Gardens are readymade playgrounds for little explorers and we love that outside toys can help them with lifelong skills too. We’ve picked out the best garden goodies to encourage their dexterity, imagination and sharing skills whatever the weather - just remember wellies if it's wet.

FINDING THEIR BALANCE

Balancing skills are so important for toddlers and preschoolers, helping them to build core muscles while they play. Garden toys are a great way of getting them to master this lifelong skill without them even feeling like they are working for it. A cool balance bike like the Go Bike by Globber or a Happy Hopperz jumpy friend are great ways to help them find their balance while playing.

INSPIRING OPEN-ENDED PLAY

Kids are little imaginators, so open-ended toys that they can use outside are great for tapping into their playful brains. The Moluk Bilibo can be anything they want it to be, from a water play pond, bridge for their cars or a seat for them to spin in. With a couple of kids to entertain at once, constructing an outside den can encourage hours of role play fun. The pl-ug tent kit is perfect for making use of patio furniture or you could even use a parachute for a similar effect.

GETTING THEM GREEN-FINGERED

It’s never too early to teach kids about nature. And the best way to do it? Get them involved. There's plenty of shrunken down garden tools that are designed with little ones in mind. Janod, Green Toys and Quut are brands you want to check out for mini rakes, spades and all the rest. If they don't mind getting their hands muddy, Seedboms or Sembra Kids kits are ideal for teaching them about planting and how things grow. Just don't forget to teach them about regular watering too.

DEVELOPING THEIR SHARING SKILLS

Sharing is a skill we have to learn but thankfully, play is one of the best ways of teach it. Fun games help them learn how to wait their turn and to play collaboratively too. Bloomingville and Traditional Garden Toys have some great lawn games to let them master the art of sharing, such as Tin Can Alley, Big Fish Little Fish and Ring Toss. We love that they come in bags so you can take the games to the park or beach for funtimes there too.

So there it is. A round-up of some of the best garden goodies to get their skills blossoming. Check out our Outdoor category for even more of the good stuff.