, shadow texture and movement.
We love taking wooden animals out with us, it gives them new worlds to live in, new places to explore, new conversations to have.
Blocks outside are great, especially when you include natural materials too – the shimmer and mirror blocks are fabulous outside, with the light shining through them, and the reflections they really pop against the sunshine and greenery.
The farm stones are perfect in mud, we LOVED being allowed to get muddy. When you are so much closer to the ground and three you really notice things, Finn loves being able to recognise and identify things himself and these farm animal prints have been great for exploring footprints.
One of my favourite things to do is to take a shape viewer (yellow door) and a magnifying glass out for wanders and walks with us. They have allowed us to slow the pace, to be in the moment, to chat and have those wonderfully illogical conversations you have when you are three.
I cannot recommend grabbing a few of your favourite Wooden Play Den toys next time you play outside or go for a walk, it brings us so much joy and inspiration.
Thank you to Laura @island.mum.island.baby for sharing her ideas for outdoor play.