Making the most of summer and family time

For many families, summer 2020 looks very different to the one we had planned. We might not be jetting off to sunny climes anytime soon – but the silver lining is that a staycation provides a brilliant opportunity for quality family time, adventurous outdoor play and endless learning.

As we continue to ease out of lockdown, if you’re wondering how you’re going to fill your little one’s time, you don’t need to look too far. Children are experts at creating play and given the right tools can invent endless fun, as their imaginations run wild.

Here, we provide a round-up of some of the best budget-friendly and exciting ways to make the most of this time at home and help them discover the fantastic world of play.

Harness the benefits of play

Children and adults alike get so much out of playtime! At Little Tikes, we can’t talk enough about the physical, mental and emotional benefits of play to children – it helps develop their creativity, social and communication skills and encourages problem-solving abilities, and so much more. But did you know that play is a proven stress buster for adults too? At a time when we don’t have much in our control, we can make sure we get the most out of our downtime at home – as a family.

Get your children involved in pretending you’re on a magic carpet ride while sat on the rug or build a huge den hideaway out of cardboard boxes! Play dress-up and have them roleplay job roles with you! You’ll quickly notice how relaxed and happy you feel – and it’s fantastic for your child to get that meaningful one-to-one time with you. A happy household all round!

Get in the great outdoors

…Even if that’s only as far as your back garden, there’s a treasure trove of excitement just waiting to be opened! Become nature detectives – nature provides all the educational fun little ones could wish for. From mini beast hunts to daisy chain-making and sensory activities, there are lots of lessons to be learned from the flora and fauna in your garden.

Encourage little ones to explore the different textures and colours, while toddlers and preschoolers love splashing around and stretching their imagination with water tables and other toys that can be enjoyed outdoors, like our Splish, Splash Sink and Stove!

The best toys for outdoor play help them to be active, encouraging their physical skills, imagination and creativity. Outdoor play with the right toys can help little ones to push boundaries and make their own risk assessments (with you at their side), developing their confidence too! Take a look at our favourite outdoor toys for family fun in the garden this summer:

On your trike.

The 4-in-1 My First Trike, available exclusively at Argos, introduces little ones to riding from nine months old. It then grows with them, as it’s designed for all stages of riding development until they’re pedalling freely! Head out on a family walk to the park – a trike is a wonderful addition to your outing, as the kids get so much joy out of it.

Slide into action

An oldie but a goodie, the slide has provided the giggles for generations. Playgrounds may still be out of action but you can create your own in your garden – and, bonus, there’s no queue for the equipment! Our Easy Store Large Slide offers five feet of sliding fun and its easy folding and storage makes it convenient for parents too.

Pack up a picnic.

You might not get to eat your dinner on a beach abroad this summer – but you can recreate a fun day out in your garden! Set up our Junior Picnic Table and have your child enjoy painting in the fresh air before it’s time for an exciting picnic lunch with the rest of your household. Afterwards, it can double up as a fantastic den by laying a blanket over the top to create the perfect secret hideaway!

Roleplay for hours.

Watch in delight as your little one thrives in their own little playhouse, busying themselves making dinner or putting their baby to bed! There’s plenty work to be done in the house! The Magic Doorbell Playhouse has six exciting sounds to further your little one’s imagination! Knock knock! Who’s there?

Spruce up the garden.

Spruce up the garden. Toddlers and preschoolers love to mimic adults in their play – this adorable imitation is how they learn. Given how much time we’re all spending in our gardens, why not see how green-fingered they can be? The 2-in-1 Garden Wheelbarrow is perfect for little ones keen to help you in the garden! With its real water sprayer, removeable flower pots and gardening tools, it’s just like the real thing. As many of us are juggling home-schooling too, why not use our 2-in-1 wheelbarrow to teach preschoolers how to sow their own seeds and plant your very own vegetables?

With life still not returned to normal, if you’re worried about how you’re going to keep the children entertained and engaged this summer – don’t be! There’s everything provided for quality family time right there on the doorstep and in your garden. Plus, if you need even more inspiration, don’t forget to head over to A little help from Little Tikes, where you’ll find a whole heap of downloadable activities and ideas for indoor and outdoor fun!

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