May You Make Family Memories Banner Shark Pool

Hey—it’s May! Suddenly life moves outside, and there are plenty of ways to make lasting memories and brighten up playtime with your young child or children in the months ahead.

Not only is this the month where all of those April showers we sloshed through are supposed to pay off in terms of blooms and blossoms, but it’s when we shake off the winter greys. We step out into the promise of warmth, sunshine and (dare we say it?) summer. Ahhhhhh. We’ve waited so long for this.

Now that the grass is greening and we Canucks can spend extended time in the fresh air again, why not plan to make the absolute most of your summertime fun time with the kiddies? Come on, let’s go.

Turn your yard or apartment balcony into “cottage country” with this sweet structure: the Courtyard Cottage by Step2. Your little ones will have it made in the shade, or you can move it indoors when the weather turns chilly. Is it time for tea, yet?

Step2 Courtyard Cottage PlaysetStep2 Courtyard Cottage

This modern-style playhouse is perfect for little ones to entertain their friends and they’ll even know “company” is here when the doorbell rings! (Batteries not included.)

You could go all out and install this awesome Swing, Slide and Trampoline Set by Sportspower in your backyard (if room permits, of course). It’ll help keep the kids active as they play and hopefully stop them from whining “There’s nothing to dooooooo….” With swings, a wavy slide, a glide ride and mini trampoline, you just may have found a way to burn off all of that youthful energy! Now, if they could just share a bit with us, right?

Sportspower Swing, Slide And Trampoline SetSportswear Swing, Side and Trampoline Set

Children grow and change so much in a matter of a few simple years. That’s why this set is crafted from 2-inch heavy-duty, weather-resistant, steel tubes and hardware for added durability. It features a powder-coated paint finish and has swing chains that are height adjustable so you can shorten the swing chains as your child grows.)

Ah, swings. No matter how far along we’ve come in terms of modern living and toys that bleep, say our children’s names and link up to our computers, sometimes it’s the old favourites that remain the most popular. From swing sets and slides to just digging in the dirt, Walmart has just what you need for outdoor play with your little people. And this Crabbie Sandbox from Step2 is terrific because you can cover it when playtime is done (so that the neighbour’s nosy cat won’t find her way in).

Step2 Crabbie SandboxStep2 Crabbie Sandbox

This sweet sandbox features two little mold-in claw seats and a cover to help protect the sand from weather and pets. It can hold up to 300 pounds of sand (and can even hold water if you’d like to use it as a splash pool for your little ones). Comes fully assembled so you won’t be “crabbie,” too.

From swings and sand to splashing in the sun, here are a few of my favourites—and the little people in my life—that promise to make this summer even more Instagram worthy than the last.

We have this great Sand and Water Table by Play Day. It’s suitable for just about any budget and comes with 16 play pieces. And unlike bath time, they can splash all they want—it’s set up outside!

Play Day Sand and Water TablePlay Day Sand And Water Table Outdoor Toys

This dual-purpose toy features a plug for easier drainage and is designed for easy assembly (no tools necessary). To get more use out of this versatile toy, we remove the legs and add kinetic sand instead of play sand for indoor use.

If you have a bit more space you might like this reviewer favourite—it’s the Dino Dig Sand & Water Table Playset from Step 2. Kidlets can use a large cup to scoop water that rushes down the sides of a volcano and splash to their little prehistoric hearts’ content. Or, fill the basin with play sand and watch the little ones dig for dinosaurs!

Step2 Dino Dig Sand & Water Table PlaysetStep 2 Dino Dig Sand & Water Table Playset

Engage your child’s imagination and love for dinosaurs with this two-sided kids’ play table that features a large sandpit for those deep dino digs, and a water station for rinsing off. Comes with four dinosaurs, two scoops and a mini shovel.

Of course, you want to be sure to protect your little ones from the harmful rays of the sun. Walmart has a wide array of sunscreen products for every age group. And, where possible, be sure to place activity sets in shady areas to help provide added protection from the sun’s rays.

As we wrap up this week’s outdoor-play timepiece, I think I may have saved the best for last. You’d have to have lived, well, under the sea, not to have heard PinkFong’s infectious “Baby Shark” song. No doubt you’ve learned the movements too, ’cause that’s just what we do, right? Well, meet your—and your child’s—new best friend this summer! It’s … you got it … the Play Day Inflatable Baby Shade Pool in shark design!

Play Day Inflatable Baby Shade Pool--Shark DesignPlay Day Inflatable Baby Shade Pool – Shark Design

Help keep baby safe from sun’s rays while making for some fantastic photos (all the while humming THAT song, and I don’t mean the theme from the movie Jaws). This pool features a sunshade and soft inflatable floor.

The writer Charles Bowden said: “Summertime is always the best of what might be.” I couldn’t agree more—and here’s to May and all of its promise. Summer may be another month away, but it’s never too early to dream. For many of us, it’s what gets us all through winter, and it’s what you dreamed of as you pushed that stroller through snow banks.

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Erin Davis is the #1 best-selling author of Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy, a non-fiction memoir published by HarperCollins in 2019. Previously, she spent 30 years as morning host on top-rated 98.1 CHFI in Toronto and now lives with her husband and their little dog Molly on Vancouver Island. Erin writes a daily blog enjoyed by 12000+ readers weekly at erindavis.com, and enjoys travel, freelance voice work, keynote speaking and emceeing every chance she gets.