Summer birthdays are a blast! Kids get to enjoy the sunshine, warm temperatures and best of all, no school! All they need now are some outdoor toys for their birthday that will go perfectly with their adventurous spirit.
Here are five toys that will make great presents for summer birthdays:
1. Naturally Playful Big Folding Slide: Your toddlers and preschoolers will be jumping for joy once they get a glimpse of this big kid slide! Children will enjoy taking turns climbing up the ladder and taking a ride down the slide. This gift will be a hit at your child’s backyard birthday party. Recommended for ages: 2 – 5.
2. Play & Fold Jr. Slide: Smaller thrill seekers can zip down this mini slide. Toddlers that aren’t quite old enough for a big kid slide will be entertained for hours while developing their balance and coordination through active play. Recommended for ages: 1.5 – 4.
3. Summertime Play Center: This play center is the perfect hang out for kids, especially during a birthday party or barbeque. Toddlers can eat some cake while they sit at the picnic table and then go build sand castles in the attached sandbox. Plus, they will be shaded by the umbrella both while playing in the sand or hanging out at the picnic table. Recommended for ages: 2 and up.
4. Adjustable Sand & Water Table: Kids can stay cool during their birthday party and all summer long with this two-in-one activity table. They can dig and splash around as they pretend they’re on a tropical adventure. Recommended for ages: 2 and up.
(Table comes with an umbrella)
5. Skyward Summit: Little and big explorers will have the ultimate summer adventure with this outdoor climber that resembles a mountain! The Skyward Summit will be the highlight of any backyard birthday party as kids spend hours developing their gross motor skills as they climb to the top. Recommended for ages: 4 – 8.
Which toy is your favorite for a summer birthday gift?
It is no secret that children today have higher rates of obesity than ever before, that time playing video games or on the computer have usurped the place of outdoor activities, and that kids are missing out on crucial element of life: the carelessness and joy that comes from playing outdoors. Here are a few ways that you can get your kids more interested in playing outside:
If you have a backyard, make it a place that your kids want to retreat to. Here are a few ways to make your backyard kid-friendly and appealing:
Build a playhouse. Not only do kids love playing house, you can also use the playhouse as a storage space for extra toys. A children outdoor play set – such as a small kitchen or dollhouse – can also be stored in the playhouse.
Build a tree house. Imagine an afternoon of reading and sipping lemonade (or even having lunch) out in a tree house.
Get a climber and slide, or a swing set, for your backyard. You could even consider putting a sandbox at the base of the slide; young kids love playing in the sand and making sculptures. Kids also love swinging; sometimes it even sparks creativity or ideas for school assignments.
If your kids like have friends over often, get them to put on a talent show with various skits, dances, comedic acts, etc. Make it a requirement to host their talent show in your backyard.
If you’re not lucky enough to have a backyard, or if you’d rather venture further, here are some other ideas to get your children passionate about the outdoors:
Visit a nature center or arboretum. Take photographs of various plants, insects, trees and flowers, noting their species and name. You can also pick leaves and dry them in the microwave, and then preserve them in a notebook collection. The next time you are outdoors, your kids will start to spot and recognize these plants. Visiting arboretums throughout the year can also get your children to appreciate seasons, as they start to become familiar with the different types of flowers that bloom and when.
Start a collection of “nature items.” This can include seashells from your last beach vacation, pine cones found at the park, or uniquely shaped rocks or stones found at the pond.
Play at the park: fly kites, play Frisbee, four-square, tag, hide-and-seek or on a swing set.
Invest in bicycles. Once your children are confident riding a bike, you can ride to the park.
Learning to share and take turns is an important part of child development. Buying a children outdoor play set can help parents and caregivers achieve this goal. By having a children’s outdoor play set in the backyard, children will be more likely to attract more of their friends to come to their house to play.
Some of the features that may be included in a playhouse are a climber and slide and a swing set. Not only will children learn the important social skill of taking turns, but will also develop important motor skills as the climb on the climber and swing on the swingset. Of course, even when the playhouse is sturdily constructed children will need plenty of supervision while playing together outside. This is a great time for parents and caregivers to monitor children’s play and offer lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement when a child lets his friend have a turn on the swingset or slide without putting up a fuss.
By giving children plenty of attention while they are playing, and providing encouragement at the right time, parents and caregivers will find teaching children to take turns becomes less of a chore than if they wait until the children are already in the middle of a conflict. It also makes playtime much more fun for everyone.