Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, studies have indicated that outdoor play activities are integral for gross motor development in children from the earliest stages of their development.
It can be quite unconventional to associate an infant or a 1-year-old’s development process with rigorous outdoor activities, however, based on studies even infants can benefit significantly from enjoying the outdoor breeze.
While at the little age of just one year, children may not be reaching noteworthy milestones, outdoor play can definitely prepare the child to reach the age-appropriate gross motor and fine motor milestones from the earliest stages.
If you are a parent or an immediate caregiver who wants to introduce Outdoor activities to your 1-year-old, a collection of outdoor toys is requisite.
From swings, balance boards, and baseball sets, to slides and even tents with tunnels, there is a myriad of outdoor toys available in the market to choose from.
With a diverse range of options, it can be pretty perplexing for parents to choose outdoor toys that cater to their 1-year-old’s needs.
For parents and immediate caregivers who are interested in purchasing outdoor toys for their tiny infants but don’t know where to begin, do not panic.
Here is a basic guide to choosing the best Outdoor Toys for 1-year-olds that caters to all their age-appropriate needs and requirements.
Why are Outdoor Activities important for 1-year-olds?
If you have been through your fair share of parenting books, you may have read that outdoor play benefits significantly but have you ever wondered why?
Play activities are often associated with gross motor development in toddlers and preschoolers, but did you know that Outdoor Play is also imperative for infants to help them reach age-appropriate milestones?
To help you intimately understand the importance of integrating outdoor activities into your child’s daily routine, here is a list of benefits of Outdoor play for 1-year-olds:
Outdoor activities help develop the foundation for basic cognitive skills by allowing them to understand the concept of cause and effect, explore new stimuli in their surroundings, and enhance their creative imagination.
Outdoor Activities and Outdoor toys are a great way of promoting the infant to develop their critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and perseverance through open-ended as well as self-directed play.
Gross Motor Development:
Gross Motor Skills are abilities that are required for the movement of Large Body Muscles to perform basic activities like walking, climbing, crawling, jumping, and even sitting.
Gross Motor skills involve the movement of larger body muscles- arms, legs, feet, and the core muscles present in the torso (belly and back).
Outdoor Activities are a great way of enhancing large body muscles by allowing the child to jump, leap, and move independently and willingly.
Furthermore, outdoor toys especially meant for infants and toddlers are a fun and engaging way to develop gross motor skills through explorative play.
The development of social skills in infants, especially 1-year-olds, is a great way of preparing the child for healthy interactions with adults as well as peers.
Outdoor activities and Outdoor toys are a great way to introduce the 1-year-old to the world of sharing, coordination, and cooperation.
Group activities involving outdoor toys can be a great way of teaching the infant to build new relationships with their peers without adult assistance.
Outdoor Toys and Outdoor Play Activities are a fun way of not only developing the child’s social skills but also their language skills.
Infants when partaking in activities involving outdoor toys are able to freely communicate with their peers without parental interference.
Furthermore, new toys and unique outdoor activities often become a way of introducing new vocabulary to the child to further broaden their horizons.
What should you look for when purchasing Outdoor Toys for 1-year-olds?
Finding the right outdoors for your toddler or preschooler can be difficult, but finding outdoor toys for infants and 1-year-olds is even more bewildering.
To help you find the right outdoor toys for your infant, here are some basic guides or factors to look for:
Must provide sensorial stimuli:
Children especially during the early stages of development are highly receptive to the stimuli present in their surrounding environment and often develop an undertraining of the world based on these stimuli.
As a parent, it is imperative to integrate toys that incorporate unique and informative stimuli for sensory development.
The toys both indoor and outdoor must have multifaceted components that help with the development of multiple senses at a time.
Outdoor toys for 1-year-olds should be more than just fun and games, they should help children develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Should grow with your child:
It is always best to invest in larger outdoor toys that grow alongside your child. The outdoor toys for your infant must challenge the child’s skills and adapt to the developing skill set to help them achieve age-appropriate milestones.
For example, you can always choose basic toys such as wooden blocks that challenge the child to focus, observe, sort, stack, and categorize over flashy or noisy toys that often become boring after a few hours of play.
Should be made from high-quality materials:
Another factor to remember when purchasing Outdoor Toys is the quality of the product.
Outdoor toys go through a fair share of wear and tear throughout the years of intense play activities.
The outdoor toys should be made from high-quality materials to not only increase their longevity but also promote their durability.
Outdoor toys allow children to jump, leap, slide, and bounce, hence it is best to choose toys that are made from good quality materials to ensure the child’s safety.
Must be Age Appropriate:
Age-appropriate outdoor toys are what will help you set your child up to achieve higher levels of gross motor achievements.
If you are in search of outdoor toys meant for your 1-year-old, it is best to look for toys that have 18 to 24 months age labels.
These meant for 18 to 24-month infants will have age-appropriate components, functions, and safety measures to help your child explore new possibilities without adult assistance.
Should be Easy to store:
Lastly, it is best to invest in an outdoor toy that is easy to store and install in your home environment.
In order to reduce the hassle the outdoor toys should be easy to pack up and clean up after they are used.
How long can 1-year-olds play outside?
It can be quite difficult to determine how much playtime is too much playtime, especially for toddlers and infants.
The average outdoor playtime for children who are under the age of six is about 60 to 90 minutes which can be divided into two to three separate trips outside.
This amount of time divided into multiple sittings allows children to freely move their large muscles without feeling extremely fatigued.
Furthermore, it is also recommended to change different locations during playtime, to promote the child to play in the sun to get as much vitamin D as possible.
Sun exposure and in conjunction Vitamin D are integral for muscle strength, bone development, and building immunity.
A list of the best Outdoor Toys for 1-year-olds:
There are a plethora of toys meant for outdoor activities available in the market that can make choosing the right toy for your infant pretty perplexing.
To help simplify the task of choosing the right outdoor toys for your child, here are some of the best Outdoor Toys for 1-year-olds based on the factors mentioned above:
1. Rainbow Splash pool with a canopy:
Pool parties are the best way to not only beat the heat but also beat the boredom that may come along during summer vacations.
The Rainbow Splash pool with a canopy is a great outdoor toy that not only entertains children for hours on end but also promotes the development of social skills and gross motor skills.
2. Balance Bike:
Balance bikes are a great way to develop gross motor skills in infants as these forms of bikes allow children to develop balance and coordination.
If your 1-year-old is interested in riding the big-kid bikes with their siblings, the balance bike is a great option that not only allows your tiny tot to enjoy the pleasure of cycling but also ensures optimum safety.
3. Melissa and Doug Jumbo Brush Set:
The Melissa and Doug Jumbo Brush set is perfect for parents who want to integrate an outdoor toy for sensorial exploration.
This outdoor toy is perfect for 1-year-olds to develop their visual sense and tactile sense by allowing them to bring out their creative side.
4. Play Tents with Tunnels:
Crawling, jumping, and leaping, are the gateways to developing basic gross motor skills.
The Play tents with Tunnels is a great Outdoor Toy for 1-year-olds as it has all the components to keep them entertained, engaged, and on their feet.
This wonderful outdoor toy comes with multiple tunnel extensions, a ball pit, and a hoop to score shots.
5. Maze Ball Pit Playhouse:
This outdoor toy is another great toy for 1-year-olds to partake in collaborative activities with their peers.
The Maze Ball Pit Playhouse is a fun child-sized playhouse toy that promotes children to indulge in both pretend play and physical gross motor activities.
6. Picnic Table with Umbrella:
The Picnic Table with Umbrella is a child-sized outdoor toy for toddlers to indulge in pretend play activities.
This adorable outdoor toy is great for developing communication and social skills in children.
7. Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set:
The Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set is a child-sized basketball toy that allows children to indulge in open-ended play and develop their motor skills.
A wheelbarrow or wagon toy is another wonderful toy for 1-year-olds that teaches children how to stand straight and walk.
It also develops a sense of responsibility in children by promoting them to keep their belongings in the wheelbarrow and maneuver the toy with care.
9. Mud Kitchen:
The Mud Kitchen is a great Outdoor Toy for a 1-year-old that introduces reality-based activities to the child.
Children can indulge in open-ended imaginative play activities either alone or even with their peers.
10. Step-A-Trail Obstacle Course:
Lastly, the Step-A-Trail Obstacle course is a fun way to challenge your child’s physical skills.
Made out of firm foam, this wonderful toy is not only effective for developing the child’s gross motor skills but also, ensures their safety.