10 garden activities to do with your toddler

10 garden activities for toddlers

Now that Taylor’s running around and into everything, there’s no better place for her than in the garden. She absolutely loves being outside and would spend all day, every day out there. I also find it much more fun (and let’s face it, less messy!) than being stuck indoors, so I’ve been really trying to make the most of any fair weather days we have. There are heaps of amazing ideas on Pinterest for garden activities for toddlers and if you have a little more time, there are some great DIY creations meaning that you really don’t have to spend a penny.

Here are some of the activities which I hope to put into action over this summer…

growing our own veg

Garden activities for toddlers

1. Create a vegetable patch

We recently created a mini vegetable patch in a corner of our garden where we’ve so far planted 16 tomato plants. Whilst I was digging and turning the soil, I gave Taylor the task of picking out the stones. She seems to love it when she thinks she’s helping out and it honestly kept her entertained for ages! Once the tomato plants were planted, I bought her a mini watering can and we (when I remember to) go out every day and water them together. She gets so excited about it and once her can’s empty she always demands ‘more!’ so I have to keep on filling it up. I love this little gardening kit for kids from notonthehighstreet, which will be perfect when she’s a little older.


original_moulin-roty-gardener-case2. Make mud pies

I have to admit that I feel a bit uneasy about messy play indoors. I can’t help it – I start to panic when food/paint/gunk starts flying around my house and all I can think about is cleaning up…So moving the messy play outdoors is a winner for me! At 17 months I’m not sure Taylor will fully understand the concept of making actual cakes or pies, but she will definitely understand that she’s getting totally messy and love squeezing mud in between her fingers. She also seems to love playing with my kitchen utensils, so at least we will be able to put them to good use! There are also some amazing ideas online for creating your own mud kitchen, which would be such a fun thing for slightly older children to have.

mud pies

Image source

3. Construct a den

Toddlers absolutely love to hide – whether it’s behind the curtains, under the duvet or under the dining table, there’s something about them having their own little space that makes them all giddy. I love all of the cool tipis that you can get for kids, but if you just want something temporary you can easily construct a little den in your garden using bed sheets pinned to a tree or fence. If you don’t have trees, I’m sure you could pick up a few bamboo sticks from your local garden centre and make something with those – the great thing about toddlers is that they’re all about substance over style!

4. Host a teddy bear’s picnic

Taylor recently stayed with my parents for the weekend and Nanna had come up with an inspired way of keeping her entertained with all of my old teddies from the loft. When we next visited I was able to witness the grand event of a teddy bear’s picnic – teacups, biscuits and all! Taylor couldn’t wait to show me. Why hadn’t I thought of that? I love this idea for the garden and the next time we have some warm weather, I’ll be asking some of Taylor’s teddies to join us on the picnic blanket for lunch.

5. Make a sandpit

You can buy purpose-built sandpits but I’m hoping to make one myself this summer. How cool is this idea below? (Pinterest of course!) Apparently it’s an Aldi raised garden bed with an Ikea under the bed tub. I shop in Aldi a lot and have never seen these, but I’m planning to pick one up from a local garden centre…or I may even just get the Ikea tub and decorate the outside with some wooden border roll. Watch this space!


Image source

6. Get out the paddling pool

Last year was so crap weather wise that we never actually got ours out – so I’m not even sure if it’s still fit for purpose, or been nibbled by mice in the loft. Fingers crossed it’s still in working order as I have big plans for it this year with all of that glorious sunshine we are of course going to get… *she says whilst looking at the rain outside.*


I’m not mean honestly, I do have actual real paints too. But as I found out last week, trying to paint a picture on a windy day in the garden is not the best idea. I soon abandoned the paint and brought out a bowl of water instead for Taylor to dip her paintbrush in and paint the patio. Much more fun apparently. If you’re looking for simple garden activities for toddlers, this is definitely up there!

8. Create your own pouring station

I definitely need to invest in a couple more of the under the bed storage tubs – apparently they have a multitude of uses! I love this idea from busytoddler.com for a pouring station, simply using a few containers and jugs and adding food colouring to the water. I can really see how this would keep a toddler entertained for ages. And so cheap and easy to make too.


Image source

9. Blow giant bubbles

A really easy one simply requiring a quick trip to Toys R Us (Or a look on Amazon if you’re more organised!) We visited Stratford-upon-Avon recently and there was a man blowing these giant bubbles in the park. Taylor was fascinated and I’ve been meaning to get one ever since. A quick Google search tells me that you can pick one up for less that £5 – it’s on my list!

10. Paint stones

If you do want to get out the actual paint, painting pebbles would be a great alternative to paper (particularly on a windy day…) You could paint them different colours to practice colour matching with your toddler, or if your kids are a little older you could paint on different garden vegetables for a mud kitchen. Alphabet letters, words, numbers…the list is endless really!

garden activities for toddlers - painting stones

Image source

10 garden activities for toddlers

Do you have any other ideas for great garden activities for toddlers? What are your plans for the garden this summer?

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25 Comment

  1. […] I would love to be cool with messy play and seriously, I’ve tried. I can’t even tell you that I have OCD tendencies and hate mess – the husband would call me out in an instant. But there’s just something about messy play that just puts me on edge. I’ve tried to let loose, making shakers with rice, filling containers with glitter and water…do you know how many months I was still finding rice and glitter in my living room?? And don’t even get me started on the baby group I once went to when they were rolling around in cooked spaghetti and jelly. Just ew. At least with summer upon us, I can take the messy play outside. […]

  2. Nige
    May 25, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Fantastic list of activities for the garden love the mud pies great post #bestandworst

  3. Helena
    May 26, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    My daughter loves spending time outside with Daddy gardening and these look perfect for her. Thanks for sharing this fantastic post with #bestandworst
    Helena recently posted…Stop, Slow Down and Use Your SensesMy Profile

  4. helen gandy
    May 26, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Oh that picture at the top is too cute!! I love some of these ideas, really like the idea of a teddy bears picnic! We often do treasure hunts 🙂 Thanks for linking up #bestandworst
    helen gandy recently posted…Happy 4th Birthday Alfie!My Profile

  5. Hannah Budding Smiles
    May 27, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Great ideas! Toby’s enjoying being chief watering can man in our garden, although he does water the weeds too!xx #TheList
    Hannah Budding Smiles recently posted…“Is She A Good Baby?” // Top 10 Things Not To Say To New ParentsMy Profile

  6. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine
    May 27, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Some great ideas here! I’ve been thinking about some more things to do in the garden and so these are really useful. I love the look of that sandpit and painting stones too! Thanks for the tips. #TheList x
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine recently posted…Things to Love and Hate About The Half Term HolidayMy Profile

  7. Becky at PinksCharming
    May 28, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Ah love these ideas, thanks for sharing them on #bestandworst I especially like painting with water! xx
    Becky at PinksCharming recently posted…My Favourite Five for May: Stationery, Footwear & SpidermanMy Profile

  8. Life as Mum
    May 29, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Fab list! I really need to get a sandpit for my girls for the garden, they would love it
    Life as Mum recently posted…My Beautiful Baby BoyMy Profile

  9. Kerry
    May 29, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I love being outdoors, and the kids love it too! Playing with water keeps them occupied for hours, thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  10. Right Royal Mother
    May 30, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Oh brilliant! I love the mud pies and the stone painting. Wish I lived near an Aldi as the raised bed/IKEA storage box idea looks fabulous. Thank you – our week (if it doesn’t rain) is now pretty much sorted! 🙂 #kcacols
    Right Royal Mother recently posted…Princess Charlotte Cries and Her Mum Spins a Sleep SolutionMy Profile

  11. Sarah@teammomlife
    May 30, 2016 at 5:44 am

    My little guy loves being outside and I just adore these ideas. I have already let him help in our garden by watering but love the idea of the poor station, the mud pies, and the sandbox. I’m hoping to get the sprinkler out sometime soon as well as he loves the water. Enjoy this time with your little one:) #KCACOLS
    Sarah@teammomlife recently posted…Adventures of a Mom with a fitness trackerMy Profile

  12. Becca
    May 30, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Some lovely ideas here. I really want to make a mud kitchen at some point! Thanks for sharing them! #kcacols

  13. Yummyblogger
    May 31, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Some great ideas here… Our 2 year old loves playing out in the garden with all of his toys and ‘water can’…. I love the painting stones and mud pies ideas! Inspired! #KCACOLS

  14. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    May 31, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    We’ve loved being outside in the garden now the nice weather has come along (although it seems to have rapidly disappeared again today! ) Bookmarking these for when it comes back though – love the painting stones idea, and the water pouring station – so simple! #KCACOLS
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Big Bedroom RevealMy Profile

  15. Anna
    June 1, 2016 at 12:18 am

    I’ve recently written a similar post with some of the same ideas and a few different ones. Would love you to check it out. I’ve never spotted the planter in Aldi either. Love the teddy bears picnic idea – will def do this with Sophie x

  16. Jade Lloyd
    June 1, 2016 at 11:47 am

    These are fab ideas and look at her lovely little cheeky face! I think I will replicate a lot of these for my 5 year old. Never thought about stone painting! I like lots of outside play as then the inside is saved..does that make me a bad person?! #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 14, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      No way! I’m exactly the same! I try and take the mess outdoors whenever possible! ha x
      Mum in Brum recently posted…How to have a relaxing holiday abroad with young childrenMy Profile

  17. Madeline
    June 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Lovely list of ideas! We have some giant sidewalk chalks which were a big hit with my kids last summer, I think they’ll be coming out again soon! x #KCACOLS

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      That’s such a good idea – plus our patio is dark grey so this would work really well, thanks for the tip! x

  18. A Moment With Franca
    June 4, 2016 at 9:01 am

    These are all great ideas! It is a shame that we don’t have our own garden but we use sometimes the garden of the building for some activities. I like the sound of the sand pit. Kids really love playing with sand so this is definitely a great idea. Lol about painting with water but you are so right. Something so simple than that can get a toddler entertain for hours. I completely agree with you about the bubbles. Not sure if you remember that we did a review of a great bubble maker. My girls loved it and we all had so much fun. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. As always it is great to have you. Hope to see you again tomorrow, 🙂 xx

    1. Mum in Brum
      June 6, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      I’m still yet to get a bubble maker so I will definitely check your post out again! You’re right about kids loving sand – it’s kept Taylor entertained for hours! Luckily we were able to get the paddling pool out this weekend too, so that was novel 🙂 xx

  19. Rebecca
    June 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Love these ideas!! Thank you!! 😊

  20. ohlucy
    July 4, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Ooo I really like that sandpit idea! I haven’t quite braved outdoor activities much yet, my Mini looks bemused by the mud and bugs and quickly asks to be picked up. It doesn’t help that she hasn’t long started walking to I watch over her nervously waiting for the inevitable head smack into the concrete slabs rather than the soft grass!
    Lucy xx

    1. Mum in Brum
      July 8, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Haha I remember those days – yiu really can’t take your eyes off them at that stage can you! It’s so much easier once they get steady on their feet xx

  21. […] you just love being able to get outdoors in the summer? We’ve definitely been making the most of our garden this year and we also spend a lot of time at our local parks since we walk our dog every day […]

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