Fun and Simple Outdoor Activities for Kids
Did you know that Oskar's Wooden Ark stocks a large range of outdoor toys? From outdoor play kitchens to rubber roads, Playsilks, and water marble runs, we have lots of fun toys in our online store that keep your children happy and engaged outside for long periods of time AND withstand sun, wind and rain.
Check out our category Active & Outdoor Play for all the fun outdoor toys we have on offer at Oskar's Wooden Ark!
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
By going outside, you remove the walls (and often bad and grumpy moods) and even though a garden often has fences, children can roam around freely and explore. If you don't have a garden, there are still many options: take your children to the local playgrounds, or the beach, go on a bush walk or walk around the neighbourhood, along the river or even to the shops for a bit of fresh air.
Children hardly ever sit still outside and constantly burn energy. Being active and on the move also helps strengthen bones and muscles and playing outside builds vitamin D in the body, even on a cloudy day. And when it rains, put on gumboots and rainwear or grab an umbrella. I don't know any child who doesn't love jumping in puddles.
While nature provides plenty of wonderful toys in forms of rocks, sticks and leaves, having some extra toys and utensils that children can use outside adds to the fun. Here are some fun outdoor toys that will keep your kids happy and occupied outside.
Pretend play - encourage imagination
Whether you do it inside or outside, pretend play, also known as dramatic play, is always a hit with the kids.
- Grab some of our Sarah's Silks wings or Sarah's Silks Playsilks and pretend to be a butterfly, fairy, bird, bat or imagine that you have wings yourself. Tie the playsilks to a stick and carry a flag around.
- Our Erzi outdoor furniture range includes an Outdoor Barbecue Grill, Outdoor Grocer's Shop and an Outdoor Play Kitchen. These pieces of furniture provide children with a rare opportunity for practising fascinating role-play games outside in the garden where they can stock their shop with special nature finds as well as their normal play food or create delicious meals. All three have lots of shelf space for treasures and other accessories and are waterproof and can be left outside.
2. Sarah's Silks Playsilks 📸 by Jana @playroomstories
3. Outdoor Play Kitchen
4. Sarah's Silks wings
Gardening - teach your children the secrets of nature
Gardening is a fun outdoor activity that you can do together as a family. It allows you to teach your children several skills:
1) Responsibility: Plants need to be looked after.
2) Cause and effect: Plants need water otherwise they'll die. Some plants require extra protection, from bugs and weeds that compete with them.
3) Self-confidence: Growing fruits and vegetables from scratch is a wonderful achievement and shows children that goals can be achieved when you put a bit of work and effort into it.
4) Fine motor skills: Children can practise and improve their fine motor skills by planting seeds, scooping dirt and watering plants. All these activities also help to improve their concentration, focus and learning capabilities.
5) Sensory engagement: Gardening engages all sorts of senses. Each plant has a different smell. Some plants may not have a strong smell and if a plant isn't flowering, try and rub their leaves. The soil itself has a smell too. Compare the smell of dry vs wet soil before and after watering. Start a conversation with your children why it smells different? And then they are the different textures of soil, seeds, flower, petals and leaves to feel and colours to see.
- At Oskar's Wooden Ark we offer a some great tools that make gardening even more fun: The Erzi Outdoor Play and Planting Table is well and truly an all-rounder. Your little gardener can use this table to help you pot plants or sow seeds in pots or even use it as a small outdoor kitchen. The little shelf is perfect for storing gardening tools, gloves and a few pots.
- Our Glueckskaefer range includes some gardening must-haves such as the Garden Tool Set (3 Pieces) Blue and Metal Watering Can 1L.
- Do you children love to help? Sweeping is one of the chores that our kids love to help with. Our Glueckskaefer Wooden Broom has strong tough bristles, perfect for sweeping pavements and outdoor areas.
2. Erzi Outdoor Play and Planting Table
3. Metal Watering Can 1L
Get active outside and practise gross motor skills
Some kids can't sit still and some need a little bit of encouragement to move. No matter the personality of your child having some fun high quality outdoor equipment that lasts for a long time will help your children enjoy being active. Practising gross motor skills has lots of advantages as it builds the big important muscles in our body and improves our posture, hand-eye and foot-eye coordination as well as keeps our core strong.
- Jumping is a movement that involves the whole body. It burns lots of energy by engaging the lower part of our body but also practises balance. Our Mader skipping ropes come in different sizes and you can use them on your own and create a team jumping activity: Mader Skipping Rope for younger Children, Mader Skipping Rope for older Children and Mader Skipping Rope Multi Person 5m.
- Your kids are tired of walking but don't want to sit in the pram? Check out our range of Wishbone Design Studio bikes. Children learn to walk and ride easily with Wishbone Bikes. Its innovative 3in1 design is lightweight, stable and highly adjustable. Fits just right for all children from age 1 to 6. Babies love three wheels to help them walk then coast on the pedal-less tricycle. Convert to two wheels, and with no pedals toddlers master the skill of balance quickly.
- Let your children zoom around the house or outside on our wooden ride on toys "Fred" or "Caterpillar". Whether your children prefer to sit or kneel on them, they will have to engage their leg and core muscles. Set up a race track or let the kids ride next to you while you go for a walk. Fred and Caterpillar come with safety features such as a soft-close flap seat and an innovative and patented steering mechanism that stabilises them and stops them from toppling over.
- Our Bow and Arrows Set is one of those toys the whole family will enjoy. The safe and durable bows can be used by children as young as 2 years old, while still being a blast for older children (and even parents and grandparents). Children can practise lots of different skills sets with them. They were designed to be easy to use and work extremely well featuring a hole through the shaft to guide the arrow. The arrows with felt ball tips to soften impact, and a bungee cord to send the arrows soaring through the air. From Jennifer Bow and Arrows Set has been safety tested by us in Australia and complies with the Australian Toy Safety Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.1. Check out this fun video of Matthew and Mia having a ball using their favourite toy!
Be creative wherever you are
Creativity is a big word but if you look at your children, they are creative all the time. Whether they try to come up with new excuses for not having to go to sleep or making use of toys in a way that you never thought about. Children can turn sticks into brooms or horses, leaves into coins or rocks into gold. Nature and all its treasures give children a fantastic opportunity to be imaginative and creative. Here a few ideas what they can do outside in case they ran out of things to do:
- Collect leaves and flowers and press them at home. Once pressed and dried use them to decorate beautiful cards and gift tags.
- Take your Kitpas Art Crayons with you on a walk and leave some beautiful drawings or paintings behind.
- Collect sticks, rocks and leaves to create a beautiful mandala in the forest. Or take our Grapat mandala pieces with you and create a mandala from a mix of natural loose parts.
- Take part in the "Kindness Rock Project". Collect rocks and pebbles, paint them at home and then hide them again outside for others to find.
- Your kids need some fresh air? Why not paint windows from outside with our Kitpas Art Crayons? Drawing on a vertical surface has many benefits. It improves shoulder and elbow stability and it allows children to make bigger arm movements which provide strength and flexibility to arm and shoulder muscles and joints. While being upright children have to engage their core and back muscles to stay balanced while moving their arms in different directions which facilitates good posture.
- Get your chalk out and draw a hopscotch on the ground. Jump from box to box or grab some rocks and aim for the different boxes. Our Kitpas Dustless Chalk is perfect for this. It comes in a box with a string so when you carry the chalk in your bag, the pieces won't fall out.
2. Window drawing with Kitpas Art Crayons (📸 by Ruth @a.day.for.play)
3. Drawing on rocks (📸 by Jana @playroomstories)
4. Decorating a gift bag with petals (📸 by Allie @woodentoyplay)
Sensory play - let the sand tickle your senses
Going to the beach is not only a great change of scenery - hearing the waves crash and feeling the sand between your toys is quite relaxing. On top of that playing with sand is a great for stimulating your child's senses: touch, smell, sight, taste, movement, hearing. Sensory play supports brain development and improves both fine and gross motor skills. Walking on sand activates and works our leg and core muscles. Playing with sand toys needs eye-hand coordination as children dig, sift, scoop and pour and manipulate sand.
While kids love to be in the water, they can't be in the water the whole time. Us parents need a little break, too, so having fun toys available for them that keep them occupied in the sand is priceless. A lot of our wooden toys can be used outside and can be rinsed off after sand and water play. Some are even made for indoor as well as outdoor play.1. Waytoplay Roads
2. Erzi water marble run
3. Grimm's yachts
4. Erzi Metal Sand Toy set
- Made of high grade, child safe rubber our waytoplay roads are fantastic for indoor and outdoor plat. Simply roll out an adventure anywhere and anytime. The open ended sets can be added to, for endless fun. Let your child find its way to play and become king of the road.
- Our Erzi water marble run is a fantastic toys to take to the beach. Build some hills from sand and place the different half pipes on top. Grab some water from the ocean and watch it run down the tracks. A fantastic toy for beach lovers, little budding engineers and any child who loves to play with sand and water.
- Don't forget to take your beach toys with you to the beach. Our Erzi Metal Sand Toy set and Glueckskaefer sieve are fantastic beach or sandpit companions. Build an ocean pool, the biggest castle, a tunnel for your waytoplay roads or even a ball run. The options are endless!
- Did you know that Grimm's Wooden Toys can withstand a few hours of water play? While they have to be rinsed and dried afterwards, they can get wet. Our Grimm's yachts love to be taken to the beach or creek and our Grimm's cars enjoy a drive down a sandy hill.
You don't have a beach near you? No problem! Our sand toys can be used in sandpits too, whether it's your own in your garden or at the local playground.
Where is your favourite place to play outside? Are you team beach, playground, bush walk or do you enjoy mixing it up? Do you own any of our outdoor toys? Let us know in the comments which ones.
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