Over the last few weeks, I’ve really felt like “summer” is finally here but living in Britain you never know what to expect with the weather. When it’s sunny we normally stay at home and play in the garden, as I know all the local spots will be full of screaming children and Phoebe is loud enough by herself. Being at home also means when she does have a heat crash I can pop her into bed before an epic tantrum erupts that way everyone’s a winner. Phoebe is happiest when playing “outside” and has loved the fact we’ve been able to play in the garden pretty much everyday this month.
It’s not all happy days having a toddler in the garden, it means plenty of entertainment, on top of constant yelling at your child, in your best “non shouty mum voice” so the neighbours don’t think your crazy and then when the tantrums do come there are lots of tears, muddy faces and everything quickly becomes a danger! I’ve complied a list of all our Garden Must-Haves to keep the little lady happy through the summer weeks.
We have a fully stocked first aid kit from Boots in the house ready for any accidents as they do happen and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I recently added some extras bits including some Peppa Pig Plasters, hay fever medicine and antihistamines for kids, as Phoebe had been getting itchy eyes, a running nose, which is the same as me and it’s been working! We are also waiting on a delivery of some Peppa Pig bruise soother which you pop in the freezer ready for any falls and knocks. If Phoebe does have a bad fall or a mega tantrum, I’ve been using the rescue remedy soothing gummy stars to help calm the minx down plus a good distraction while you assess the damage.
Please use all the links provided for more information on the medicines mentioned and use correct dosage for your child’s age.
- Sun Protection
This has to be the most important one on the list for obvious reasons and I’ve often been called the “sun police” because of my safety and awareness in the sun. With Phoebe I’ve always used a factor 50+ and make sure I apply it at least 20 minutes before we actually go out and play.
This year I’ve been using a new cream “Ambre Solaire Easy Peasy Wet Skin Lotion” which has been extremely easy to apply, to either wet or dry skin. The cream absorbs super quick making it a relevantly fuss free affair depending on your child and the fact you don’t have to dry them off is such a bonus. They have another new kids product “Easy peasy Anti-Sand Spray” which Garnier have claimed has a sand repelling action making it easy to apply on the beach with no gritty bits. I’m going to order some for our Holiday in September and will report back.
This is always a battle with Phoebe but recently we’ve turned a corner, hats are suddenly cool! Phoebe has lots, but our favourite for the summer is the bright colourful Next hat, with built-in shade for the neck and a small peak to cover the face. The Legionnaire’s Hat is also currently on sale.
After the whole tommie tippie sippy cup incident, I was quickly on the look out for suitable replacement as these were Phoebe’s favourites. Luckily a friend suggested the Munchkin Miracle 360˚sippy cup, it took a few days for the little lady to come to grips with the new addition and that she could sip it from anywhere around the rim. Their website stats: “Drinking from anywhere around the rim, like a regular cup, helps support normal muscle development in a child’s mouth” which sounds pretty good to me. It’s completely spill and leak proof, BPA Free and has no extra spout or straw making it extremely easy to clean and no risk of mould build up.
- Play House
Having a play house in our garden has been wonderful, as it’s meant that Phoebe can really develop her imaginative outdoor play. She cleans in, pretend cooks it there, stomps off in a huff and will often try to get big tall adults into it..such a funny sight! It has 2 large windows and a small one at the back of the house making it great for keeping an eye on her without interfering too much. It’s UV protected keeping it cool in hot weather and shouldn’t fade. Overall it’s a massive hit and something I know Phoebe will still be playing with in years to come.
No summer would be complete without a paddling pool in the garden, which is why when I saw the Pop up whale Pool on a 3 for 2 offer a few months back, I snapped it up and honestly its the best purchase, it can be used indoors as a ball pit and outside, as a pool. It’s really straight forward to set up however with lots of bits plus a curious excited toddler it felt like a crystal maze challenge, so I would suggest setting it up when they aren’t around. The UV shade is perfect for little ones staying cool, you can easily take it down for full use of the pool and is a cute feature, almost like a whale mouth. Hours of fun to be had whilst building confidence and safety around water. My water babe loves it!
- Gardening Kit
Phoebe loves digging or as she calls it “diggy” and getting involved with the odd weeding that mummy does. We have a mini set of 3 tools, which is plenty for a toddler to be getting on with. I don’t actually know where they are from as Phoebe got them for her birthday and they had no label, but they are pretty easy and cheap to pick these days. When using them make sure you don’t leave them out in direct sun as the metal prongs can get super hot. Our’s have wooden handles but it’s still a worry in the hot weather.
- Sponges & Buckets
As a massive water lover phoebe always asks for water when in the garden, I think she is slightly obsessed with the stuff. We have a few buckets I’ll fill up for her and she can literally play for ages with them, adding in toys or pretend food and then it normally ends with her pouring it all over herself and asking for more. I also use her wheelbarrow which is a bit bigger than the buckets, throw in a few sponges and we wash all the toys which is a game for her and I get some “help” too. Simply and easy to do, no need to buy anything else as you can use washing up bowl and a cloth, it has the same effect.
- Watering Can
Again water based activities are a must for garden fun and this is always around ready for Phoebe to play with. When she’s in the paddling pool she likes to take it in with her and create “rain” or pour water on me instead. I also get Phoebe helping me out with watering the garden in the evening or morning depending on the weather and more so in the summer.
I’ve saved the best till last, ice lolly’s. Toddlers love them and I know they aren’t the healthiest option for a summer days but, they go down such a treat and cool the hot sweaty kids down no end. Phoebe loves them and its about the only time she will sit still, it’s also my bride for making her brush her teeth in the evening. I bought a pack of un-frozen of “Mr Freeze Pops” for £1 (in the home baking section) and the perfect size for little hands, she’s even learnt to drink the juice after its melted!
So there you have our garden must-haves for the summer. What do you enjoy doing in the garden with your little explorers and what would be your garden must have for a busy toddler? Let me know I always read your comments.