14 Backyard Toys to Transform Your Yard Into a Playground

Bring the playground to your little one this summer.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Updated August 6, 2020
family having fun and taking a selfie in their outdoor kiddy pool
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With warmer weather here, the country is slowly starting to open up after three months of lockdown. But while most Americans are antsy for some fresh air, many still don’t feel safe—or still don’t have the option of—spending time in public playgrounds, which can be breeding grounds for germs.

Though the frequent trips to the playground may be cancelled this summer, there are still plenty of ways to bring the playground to your little ones with some fun backyard toys. We’re rounding up some of our favorites to help build your toddler’s own little slice of outdoor paradise. (But be warned, backyard toys have been selling out at astonishing rates all across the country, so you’ll want to snah these picks before they’re gone!)

Image: Courtesy Dantoy

Dantoy Teeter-Totter

This crocodile teeter-totter has enough seats for three kids and a design focused on durability and stability. It can be used both as a backyard toy or indoors.

Buy it: $48,

Image: Courtesy Power Wheels

Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler

This toddler-friendly Jeep Wrangler features fun and realistic Jeep stylings, such as a working light bar, pretend fog lights and functioning doors, a removable toy shovel, a dashboard with a pretend radio and a voice-changing microphone. It can be driven on grass or pavement at a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour. For added safety, this backyard toy for toddlers also includes power-lock brakes and a high-speed lockout function controlled by you.

Buy it: $249,

Image: Courtesy Splash EZ

SplashEZ Kiddie Pool

Trade in your park sprinklers for this backyard toy for kids. With a mat that includes images from the alphabet and side fountain sprinklers, it rolls learning and playtime into one fun, inflatable kiddie pool.

Buy it: $25,

Image: Courtesy Little Tikes

Little Tikes Outdoor Swing

Sometimes a swing can make all the difference when it comes transforming your backyard. This one is suitable for children ranging from 9 months to 4 years. The safe design includes a bar, making it easy to get baby in and out, and adjustable shoulder straps to help secure baby in place.

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Buy it: $28,

Image: Courtesy Step2

Step2 Sandbox

If your toddler can’t get to the sand this summer, this sandbox is a great way to bring it to them. This backyard toy for toddlers comes in a cute, clever crab shell design. The two front claws function as seats and the top becomes a cover to keep things from getting too messy. Don’t let the cuteness fool you, though—the box can hold up to 300 pounds of sand.

Buy it: $165,

Image: Courtesy Green Toys

Green Toys Dump Truck

This dump truck goes hand in hand with a sandbox (though the backyard toy works just as well as an indoor plaything too). It has a working, moveable dumper, includes no metal axles for safety, and is made of safe, recycled materials. Added bonus? All you need is some soap to clean it.

Buy it: $18,

Image: Courtesy Little Tikes

Little Tikes Toy Sports T-Ball Set

This Tee-ball set includes an easy-to-use bail, baseballs and a tee and can adjust to your toddler’s height. When you’re done, just fold it up and hang it on your wall for easy, small-space storage.

Buy it: $15,

Image: Courtesy Blast Zone

Blast Zone Magic Castle Bounce House

Fit for your little prince or princess, this castle bounce house only takes seconds to inflate and can hold three kids at once. The sides include safety netting and there’s a mini, safe-slope side at the entrance. Bounce houses have been among the quickest backyard toys to sell out among retailers, but this one is still available for online shipping.

Buy it:$390,

Image: Courtesy Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer Tricycle

Sumer and tricycles often go hand in hand—and even if kids aren’t pedaling over to the playground, they can see enjoy a trip around the yard, neighborhood or nearby park. This tricycle, suitable for kids aged 36 months to 5 years old, has durable tires, an adjustable seat that will grow with your child and an adorable chrome bell.

Buy it: $69,

Image: Courtesy Little Tikes

Little Tikes Play Cottage

Not only does this contemporary playhouse feature adorable details, like a mail slot, a flag holder and a door big enough for your toddler, but it’s also lightweight and easy to assemble. Set up the playhouse in your backyard—or even indoors on a rainy day!

Buy it: $130,

Image: Courtesy Step2

Step2 Car Wash Splash Activity Center

This backyard water toy allows toddlers to mimic the adults in their life. The activity center has a functional steering wheel, windshield wiper, “gas tank,” put-and-place water maze and a double-sided water tray that falls water down into two basins, allowing room for some sensory play.

Buy it: $135,

Image: Courtesy Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug Snappy Turtle Mower

Having baby push and pull this classic backyard toy outdoors (or indoors) is a great way to exercise their motor skills. For added fun, the lawn mower also features a fuel can your little one can “pour,” functional dials and a pull-cord with motor sounds.

Buy it: $30,

Image: Courtesy Little Tikes

Little Tikes Trampoline

Is your toddler prone to running around with unmatched energy? This mini, 3-foot trampoline may be a fun way to keep them occupied (and get them ready for their afternoon nap). Added bonus? The backyard toy is easy to move, so you can put it wherever your toddler wants that day, and the handle-bar folds down, allowing for easy storage.

Buy it: $60,

Image: Courtesy Backyard Discovery

Backyard Discovery Cedar Swing Set

This swing set is all you’ll need to transform your outdoor space into your child’s playground paradise. While on the pricier end, the swing set includes two swings, a slide, a climbing frame and a roofed nook perfect for outdoor afternoon snacks. Entertainment for your children this summer? Check and check.

Buy it: $510, Published June 2020

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