32 Awesome Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
There’s nothing like having fun in the sun and fresh air. Playing outdoors can be a real confidence booster for little kids, and has even been shown to foster healthy development. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), outdoor play stimulates the senses and helps kids develop key skills like spatial awareness, strength and balance. And while all you really need to take playtime outside is a little imagination, outdoor toys can certainly help nurture that creativity. The best outdoor toys for toddlers are durable, engaging and, most importantly, fun!
Ready to get your tot exploring and exercising al fresco? We’ve done the hard work for you, and selected the best outdoor toys for toddlers categorized by age. From beginner swings and playhouses to interactive sand and water must-haves, these awesome outdoor toys will help make your backyard the place to be, rain or shine.
In this article:
Where to buy outdoor toys for toddlers
What to look for in outdoor toys for toddlers
Best outdoor toys for one-year-olds
Best outdoor toys for 2-year-olds
Best outdoor toys for 3-year-olds
Don’t know where to start your search? Before we reveal our picks for the top outdoor toys for toddlers, we’re sharing three of the best places to shop for these playtime essentials. These online stores have tons of outdoor toys for babies, toddlers and big kids, with options to suit every budget.
Target: If you’re looking for a wide selection of affordable outdoor toddler toys, Target is a great place to start. This online retailer has a whole section devoted to outdoor play, featuring best-selling brands like Step2, Little Tikes and Fisher-Price, as well as affordable playthings from their store brand.
Maisonette: This online store is one of the best places to shop for aesthetically pleasing outdoor toddler toys. From whimsical wooden playhouses to vintage-inspired toddler bicycles, Maisonette is perfect for parents looking for unique items with charm and whimsy.
Melissa and Doug: Don’t have room for a bulky toddler outdoor playset? No worries! Melissa and Doug has a wonderful range of compact, portable outdoor toys that you can bring on your next trip to the park or beach.
When shopping for outdoor toys for your little one, keep these top tips in mind:
Age-appropriate toys. Although you may be tempted to go all out when you see the amazing outdoor toys on the market, check to make sure your picks align with your child’s developmental stage. This way, they’ll be building on their many skill sets while having fun in the sun. Looking for investment pieces that’ll stand the test of time in your backyard? Go with play sets, water tables or smaller outdoor toys that can be enjoyed by multiple age groups.
Durability. Outdoor toddler toys are, of course, going to be outside most of the time—or in storage for several months on end, depending on where you live. With that in mind, look for playthings that are durable enough to withstand different weather conditions.
Type of play. When it comes to outdoor toddler toys, there are plenty of options to choose from. Playhouses, tricycles and bubble machines are just the tip of the iceberg. Keep in mind that every child has unique interests, so if you’re searching for the perfect outdoor gift for a one- or two-year-old consider picking out a toy that reflects their blossoming personality.
Want to nurture a love of the great outdoors from the get-go? There are tons of age-appropriate outdoor toys for one-year-olds on the market. From ride-on toys to tunnels and slides, check out our favorite toys for your backyard. Bonus: Some of the options listed below can be adjusted to accommodate older toddlers too.
2-in-1 slide and rocker
Double the fun with this 2-in-1 slide and rocker. It’s made from UV-protected plastic and has wide, sturdy steps that your one-year-old can easily scale. When you’re ready, simply flip the slide over to convert it into a rocker for a guaranteed rockin’ good time.
Ride-on toy with trailer
Not sure what to pick out for the one-year-old in your life? You can’t go wrong with a ride-on toy for tots. Available in pink and blue, this four-wheel balance bike has an adjustable seat and wide, easy-grip handles. The best part? It comes with a clip-on trailer that’s perfect for toting baby’s favorite trinkets (or even stuffed animals!) safely around the backyard.
This too-cute coupe has been a favorite outdoor toddler toy for years—you may have even had one growing up! The classic design has stood the test of time for many reasons; its adjustable floorboard adapts to your tot’s changing abilities, and it has wheels that spin 360 degrees. This ride-on toy can be used inside or out, and it’s even equipped with adorable details like a rotating steering wheel and a gas cap that opens and closes—all perfect for imaginative play!
A swing is a classic outdoor toddler toy—and with good reason. Swinging is a calming activity that’s been proven to build sensory skills in babies. There are tons of great sets on the market, but we love this simple option by Little Tikes. It has adjustable shoulder straps and a T-bar safety harness that can be folded away once baby graduates to big-kid status. And at under $30, it’s super-affordable to boot!
Versatile stacking cups
The best outdoor toys for toddlers are affordable, cheerful and multi-purpose—which is why we’re fans of these versatile, colorful stacking cups. Made from BPA-free materials, this set is perfect for the pool, park or beach. Patterned holes at the base of each cup allow your little one to explore their environment by scooping and sprinkling water and sand. And when playtime is over, you can simply stack them for easy storage.
Too-cute ride-on toy
This vehicle starts as a push-and-pull wagon for early walkers, and then transforms into a ride-on toy for tots. Finally, it becomes a scooter once your child is older. In wagon mode, there’s an ultra-convenient storage space, ideal for taking toys to and from the park (or wherever they’re scooting around). Reminder: If you’re planning to use this toy as a scooter be sure to pick up a helmet too.
Truck toy set
Mini motor-enthusiasts will go wild for this set of trucks. Perfect for indoor and outdoor play, these colorful vehicles twist and tilt as toddlers explore the terrain in the grass or a sandbox. Better yet, they’re made from 100 percent recycled plastic, are dishwasher-safe and parents say they’re super durable.
Take hide-and-seek to the next level with this awesome indoor and outdoor toy for one-year-olds. Made from organic cotton, the play tunnel is perfect for crawling babies and toddlers taking their first steps. It’s expertly designed to encourage the development of motor, strength and coordination skills. Plus, it’s foldable and comes with a cotton carry case.
Water splash pad
Beat the summer heat with this inflatable splash pad for tots. The outdoor play mat offers a shallow pool for kiddos to splash and sit in, and toddlers are sure to love the sprinkler features. What’s more, the pint-sized pool is decorated with zoo animals and letters for a fun learning opportunity.
First t-ball set
If your tot is a fan of all things sports-related, you can’t go wrong with this t-ball set. It comes with a baseball bat, two balls and a stand that can easily be adjusted as your child’s skills develop. This set also offers a sweet opportunity for parent-child bonding during playtime!
Playing outside is a wonderful way for toddlers to explore the world around them, all while developing key motor skills. Read on to discover our picks for the best outdoor toys for 2-year-olds. From bowling sets to playhouses, there are plenty of options to keep your little one happily engaged in play.
Pint-sized roller coaster
How about a pint-sized roller coaster for your little thrill-seeker? This play set comes with a ride-on unicorn car, complete with a high-back seat, foot rests and handles for added safety. With over 9’ of track to cruise on, this top-rated outdoor toddler toy is the perfect addition to your at-home playground.
Colorful bowling set
Games are a fantastic way to switch up outdoor playtime, which is what makes this bug-themed bowling set a top-notch outdoor toddler toy. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, it’s a great addition to long summer afternoons. Plus, the seven-piece bowling set encourages hand-eye coordination and early counting skills—it’s a win-win.
Sensory water table
What makes water play so appealing to kids? All the sensational pouring and splashing—and this water table by Step2 offers plenty of both. It comes with 13 accessories, including a large bucket for scooping water into the top tier, which trickles back into the pond to create a realistic rainfall effect.
First basketball hoop
Have a little athlete at home? They’ll love this cool basketball hoop. It can be adjusted to six different heights, meaning your kiddo can play with it for years to come—score!
Fun froggy kickball
Searching for outdoor toys for toddlers that’ll get loads of use? Take a look at this froggy-face kickball by Melissa and Doug. It’s made from a durable rubber material that’ll withstand even the most lively toddler games.
Mini bounce house
Bouncy houses aren’t just for fairs or birthdays—at least not anymore! This inflatable outdoor toy for toddlers will make everyday feel like a party, and it comes with a safety net for added peace of mind. Your child will love jumping around and zipping up and down the blow-up slide.
Garden-themed water table
Watch your child’s imagination bloom with this engaging water table by Little Tikes. Kids can pour water over the flower and watch as it magically unfurls and grows. And the interactive features don’t stop there: There’s also spinning turtles, floating ducks, a frog fountain and swimming fish for your little one to discover.
This pick is perfect for siblings or playdates with friends. The super-bouncy seesaw bobs up and down and even spins 360 degrees—wow! It can be used indoors or outdoors and is suitable for children 2 to 5 years old.
Searching for a versatile outdoor toy for 2-year-olds? Look no further than this 3-in-1 climber, slide and play tent. Designed with the great outdoors in mind, the play set features camping graphics throughout and is ideal for pretend play—plus, during colder months, it can be used inside.
Turtle-shaped sandbox with cover
Shopping for outdoor toddler toys that’ll become a permanent fixture in your garden? This turtle-shaped sandbox is sure to check all of the boxes on your list. It’s big enough for multiple kiddos to use at once, and it comes with a cover to protect it from weather and pests between uses.
Any parent with a 3-year-old child knows that keeping them occupied is key to avoiding major toddler meltdowns. Luckily, heading outside to play in the fresh air is a fantastic way to stave off boredom in babies, toddlers and adults too! Ready to upgrade your toy collection? Below, check out our favorite outdoor toys for 3-year-olds.
Diggers make excellent outdoor sand toys for toddlers. You’ll be surprised just how entertained your tot is filling them up and dumping them out—over and over again. We like this model’s cool ride-on feature.
Camera-shaped bubble machine
One thing is for sure, kids are wild about bubbles. This unique bubble blaster will provide endless entertainment for your little one. The camera-shaped design offers a fun take on a classic outdoor toy—just fill it up with bubble solution, and your kiddo will be ready to rock. Better yet, this pick is lightweight and has a carrying strap so your little one can easily tote it.
Sidewalk chalk set
Inspire your kiddo to unleash their inner artist with this outdoor art set. It includes four colorful chalk sticks and adjustable holders that are easy for small hands to grip on to. Plus, the clever devices make it less likely for these chalk sticks to break!
Take pretend play to the next level with this sweet wooden playhouse. Your tot will love cooking in the kitchen, serving up their culinary creations out of the large window and decorating the exterior chalkboards. Other details that make this mini abode even more realistic (and cute!) include a working doorbell, ringing phone and hanging planters.
Car wash-themed water table
Kids will have a splashing good time in this stationary car wash. This outdoor toddler toy is a great way for kids to mimic their adult role models; they can wash the car with the cloth and spray bottle, fill the gas tank and open the drain plugs to “change the oil.”
Vibrant paddle ball set
Pop, pop! This paddle ball game consists of two handheld trampolines and two wacky rubber balls for endless play opportunities. Your tot will get their energy out running to bounce the ball and pass it back. What’s more, you can even use the mini trampolines as flying discs (think: frisbees) or as floating toys in a pool.
Budding chefs will adore making mud pies in this outdoor toddler playset. Made from FSC-certified wood, the pint-sized kitchen comes complete with a hob, pots and pans, a removable splash tub and built-in storage. There’s even a blackboard so your toddler can illustrate their favorite recipes.
Tot-friendly gardening set
Does your little one already have a green thumb? Maybe not—but they probably love helping you out in the garden. Equip them with their own tools with this tot-friendly gardening set. It consists of 16 pieces, like a watering can, a rake, a shovel and flower pots, that all fit into an easy-to-pull wagon.
Nature exploration kit
What can we say? We’re obsessed with outdoor toys for toddlers that feature playful elements. This adorable explorer set comes with a waterproof groundsheet, a compass, a magnifying glass, a nature bingo card and other educational playthings all tucked within a cute wolf-themed bag.
Toddler climbing tower
Encourage your little monkey to safely explore new heights with this climbing tower. The unique outdoor toy for 3-year-olds could be a futuristic abode, an igloo, a rocketship or whatever else your kiddo has in mind! The structure is made from high-quality plastic that features UV protection, so it can withstand plenty of sunny days. Better yet, it’s suitable for children up to 8 years old, meaning it will be a playtime staple in your yard for years to come.
This outdoor toy set consists of colorful steppers in various sizes that can be used as stepping stones or as a fun way to walk around the garden. Your tot will have so much fun with these steppers, they won’t even notice how much their balance and coordination is improving.
2-in-1 tent and climber
The final pick on our list of the best outdoor toys for toddlers is this ingenious campout retreat. The triangular hide-out has a built-in climbing wall, a window to let in the light and front and back entrances to allow air to circulate while your little tyke is busy having fun.
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