The holidays are a fantastic time to be thinking about toys that will last long after the wintery months have come and gone. Not to mention, a great time to look at those big ticket pieces that we want to splurge and see Santa leave under the tree. Outdoor toys and playground equipment are two of the top things that come to mind when I am shopping for my youngest and my grandchildren during the Christmas shopping season. Here are a few ideas for our favorite outdoor toys for kids to take you beyond the tree and into a fun new year.
Swings: Swings are a classic outdoor toy that can provide hours of entertainment for kids. You can find options that attach to your favorite tree in the yard and even some that are stand alone features. Swings have always been a childhood favorite of mine and the trend seems to continue even now in the younger generation.
Playground equipment: Playground equipment, such as slides, monkey bars, and swings, can provide a fun and challenging play environment for kids. There are even amazing options like the Step2 Blue Flash Up and Down Roller Coaster that are perfect for the toddler years and provides a great introduction to the playground fun to be had as they begin to age. Just imagine the surprise when they find this under the tree on Christmas morning.
Bicycles: Bicycles are a great way for kids to get outside and get some exercise. While a bicycle is often an after thought during Christmas time, your children will be extra thankful as soon as the snow has cleared. Safety note: Consider getting a bike with training wheels for younger children, and make sure to have them wear a helmet.
Sandboxes: Sandboxes provide a fun and sensory-rich play environment for kids. They can dig, build, and create in the sand, using their imagination and creativity. Sandboxes can even double as small pools for younger children during the warmer summer days. Our favorite that has stood the test of time and still being used even now is the Step2 Naturally Playful Sandbox.
Playhouses: Playhouses provide a little hideaway for kids to play and imagine in. They can create their own stories and role-play in their playhouse, using it as a mini home or a castle. They double as an indoor reading nook when the days are cold and dreary and a fabulous outdoor play space that will provide hours of imaginative play throughout the year to come.
Trampolines: Trampolines are a fun way for kids to get exercise and burn off energy. They offer a high energy workout that is just plain joyous to experience. Just make sure to follow safety guidelines, such as having a safety net and supervising children when they are using the trampoline.
Water toys: Water toys, such as water guns and sprinklers, can provide hours of fun on hot summer days and bath time fun all year round. Smaller water toy options make ideal stocking stuffers.