Let's go to the park

What you needpark

Rug, outdoor toys: e.g. ball, push-along toys, scooter, wellies and waterproofs on wet days, playground equipment

Where to find it

At home, in the park

Activities

Up to 12 months

Swingtime
A gentle turn in the baby swing encourages kicking.

Rug play
Play ball games with your baby. Encourage older children to bring safe items such as leaves for your baby to see and hold. Turn yourself into a human climbing frame for your baby to climb over, crawl under, etc.

Time to explore
When they’re mobile, encourage your baby to explore the different world of the park, especially if you don’t have a garden.

12 months–2 years

Walk to the park
Encourage your child to walk all or part of the way to the park. Chat to them about what you see, step over pavement lines, play easy “I spy”.

Puddle play
Encourage your child to splash through shallow puddles, look at reflections in the water, float leaves.

Spot the seasons
Spring: go from tree to tree to see which ones have leaf buds.
Summer: find the flowers – and enjoy their colours and scents.
Autumn: shuffle through leaves, throw them for the wind to scatter, collect conkers.
Winter: make snow footprint patterns, build a snowman.

2–5 years

Running games
Encourage children to play chase together – and with you – on the grass, around the trees, etc. Older children could hop so little ones can keep up.

Run, hop, skip, jump from object to object; let the children choose, arrange stones as markers and so on.
Use a watch or smartphone for timed races, e.g. run to tree and back.

Playground
With your supervision, encourage children to use the playground equipment – swing, slide, merry-go-round, hopscotch, climbing frame and anything else available.

And as they grow older...

They can explore the equipment with more freedom and independence, hunt for minibeasts, and invent their own games of tag, marching soldiers, etc.

Let's go on a treasure hunt
treasure hunt

Treasure hunts and treasure baskets are great activities for home or out of doors

Let's make an obstacle course
obstacle course

Great for getting children crawling, climbing, jumping and skipping