Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Lazy Summer Days in the Garden

Although we love taking advantage of teachers' holidays by heading out for the day to explore, little beats a day spent at home in the garden during summer months. So many of us parents are always on the lookout for ways to entertain our children without breaking the bank and I really don't think you can go far wrong by investing in some garden games and toys that you can use time and time again.
I'm a huge fan of Mothercare, not least because you can do click and collect or home delivery and I can't think of any toys from ELC that sit unloved in our house. For me, that means they are well-designed and worth investing in.

This summer we were kindly sent a few goodies from ELC to review and they haven't let us down. Charlie loves water, so a paddling pool was bound to be a favourite, but I love the design of this pop-up whale one particularly because it has UV protection in the form of it's tent-like mouth which means you can happily put it in a sunny spot while knowing you toddler will be safe from the sun. Having a dog who loves water too and is likely to dip a paw in now and again, it's great to have a pool that is unlikely to burst or split. This one springs in to shape and you literally fold it away when you're finished. Perfect. We've mixed it up putting bath toys, balls and jugs in so that our little one is happy to splash around for as long as he can stay warm! Top tip: pour a couple of buckets of warm water in before you start with the hose so your LO's are happier for longer!

Toddlers love exploring, but they often like something to push around while they do and this lawnmower (complete with fake grass in its cuttings collector) is so cute that the hubs and I can't help but giggle whenever we spy our 'gardner' taking his mower for a spin! That fact that this folds flat means you can take it out with you as we have to a number of family parties and BBQs. Plus the grass collector can be removed and it transforms into a quieter toy for indoors.

Knowing we'll be investing in a full climbing frame complete with slide within the next few years, we were looking for a smaller slide that fills the gap but doesn't break the bank in the meantime and this one folds away when not in use. It's perfect as it's small and sturdy enough that our LO can climb the steps with confidence and get himself into a seating position at the top using the little hand holds. The material it's made of means it's not too hard on little limbs and joints either.

Finally, we love the bubble machines at lots of the toddler classes we go to, so it was only a matter of time before we got our own and Freddy the fish is great for taking out into the garden along with spare bubble mix.

With more weeks of the summer holidays left, a (sunny?!?) bank holiday and, potentially, a warm September, we'll be getting even more use out of all of our garden toys. Plus the slide, mower and bubble machine will be out on colder days while the paddling pool will be used indoors as a ball pit.

Right, now this post's done, I'm off out to the garden straight after breakfast as there's some fun to be had!

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