Do you need some ideas of what types of days out to take your toddler on? Are you needing some inspiration of what sort of days out children around the age of 2 will enjoy? Here’s a list of the 8 ideas for types of days out suitable for toddlers.
Since we had Eric in 2016, we have been on hundreds of days out – as you can probably tell from this blog! It has been amazing taking Eric to all of these places in the last 2 years. The experiences have been truly unique and I’ve really enjoyed watching his interests grow and change through this age. Throughout our time, I’ve come to learn what type of days out he really likes, and some that he’s not so keen on yet for his age. These are 8 days out specifically for a toddler, that Eric really likes, and which I hope will give you inspiration!
8 ideas for types of days out suitable for toddlers
Small farms with friendly animals.
Feeding farm animals is something Eric really likes to do, he loves stroking and petting friendly animals, even though he can be a little apprehensive. He much prefers small petting farms and community type ones to big farms with barns where you can’t get close to the animals. Part of the experience for him is being able to look over the fence and stroke an animal; with him being so small, huge barns and zoos are something he easily gets bored with.
Woodland walks with paddling.
Putting the wellies on always gets Eric excited! He loves to paddle in wellies or barefoot, but now he’s older and more daring I usually keep the wellies on as he can go knee deep sometimes in huge swamps! Yep, he does this at Longshaw estate and loves it! The best thing about going to woods and enjoying a muddy paddle is that it can be done all year round and is a completely free activity. I love exploring woods so it’s a day out we both really enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t even a playground or if it’s just a small local woodland area close to us, he always enjoys going out in the mud. He loves puddle splashing so if it’s been raining the best thing to do is go out the day after to go Wild jumping in them! His puddle suit is especially handy for this.
Most local libraries have children’s libraries in them or sections separate in the library which are especially suited for kids. My central library has loads of books, colouring table, a selection of toys and dress up boxes, teddies, ride ons and singing time. There is a fantastic library just up the road from us and it has so many toys like a play kitchen, Hoover, tool kit, huge books, board books, colouring, wooden toys and shopping basket… and it’s completely free to visit. Be sure to check out where your local children’s libraries are, Eric loves to go and play in them and prefers it to a busy playgroup.
Peak District scrambling and climbing rocks.
It’s no secret that we love going outdoors and we are very lucky to have the Peak District so close to us with living in Sheffield. Eric loves climbing so we head to places in the Peak District with boulders and rocks he can scramble on. It needn’t be a big walk, just a rocky trail will do. In the Peak District, padley gorge and mother cap are a hit with us. These favourites are great for climbing opportunities and make great picnic spots, too.
Playgrounds with toddler slides and climbing frames.
I think good playgrounds can be hit and miss and are a personal preference (both adult and child). Toddler swings are a must as they’re his favourite feature in a park, but climbing frames and slides which are small enough for him to use on his own makes the perfect playground. He gets frustrated if he can’t climb on his own and doesn’t like to be helped on them, it usually ends up in a tantrum. We love climbing frames specifically toddler sized, and slides which have a ramp or small steps going up to them. There are playgrounds everywhere so it’s all about trail and error in finding the perfect one for you and your family. We can easily spend hours at a decent playground, it’s a bonus if it has a nature trail/woods, cafe and ice cream van!
Museums with toys.
Eric (and us!) prefer museums to soft play centres. Museums shouldn’t be avoided with young children because they’re a great place to take toddlers even if they’re not yet walking. I used to take Eric to museums so he could have a crawl around, as I found it less stressful and not as busy as a soft play centre. Good museums usually have things for children to play with like toys, interactive displays, books and family activities. We are very lucky to have so many fantastic free museums all across the U.K., so you have nothing to lose if you visit one even if you don’t stay long. There aren’t many museums we have been to and not enjoyed. They’re a fab alternative to play centres because children can learn through play and it’s more interesting to them than bright, colourful balls.
Miniature railway and land trains.
Trains… well, vehicles of any sort but most specifically, it’s trains that Eric is obsessed with. You’d be surprised how many steam train railways there are in the U.K., until I was looking for them for Eric I didn’t realise how popular it is. From big family attractions to local parks with land trains and small steam train open days, I can guarantee you’ll find something nearby to where you live. Erics favourite type of train day out is miniature railways, he loves the cleethorpes steam light railway and abbeydale miniature railway in Sheffield. Train and toy museums are always a good option, too, because they (usually) have a model railway. In the summer, many good parks have a land train for a couple of quid, this is something cheap and fun to do with a train obsessed toddler. I didn’t realise how many local parks have a land train running in the summer until it was the school holidays and I saw them everywhere! Be sure to keep your eye out.
Some local parks have sandpits for free which is brilliant. In the summer, many cities in the U.K. Have pop up beaches with sandpits which are great fun. Reservoirs and “beach” woodlands are a good option for sand, too, you might not consider it but it can double up as a beach- whilst it might not be the type of sand you find in a sandpit, there’s still lots of fun to be had. Sand and water play in summer is Erics favourite type of splash park, we can spend hours building and moulding. Our favourites are tropical Butterfly House in Sheffield and Chatsworth House.
Reptiles, fish, birds and insects are something that Eric only started being interested in after he was around 18 months… but now he loves them. He is fascinated with worms, snakes, butterflies, spiders and anything like that. Tropical houses have all of these and are really good for wet and weather days out, too, as they’re very humid and warm. Tropical butterfly house in Sheffield and Tropical World in Leeds are our favourites, but the tropical house at Wheelgate adventure park was good, too. Don’t forget local pet shops and garden centres, too. Eric is more than happy to see the small animals and fish in these places.
Every child is different and these are just ideas based on my toddler; I hope you found this useful!
Be sure to try a whole range of days out, there’s so much to do out and about. Exploring and going on adventures creates such special memories with you and your family, that’s why I love days out so much. I hope these gave you some ideas of what sort of things you might like to do with your toddler. I’m sure within the next year this will all change, so we shall see!
Do you have any recommendations for me? Do let me know and share with me what your child loves down below in the comments. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
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