We are so ready for the summer holidays- who else is with me?! It’s been a scramble recently- busy at work, summer fairs, end of term displays, sport’s days…………So we’re looking forward to just have some time to plod along- we’re looking forward to lots of time outside, to Ireland which will hopefully be a little cooler (but still sunny please)! and to having a lot more time to breathe.
I’m looking forward to garden time, to watch the kiddos play, and play, and play, for hours, completely in flow and absorbed in sand castles and water splashing and flower potions and swings. I’m looking forward to an outdoorsy, exploratory, imaginative, dirty fingernails, muddy everything, kind of summer – with lots of exploring. I’m hoping for all of this without bickering…… but I may be hoping for too much!
I love that we have a great garden for playing in, it was a big reason we bought the house and I love that it’s a special place for our kids – they could play there all day and it’s been sad that some days it’s been so hot that we can’t just leave them out there playing until sunset. I don’t want to moan about our lovely dry spell but I’m a little bit fonder of cooler climes!
So, I thought I’d put together a little list of our kids favourite garden toys that keep them playing outside all Summer long.
This has been Archie’s 2nd birthday present and he’s already got so much fun out of playing with it. ALL kids love sand! Being able to pretend to cook, make cookies, roll the sand – ours often have a bake off style competition with the sand. We like the picnic table format so we can fit more children around it and I’m hoping it will be easier to keep it clean with it being slightly raised.
A good many years ago now, when we were in our old house, Mr M had a tricky near miss carrying a chalk board home on the roof of the car – but alls well that ends well and we still have our chalk board attached to a fence outside. The kids like drawing on it but also they generally plan out maps and adventures and garden treasure takeovers on it too!
This is a great garden game but is also brilliant for inside too. Gotrovo is an easy to set up treasure hunt game that is perfect for siblings to play together. You set up the game with clues that you place around the house or garden – I loved that you could create your own clues if you wanted but also there are pre-written clues for ease and speed! I love setting up treasure hunts but sometimes they can take forever to think of clues. You can place treats or prizes in the gold box for the kids to find at the end. Your intrepid explorers work their way along the treasure trail, fixing clues to the map and collecting gold coins in a red swag bag as they solve the clues. Our kids loved the treasure hunt I set up but they loved creating treasure hunts for each other even more! They spent a good few hours with this game, setting up treasure for each other but I drew the line after the second time and they had to offer fruit as the prize after that! The treasure hunt is suitable for all ages. Four year old Orla enjoyed this because she could set up her own hunt as their are picture clues as well as written clues – this is a dream of a game for siblings. They’ve thought of everything to make it easy for siblings to play together – different levels of difficulty for alternative age groups and several different ‘jobs’ as you play the game – one can collect the coins, another the clues and another hold the map. This game would be a perfect for parties and can grow with kids as they get older. For more treasure hunt games and some cool pirate party games and travel games – check out gotrovo and the lovely people at Gotrovo are offering 20% discount especially for Thimble and Twig readers if you quote the code SAILAWAY. So you can try their treasure hunt games this summer holiday.
Hands down, probably the best thing we’ve ever got for the garden! This trampoline has given the kids hours of entertainment outside in all weathers and they could bounce from morning until night! They’ve practised synchronised bouncing (a game they invented where they time someone swinging and someone on the trampoline and try to get them in synch!) and made up elaborate trampoline dances too. We love this trampoline from Sportspower – it feels safe and secure with a large net around and the zip has safety buckles so it’s hard to fall out! Here’s some of our crazy kids captures from their latest trampoline dance show!
This is a complete hit with the kids! It’s basically a game of noisy tennis which makes a very satisfying noise when you hit the ball with the bat. The fact that it’s noisy I think makes kids practise batting more to keep the noise going!
We don’t actually own a badminton net – but our kids love just bouncing this badminton set back and forth between each other and trying to fit the badminton shuttlecock which is a harder skill to master than a ball (at least I believe so anyway!)
Just a simple bowl of water and our kids are happy for ages. Happy and wet that is – they never just play with the water – it always ends up tipped all over them! I add jugs, water pipes and cups to keep the littlest busy or our kids also enjoy playing car washing or dinosaur washing up (add the toys with bubbles).
Our littlest (aged 2) adores bubbles but makes such a mess if he tries to blow them himself whereas a bubble machine means he can keep dancing through them and trying to pop them! It’s a big hit with the older ones and for slightly older kids – bubble wands are great too.
This is a great and more unusual toy, particularly if you have an enclosed or large garden or it works really well in a park. You just fill the rocket launcher with squares of paper and launch the foam rocket high into the sky and it will make an exciting ‘bang’ when it falls back to the ground. It’s the most fun way to recycle your old newspapers!
But probably best of all is the chance to run around and the funny games our kids make up – like closing your eyes and see who can walk around the garden without bumping into everything!
Happy Summer Holidays everyone!
*We were gifted some of these items in exchange for a review but the words, photos and thoughts are my own*
Don’t forget….. for more treasure hunt games and some cool pirate party games and travel games – check out gotrovo and get a 20% discount especially for Thimble and Twig readers if you quote the code SAILAWAY this summer holiday!