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20 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers In 2020

last updated May 28, 2020

Parents remember the glory days of playing outside from the moment the sun rose until when the street lights came on. Unfortunately, in today’s world, children are so involved with electronics and they don’t necessarily get the same outdoor experience that we did back in the day. It’s important for children to spend time outdoors playing with outdoor toys for toddlers, not only because it’s fun but because it’s good for their health and overall development.

When out soaking up all of the sun, they’re gaining that vitamin D which is important for the body. It’s also proven that vitamin D makes people happier. While they’re running, playing and exercising, your children are reducing stress and strengthening their muscles.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

icon
Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot
98.7/100 our score
Safety
99
Durability
98
Physical Development
99
Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot
Why is it better?

Eight reinforced double-stitch handles

Bright rainbow colors attract little eyes

Mesh center for ventilation

Durable ripstop nylon fabric

Encourages teamwork and socializing while playing

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot
Test Winner: Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
19
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
173
Reviews Considered
Products Evaluated
17
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Angeline Mirenda:

As summer rolls in, you want to be equipped to enjoy as much sunshine and warm weather as possible! We’ve used this update to confirm that all of our top picks are in stock and to edit some of our summaries and criteria evaluations to ensure you have clear, concise information regarding all of our products right at your fingertips!

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Name
Rating
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
Safety
99 %
Durability
98 %
Physical Development
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$21.00
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Safety
98 %
Durability
97 %
Physical Development
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$14.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
Safety
97 %
Durability
96 %
Physical Development
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$246.54
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Safety
95 %
Durability
96 %
Physical Development
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Safety
94 %
Durability
94 %
Physical Development
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$11.88
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Safety
91 %
Durability
92 %
Physical Development
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$99.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.7
Safety
93 %
Durability
90 %
Physical Development
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Safety
91 %
Durability
91 %
Physical Development
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$7.49
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.7
Safety
89 %
Durability
90 %
Physical Development
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$145.23
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.7
Safety
89 %
Durability
89 %
Physical Development
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
#11
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.7
Safety
87 %
Durability
85 %
Physical Development
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$11.82
#12
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Safety
85 %
Durability
86 %
Physical Development
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#13
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Safety
83 %
Durability
85 %
Physical Development
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$49.99
#14
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Safety
82 %
Durability
84 %
Physical Development
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$27.99
#15
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Safety
82 %
Durability
84 %
Physical Development
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$139.99
#16
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Safety
82 %
Durability
84 %
Physical Development
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$96.97
#17
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
Safety
80 %
Durability
83 %
Physical Development
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$13.95
#18
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Safety
78 %
Durability
79 %
Physical Development
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$99.00
#19
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.3
Safety
76 %
Durability
79 %
Physical Development
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$28.99
#20
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74
Safety
75 %
Durability
73 %
Physical Development
74 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (30.05.20)
Amazon Link
$36.99

20 Best Outdoor Toys Reviewed

1. Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.7
Champion Sports Parachute 6-Foot
Amazon Link
Safety
99
Durability
98
Physical Development
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.00

Eight reinforced double-stitch handles

Bright rainbow colors attract little eyes

Mesh center for ventilation

Durable ripstop nylon fabric

Encourages teamwork and socializing while playing

Mesh fabric in the middle tears with rough play

Parachutes are an amazing toddler outdoor toys. If you’ve ever wondered why every preschool in the area has at least one rainbow-colored chute, it’s because they actively promote many developmental skills while keeping whole classes of kids giggling. The Champion Sports 6 Foot Parachute allows your family to play a multitude of games and enjoy activities both indoors and outdoors! The only limit is your imagination!

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Safety

With eight double-stitched handles and a mesh center, this product is easy for children to hold onto, and stays safely ventilated even when children are playing underneath the fabric.

Durability

Make fast waves, make slow waves, throw a beach ball in the middle and bounce it around together, or throw the parachute up in the air and sit on your handles to create your own secret circus tent. Made to last, this Champion Sports ‘chute is good for loads of giggles.

Physical Development

Teach kids teamwork, taking turns, and basic motor skills with this multi-functional toy. Kids will love running under it, sitting on top of it, hiding under it, and making ripples with it.

2. Big Bubble Wand

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.7
Big Bubble Wand
Big Bubble Wand
Big Bubble Wand
Big Bubble Wand
Amazon Link
Safety
98
Durability
97
Physical Development
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.95

Durable

Lightweight

Includes instruction book

Wand has been used in creating world records

Very little bubble mix included

Let this season bubble over with fun; the WOWMAZING Giant Bubble Wand creates bubbles as big as your kid! The three-piece set is easy to assemble. Just add water and enjoy! The company even includes a tips and tricks booklet that helps guide young creatives as they weave their way through big, beautiful bubbles! You can even purchase the family-pack to get two wands going at the same time.

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Safety

Some toddlers still want to put just about anything and everything in their mouths--so make sure you supervise them if the solution is left out in the open and near to them. Otherwise, the formula is totally safe to touch and play. Bubbles are fascinating to young children and with no sharp corners or dense weight, they’re also a safe way to spend the afternoon!

Durability

We love that kids will be in awe as they create bubbles that are bigger than themselves. Children of all ages will have a blast creating, chasing, and popping the bubbles from the WOWmazing kit.

Physical Development

The WOWmazing kit encourages social play as kids will have a blast blowing bubbles together. Your kiddos will gain plenty of exercise as they run to pop the bubbles. Gripping the wand will strengthen their fine motor skills.

3. All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.7
All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy Playhouse
Amazon Link
Safety
97
Durability
96
Physical Development
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$246.54

Durable

Wheelchair accessible

Provides shade from the sun

Promotes creativity

Playhouse is not anchored to the ground.

While you're hosting your annual summer BBQ, your kiddos can host one of their own with the All Around Playtime Patio. The patio includes three main stations; the grill station, the snack table, and a sand/ water play area.

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Safety

The Sand and Water area provide several toys for children to stimulate their senses. Complete with a canopy, your child can enjoy hours of fun in the playhouse on even the hottest of days. And there is no real heat for cooking, so it is perfectly safe to play pretend!

Durability

The grill station is equipped with a sink and swivel faucets which will surely make your child feel like a true grill master. The snack table provides a dish set so your child’s friends can pretend to eat what he or she cooks up!

Physical Development

The All Around Playtime Patio will foster a love for the culinary arts in your child as they engage in pretend play. They will improve their sensory development as they experience the elements of the sand and water area. With three stations and plenty of space, your child is encouraged to engage in play with others.

4. Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.7
Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table
Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table
Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table
Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table
Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table
Amazon Link
Safety
95
Durability
96
Physical Development
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Includes Dory and two friends

Diving board/launch pad

Manual whirlpool

Waterslide

Built-in plug to drain water

Drain hole leaks on some models

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...or, if there’s no pool and the sun’s beating down, all the same, set up this delightful Finding Dory Water Table in the backyard and watch your kids splash around. Send Dory and her friends down the slide and into the open waters below.

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Safety

This item is perfectly safe for kids and adults alike. Plus, it is sure to keep the whole family cool and occupied during the warm summer days. Use the windmill to propel them around the pool, or catch them in the cattail scoop. Clip the springboard onto the side and watch Dory and Friends go diving into the ocean!

Durability

This table is a fun tribute to her and her friends that will keep kids cool through warmer seasons. It is made of durable plastic and the characters are of good quality. Plus, they're absolutely adorable!

Physical Development

Water tables teach children basic developmental skills such as cause and effect, fine motor skills, and creative play. Dory is a great character for kids to swim along beside. She’s kind, works hard, and loves with a big heart, teaching us the importance of patience with ourselves and others.

5. Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat
Amazon Link
Safety
94
Durability
94
Physical Development
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.88

Is big enough to fit more than one child

Increases several areas of development

Easily Dries

Pool holds water

Mat is slippery requires a hose for sprinklers to work

The Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat is the perfect outdoor toy for when the sun is blazing in the summer. The mat is 54 inches in wide and equipped with sprinklers on the outer edges. Attach a hose to the mat. Allow the water to keep running. It will gently shoot out of the sprinklers and fill up the pool area.

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Safety

ALWAYS watch your kids when water is involved. We love that the Sprinkle and Splash play mat is versatile in that you can use it with the sprinklers or just as a little pool. The mat will keep your child cool in the sun while also stimulating several areas of their development.

Durability

Once the little pool fills up, it will hold. Whether you keep water running for the sprinklers or turn it off and just use the pool your child is sure to have a blast in the Banzai Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat. Once your child is done splashing around, empty the mat and hang it out to dry. The mat dries easily which will prevent mildew and keep it in great condition for future fun in the sun!

Physical Development

The Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat is big enough to fit more than one child! Hosting playdates with the play mat will increase your child’s social development. The brightly colored sea creatures on the mat will aid in your child’s sensory development. For the tots who are sitting but not quite walking, the sprinklers provide tons of stationary fun. The Sprinklers will stimulate the development of your child’s hands as they reach and try to grab the water.

6. Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide
Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide
Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide
Step2 Game Time Sports Climber And Slide
Amazon Link
Safety
91
Durability
92
Physical Development
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.99

Basketball hoop

Crawl space/goal area

Textured, angled ladder

Slide

Feature to help keep track of scored points

On the smaller side, so not many kids can play at once

Get your little all-star ready with the Step2 Game Time Sports Climber and Slide. This little set is compact enough to make a happy addition in a playroom or the backyard. It features a basketball hoop, two score-keeper dials, a slide, a climbing ladder, a soccer goal, and a toss-through wall. There’s plenty of space for kids to climb under, over, and all around! Bright primary colors attract young eyes. The multi-purpose sports ball included is perfectly sized for young hands and made from gentler materials to accommodate eager fingers and feet still navigating coordination. This set is equipped for hours of fun!

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Safety

The set comes with a built-in way to keep score in case they’re playing with buddies, is made of safe, durable plastic, and can hold up to 66 lbs at a time. It is safe for all kids to play and have fun!

Durability

The plastic used in the construction of the Step2 Sports Climber is simultaneously tough enough to be stable and withstand rough play, and soft enough that kids won’t bump or bruise if they fall on or crash into it. It’s easy to clean with plain old soap and water and can even be hosed down if you want a quick power-wash. This structure can also endure the great outdoors, even as the weather shifts and changes throughout the year.

Physical Development

Children can practice aim, coordination, and dexterity while building muscle on this combination jungle gym and sports center. The crawl space on the bottom of the structure doubles as both a fun escape route during tag and a small goalie area for kids to practice kicking the ball.

7. Little Tikes 3' Trampoline

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.7
Little Tikes 3' Trampoline
Little Tikes 3' Trampoline
Little Tikes 3' Trampoline
Amazon Link
Safety
93
Durability
90
Physical Development
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Helps burn off energy

Works on balancing skills

Builds leg muscles while using arms to help stabilizer

Handlebar helps with stability

Gross motor skills building

Manufacturing states indoor use only

Foam on stabilizer bar quickly shows use

It’s bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun--and it’s not even Tigger! The Little Tikes trampoline gets kids up and moving. They’ll adore this springy little circle. The handlebar helps toddlers and younger children who still might require some assistance to stay balanced. It’s an individual-sized trampoline, so if you have multiple kids in one house playing together, you might want to buy a spare or reason out how you’ll share and take turns because everyone is going to be eager to get on this little guy!

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Safety

The 3-foot-diameter jumping surface is perfect for small legs. The trampoline comes with a center handlebar so your kid will have something to hold onto while jumping. If you like this, then check out our article on the best trampolines for kids here.

Durability

Made with tough, durable materials, this trampoline is great for fun outside. The spring may be subject to rust if left out over the seasons, but it can support a large amount of weight.

Physical Development

Jumping on this trampoline is fun and exciting for any toddler. It quickly burns off energy while building leg muscles, adding balancing skills, promoting better fitness, and helping with coordination. The trampoline also offers the benefit with the stabilization bar for the arms to be used to help balance. This is a great way to help promote gross motor skill building while having fun.

8. Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set
Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set
Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set
Amazon Link
Safety
91
Durability
91
Physical Development
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.49

Promotes hand-eye-coordination

Sparks imagination

Encourages exploration

Can be used indoors and outdoors

Measuring spoons promote simple math skills

Lid does not securely fit on

Bucket not made for heavy materials

If the sun is so hot, it’s practically baking everything left on the sidewalk or in the toasty beach sand, you’ll want to equip your little chefs with the Melissa & Doug Sunnypatch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set. This darling playset includes a turtle-themed bucket, crab-style spoon, octopus whisk, and three sea shell measuring cups! The turtle lid on the bucket/mixing bowl even doubles as a sand sifter! It’s a fun, funky twist on a classic sandbox kit, with bright-eyed, smiley sea creatures to help in the “kitchen.”

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Safety

What better way to explore a toddlers passion for cooking than through their imagination. This set is safe and easy to clean, so your kids can use it for years to come.

Durability

Made of durable plastic, you can introduce your kids to replicas of real-life baking utensils and they can be well on their way to becoming the next great baker. Your kid can already play with measuring cups, mixing spoon, wire whisk, and a mixing bowl that doubles as a sieve.

Physical Development

This sea creature inspired play set offers fun while sparking a toddler's imagination. Playing pretend and encouraging sensory play is a wonderful way to engage with a toddler. The shell-shaped measuring cups can also be used to learn simple math while encouraging their minds to imagine up some great treats. This is set helps hand-eye-coordination and learning the purpose of many tools used in the kitchen.

9. Little Tikes Cape Cottage

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.7
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
Little Tikes Cape Cottage
Amazon Link
Safety
89
Durability
90
Physical Development
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$145.23

Lightweight design allows the cottage to be moved easily

Two working doors and two working windows

Encourages pretend play

Uses hand-eye-coordination

Includes mail slot and flag holder

Assembly required

Flag and mail not included

Excellent for pretend play, toddlers will appreciate the almost-realistic Cape Cottage. This can be an amazing addition to one’s garden and play area landscape complete with fully-functioning doors and windows. It also has flag holders and mail slots. The Cape Cottage comes in two colors, red and tan.

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Safety

This cottage can be used both indoors and outdoors for fun playtime experience. It is made of hard plastic and does not include many small pieces, so it great for all ages.

Durability

Though this structure is lightweight and easy to move around the yard, it’s no push-over. The strong plastic used in construction is a familiar material you might recognize from many of your toddler’s other favorite toys and playhouses. This particular plastic is the top choice due to its ability to endure shifting climates outside as well as its easiness to clean. It isn’t so dense and tough as to cause injuries but it’s a solid choice for forts like this one! Let your little one’s imagination run wild as they play house in their adorable new cottage.

Physical Development

Toddlers can play along or with others in this fun house with two working doors and 2 windows with working shutters. Using the doors and windows promotes hand-eye-coordination. The cottage also encourages a toddler’s imagination through pretend play.

10. Step2 Play and Shade Pool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.7
Step2 Play and Shade Pool
Step2 Play and Shade Pool
Step2 Play and Shade Pool
Amazon Link
Safety
89
Durability
89
Physical Development
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Fun design with umbrella for shade

Includes 3 funnels for fun with gross and fine motor skills

Encourages pretend play

Molded design includes 2 seats and tractions design on bottom

Umbrella included

Assembly required

No drain plug must tip to empty

Perfect during the warm summer months, the Play and Shade Pool is your kid’s own private swimming pool. The Play and Shade comes with an umbrella stand to provide your kid shade while at play. You can attach 3 funnel cups as well as a water wheel to the umbrella post for more fun while playing.

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Safety

The bottom of the pool has molded-in designs to allow for excellent traction for kids’ feet. This can help ensure they won’t slip and hurt themselves. It is safe for many ages, but kids should always be monitored near water.

Durability

This fun in sun activity play and shade pool is great for toddlers to enjoy the summer months while cooling off. The pool comes with an umbrella stand to help shade toddles from the direct sun and also has a molded design on the bottom that helps with traction.

Physical Development

Water play helps encourages pretend play. Included with the pool are 3 funnel cups and a wheel that spins that encourage gross and fine motor skills. This pool allows for hours of fun with.

11. Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.7
Crayola 48 Count Sidewalk Chalk
Crayola 48 Count Sidewalk Chalk 2
Amazon Link
Safety
87
Durability
85
Physical Development
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.82

Trusted brand

Anti-roll surface

48 unique colors

Very dusty

Great sidewalk chalk not only engages your little one’s imagination, but it helps sharpen fine motor skills and flex their creativity. While most sets only come in the same old prime colors, Crayola provides kids with 48 unique color options. Plus, it is offered at a reasonable price point for years of continued use.

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Safety

Crayola knows that keeping kids safe is also important. Each piece of chalk has an anti-roll surface that prevents it from rolling down the driveway and onto the street. Basically, it has a squared-off surface that stays put when they set it down on the ground.

Durability

What we liked most about this set is that the chalk is big and bulky to fit great in small hands. Unlike other sets, the tips of these pieces are shaped like the end of a crayon for more precise creations. This set comes in a box with 48 unique colors that are bright and really pop on the sidewalk for an eye-catching creation.

Physical Development

What we love most about this set is that it flexes your little one’s creativity while they are also out in the sunshine breathing in the warm summer air. It comes in at a great price point with many pieces of different colors that are sure to last for multiple summers before they are all used up (or lost).

12. Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble-N-Go Deluxe

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble-N-Go Deluxe Toy Lawn Mower
Sunny Days Entertainment Bubble-N-Go Deluxe Toy Lawn Mower display
Amazon Link
Safety
85
Durability
86
Physical Development
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99

Easy to set up

No batteries needed

Makes mowing sounds

Requires a lot of solution

If your little one shows endless interest in you as you mow the lawn, it’s best to get them in training at a young age! One day, they will be old enough to help you actually mow the lawn. This mower won’t cut the grass, but it will spread a little joy in the form of big, happy bubbles!

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Safety

The great thing about this little mower is that it is ready to go right out of the box. Simply fill the “gas tank” with a standard bubble mixture and your little one is ready to get to work. As they push the mower, it plays mowing sounds like the real thing!

Durability

What parents love most about this option is that it doesn’t require the use of batteries to work. It includes a 4-ounce bottle of bubble solution with purchase, which your little one may burn through in an afternoon. The good news is that the tank is able to use most brands of bubble solution and works just a well.

Physical Development

Little ones love this little mower because it not only makes them feel like they’re using a real-life mower, but it produces hundreds of tiny little bubbles with mowing sounds as they use it! It’s very easy to set up and doesn’t require the use of batteries.

13. SkyNature Kids Play Tent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
SkyNature Kids Play Tent
SkyNature Kids Play Tent specs
SkyNature Kids Play Tent specs 2
Amazon Link
Safety
83
Durability
85
Physical Development
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.99

Waterproof materials

Easy setup

Good ventilation

Balls not included

Bring your little one the peace and quiet of their own home in your backyard with this play tent from SkyNature. This set is super quick to set up, and includes a ball pit in lieu of a front yard! Not only is this set incredibly fun and exciting for your little one, but it also comes in at a very affordable price point.

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Safety

What parents love most about this design is that it is super easy to set up and it is constructed from strong materials. The nylon exterior walls wick away moisture and are super easy to wipe down. The house is held up by strong PVC poles that simply lock together in place.

Durability

While there are a ton of outdoor tents out there on the market, the exterior ball pit os that makes this design unique. The downside to this design, however, is that the balls are not included with purchase. There are a lot of brands that offer replacement balls at a super affordable price point.

Physical Development

If you are in the market for something that is a little different than the standard play tents, this design from SkyNature does things a little differently. Parents love that it is super easy to set up and is made from very durable materials, and kids love crawling out of their front door right into a fun ball pit!

14. SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler
SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler display
Amazon Link
Safety
82
Durability
84
Physical Development
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$27.99

Easy setup

Various fun designs

BPA free

Leaky connections

Who doesn’t love running through the sprinklers? If your little one lights up like a Christmas tree every time you turn on the hose to water the lawn, they are bound to love this splash pool/sprinkler from SplashEZ.

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Safety

To set up, all parents need to do is blow up the outer ring that’s designed to hold a few inches of water in the splash pool. Then, simply hook up the hose to the connection on the side and turn on the water. Small spouts along the side create a sprinkler effect to keep your little one cool and happy on those hot summer days.

Durability

It is made from strong materials that hold up well over the years, and it is super easy to set up to get the fun started quickly.

The base of this splash pool offers a few different fun designs that your little one is bound to love. Design options include A to Z, around the world, and colored balloons. Each design option is also offered in bright and fun colors that are hard to resist.

Physical Developent

If you want something that will keep your little one cool in the heat of summer, this is a great option. It is super quick and easy to set up and folds up compact to store in the garage over the winter. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point.

15. Step2 Naturally Playful Sandbox

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Naturally Playful Sandbox
Naturally Playful Sandbox display
Amazon Link
Safety
82
Durability
84
Physical Development
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$139.99

Lid

No assembly required

Neutral color

Sand not included

Every childhood is punctuated by a great sandbox, and this design from Step2 is a great starter box for your little one. What we loved most about this option is that it comes with a lid to keep sand fresh in the rain and throughout the winter. Plus, there is absolutely no assembly required. Fill it up with sand and you are ready to go.

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Safety

The greatest thing about this design is that it comes with a tight-fitting lid. While wet sand makes the perfect sandcastles, dry sand is much cleaner for your little one and won’t stain their clothes. It also means that you can store this unit outdoors in the snow without the need to change the sand the following spring.

Physical Development

This design comes completely assembled as one piece, so all parents need to do is find a place to set it up. It is able to hold about 200 pounds of sand, which isn’t included, to provide hours of beachy fun for your little ones.

Durability

If a sandbox sounds like something that your little one would love, this design from Step2 is one of your best options. If you live in a part of the world with a wet or snowy season and want to keep your sand as clean and dry as the first day you bought it, this option will help you achieve that goal with the tight-fitting lid.

16. Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table
Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table display
Amazon Link
Safety
82
Durability
84
Physical Development
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$96.97

Easy setup

Cover for both sides

Dual chambers

Sand not included

Leaky plug

Can’t decide between a water table or a sandbox? Why not both! This design from Step2 provides the best of both worlds. One side holds a few inches of sand which are perfect for playing with trucks or building castles. The other side boasts a water table with fun waterfalls that will engage your little one for hours.

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Safety

This table stands to be 11.5 inches off of the ground and holds a modest amount of sand and water. The water table only requires 1.5 gallons of water, and the table holds about 15 pounds of sand (which is not included).

Durability

What makes this design unique is that it has a lid that covers the wide side or the sand side with a fun toy on top that your little one won’t realize is a cover. This ensures that your child will not ruin 15 pounds of sand by dumping all of the water into the sandbox!

Physical Development

This design is a great choice by helping to build your child’s sensory development, fine motor skills, and grow their imaginations. Parents love it because it comes in at an affordable price point, and it is super simple to set up to get the fun started!

17. JOYIN Splash Whale Yard Water Sprinkler

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.3
JOYIN Splash Whale Yard Water Sprinkler Lawn Sprinkler
JOYIN Splash Whale Yard Water Sprinkler Lawn Sprinkler 2
Amazon Link
Safety
80
Durability
83
Physical Development
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$13.95

Affordable

Easy setup

Fun and colorful

Needs to be anchored

Looking for more outdoor water fun without breaking the bank? This adorable little whale will keep your little ones cool and entertained all summer long. This design is small and compact for easy storage, and it is super easy to install. Our favorite feature of this design is that it comes in at one of the most affordable prices out there on the market.

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Safety

When the water is turned on, the 6 colorful hoses turn your backyard into a small water park. It is important to note that there isn’t a shut-off switch or the ability to adjust the water pressure, so you will need to turn off the water to turn it off.

Durability

This unit comes shipped all in one piece, so all parents need to do is hook it up to their hose and turn on the water and its time for the fun to get started. Kids love the fun and colorful whale that looks very inviting parked in the middle of the yard.

Physical Development

The most notable feature of this adorable little splash whale is that it clocks in at one of the most affordable price points of any of the other products making our list. If money is a little tight this summer, it is definitely worth giving this little guy a try!

18. Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon
Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon detail
Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon display
Amazon Link
Safety
78
Durability
79
Physical Development
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$99.00

High weight capacity

Trusted brand

Very durable

Slightly expensive

There is nothing as fun as being pulled in a little red wagon by a parent or an older sibling. What’s great about his design from Radio Flyer is that it is something that your little one won’t grow out of anytime soon. Plus, there is more than one way to play with a little red wagon.

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Safety

If you are simply going on walks around the neighborhood, your little one will love jumping in with a few of their favorite toys for a fun ride around the block. When playing in the yard, they can fill it with all of their favorite things for a tour around the back yard.

Durability

What makes this design great is that it is built like a tank. It measures to be 39.57 inches long, 17.56 inches wide, and 14.37 inches tall. It has a maximum weight capacity of an impressive 150 pounds. This means that your little one will more likely outgrow it when they head to college.

Physical Developement

If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand to bring a lot of fun and adventures this summer, this is a great option. It may have a higher price tag than many of the other options on our list, but it is something that you will get years and years of use.

19. HanShe Baseball and Golf Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.3
HanShe Golf Toy
HanShe Golf Toy details
HanShe Golf Toy display
Amazon Link
Safety
76
Durability
79
Physical Development
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$28.99

Affordable

Teaches fine motor skills

Great for families

Not very durable

If you are looking for something to help build hand-eye coordination and get your little one moving after a winter of being parked in front of the television, this sport set from HanShe is an excellent choice.

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Safety

This set comes with a set of plastic golf, clubs, tees, balls, and even a hard plastic golf bag. It also comes with a plastic baseball bat, balls, and an airball tee so that they don’t need a parent to pitch every time they want to hit the ball!

Durability

Parents love that it is made from quality materials that are safe for use, and kids love that it is packed with tons of toys for fun outdoor games with the whole family.

If you are in the market for something that gets your little one up off of the couch and running around the yard with the whole family, this sports set from HanShe is a great choice. Plus, it is offered at a very affordable price point that parents are sure to love.

Physical Development

Parents love that this unit introduces your little one to the world of sports. Teaching them how to play the game helps develop critical thinking and fine motor skills that will benefit them as they continue to grow.

20. Meland Kids Camping Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
74
Meland Kids Camping Set
Meland Kids Camping Set display
Amazon Link
Safety
75
Durability
73
Physical Development
74
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$36.99

Teaches camping lessons

Waterproof tent

Many accessories

Flimsy accessories

Your little one may be too small to take out into the woods on a camping trip, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting them familiar with camping right now! This set comes with all of the tools you would take on a real camping trip right in your backyard. It even comes with a tent that is the perfect size for your budding little camper.

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Safety

What makes this camping set great is that it comes with all of the things you find when camping in the woods - even the bugs! This set includes plastic tools such as a canteen, lanterns, magnifying glass, bug net, drawstring tote, toy swiss army knives, a watch, a compass, and even plastic bugs!

Durability

The tent is made from durable ripstop nylon that wicks away water and won’t tear or rip. It has a roll-up door that doesn’t zip closed for your child's safety and is perfect for indoor and outdoor playtime.

Physical Development

If you are ready to introduce your little one to the world of camping, this set is a great place to start. Your child will learn a lot about the outdoors and the tools they need when heading out on the trails when they get a little older.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Safety

A top priority for us was safety. While parents still should always keep an eye on their child, most of the products that we have listed are perfect for pretend play. It is also recommended that when looking for a toy for their child that parents also take a look at the recommended age for the toy before purchasing to make sure that it’s age appropriate. We also suggest that parents inspect the toy for sharp edges or damage before giving the toy to your child before play time. While it’s not likely that your product will get damaged during delivery, it is possible that it can happen.

Durability

When we sat down and began to create our list of the best outdoor toys for toddlers, the toys chosen needed to be suitable for the outdoors. We made sure that each toy on our list could withstand any condition that Mother Nature could surprise us with. We wanted toys that could provide shade which is a huge plus as they ensure longer outside time on those hot summer days.

Physical Development

Toys that encourage toddlers to play outdoors and use pretend play help their development. They need their gross- and fine-motor skills challenged while also encouraging their imagination. Playing outdoors allows toddlers to explore nature around them while running, jumping, and navigating the different terrain. This encourages balance and gross-motor skills. Adding toys to encourage fun outdoor play also allows them to explore their imagination while refining their skills.

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Parents, did you know?

We love our toys and some even offer a perfect outdoor play to help your child stay cool when the sun is hot, hot, hot. There are also several toys on our list that are extremely lightweight, which makes it easier for parents to move them. Even though many of these toys can withstand the rain, we recommend bringing them inside during severe weather just to ensure that they will last longer.

By doing this, it also prevents rust. Children shouldn’t play with toys that have accumulated rust as it is a definite safety hazard. Several of these toys are also versatile so your child can play with them indoors as well, so even if there is a rainy day, your child will still be able to play with their favorite toy.

Parents, Did You Know?

Many backyard toys are specially designed to encourage and promote the skills that toddlers already have while also giving them new skill sets as well. It is important for physical and mental development for toddlers to play outside while also inspiring their imaginations as well. Water play, pretend role-playing, and using games to exhaust their energy are added benefits of outdoor play.

Parents, Did You Know?

Imaginative play or pretend play introduces the ability to make-believe. This allows a toddler to learn to be something and is a huge concept for someone in this age group to master. It helps them pretend through play with encourages their social skills and gives them the curiosity to explore the world

Other Factors to Consider

Support

The toys on this list are researched for their price, features, and age range. We also review safety ratings for each toy and we want to make sure that anything on the list is the best and safest for the toddler using them. We review parent’s feedback for many toys and only select toys that their toddlers are currently using and enjoying.

We always consider those things when adding to the list. We feel confident with the toys selected on our list. Each toy has an appropriate age rating and encourages the development of a toddler.

Social Development

When toddlers play through pretend it encourages their imaginations while stimulating both their physical and intellectual development. It also teaches reason and problem-solving techniques. When a child is faced with a question or feeling during pretend to play, it helps how they would deal with the issue in real life.

It helps them create empathy and a way to sort out their feelings. When others join in on the play, it gives them a new layer of complexity. It helps to define roles, helps with communication between peers, and develops stronger social skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the best way to encourage toddlers to play outdoors?

a:

Toddlers are mastering their new-found sense of independence with their ability to walk, run, jump, and play. Being outside allows toddlers to explore new things while developing their sense of smell, sight, and muscles. When playing and pretending outside, they are able to explore the natural world around them while practicing balance and coordination. Encouraging outdoor play helps toddlers become more successful preschool and school-age children.

q: How do you know if the toys are challenging toddlers physically?

a:

Toddlers are physically challenged when using their coordination skills, fine- and gross-motor skills. When a toddler is developing, it is at a rapid rate. Being able to encourage toddlers to pour water into a funnel, kick a ball into a goal, and balance while completing an activity are many great ways to challenge them physically. You will see them building and refining the skill set each time they use the toys. They will soon master the skill and move on to something more challenging. It is important to encourage and play alongside with them.

q: How do you know if the toys are challenging toddlers mentally?

a:

Understanding logic and self-control are two of the biggest challenges for a toddler. As a parent, it is your job to help them learn and experience these challenges. Using best outdoor toys for toddlers that encourage logic and self-control is a good way to help them develop these skills. When you see your child acting out pretend play or sharing during playtime, this displays mental growth for a toddler. When you see them meet and exceed a challenge you know they being mentally challenged.

q: How do I know if the toys are safe for my toddler’s age group?

a:

To make sure that the toy is safe for a toddler’s age group you must check the label of the toy. By law, each toy manufactured must have a label that states the age group that the toy is safe to be used by. This label must be clear and easy to find. So make sure to check over each toy before purchasing. If purchasing the toy online, most retailers will include the age rating in the details of the item.

q: How do I find the toys listed on the list above?

a:

The easiest way to find the toys listed on the list above is to use a search engine on the Internet. Simply type the name of the toy that interests you in the search engine and it will return the results of where the toy is sold. Many major retailers have websites and many can tell you where the toy is located if you are interested in buying it physically and they often make it very easy to buy right there online.

q: How do I know if my toddler has outgrown his current toys and is ready for something new?

a:

You will know that your toddler is ready for a new set of challenges or toys when the current toys are no longer being given their attention. Often toddlers will no longer play with a toy or their attention span with the toy will lessen when they are ready to move on. Sometimes more times than not, more is less. Try either removing the current toys for a couple of days or having a rotation of toys. When you see them losing interest, also try to re-engage with them, maybe even showing them a new feature with the toy or playing with it in a different way. When the table is no longer engaging, you could switch the water for sand.

Sources

  1. Johnson, Christie, and Wardle, he Importance of Outdoor Play for Children, Blog Article
  2. Rae Pica, Take it Outside!, Online Article
  3. Claire McCarthy, MD, 6 reasons children need to play outside, Informative Article
  4. Mrunal, 10 Amazing Benefits of Outdoor Games for Kids, Informative Article