My son, 2-3 years old, enjoys being outside with me but can sometimes get in the way of the work I am trying to do. If I am patient enough we both enjoy it, if not it turns sour for both of us. I usually lose my patience as the sun is setting and my work is not done.

Please suggest activities that will engage him, will give him skills, and keep us both in good spirits.


2 Answers 2


When mine were younger, I would give them some of the following:

  • their own fork, shovel and bucket and a piece of soil they could dig in
  • similarly, a toy mower (and a toy vacuum cleaner, which bizarrely was more popular in the garden)
  • a bucket and a hose (turned on, but not too much :-)
  • outdoor bowls and a series of targets
  • play tents
  • a sand pit
  • Duplo lego (the big stuff)

Kept them very busy, but I did intersperse the toys with letting them help me by collecting grass and twigs for the composter etc

  • Additionally, I actually taught mine how to tell which plants were weeds, gave her a weeding fork and put her to work. She also collected pebbles and rocks in a bucket for me so they wouldn't be in the "wrong places" anymore. She helped with rocks at two and with weeding by "finding weeds" at three and actually pulling them around four. Dec 4, 2012 at 5:26
  • Their own corner of the garden to dig in
  • Paintbrushes and a bucket of water to "Paint" the sidewalk
  • An empty bucket and a pile of rocks
  • I have a yard ornament that looks like a frog with a hole in the mouth, my boys are 2 and love to "feed" the froggy every time we go outside.

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