Chances are you've noticed it's rather hot outside. I also heard a rumour it's going to stay that way until October. So if you're lucky enough to have access to a garden in this heat (or even if you don't – some of them work equally well/better indoors) I've rounded up my pick of the best active toys for toddlers all with an ethical twist. So if you're looking for ways to entertain your kiddos while keeping your garden green, read on.
PARK Social Soccer Ball; £25 ToyDrop
Shameless plug here for our awesome ball by PARK Social Soccer, a socially conscious football brand who passes an identical ball to a kid in need for every one that you buy. While not explicitly Fairtrade, these street-art inspired balls are made in a clean and safe environment with fair working conditions and no child labour.
Jupiduu Slide; £215 The Modern Nursery
Technically this one's designed for indoors but as long as you bring it in overnight or before the rain kicks in, you're all good. Made from FSC®- and PEFC® certified wood in Germany, this Insta-worthy design is perfect for small children developing gross motor skills with special child-friendly steps and high sides to ensure good stability when sliding.
TORKIS: £5 IKEA
This isn't an obvious one but the IKEA TORKIS flexible laundry basket is one of our best buys this summer. For just a fiver, you've got a place for little people to splash, clean cars, try apple-bobbing and all kinds of water-play activities with the added bonus of being able to store everything in it when the sun goes down.
Lilla Gunga Swing; £140 BoNordic
With ten choices of rope colour and three ceiling heights, this is another one to add to any indoor or outside space. Designed and manufactured in the dreamy Finnish countryside, this reinvention of a classic design will outlast any plastic alternative you've cast your eye on in the past.
Bex Kubb; £54.99 John Lewis
The first time I played this game with Swedish friends one Midsommer, I was hooked. It's like the Scandi version of Cricket or Boules, perfect for taking to the beach or park with the whole family and helping little people with their aim, as well as the highs and lows or winning and losing. Viking celebrations optional.
Wobbel Board; £130 ToyDrop
If the Wobbel Board isn't on your radar yet, let me introduce you. Made from layers of the highest-quality FSC-certified European beech wood, its uniquely designed curve is made for active bodies and imaginations. From improving balance to racing cars, sliding down steps and rocking to sleep, its a toy with endless possibilities whatever the weather, indoors and out.
Early Rider Road Runner 14"; £130 Early Rider
It's Arlo's third birthday next month and this will be his pressie from us. I personally love any brand that's trying to democratise great design but the guys at Early Rider are on a mission to make the best bikes accessible to the most people possible and for that, I thank them. This design features drop bars for a lower sense of gravity and a great confidence boost for your little racer.
RASTA 22"; £89 Penny Skateboards
I don't know much about skateboards but I do know that kids love them. So I had a chat with a friend who knows a bit more and asked him which are best for toddlers. The reply was anything under 30" long with approximately 7" wide deck. The RASTA by Penny fits that description – in fact most of their boards do. We just like this one's little nod to Bob and his dreams of love, peace and equality.
Grid Teepee; £135 Wildfire Teepees
Come rain or shine, the teepee is one of our favourite places to play and this one by London-based Wildfire Teepees, is a real fave. Made from 100% cotton with super smooth tulipwood poles, this simple staple will be loved for years to come. What's more, it comes with a handy storage bag for tidying away at the end of each day (if you can bear to part with it, that is).
Pebble Double Bowl & Shelf; £212.50 Mud Kitchens
If there's one thing I've learnt about toddlers, it's their ability to get dirty in record time. And why fight it? Kids learn the best when they're having fun and these bespoke, handmade mud kitchens come with everything little people need to play, pretend and express their creativity while enjoying the fresh air.