Let's go to the park
What you need
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
Up to 12 months
A gentle turn in the baby swing encourages kicking.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Treasure hunts and treasure baskets are great activities for home or out of doors
Great for getting children crawling, climbing, jumping and skipping