Outdoor Play Activities for Under 2s

Toddler wearing Mud Mates NZ-made camo coveralls enjoying outdoor play and playing with bubbles

Get ready for some outdoor play activities ideal for the under twos. There’ll be fun, there’ll be laughter, there’ll be learning and there’ll be mess!

We’re huge advocates of encouraging kids of all ages to play outside all year round. The benefits of outdoor play for children are plentiful, such as increased physical activity levels, developing motor, creativity and problem-solving skills, building independence and boosting self-esteem.

8 Awesome Outdoor Play Activities for Toddlers Under 2

Whether you need to wrap up warm and put on those wellies, or slip slop slap and wrap, it’s always fun to play outside no matter what the weather. Our Coveralls, shoe covers, overpants and craft aprons are great at helping keep clothes clean and dry. Here are eight of our favourite outdoor play ideas for the under 2s:

  1. Water play – grab a bucket or an old baby bath and just add water! You could pop a few toys in and find out what sinks and floats, add food colouring or bubbles, or even add some ice. Pouring, scooping and measuring utensils are fun to use, as are clean plastic milk bottles. Or simply let your child loose with the hose! Remember to always supervise your toddler around water and be prepared to get splashed!
    Young children enjoying outdoor play with water and hoses
  2. Climbing – whether it is a small tree, an old tyre or on play equipment, kids love to climb. The satisfaction they get is incredible, even with you close by helping. If you are super handy or know someone who is, why not build a super low Billy Goats Gruff bridge to stomp over.
  3. Oobleck/Cornflour Gloop – this unique cornflour and water substance doesn’t just need to be for hands. When you are outside, spread it on a tarp on the grass or in a container. Squish it between your toes and even sit in it, well ok your kids will do this!
    Two young children playing with slime / oobleck - a great messy, outdoor play material
  4. Gardening – yes gardening does count as play! From picking up leaves to watering flowers, digging in the mud and hunting for bugs, there is so much to do out in the garden.
  5. Bubbles – blowing and chasing bubbles is so much fun! A great homemade bubble mixture contains 1.5 cups of water, ½ cup dishwashing liquid and 2 teaspoons of sugar, all mixed gently together into a container.
    Two toddlers playing with bubbles - a fun outdoor play activity for children
  6. Mud kitchen – a great favourite of ours, a mud kitchen can be made with things from around the house, or simply a patch of mud with some cooking utensils by the grown ups. Then stand back and give those toddlers space to cook. Great fun to be had!
  7. Mud painting – sticking with the mud theme, we’ve found young kids love painting with mud and encourage you to try it at home with yours. We’ve got a great article on how to make mud paint so be sure to check it out. 
    3 children mud painting wearing Mud Mates coveralls and craft aprons - outdoor play ideas for under 2s
  8. Ball games – an oldie but a goodie, throwing, catching and kicking balls is always popular. If it is a calm day, a balloon inside a fabric balloon case (to prevent popping) works beautifully too.

What is your child’s favourite activity to play outside? We’d love to find out, so drop us a comment below.

For more play ideas, messy play inspiration and fun crafts and activities for kids sign up to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more inspiration.

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