The Best New Outdoor Toys Kids Will Love This Summer
During the school year, kids come home exhausted from hours of learning and playing. With summer here, it’s up to parents to find outdoor games that will expend energy and provide hours of summer fun. The challenge, however, is finding toys that will make them excited about getting off their tablets and going outdoors. So, we’ve come up with a list of the best outdoor toys for kids of all ages that also provide developmentally appropriate benefits. Check out these fun new summer outdoor toys and games that are sure to be a hit for yard and beach playtime.
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What to Consider When Picking Outdoor Toys
- Age Appropriate: The most important aspect when choosing toys for your kiddos is to ensure it’s age-appropriate. If a child is too young or old for a toy, it will only lead to frustration or boredom. You’ll also want to check the manufacturer’s recommended age for safety purposes.
- Benefits: It’s completely fine if a toy is just for fun. But often, toys have benefits we're unaware of, whether it's teaching kids spatial awareness, balance, or fine motor skills.
- Material: For outdoor toys, you'll want to make sure they will stand up to the sun, wind, and rain. You also don’t want a toy with electrical components that could become unsafe when wet.
How We Choose Our Favorites
We consulted with experts, parents, and, most importantly, real kids to determine the best outdoor summer toys for kids of all ages. We also tapped into these experts' advice to determine which brands were best and readily available on Amazon.
Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
Best Outdoor Water Toy for Toddlers
Water toys are an ideal way to cool down in the warm summer months and provide outdoor fun. With a waterfall tray, scoop bucket, and maze-like spinners, this water table will have your kids occupied for hours.
“This water table has the most activities and parts of ALL the water tables we looked at. . . . I definitely recommend this for any child who enjoys pouring and splashing and water in general - lots of fun!”
Best Toddler Ride-On Toy
Not only is this ride-on toy a fun outdoor play activity for toddlers, but it’s also packed with over 17 sensory activities, including interlocking gears, a working horn, and sliding beads. Plus, little ones can also use it as a push walker.
“If I could give this 6 stars, I would! This car is amazing! . . . To top it off, the car is adorable!! I would buy this car again in a heart beat.”
Best Outdoor Push Toy
Not many other outdoor games excite children as much as bubbles, and this lawn mower bubble blower machine will provide hours of fun. In addition, it encourages walking and features realistic sounds.
“My 16 month old loves this. She loves being outside and thinks bubbles are the best thing ever. This is a snap (literally) to put together and even comes with a mini screwdriver for the battery door.”
Best Toy for Pretend Play
Your child can model Mom and Dad's skills as a gourmet griller with this Little Tikes grill for kids. Just like a real-life fancy outdoor kitchen, the set includes a sink, fridge, and pizza oven, plus play food and grill tools. It is recommended for ages 1-4.
“My twin toddlers are loving their new grill and they get to grill just like daddy. One of my favorite things is that it is big enough for them to share and use at the same time.”
Toys for Preschoolers
Best Toy to Cool Off in the Summer
With just a garden hose, this inflatable sprinkler splash pad is ready to go. With shallow water, it also doubles as a small inflatable pool for small children.
“Perfect for a warm day in the backyard. Once the outer tube is full, you can turn the water way down and it still makes a great sprinkler to run through.”
Best Toy for Spatial Awareness
Platform swings are all the rage and an exciting outdoor activity! This one can hold multiple riders (up to 660 pounds total) for hours of group swinging. Hang it from a tree or your playground set, and let the "hang out" begin! Recommended for ages 4 and up.
“This swing is awesome and so much fun!!! My son loves to “go higher” and it’s nice for an adult to lay on and relax too!”
Best Outdoor Sports Toy for Preschoolers
This t-ball set includes a collapsible bat, three baseballs, and a 3-in-1 t-ball base. Younger kids can start using the tee until they gain confidence. Then, switch the base to a popping pitching machine.
“Bought this for my 4 year old son as a birthday gift. It is easy to assemble and I like that it will upgrade with him as he gets older by it throwing the ball up in the air.”
Best Outdoor Tactile Sensory Toy
With a lid that doubles as a truck ramp, kids can have fun in or out of the sand. Plus, you can use the real excavator to dig around or fill up the dump truck. In addition to the sandbox, this set includes two characters, a dump truck, sand sifter, sand cup, rake, and shovel.
“What a great little sandbox! We recently purchased this for our son's 3rd birthday, and it's been a very solid investment! For a little guy obsessed with trucks and construction, it's a perfect match. He now has a "sand plant" that he works, and in the 2 months that we've owned it, it's easily gotten 75 hours of use!”
Toys for Elementary Kids
Best Toy for Balance
The easy-adjust handlebars allow this scooter to be suitable for kids of all ages, and it teaches balance and coordination. Plus, this scooter folds up, making it easy to carry, transport or store.
“Sturdy, easy to set up. Perfect for my tall 6 year old. Handle bars adjust to height, so we could have used earlier and could still use for a few years as she grows.”
Best Outdoor Climber Toy
This geometric jungle gym allows kids to use their imagination when choosing the best route to get to the top or climb around the sides. Plus, the interlocking plastic tubes and connectors are easy to assemble and durable.
“This toy has been a great purchase. It helps the kids burn energy throughout the day. My daughter plays with it almost everyday.”
Best Toy for Body Awareness
If you have trees in your own backyard, these climbing holds will get children outside for hours. The weather-resistant handles are made of high-quality plastic resin that won’t crack or fade in the outdoor elements.
“I was afraid they wouldn’t work on our little tree but they did! And they’re very sturdy. I even tried climbing on them and they stayed put.”
Best Group Outdoor Toy
The only thing better than bubbles is bigger bubbles! With this giant bubble-making kit, kids can create bubbles that are 10 or 20 feet long. Plus, they're even more fun to pop!
“This is amazing! Made about 15 foot long bubbles multiple times! . . . My 8 year old had it figured out in no time and was patient enough to go nice and slow with it and made awesome huge bubbles!”
For even more summer fun ideas, check out our list of The Best Water Games for Kids This Summer
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Bre Richey is a freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She has years of experience producing valuable content that has been published in Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Best Reviews, Her View From Home and more.