Thursday, April 2, 2015

13 Must Have Summer Toys For The Backyard: 18 Months - 3 Years

As soon as the weather is decent, we find ourselves spending majority of our days outside in the backyard. After a long, cold winter, the kids are always beyond excited to run around the backyard and play with the outside toys. Being a daycare provider, it should be of no surprise that we have a lot of different toys around our yard. Here are some of our favorites we play with, broken down by age ranges. 
1.) Cozy Coupe Gas Pump To go along with the Cozy Coupe. By now the little one has gotten into pretend play a bit and wants to do something more than just cruise in the Coupe. Add a gas pump to the mix and you'll be given hours of play time.
2.) Sandbox. It's not the start of summer until the littles have eaten a handful of sand. It's a beginning of nice weather tradition at daycare.
3.) Tee Ball Set. Great, long lasting set that the kids love.
4.) Teeter Totter. This is a perfect one to teach kiddos how to balance and work together.
5.) Sidewalk Chalk. Who are we kidding? Sidewalk chalk is great for all ages 1+! Even I love to color with the kiddos!
6.) Play Mower. The love to "mow" the grass and have mower races against each other!
7.) Wheelbarrow. I love this wheelbarrow from Little Tikes because it can't fit a child inside to be pushed around. This may or may not have been an issue with other toy wheelbarrows.
8.) Trampoline. I bought this for the living room this winter (it was a lifesaver), but the kids have loved it so much that it's now in the backyard for jumping. I'm not a fan of larger trampolines, so this one is just about perfect, especially for the younger kids.
9.) Basketball Hoop. I love that this set is adjustable and can last a lot longer than all of the other kids first basketball hoops out there.
10.) Ride on Toys. Any ride on toys are great, but the kids especially like ones that play music, beep, and have a storage space under the seat for random little toys and twigs.
11.) Climber. The next step up in climbers. At one time we didn't have a climber for the 18 month-3 years crowd, then I scored one for free on Craigslist. Now I see them as a vital part of outside time.
12.) Grill Play Set. My minis love to "grill" right along with dad. Our grill was even a Starbucks one afternoon last summer (according to the kids).
13.) Ball Pit. I was against ball pits for the longest time because I didn't want to deal with kids jumping in on top of other kids or the balls being thrown at one another. Once the kids got the ground rules down, our ball pits have been so much fun! Want something a bit bigger than this ball pit? Grab a small or medium size plastic pool, ball pit ball such as these, and you've got yourself an extra big and fun ball pit! 
A Buying Tip or Two:
·         Love these ideas but don't want to spend the money to get a "fun" backyard? Check out your local Craigslist or buy/sell swap sights on Facebook. All of these outside toys hold up well and are great second hand purchases!
·         Toys R Us, K-mart, and Target will be running spring toy sales in the coming weeks, which means a lot of these items will be on sale for nearly half of the original price. Be sure to check online prices as well for any deals.
To read more gift giving and summer toy recommendations, check out our favorites for 0-18 Months!
* These are all items I have bought with my own money. I have in no way been paid by any of these manufacturers.