Backyard exploring – Toddler

backyard toddlerThe backyard can be a wonderful place of exploration. The outdoors allows more space for exploring, active play and adventures!

Did you know?

Heading outside to the backyard and exploring together helps build your toddler’s confidence and awareness of what’s safe to explore.

Add Language

Provide words to go with what they are seeing, doing and experiencing – use action words, describing words and words that relate to place e.g. in, on, under, next to etc.

Other development

Grass, dirt or sand are great spaces for messy play.


Collect loose items from the garden to take inside and make a picture collage later or save for a rainy day.

Listen and look for different birds in the garden. You can try making similar sounds with your toddler and “talking” to the birds.

Children’s magnifying glasses are great for young explorers to look at patterns on leaves or what’s under rocks.

If it’s a rainy day, grab your gumboots and make a splash in some puddles!


Supervision is required to ensure toddlers are safe from harmful insects or plants. Check the backyard for any dangers before exploring. Always use sun protection when playing outside & supervise around water. Make sure children wash their hands after playing outside.
Kid Safe has put together a fact sheet on toxic plants and kids, you can view it here.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how backyard exploring can be fun for babies children and playgroups.


Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.

Play ideas

Mud pies

Mud pies

Grow seeds

Grow seeds


Birds nest

Nature treasure box

Nature treasure box