18-24 Months Outdoor
Time outside encourages movement, listening, observation, a love of nature, and a deep sense of place. And best of all, it requires minimal planning and set-up!
If you have a yard or small balcony, you can keep a few outdoor activities (like these below) available for your child.
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A child sized backpack with pockets for treasures is a must for daily walks. This one is from Herschel and at 10 inches square, it should fit many 18-24 month olds. The magnetic clourses and one zippered pouch are managable skills to master but any smaller backpack with a zipper, Velcro, or fold over flap would work for this age. I recommend a smaller pocket on the back or side, and a pocket for a water bottle is always welcome.
A sand-box offers open-ended play that can keep toddlers interested for hours. This box is my favourite as the lid folds up to make two sturdy benches and completely closes (no surprise visitors!). Or, take the DIY route and fill a small tent with sand.
Garden Tool Set
This three piece garden hand tool set is perfectly sized for small hands, AND they actually work. I'd probably bought 7 sets myself for my classrooms and young friends I've worked with. Start with the green rectangular trowel for scooping soil, and over time your child can help rake and dig too.
Check out this gardening post for ideas.
Sturdy legs means longer walks and the need for snacks. I always carried a tiny fabric bag for my toddler friends on our daily walks, and the flat bottom ones were always the most successful. This super cute snack pouch is from Zerlina Crafts, and is washable, and water-resistant. Plus, the little tab on the side is perfect for clipping to a backpack for easy access.
This is a good introduction to the world of wheeled toys, and learning how to steer. This trike is difficult to tip over and is low enough to the ground for most 18 month olds to climb on by themselves. I've tied a string to the handlebars and helped with steering as a child got the hang of this trike.
Paintbrush and Bucket
Paint with water is my go-to outdoor activity with young toddlers. Endless fun, no clean-up, and you can paint almost anything. I'd suggest using the larger paintbrush in this set for outdoor, and save the others for indoor art projects. This bucket from Toysmith is made from metal and holds up well to repeated outdoor use.