Christmas is the happiest time of the year, but preparing for the festive season is not always stress-free. Buying gifts for the family can be tricky, especially with children of different ages or personalities. To help take some of the stress out of Christmas planning, we’ve compiled a list of the perfect outdoor toys for all ages!
Gifting toys designed for outdoor play is a fun way to encourage interactive learning, healthy habits and screen-free time. Outdoor play also helps children explore their environment, gain self-confidence and social skills, and has numerous benefits for mental and physical health. Check out our list below:
0 – 12 months
The first year of a baby’s life involves many changes and developmental milestones. Playtime is a critical way to nurture physical, cognitive, and social skills development. The following outdoor toys will help keep your baby engaged, alert and learning:
- An outdoor play mat – Perfect for little tots to enjoy the sunshine and practice their tummy time.
- Blocks – Building blocks offer hours of interactive fun, both indoors and outdoors. You’d be surprised at how much entertainment can come from stacking and unstacking blocks!
- Beach toys – These can be used to shovel sand or even just earth in the backyard. Beach toys also help babies to experience new textures.
- A clam shell pool or sandpit – An Aussie classic! A clam shell pool is perfect for sensory learning, and for keeping babies cool in the summer weather. Remember to always supervise babies and children around water.
- A dune-buggy ride-on tricycle – Whilst a baby may not be able to push themselves around just yet, learning to balance on the tricycle helps to engage their muscles.
12 months – 2 years
As toddlers, children become even more inquisitive and active. Keep them learning and active outdoors with the following toys:
- A 2 in 1 balance bike – Taking the tricycle to the next level! This is a great gift that grows with toddlers throughout the year, converting from a three-wheel to two-wheel balance bike.
- Bucket swing – Bucket swings are perfect for toddlers, being the ideal compromise between a baby swing and a larger swing.
- Sandpit – Playing with sand is a great way to encourage imagination and familiarize toddlers with different textures. You can also purchase coloured play sand to make the experience more fun, and to teach colour and pattern recognition.
2 – 5 years
Children aged 2 – 5 years should be encouraged to enhance their muscle strength and cognitive thinking. Getting preschoolers outside is also an effective way to keep young minds entertained and amused:
- Sand and water table – Sand and water activity tables (made from plastic or wood) are purchasable with accessories that keep kids’ imaginations flowing.
- Monkey bar tower – Kids love to climb! A monkey bar will boost muscular development and strength, and offer this age group an outlet for their boundless energy.
- Strider balance bike – A strider balance bike is the perfect step between a tricycle and bicycle.
- Inflatable pool – If your preschooler has outgrown the clam shell, inflatable pools are a great option for summertime.
- Sports ball – This is a great age to start encouraging ball sports for hand/ eye coordination. Children of this age will have a blast learning how to kick footballs, or how to dribble a basketball!
5 – 8 years
From 5 – 8 years, kids’ coordination and motor skills are much more developed, and children can learn new ways to move and play outdoors. Gifts for this age group include:
- Trampolines – Vuly trampolines are suitable for kids aged 6 and up. If you’re looking for a gift that children will enjoy for years to come, a trampoline is the perfect choice! Vuly trampolines feature a 10-year warranty, superior UV resistance, and superfine mesh to protect little fingers and toes. Vuly’s safety features also prevent injuries, and each trampoline offer a 150kg weight load – perfect for the whole family.
- Bicycles – A perfect step up from the trike and balance bike. Bicycles encourage independence, develop fine motor skills, and facilitate regular exercise.
- Swingsets – Another great product for this age group. Vuly has a range of swingsets that are customised to be the perfect outdoor playset.
From 8 years, children may begin to show a preference for certain sports. Boost their learning, with a range of sports equipment designed for safe outdoor play:
- Baseball kit – A baseball glove and ball is a great gift to encourage outdoor play with other kids or adults. Learning to throw the ball will help develop coordination and dexterity.
- Basketball hoop – Perfect for practicing shooting, ball drills, and developing overall coordination. Vuly's Slam Pro basketball hoop incorporates safe design features for increased stability and weather durability, while being easy to move by one person.
- Water guns – Perfect for cooling off in the heat, and for teaching social skills such as teamwork, turn-taking and communication.