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Encouraging children to play outside is a habit that should be started early. Outdoor play is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, letting them get dirty and soak up a bit of sun. Of course, it isn’t necessarily about having the most toys. Instead, it should be experiential, to give them a breadth of information for sensory play and imagination. To that end here are the three best children’s toys that will help them to grow, experience the world, and develop a healthy appreciation for an out-of-door play that will stay with them for a lifetime.
1. G & F JustForKids Kids Garden Toolset 4-Piece
This toy is more than a toy. It’s a tool to teach kids about the wonders of the outdoors and our place in the world. Children who are old enough to want to “work” alongside mom or dad are curious about the world. This provides an opportunity to teach them about plant life cycles, bugs and worms and their roles in the ecosystem, and why weeds aren’t bad in and of themselves but are plants growing where they shouldn’t. It’s an opportunity for education that feels like play. And who knows, they may discover a worm or a beetle while they are learning to treat the plants gently and give them room to grow.
The set is made from extremely durable materials. Each of the four tools is crafted with a wooden shaft that has a non-slip rubber grip and can be hung up with you’re done with playtime. The heads are crafted from durable, highly colored metal, in case one or more should be left out in the garden. With each set, you get a leaf rake, a garden rake, a hoe, and a spade. It should go without saying that these should be used with supervision until the children are old enough to know how they work and how to use them responsibly.
2. Non-Toxic Kiddie Pools
It may come as a shock since small, backyard pools have been around quite some time, but the materials used to make some pools can be dangerous. PVC, usually called vinyl, contains phthalates and BPA. These chemicals can have serious and long-term side effects that will stay with kids well into life, such as issues with endocrine and other vital hormones. Of course, now there are many alternative materials to make both inflatable and hard plastic pools in which your child can have hours of fun.
Perhaps you have fond memories of playing in one such pool. The filling of it was almost ceremonial as you and your friends waited for the hose to provide enough water before passing the hot, summer afternoons splashing about in it. Do you remember the made-up games you played and the fun you had that no fancy toys could possibly equal? Provide your children and their friends with the same joys, but in a safer and more conscious manner by purchasing the best hard plastic kiddie pool.
3. Bubble Wands
This kit provides one of the most delightful pastimes with relatively little equipment. The only limit is your child’s imagination. Bubble wand kits come with a wide variety of wands and dishes for bubble material. Plus, you can have an excellent and, ahem, highly scientific time by adding a bit of glycerin to the soap to make extraordinarily large bubbles in the same way that children’s science museums do.
This is fun for all ages, with many kits equipped with wands of all sizes, so everyone gets a chance to play. Plus, the way to create bubbles is through motion, not by breathing, unlike traditional bubbles that come with a single, simple wand. This helps coordinate small motor function, spatial awareness, and other important developmental skills that every child masters through play. So, get outside, mix up a batch of bubbles, and enjoy watching the iridescent shapes float through the air.
Playing outside has always been a simple proposition. A child’s imagination can transform the most ordinary aspects of the natural world into a wealth of different scenarios, and ordinary objects become the tools they require. Help to develop your child’s imagination by providing them with toys that teach, pastimes that are simple but hold a profound wealth of opportunity for embellishment, and plenty of engagement with the physical world.