Toddler Fun in the Garden on a Budget

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Our garden may not be the prettiest or have that many 'features' but it's a fantastic space and we spend a lot of time playing in it.

We have tried to do a few things in the garden like introduce a rockery but our main focus is always on Little Miss A and what she would enjoy. And we've found that it really doesn't have to cost a lot of money!

Here are the top things that we're currently enjoying in the garden. 

Water play

Water play is great fun especially when it's really hot outside. When Little Miss A was very small, we just used a plastic shoe box filled with water and some bath toys. We still fill a large trough with water for her to play in (adding coloured ice cubes when it's really warm!) but we've recently created a water wall for her and this is proving a big hit.

Cost: Nothing
We had the plastic box and bath toys already but it needn't cost you anything as you could use a washing up bowl. If you don't have any bath toys then you could just use plastic spoons, bowls, yogurt pots etc. 

For the water wall we managed to get hold of a pallet for free from a builder then we've scrounged old colanders and bits from our kitchen and my Mum's! The water wheel toy was a present from Grandma.

Mud kitchen

This is still a bit of work in progress but again all the materials have been sourced for free and I'm looking forward to Little Miss A creating some 'lovely' mud pies and other delicacies over the summer!

Cost so far: 50p
We had the bench already and got the pallet from a builder who was getting rid of it. The only thing I've purchased so far was the plastic hob rings which was 50p at a table top sale. The saucepans, utensils etc. have again been scrounged from our kitchen and my Mum's. 

Growing flowers and vegetables

This is something we're just introducing Little Miss A to but she now has her very own raised flower beds so we can all learn about planting, growing and looking after plants and vegetables. Hopefully we'll have lots of nice veggies we've grown to eat.  

Cost: Nothing
All of the materials we needed for this project were kindly bought by my parents as Little Miss A's birthday present as she really didn't need any more toys or books.

If you did want to create a raised flower bed then initial costs would be £20-£30 for the flower bed, lining, compost and a few seeds & bulbs.


We have re-purposed an underbed storage box as a sandpit for Little Miss A. We filled the box with play sand and bought a bucket & spade set from a Pound Shop. As simple as that. She loves it as she can actually get into the box and likes the feel of the sand on her feet. The other good thing about the storage box is that it has a lid so we can leave the whole box outside.

Cost: £1
We only had to buy the bucket & spade set as we had the box already and used supermarket loyalty points to buy the sand.

If you had to buy all the materials, it would cost about £7.50: Play sand £3; Bucket and spade set £1; Underbed storage box £3.50.

Play equipment

We currently have a small climbing frame with slide, a see-saw and a car. From an early age Little Miss A has loved these. Come rain or shine! 

It's lovely that she now gets her baby doll to take for a ride in the car or go on the see-saw with her!

I'm looking forward to when she can actually move the car along using her own legs rather than me pushing her. I'm sure it won't be long until we need to invest in a bigger slide for her!

Cost: Nothing
Little Miss A has received all of these toys as gifts from her grandparents (all bought second hand). You can pick up second hand garden toys cheaply on local selling websites, at car boot sales, nearly news sales etc. My Mum picked up the car for just £5 from a car boot sale!


Although I love doing crafts and painting with Little Miss A, there's always a part of me that's worried about glue or paint ending up where it shouldn't in the house, even with lots of newspaper covering everywhere! Therefore, taking the painting outside is ideal! Painting can be done on a much larger scale as well. Most recently we've tried painting with balloons and painting with leaves.

Cost: £5
The initial outlay for this is the paint and a large roll of paper. After that you can just use 'free' materials to paint with. The balloons we used were all left over from her birthday and some parties she'd been to. The leaves were picked up at the local park.

Other Firm Favourites

Sometimes it can be as simple as just playing ball with Little Miss A. She's really honing her kicking skills at the moment and we're trying to teach her to catch but that's a bit more tricky!

Also, bubbles are a quick and easy activity that Little Miss A never seems to tire of. It's nice now that she can try to blow the bubbles herself!

Cost: £2
£1 for the ball and £1 for the bubbles. I haven't yet tried to make my own bubble mixture but I know there are lots of recipes online to try.

Hopefully there's some ideas here for you to introduce into your garden for lots of toddler fun! You don't need a lot of space for many of these and as I've proved, it really doesn't have to cost that much at all!

This is my entry into Waltons blogger competition to win a wooden playhouse. If you'd like to enter please visit Twin Mummy and Daddy for the details.

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2 Responses to “Toddler Fun in the Garden on a Budget”

  1. I love the idea of a mud kitchen! Our girls love helping with planting seeds too! Thanks for entering and good luck!

    1. Thanks so much Emily! It's great to get them learning about growing things from a young age. My fingers are crossed as a great prize!


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