Please note that this post may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward us a small commission – at no extra cost for you.
As the weather starts to warm up, parents all just want one thing: a quiet moment to themselves while the kids happily play outside. Ha! But really, what we desire is outdoor play that is fun for the whole family. And though sometimes imagination is the best “toy”, it sure doesn’t hurt to have great outdoor toys that keep babies busy, toddlers engaged in imaginative play, and older kids wanting to toss the video games aside. These are some of the highest-rated and best outdoor toys for kids of all ages!
1. Water Table
A water table is one of the best toys for toddlers. I found ours randomly free during garage sale season and it ended up being a gift like the manna that fell down from the heavens because it kept my toddler busy for hours. Well, toddler hours. Adult minutes. But I’ll take it!
Not only does it make you feel like you have a mini water park in your backyard, but this water table has spinners, buckets, and mazes to promote STEM play and fine motor skills. For a cheaper alternative, Little Tikes makes an under $50 water table that is always a best seller.
What Parents Are Saying: “The kids have loved playing with it in their garden in the fine weather on a daily basis. It’s been an absolute godsend and kept them playing happily (with supervision). Lots to do, plenty of bits to involve motor skills, but mainly great, great fun.”
2. Pogo Stick
Though pogo sticks are usually for ages 9 and up, this foam pogo stick is safe for kids as young as 3!
This pogo stick enhances motor skills and improves balance and hand-eye coordination. Not only that but it can be used for either indoor or outdoor use. It’s a great way to promote physical activity-even if you aren’t getting outdoors.
What Parents Are Saying: “As I write this, my three-year-old son is happily hopping around the house (wearing his bike helmet) with no sound other than his laughter and joy. My eight-year-old daughter gave it a go and is jealous so I may have to buy another!”
Stomp rockets are one of the parents’ top picks when it comes to fun outdoor toys that keep kids (3 & up) entertained. By stomping on the pump, kids can make a rocket blast off- sending it to the moon! (Or to the nearest tree at least.)
This outdoor toy can burn off some extra energy and it can even get your kids interested in STEM subjects, using the force and trajectory of these foam rockets as an opportunity to discuss math and science.
What Parents Are Saying: “Bought this based on reviews and wasn’t disappointed, bought to keep children amused at a get together and it certainly did that.. the whole afternoon. Good fun had by children and adults, impressively high rockets, great for wide open spaces but probably not your average back garden as they go so high you are bound to lose a few! If you want hours and I mean hours of fun with the kids then give it a go. great for all ages even babies can sit on the footpad and easily set a rocket off. Rockets are made of very light foam so would not hurt on landing. I’d give more stars if I could.“
Little kids and big kids alike, giant bubbles please everyone. And adults too, if we’re being honest! With this two-handle style, this giant wand implements a design that has been used to set every bubble world record in the last 30 years.
Whether you want to use this as a science experiment or just plain ol’ fun, this is a great outdoor activity for both toddler and big kids. For the younger kids that can’t quite handle a wand, an automatic bubble machine is a great alternative.
What Parents Are Saying: “I never write a review good or bad about any products, however I felt like I needed to on the WOWMAZING Kit. We brought the pouch to the park later on that afternoon with a bucketand my little ones (6 and 3-year-old) loved it so much that they didn’t want to even go onany of the swings. The bubbles were really giant and long lasting. Everyone in the park cameup to us to ask us where we got it and if they can try it.”
5. Balance Bike
A bike is a perfect way to promote active play in your kids since this type of exercise actually feels fun (and who doesn’t want that?).
2-5 year olds can develop balance, coordination, and even confidence in this pint-size bike. With no brakes, pedals, gears, or even tires that need air, you can spend your time getting your kid ready for a “big kid” bike instead of spending time on maintenance.
What Parents Are Saying: “The bike just arrived today and my 2 yr old is LOVING this bike….as an experienced baby and toddler bike buyer, THIS IS THE BIKE YOU WANT. I can’t recommend this bike enough. My kid has already flipped it upside down to “work on his bike” and ridden for hours through grass, sand, gravel, and on concrete. Could not be happier.”
Related: 4 Fun Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Minneapolis
6. Splash Pad
Bring the cooling water fun to your backyard for your babies and toddlers that may be too young for the local splash pad.
Water fun can keep most kids entertained for a long time, plus psychologists and researchers say that learning through play is key to a child’s healthy development! A kiddie pool is a great idea too when it comes to water play.
What Parents Are Saying: “I bought this on a recommendation from a mom in our play group. My 6 month old daughter always wants to play at our local splash pad park but was getting knocked down. We live in Orlando and it’s so hot I felt bad she couldn’t enjoy it. I didnt even know they made at home splash pads until this other mom told me about them. I cant say enough good things about this product!!! You can control how hard/high it sprays by adjusting the pressure from the hose. Which is perfect for my daughter. I highly recommend this product.”
For your imaginative kids, a playhouse is great for promoting pretend play in the great outdoors. The side snack window encourages social skills through play as your kids can enjoy serving up drinks and treats to their friends!
Add a picnic table to this outdoor space and use it as a place to serve real snacks to your kiddos in the good ol’ fresh air.
What Parents Are Saying: “This house was a birthday present for our two year old daughter, and we are beyond impressed and in love with it. It is incredibly high quality, and includes a ton of extras such as – a functioning door bell, door knob to enter home, pots , pans, and spatula for kids to cook in the built in kitchen, phone on mounted phone jack, and flower pot holders on the outside…Our kids have not wanted to get out since we put it together, they even asked to sleep over in it. It is much easier on the eye than your typical plastic play house, it is aesthetically pleasing and is a great addition to our back yard.”
Due to the never-ending stream of sand found in your house along with the endless pounds of sand it seems you now have to buy, most parents have a love-hate relationship with sandboxes. You may be on the fence about whether you love them or hate ’em, but the kids certainly love them!
A sandbox is something that the entire family can enjoy, from babies to adults. With the right sand toys, you can keep the kids busy for hours too.
What Parents Are Saying: “My son LOVES his new sandbox. He will play in it for hours. And I love the size because he will not outgrow it in a year…Highly recommend.”
If you’ve got a little bit of extra space in your backyard, this obstacle course is perfect for aspiring ninja warriors!
This obstacle course acts as the ultimate backyard jungle gym for your older children. From swinging to jumping, this outdoor activity promotes motor skills, coordination, and physical activity.
What Parents Are Saying: “Got this as a gift for my 8 year old nephew who is usually inside in front of a screen. Hooked this up with my parents in their front yard. Not only did he and his cousins (ages 4 and 13) have a blast with it on his birthday, he’s been outside playing on it every day since! Will likely get him more “accessories” for this in the near future and probably other sets too.”
Though we may not all have access to a park nearby or have an exciting swing set in our backyard, there are still plenty of outdoor games that provide hours of fun, promote open-ended play, encourage new skills, and get your kids soaking up the Vitamin D!
Planning a family vacation this year? Check out the next posts to give you some ideas on where to go!
Things To Do in Napa Valley With Kids (So That Everyone Can Have a Good Time)
How to Have a Great Time in Charleston With Kids