“Let nature be your teacher” – William Wordsworth.
Children learn through playing and often love nothing more than exploring the freedom of the great outdoors, developing healthy bodies and a spirit of adventure along the way. Wrap them up this winter and let them breathe fresh air whilst running, climbing, jumping, skipping, balancing, splashing, swinging, and getting dirty!
The following toys can all be played with outside and offer something a bit different to children who might seem like they already have a full toy-box.
All shops featured on this page have received the Let Toys Be Toys ‘Toymark award’ – our good practice award for the stores that are getting it right.
Dens are the base camp for imaginary worlds and children love them. Made from recycled cardboard the playhouse has 7 windows and lots of spy holes. Decorating the house makes a great creative project that grown ups and children can enjoy together. It is sturdy enough to be moved around and on dry days it is fun to move it outside.
£36 from Olive Loves Alfie
The perfect way to create a fun tree swing in your own back garden. The monkey swing is made from a durable treated wood with the addition of a specially designed tree swing conversion rope. Simply wrap the rope around the branch of your chosen tree, attach it securely using the galvanised steel clips and your children will have a fun monkey swing! The beauty of this swing is it does not require masses of space or the purchase of a swing frame.
£27.99 from Big Game Hunters
This delightful aluminium balance bike teaches two-wheel balance without stabilisers from a very young age. With Isla bikes’ size specific parts including mini brake and proper pneumatic tyres on a lightweight aluminium frame, you’ll be amazed what your budding cyclist can take in their stride as they progress towards pedaling.
£149.99 from Isla Bikes
Four-wheel drive takes on new meaning with this foot-powered rider. Encourage lots of short rides to develop muscle strength and balance. As your child gains more power and confidence, increase the wheel time and distance.
£54.75 from Funky Monkey Pants
Deuz’s spritely designed cotton tent, made from 100% organic cotton and structure made from sustainable wood sourced from the Juras mountains, creates an instant cozy indoor hideout for little ones who love a good den.
This pretty little tent, ideal for playing, hiding or even curling up for a little snooze, will quickly become your little ones’ favorite corner in which to snuggle up. Easy to both set up and dismantle, it is sold with its own storage bag.
£105 from Buttercup
Time for walkies! This sleek Dachshund is a traditional favourite from Brio. With its bold colours, bright red wheels, shaking head and wagging tail, this is a cheerful doggy who loves to follow you wherever you go. Helps to develop your child’s mobility.
Suitable from 19 months
£10 from Yellow Lolly
For age 12+ months
£9.99 from The Little Toy Box
Giant sized heavy plant construction vehicles for use indoors or outdoors in mud, soil or sand. The set includes the typical vehicles you will find where major earthwork excavation is being carried out, including a dump truck, digger and loader. All vehicles are made in high impact plastic with tough hinged parts and will stand the test of time. The features are beautifully proportioned and detailed making them look and behave realistically, the tyres will leave big track impressions in soft surfaces as they are manoeuvred around.
£37.50 from The Learning Partnership Wales
Award winning set of 5 tactile symbols in their own bag with Storyshaping prompt cards. A great way to introduce storytelling to young children and promote language development and creativity. Brilliant resource for individual households, child-minders or in an educational setting.
£15 from StoryShapes
£5.99 from Nurtures
Also available in a Strawberry design (£7.99)
Let Toys Be Toys gift guides
For more stereotype-free shopping, check out our Toymark directory of great inclusive retailers, read our other Gift guides, or come on over to Pinterest to see over 100 more brilliant, stereotype-free toys.