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My Top 5 Outdoor Toys: making the most of the warmer weather with your little ones

As the days grow longer and the weather warms up, there’s no better place to be than in the backyard with your kiddos. From impromptu picnics to hours of water play, there’s endless fun to be had right outside your back door.

Let’s be real—our backyards might not be Pinterest-perfect, but who cares? It’s all about the memories we are making. We plan to move in a few months so everything I put into the backyard I want to be able to easily bring with us, so that means no big play sets, pools, and play houses. It's hard not being in the space I imagined, but with a little bit of creativity and Amazon shopping it’ll be a great area to spend these warmer days that we don’t want to venture away from the house. 

Here is how I turned our backyard into a space for learning, playing, and exploring for my little ones this spring and summer!

Mud Kitchen 

First off, let’s address the elephant in the room: the mess. Yes, mud kitchens can get pretty messy, that’s part of the fun, right? Plus, it’s nothing a good hose-down can’t fix. Embrace the mess, it’s something I’ve been working on lately and has definitely changed the way I look at outdoor play now. 

Now, onto the good stuff. Mud kitchens are like a VIP pass to the world of imagination and creativity. Think mud pies, mud cakes, mud potions, literally mud anything. Their creativity is endless. It’s not just about getting down and dirty (although that’s definitely a big part of it). Mud play is also great for sensory development. Squishing, mixing, and splashing around in the mud stimulates all those little sensory receptors, helping kiddos learn about textures, temperatures, and, let’s be real, the joys of making a glorious mess which is so so important for toddler development. 

Right now we have a cheap little mud kitchen from Amazon that gets used almost everyday. When we move we plan to make a really nice one that will last the kids for many years, but this small one works perfectly fine for the time being! We also have metal and wood accessories to go along with it, it’s all linked at the bottom on this post. 

2. Trampoline 

My parents bought this small trampoline for Elliot’s birthday back in October and the kids absolutely love it. Its the perfect size for their ages (1.5 and almost 4) and easy to put together and move around if needed, like for mowing the lawn. It’s not incredibly bouncy which I actually like so I don’t have to worry about their little legs getting hurt. Our favorite things to do is put some fun music on and have a dance party on it. We’ve even thrown a sheet on top of it and made it into a little fort and had a picnic in it. The options are endless and it keeps them preoccupied which is my main goal. 

3. Sink 

I’ve posted about this play sink many times on my Instagram but it’s just that good. We’ve had ours for about 2 years now and it’s still one of our top played with toys. You fill up the base and the faucet circulates water so it’s like an actual working sink. Elliot will sit and play with it for 30+ minutes, scrubbing dishes, filling up his cups and always dipping his toes in the water. We like to add in some tear free bubble bath to mix things up as well.

4. Splash pad 

What’s warm weather without a splash pad? I’m sure you all know what a hit these are. I like them so much better than blowup pools because they are easy to set and and take down and more toddler/baby friendly. 

5. Water Table 

Again, this is no surprise but I can’t leave it out. We live for water play once the weather gets warm enough and having a water table takes all of the guess work out of it. 

I’ve added a few more of our most used outdoor toys to my LTK below for you to check out. Even without all of these little toys and gadgets simply being outside is the best change of scenery and can turn almost any bad day around. But you know what my favorite part is? It’s those quiet moments—the ones where we’re just sitting together, listening to the birds chirping and feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin. Those are the moments that make all the chaos of motherhood and the messes totally worth it.

So, here’s to spending countless hours in our not-so-perfect backyards this spring and summer. Here’s to messy hair, grass-stained clothes, and happy babies.



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