10 Sports Toys for Toddlers in 2023
Sports are a great way for children and adults alike to improve their athleticism, as well as building a healthy respect for teamwork and discipline. While many sports are too complicated for toddlers to fully understand, it’s never too early to start them along the path to active engagement and good sportsmanship.
Below, we’ve collected ten of the very best sports toys on the market. Choose between bats, balls, goals, hoops, putters, and pucks. Your little one can benefit immensely from even just the very basic skills necessary to get in the game. Put on those jerseys, whip up your favorite snacks, and watch your favorite little stars score!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research
Includes air pump for ball
Fun, colorful goal set up
Goal flips two different ways to accommodate different heights
Includes kid-sized ball
Easy set up and take down for travel
- Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set
- AppleRound 8.5 Inch Playground Balls
- Sportstastic Activity Center
- Little Tikes Totsports Easy Hit Golf Set
- Game Time Sports Climber
- Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set
- Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set
- VTech Smart Shots
- Move2Play Talking Football
- BO Toys and Gifts Set of 4
10 Awesome Sports Toys for Toddlers Reviewed
1. Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set
Includes air pump for ball
Fun, colorful goal set up
Goal flips two different ways to accommodate different heights
Includes kid-sized ball
Easy set up and take down for travel
Ball is very small
They shoot; they score! This colorful Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set is the perfect goal for hours of fun. Set the goal up in your backyard with the toddler-friendly soccer ball and teach your kids the ropes--figuratively and literally. Flip the goal over to change its height for younger children.Read more
Suitable for ages 2 and up, this kit is a great way to get children up and running, while teaching them the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and also improving their fine-motor skills and aim. It’s lightweight and easy to break down, making it a great option for families that enjoy getting out on the weekend and taking day trips to the park or to visit friends and relatives in the area.
It’s portable, adjustable, and super kid-friendly, this soccer net, and ball are the perfect kit. One of the best features of this is the fact that it can be brought anywhere. It will fit right in your backyard and with the adjustable height, siblings can play together and still be accommodated. Since it can be adjusted, the height is also great for toddlers. You can teach them the skills they need to become the next world soccer champion.
Your little World Cup star can shoot their goals right from their own backyard with this set. Soccer helps improve endurance, motor skills, coordination, flexibility, and teaches kids how fun teamwork and healthy competition can be. One of the most important skills that soccer - or many other sports - can teach your child is teamwork. By working with a team, your child will learn important lessons about communication, support and making compromises. Plus, your child might even make a few friends in the process.
2. AppleRound 8.5 Inch Playground Balls
Four balls included
Easy to inflate and deflate
Vibrant, kid-approved colors
Durable PVC material
Textured for no-slip grip
These balls can get some force behind them so kids will need to be careful when playing with friends or near breakable objects
They’re colorful, they’re versatile, and there’s four of them: what more could you ask for? These playground balls come in a four-pack of red, yellow, green, and blue fun.Read more
Playing catch with kids or rolling the balls between each other is a great way to improve motor skills and teach them the different causes and effects in the way you pass the ball around (throwing, bouncing, rolling, kicking, etc). These balls are easy to kick, catch, and dribble, so take your pick.
They’re textured for a no-slip grip, 8.5 inches in diameter, and come with the necessary pump to inflate them. These balls are perfect for plenty of fun playtime sports, from simple games of catch to kickball. They’re super bouncy, which toddlers love, and suitable for children ages 1 and up, so you can get a pretty wide range of use out of them. The ball is constructed of a high-quality, durable PVC, and contains no US banned phthalates or heavy metals.
Pump up or deflate the balls easily if you need to travel more compact, then get out there with your little one and show them how it’s done! These are great to roll between each other and help toddlers form connections with each other.
3. Sportstastic Activity Center
Easy outerwall storage of ball and bat
Three sports for variety playing
Slide and step for active playing
Perfect toddler size and sturdy
Great for independent and supervision-free play
Could be too small for older toddlers.
The Sportstastic Activity Center is the perfect toy to get your toddler active. This 3-in-1 sports center can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors. Equipped with a soccer goal, baseball bats, plastic bat, hoop, and a ball, your little sports fan can practice all of their favorite sports. The fun doesn’t stop there.Read more
The bright colors of the play center will stimulate their sensory development. All of the activities will increase their fine-motor skills. Whether they are throwing the ball into the hoop or trying to hit the baseball, they will be strengthening the muscles in their arms as well as increasing their spatial awareness.
This center also includes a mini-slide and a step for your little one to enjoy. The center is lightweight, thus moving it around the house or outdoors is a breeze. Composed of plastic, this center will survive countless practice sessions held by your child.
You won’t have to worry about losing the accessories or having them clutter your home because each one has its own storage space on the outer wall. As your child tries to hit the tethered baseball they will be improving their hand-eye coordination. This can also teach kids responsibility since they will be cleaning up after themselves.
4. Little Tikes Totsports Easy Hit Golf Set
Great for indoor and outdoor play
Made for all floor surfaces
Easy storage cart for toy accessories
Durable and sturdy plastic for heavy hitting
Great fun for multiple children to play.
Golf balls could be too oversized
Your little one can start training to be the next Tiger Woods with the Little Tikes Totsports Easy Hit Golf set. Your child can play with friends as this set includes 2 golf clubs and three golf balls.Read more
Also included is a plastic goal, or in this case a “hole,” so your child can have a target to aim at no matter where they end up golfing. The balls are made to roll across any terrain so your child can golf inside, in their backyard, or even at the beach. The Little Tikes Totsports Easy Hit Golf Set is perfect for your little aspiring golfer. Your child will develop their motor skills and coordination as they learn how to properly swing and hit.
The included cart serves as a great storage space for the clubs and balls. The cart rolls, so your child can feel like a real golfer as they carry their clubs from tee to tee. The handle of the cart is thick, which makes it easy for tiny hands to grasp.
Plus, the toy will also enhance your child’s social skills and teach teamwork as the toy is multiplayer. The toy can be played indoors or outdoors, giving your child healthy options to play with and is made for heavy hitting so your child can give it all they got without the toy being easily damaged.
5. Game Time Sports Climber
Meant for ages 18 months to roughly 8 years old
Features an open design
Comes with drain holes
Stimulates early homemaking skills
A range of imagination-stimulating features
Some reviews state this product is not durable
Pieces may not line up to be an exact fit
Want to train your tot like some world-class professional athlete? We suggest getting the Game Time Sports Climber as this will simply push your kid to move on all fours and develop agility, flexibility, strength, precision, and endurance, all in one fantastic play set. While Game Time is not necessarily an exclusive sports toy, it does make up for it by including three of the most famous sports in mankind’s history: football, and soccer.Read more
Adding to the thrill of intense physical activity is a crawl-through tunnel which can really help strengthen the leg and arm muscles of toddlers while teaching them to keep their balance. The ladder going up the platform and onto the gently sloping slide are perfect for improving cardiovascular endurance as kids will have to run around the Game Time to climb up the ladder before sliding on the other side. There’s also a toss-through wall for kiddos who prefer playing the quarterback on their imaginary dream NFL team.
This playhouse is designed with you and your child in mind! Its adorable and aesthetically pleasing design will provide a fortress of imagination for your little one. The colorful style will inspire and promote sibling bonding and long-lasting memories. This toy can be used as both an indoor and outdoor toy. There are drain holes conveniently located around the floor to ensure the floor of the playhouse does not become flooded. This house is designed to model a real house, giving your child a variety of features and cute additions to give your child’s playhouse the most efficient in authenticity. The sense of independence and imagination this will provide your child are essential to brain development. Some features include a real flower box and built-in shelves. These features are not only an adorable replication but also useful in helping your little one keep their things organized and together in one place. Gardening and homemaking are two skills helpful for those college days when your little one is finally out on their own! They'll have you to thank for their ability to thrive as an individual.
It’s not all physical play, of course. When tots play with their friends on Game Time, they eventually learn teamwork, cooperation, and even waiting turns. These can help facilitate the much-needed social interaction skills of toddlers. It also helps build on their language and communication skills. Like all amateur and professional athletes, starting on the right foot is essential. Game Time makes sure of this.
6. Little Tikes TotSports T-Ball Set
Height adjustable for different toddler sizes
Unique hang-on-wall design provides easy storage
Great fun for multiple children play
Rewarding and easy to play
Improves baseball and development skills
Ball material might be too hard surface
This t-ball set is an excellent toy for developing your toddler’s spatial and kinesthetic awareness. With practice, he or she can make very accurate estimates of the trajectory of a speeding ball to make precision hits or even catches.Read more
While it may still be too early for him or her to join the little league, you can create a league of his or her own right in your backyard with the TotSports T-Ball Set from Little Tikes forming the base and focus of your tot’s training. The t-ball is designed with simplicity in mind and with superior ease of hitting the ball propped onto the “T”. The bat itself has an unusually large head which makes it very easy to hit the ball with just one fluid motion.
The handle or the neck of the bat is designed to be as slim as possible to enable your kiddo to effortlessly wrap his or her hands on the entire circumference of the handle. This ensures more balance and greater force in taking the swing. All your kid needs now is the applause from adoring fans as well as cheers from his or her teammates urging him or her to send that ball flying all the way to the bleachers.
The Little Tikes Totsports T-Ball Set is perfect for your little aspiring baseball star. Your child will develop their motor skills and coordination as they learn how to properly swing and hit. Plus, the toy will also enhance your child’s social skills and teach teamwork as the toy is multiplayer. This toy will give your child a rewarding experience that can develop into a love for baseball, sports, and physical activity. The toy will grow with your child as it is height adjustable and is made for easy hang-on-wall storage.
7. Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set
Height adjustable for different toddler sizes
Large sized rim for easy scoring
Toy balls are easy to grab, hold and carry
Improves basketball and development skills
Rewarding and easy to play
Sand needed in base to aid stability
Hoop net can easily come off
If your child dreams of joining the NBA or WNBA the Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball set is going to have them grinning from ear to ear. The set includes a goal and three junior sized balls. When purchasing you can choose between a blue and red goal with orange balls or a pink and purple goal with pink balls.Read more
As they grip the balls and shoot they will be improving their fine motor skills. Aiming for the goal will increase their spatial awareness as well as their hand-eye coordination. With every shot they make, their confidence will increase.
Both the goal and the balls are made of plastic. Not only does the plastic guarantee durability but it also guarantees safety as your child won’t get hurt if accidentally hit. The goal has a six height adjustment system which allows it to be set at a height between 2 to 4 feet. The goal can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors. As your child gets older and stronger, you can add sand or water to the inside of the base for stability.
The durability of the plastic and the height adjustment system will allow your child to enjoy this goal as they grow. With three balls, your child can stand in one spot and practice their shots independently or they can improve their social skills and play with friends. When they play with friends, they will learn how to cooperate as well as develop a healthy sense of competition.
8. VTech Smart Shots
Over 50 fun animations, sounds, and phrases
Mini hoop and ball
Kid-friendly soccer ball and goal
Learn and discovery mode introduces shapes
Fun light up scoreboard counts points
It is a little on the small side, so bigger tots might not get much out of this
The VTech Smart Shots Sports Center has been at the top of many kids’ wish lists for years. This 2-in-1 basketball and soccer center features a mini hoop and a soccer net. An animated light up LED scoreboard keeps track of up to ten baskets, and plays fun, supportive animations, sounds, and phrases when children score. Pull the purple lever on the side to restart the scoreboard and play again.Read more
Shaped buttons are designed to introduce shapes, numbers, and sounds to little ones. The VTech Smart Shots Sports Center comes with over fifty songs, sounds, and phrases. The set also contains a ball appropriately sized for toddlers, and made out of softer material than regulation balls, allowing everyone to play safely.
This set is a great starter for kids who are working with hand-eye coordination and motor skills. The basket isn’t so high that they actually have to aim and shoot, and the soccer net is wide enough that with some practice, they can get the ball into the goal! Pros
This fun little setup is cute and compact, with lots of different textures for young ones to explore. They’ll get plenty of exercise as well as being stimulated mentally. You can’t go wrong with such a multi-faceted play center!
9. Move2Play Talking Football
Has smart reaction sensors
Made of soft plush
Includes 3 AAA batteries
Has a volume knob to control how loud the reactions get
Some parents thought the reactions were annoying
The Move2Play Talking Football is a great toy to introduce your little champion to the wonderful world of sports. Made with smart reactions, this football can detect different types of movement. However, one of the best parts of this toy is the fact that your child will learn to throw and catch.Read more
The Move2Play Talking Football inspires physical development in more ways than one. With its intelligent, smart reactions, this football can recognize when your child throws, catches, taps or shakes it, and then it responds accordingly. This type of activity inspires fine motor skills, especially since it speaks too! The football reacts with responses such as “Biggest Throw,” “Hail Mary and “Softest Catch.” It is the perfect way to get your kids outdoors, active and learning new skills.
This toy is made from some of the best materials, and it can be used indoors and outdoors. The Move2Play Talking Football is made of soft plush, which is even softer than nerf material. It is even machine-washable! Additionally, this toy has specially-made smart reaction sensors, which recognizes when your child throws, shakes, taps it or more.
One of the best things about sports is your child can learn how to be on a team. Besides learning things like throwing, catching and kicking, sports teach kids how to share, compromise and communication. The Move2Play Talking Football enhances these benefits significantly, as the football reacts to your child. You can teach your toddler how to throw and catch, and as you do that, you will bond. Sports are a fantastic way to bond with your child.
10. BO Toys and Gifts Set of 4
Soft foam material
Four total balls
Sized to fit kids’ smaller hands
Great for outdoor or indoor use
Shaped and designed just like real sports balls
These truly are soft, so kids who like to bite or aggressive pets can tear these apart pretty easily
This set contains a little of everything; whether you’re a soccer fan, basketball buff, tennis enthusiast, or football aficionado, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. The BO Toys set includes four foam balls designed for growing sports fanatics. They’re made to look and feel like traditional balls but are much lighter and safer for young children to use.Read more
These are best suited to slightly older toddlers, as little ones who are still teething are likely to try to bite through the soft, spongy material. BENEFITS These balls are perfectly sized for smaller hands, allowing toddlers to work hand-eye coordination, focused muscle groups, dexterity, and more. They’re soft, so if you want to play beginners’ catch together, you don’t have to worry about bruises or bumps.
This set is perfect for the beach, pool, or backyard--but they’re also soft enough to be used indoors. Each football is scaled down for little hands, but not so small that they’re comical or difficult to use as intended. The football measures six inches, the basketball and soccer ball are both five, and the tennis ball is three.
It’s a good variety of sports all in one pack. The smallest ball could be used for tennis or for baseball. The soft foam makes it easy to catch and throw without risking injury, even for tots. Your little one can learn all these different sports with friends, and they can work on teamwork.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
A sports toy that doesn’t encourage physical activity is not a true sports toy. The sports toy needs to encourage physical activity whether it’s throwing a ball, sliding down a slide or even swinging a bat. Physical activity in sports toys help to develop a toddler’s motor skills, coordination skills and even balance skills while keeping them actively fit.
A sports toy needs to grow with your toddler from their early stage up until their later and final toddler stages. Such a sports toy will help aid in continuous development that can last a lifetime. This also includes the materials of the sports toy too. A sports toy that is very durable and sturdy will not only last through the toddler stage but provide safety as well.
Everyone knows that sports are important for children. These help in their physical, emotional, psychological, and social development. While it is quite easy to introduce your child to sports, a more pressing question is what kind of sports your 2 to 4 year old child should play. This is a great way to get your little one involved and have them learn valuable social and relationship skills.
It is important to understand that toddlers and preschoolers are just beginning to master different movements, many of which are still considered to be very basic. If you let them engage in highly organized sports like soccer, baseball, or basketball, they may be too young to understand the rules of the game. Experts say that toddlers don’t gain any form of long-term advantage related to future sports performance if they engage in organized sports at an early age. That being said, they will benefit a lot better from unstructured free play. For this, the following activities are deemed best.
While running, throwing, and catching are essential movements in baseball and football games, these should not be construed as competitive in nature. The “teams” that are formed in toddler sports are nothing more than kiddie classes designed to encourage cooperative play. Competition for kids at this level is unheard of and should be kept that way. Studies reveal that competitive sports are very stressful for children below the age of 7 or 8.
The best sports that toddlers should go into are those that focus only on fun without winners or losers. There should also be no imposition of right or wrong ways of playing the sport. Toddler sport is all about having fun. With these 10 sports toys in 2019, you can guarantee kiddie fun and a whole lot more.
Other Factors to Consider
A sports toy top priority should be safety. A safe sports toy will prevent scratches, cuts and bruises while also preventing minor to major injuries. Sports toys that are safe are constructed with top-quality, toxic-free materials, are made to withstand heavy activity and are just the right safe size for toddlers.
Yes, the materials of which a sports toy is made are important, but so is the overall design of a product. Does the toy bounce? Can it be kicked? Is it round or square? What will it teach your child? All of the items on this list are well-designed and will thoroughly entertain your child. The designs of these products vary, but they all have one thing in common: they will all delight your child. Some of the products on this list talk, some of them are portable, but they are all designed with toddlers and children in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why are sports toys important for children?
Sports toys can help teach children not only how to play sports but essential sports skills that can be applied in other areas of their lives such as teamwork, fair play, respect for themselves and others and even honesty. Sports also will help to encourage a long-term involvement with physical activity and enhance focus on physical health, growth and development.
q: Which children should play sports toys?
Virtually all children can play sports and there are plenty of sports toys for children of every age, developmental level and even physical, and mental ability. If your toddler happens to be super active and can never sit still, even for a minute, sports toys can help burn energy and keep them occupied with fun, active entertainment that can last for hours.
q: What are the benefits of sports toys for children?
The benefits of sports toys for children are endless but the most common ones are physical activity, lifelong health, social skills, self-esteem and learning success.
Physical activity in sports provides exercise and development of motor skills, balance and coordination.
Lifelong health in sports builds a foundation in wellness that supports the body and mind.
Social skills in sports will develop teamwork and communication abilities.
Self-esteem in sports creates a positive impact and builds an “I CAN DO IT!” attitude.
Learning success in sports teaches hard work and dedication.
q: What are the best sports toys for children?
For toddlers, the best sports toys help to master basic movements and are made for unstructured free play. Sports that encourage running, tumbling and throwing, to name a few, will help develop motor skills, coordination skills, spatial skills and build a foundation for organized, structured sports in the future.
q: How will sports toys keep my child interested?
The best way to keep your toddler interested in sports is to choose sports toys that provide a variety of play options, can be played with other toddlers and be used in multiple spaces such as indoor/outdoor. Make sure the sports toy allows for independence and give them praise for their efforts even if they “lose.” Another good idea is to let them choose the sports toy and even participate in playing with your toddler and their sports toy.
q: Where else can I discover sports toys?
You should start with the Born Cute “10 Sports Toys for Toddlers in 2019” list: Click the link of the sports toy that interests you and when you arrive at the Amazon page for the sports toy you selected, scroll down to the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” or “Customers Who Bought This Brand Also Shopped For” lists. Those two lists can give you a great starting point in discovering other sports toys.
Another option is to speak with physical education teachers and sport coaches that can help with choosing sport toys for your child.
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