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7 terrific toys and play equipment for the garden

toys and play equipment

We have a compact but sunny garden which we have spent a lot of time in over the last few months. It is the perfect size for my toddler and she has been enjoying several different toys and play equipment in the garden which I’m so glad we invested in.

My sons (who are slightly older) enjoy playing outdoors in the garden too and several of the items have been used over and over again over the last few years. With this in mind, here are 10 terrific toys and play equipment for the garden:


We purchased a playhouse when my 8 year old was a toddler and still have the same one. Not only is it great for the kids to play in, I also use it to store some of the smaller garden toys in. It’s fantastic for imaginative play and I my daughter loves hiding in it too.

Bubble Machine

It seems like such a simple thing but our bubble machine is always a lovely addition to outdoor play. We have an enormous bottle of bubble liquid stored in our shed, so we never run out of bubbles. It seems to be popular with children of all ages.


I loved playing badminton as a chid and teenager and now enjoy it as an adult  too. I like the way it is possible to play it through several generations. You don’t need a huge garden to play it either. BadmintonHQ.co.uk has lots of super options for getting you and your garden kitted out for this.

Sand and Water Tray

My 5 and 2 year olds are water-mad and our sand and water tray gets used most days, even in winter. Sometimes I fill it with cold water, or occasionally I’ll fill it with warm soapy water. I have added food colouring to it a couple of times too and both of my kids go straight to it when they are out in the garden. It can also be used for messy play – using anything from shaving foam and slime to spaghetti and soil! My daughter likes to ‘wash’ her little toys in it and my son likes to float his boats in it!  

Paddling Pool

We have had several inflatable paddling pools over the years but this summer we decided to buy a hard-shell paddling pool and it has been great! I store it behind the playhouse when it isn’t being used, it is ready to use straight away and it’s nice and sturdy. It isn’t as large as some of the inflatable pools but it does the job.

toys and play equipment


We purchased a swing-ball set this year too and although it doesn’t get used every day, my boys have good fun playing with it now and again. We usually need to have an adult involved or else it sometimes ends in arguments, but despite all of that, I’m glad we bought it!


We were given a teepee by one of our neighbours (whose children had outgrown it) and it has been such a great addition to the garden on warm sunny days. I usually put a soft blanket and cushions at the bottom and encourage my older son to curl up and read a book in there. I can be sometimes found in there too!


We always have at least one ride-on somewhere around our garden. They are always used and surprisingly inexpensive. I tend to store them in the playhouse. My daughter loves to get on and off her ride-on for much of the morning. So long as she’s happy, I’m happy!

Do you have a favourite garden toy or play equipment? I would love to know what it is…