, whether it's in the bath, in the sink, with a hose pipe, a sprinkler system, in a pool or by a stream.
With adult guidance, playing with water provides many opportunities for toddlers to learn about volume and weight, what floats and what sinks, and what dissolves in water and what doesn't.
Opportunities to understand that ice and steam are water. That water can be used for washing and cleaning, feeding plants, putting out fires and above all having lots of fun.
For some reason sand and playing with sand always becomes an engrossing toddler outdoor play activity.
Maybe its the equipment they need like buckets, spades and moulds of various kinds. Or maybe its the fact that dry sand runs through your fingers and wet sand clumps together so you can make things with it.
It's probably a combination of both and the fact that with sand toddlers have a substance with which they can create all manner of things restricted only by the fertility of their imaginations.
Washing and Cleaning
One of my grandson's favorite toddler indoor activities was washing and cleaning.
He loved to sit in one sink and wash cups and beakers in the other. Turning on the tap, putting in the washing up liquid, using dish cloths and cleaning brushes.
He also liked polishing and dusting and using a broom. All are good skills to master and offer several learning opportunities.
Gardens are magical places for young children and many toddler learning activities can be experienced in them.
They can learn about plants, insects and animals. They can sow seeds and grow and care for plants.
Their vivid imaginations can make up all sorts of things from twigs, logs, leaves, soil, plant pots and boxes.
They can run, jump, climb and generally let off steam and at the same time learn how adventurous they can be without risking an injury.
Playing with Tools
Tools are fascinating to toddlers. They love to copy the adult actions of hammering, fastening nuts and bolts, screwing, sawing and drilling.
With a toddler tool set they will follow you around copying what you do.
Which gives you the opportunity to teach them how tools work, how to use them safely, what you can use them for and how you can build and fix things with them.
Playing with Magnets
Toddlers are intrigued by magnets because there is something magical about them.
It's the invisible pulling force they feel as the magnet gets close to things built of iron or steel.
They can have lots of fun finding out what household items magnets stick to, how many different small things a magnet can pick up, or how many pieces of paper a magnet can hold against a fridge.
Then there is the whole world of different fridge magnets and magnetic puzzles.
Playing with Boxes
Toddlers love boxes of all shapes and sizes, and as toddler activities go, playing with boxes seems to be a worldwide favorite.
A box can represent anything to a toddler. It can be a boat, a train, a car, a den, a house, a rocket, a hiding place. Boxes can be stacked, nested, opened, closed, made into tubes or flattened.
All of which enables toddlers to imagine, create and build all manner of things. It can occupy them for hours.