Inside: Toys and activities for your backyard play space for 1 year old. Find toys that will get used for a few years that are worth the investment. Activities you can do with your 1 year old outside that are budget friendly, and often use what you already have!
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Backyard Play Space for 1 Year Old
Outdoor play with your 1 year old can seem overwhelming, they still seem so little.
But once they’re mobile, they are ready to explore…and so we must prepare.
Many outdoor toys you can get for 1 year olds can be used for many years if you plan well.
As a mom that is certainly my goal, having activities that will grow with my child so that I do not have to keep buying “more”.
If you take careful consideration in what toys you invest in for your child you can save money in the long run, and have less “stuff” laying around the yard.
Outdoor Toys a 1 Year Old Will Love
Cubby House & Sandpit
We found a 2nd hand cubby house and a sandbox to give some TLC and that was the starting point for our outdoor play area we created for our 1 year old.
Having foam pieces inside the house has been great keeping his hands and feet splinter free and making it easy to rinse clean. We picked this tip up from the parents’ we bought it off of and would recommend them for any parent with a wooden play house.
He was gifted one set of sandbox toys and that will easily last us for awhile. Less is more when it comes to toys.
Little Tikes Mower
Shortly after that he took a liking to his Nan’s little tikes mower and it somehow ended up living in our yard instead Haha.
This has been of the most used toys in our backyard.
Whenever we need to mow he will go and get his mower and mow on the opposite side of the yard mirroring us.
What you can do with 1 Year Old Outside
There are still plenty of activities you can do with your 1 year old that don’t require toys for those on a tight budget!
Your little one want’s to do EVERYTHING you do I bet. So find ways to let them help you!
Help in the Veggie Garden
They want to do what you do, so let them help you out in some form with your normal garden tasks.
In the veggie garden let them watch and help you. Some tasks my 1 year old helps me do in the veggie garden are:
- Hold bucket for weeds
- I hand veggie to him to put in bucket
- I let him hold egg and walk it to kitchen
- Holds hose to water veggies
- Watering can to water plants
I bet you read the egg one and thought, “Oh my goodness!”.
Guess what, he has only broke 1 egg in 6 months when he lost his balance and dropped it on kitchen tiles.
Toddlers will surprise you with what they are capable of if you give them a chance!
Give them guidance and the right tools and they can do a lot.
A child-sized watering can helps with watering tasks when they are this little. Bigger ones get a bit bulky for them to walk with and use.
Let 1 Year Old Water Flowers
This is my 1 year old’s favorite outdoor activity, watering the trees and flowers.
After watching my husband and I water the trees for so long, he expressed he wanted a turn.
So we chanced it and let him have a go.
He stood there holding the hose in same place for 5 min to water the tree, no problems. Let me say I was surprised! He loved the responsibility.
Now we go to the backyard together and I let my 1 year old water some of the plants while I do the weeding.
Occasionally he side tracks and it goes from side to side, or he gets wet. But for his age he stays on task fairly well and truly enjoys it.
Sweeping Back Step
Another common activity that I do that my 1 year old wants to help with is sweeping the back step.
Between dog hair and dirt, it is a common chore for our household.
So I found a toddler-sized wooden broom for him and we both sweep together. Often he chooses to do it other times through the day as well.
Fun Outdoor Activities to Do with 1 Year Old
These are all small activities we do in the backyard with our 1 year old every week.
Listed them out to help give you ideas.
- “Painting” with paintbrush and water
- Ball Toss
- Play in Sandbox
- Help parent with gardening
- Watering plants
- Walk Dog on leash
- Chalk drawing
How to Avoid Too Many Outdoor Toys?
- Think long-term use before purchasing anything
- Set a Limit
- If you reach that limit, donate one to buy one.
Aka, 1 in -> 1 out
- If you reach that limit, donate one to buy one.
- What normal items can be used in place of “toy” version?
Common Questions/FAQ About Making Outdoor Play Area
How do I make my backyard safe?
First and foremost, You must be watching! That’s the key part of outdoor time, you need to be present.
Every child develops differently, so only you will know their abilities through their stages. My child could walk before 1, so activities that included walking/climbing we an option. That won’t be the same for others.
Here are the best official backyard safety tips I found.
How does outdoor play help toddlers development?
As explained from Porto Biomedical Journal, “Play promotes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being, offering the necessary conditions for children to thrive and learn. Through play, the child can experiment, solve problems, think creatively, cooperate with others, etc., gaining a deeper knowledge about his/herself and the world. “
How long should toddlers play outside?
As much as possible! Though from I have been able to read up on, a minimum of between 1 and 3 hours a day.
Don’t let weather stop you. There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
Have Fun My Friends!