5 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

*(Ad) – In collaboration with Espplay

As a child, I was outdoors practically all the time. Growing up on a small holding gave me the most wonderful childhood with the outdoorsy life. Playing with rocks, digging holes and making dens and our own swing was the norm. I can still remember a camp I made under this tree by a hedge, I collected rocks and branches for the walls and decorated it with old bottles, and bits of ceramics. It was near the old mine buildings in the rough ground so lots of rubble around.

I want this adventurous outdoor play for my girls. I don’t want them stuck inside on screens all day long. We are lucky we have a pretty large garden, and we are starting to make use of it properly. With the weather getting warmer, I’ve encouraged my little ones to play outside. We have a large park across the road, so if we are not in the garden we are in the park.

5 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers on the swings at the park

Why outdoor play is important

Espplay has statistics confirming that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 and 10 are overweight. Schools are now being encouraged to increase and improve physical activity in the playground to help combat childhood obesity. This can be done with having climbing equipment installed. Not only is climbing fun, but it’s also great for the natural development of upper body strength, balancing, coordination and decision making. Even if its buying kids electric cars to help get your child outside and playing. It all counts as outdoor play.

Outdoor activities for toddlers

If you are stuck for ideas on outdoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers, look no further as I’ve come up with my favourite ones.


I’m an avid gardener. I love nothing more to potter around in the garden. We have a fruit bush patch, with blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrents. Last Summer L was very helpful in helping me to pick the berries and do the weeding. She has her own watering can and gardening tools. It’s a great activity for toddler and preschoolers to get outside.

Water and Sand play

You can get some really cool water play tables around at the moment, we bought one for L last year. It’s one of her favourite outdoor activities. I put slightly warm water in it for her so it’s not too cold. She has a little sieve, cups, and a slide on hers. She loves to see which of her toys float, but mostly she spends the time pouring water from one cup to another. It’s magical to watch her doing it.

We bought some play sand for her little pit and its another of her favourite activities. I couldn’t drive for some of last Summer due to my c section, so we brought the beach to our garden.

Chalk drawing

L loves to draw, on anything really! So I bought her some large outdoor chalks to play around with on the patio. Which then turned into the garden wall and even the house! But at least it comes off when it rains!

5 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers - chalk drawing

Nature trails

Since we moved to our current house nearly two years ago now, we’ve gone on little nature trail walks around the paths where we live. In the Summer we go looking for butterflies and the Autumn it’s leaves. I love to explain to L about nature.


L is obsessed with picnics. She has all her plastic fruit and veg and pops them in her bag and with one of my tea towels she sets up a little picnic on the picnic blanket outside. It’s a great way of getting outside We’ve only had a picnic in our garden so far, but this Summer we are planning to take a picnic with us to the park. Along with a football to play.

What outdoor activities do your children like?

As always I love to read your comments and thanks for stopping by today.

rachel bustin
Thank you for sharing

10 thoughts on “5 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. Great ideas here, thank you. Mine have all loved a combination of sand and water with a few shells and feathers for decorating their masterpieces. Bliss for all and so lucky to live in Cornwall!

  2. When we are looking after our granddaughter we always try to go outdoors as much as possible. We live near a beach, and we’ve taken her there in all sorts of weather. She really enjoys picking up sea shells and looking in rock pools for crabs, and watching her grandfather try to fly a kite.

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