30 of the Best Outdoor Summer Toys for Kids
Updated: Jun 13, 2022
The warm weather is here, and the school year is coming to an end!
There are so many fun new outdoor toys for kids of all ages and it's a great way to get kids outside on those beautiful summer days.
I want my young kids to put away the tablets and video games to play outside as much as they can and use the outdoor space we have in the backyard.
There are so many great outdoor toys that are fun for the whole family to help improve their gross motor skills and to keep them active all summer long.
Check out some of our favorite outdoor toys to play with all summer long and that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
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1. Swing Set
A huge staple for any backyard play area. You can get swing sets in a wide variety of prices and materials. Some of the most common are the wooden swing set and the plastic swing set and can be purchased and delivered right to your door. They typically include swings, slides, monkey bars, a rock wall, and a playhouse. The larger swing sets can be enjoyed by your older children too.
Growing up, I had a plastic playhouse with a play kitchen. It stayed outside year-round, and it would get sprayed with the hose to get cleaned every Spring. Playhouses can be great for kids starting at a very young age and are perfect for imaginative play. My kids have a wooden playhouse right next to their swing set, and I made sure to get some of the best products, which we go out to play with every day.
My children both received push bikes once they became 1 year olds, and my daughter moved up to a big kid bike with training wheels when she got a little older. They make many different size bikes for children of any age. Bicycles are a great form of exercise for kids and are so much fun. You can get each of your children a bike helmet and you may find helmets that match their bikes as well.
Scooters can be fun just like bikes, but they take some coordination and balance to achieve. My daughter mastered her scooter by 3 years old and enjoys using her scooter when she’s not on her bike.
5. Roller Skates
If your child has great balance and coordination, you could start them on roller skates. I make sure to put a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads on my daughter every time she gets on because it's so easy to get injured on roller skates. Roller skates can be a lot of fun and they even make roller skates that light up. You can upgrade to roller blades as well if your child has mastered roller skates.
6. Bouncy House
Bouncy houses are not just for birthday parties anymore. You can buy all different sized bounce houses to keep at home. You can even get a bounce house with its own blower motor attachment. This was a great investment during the start of the pandemic, and we have used our bounce house for all of our children's birthday parties since.
An alternative to the bouncy house is purchasing a trampoline. They are made with net sides and protection over the springs now, unlike the trampolines I grew up jumping on. They are still dangerous, and many areas require you to follow similar safety precautions you need to follow for swimming pools, which includes inclosing them with a net fence and putting a lock on them.
On super-hot days, a sprinkler is a fun way to cool off. Just hook up your hose to the sprinkler and turn it on. You could spend so much time outside cooling off under the sprinkler. This is a great alternative to a swimming pool if you do not have one.
9. Splash Pad
The splash pads do not have as much water pressure behind then as a regular sprinkler, but they’re great for little kids. My husband and I even sat in the splash pad to cool off when we bought it. Some splash pads fill up with water like a mini pool as well and can be great to sit in to stay cool.
10. Sand Box
If you want to make a whole playground in your yard, you could add a sand box. They have many sand boxes with lids to keep the animals and critters out. It also helps to keep the sand box from filling up with water on rainy days. Little Tikes make some great sand boxes, and I grew up playing with their turtle sand box.
11. Water Table
If you like the water ideas, a water table is another way to cool off. There’s so many different water table options and you could send your kid out with bath toys as well. Many people put their water tables inside their house, but they can also be for outdoor use as well.
12. Bubble Machine
I feel like bubbles are such a popular activity for children. Sending my kids out to play with bubbles is great because they are so inexpensive and once you use up the bottle, you can simply throw it away. Bubble machines can keep children playing longer because you don’t have to stand outside blowing bubbles for your kids and you can make giant bubbles with the bubble machine. You could also look into getting a giant bubble kit or a giant bubble wand to keep your children busy.
13. Sidewalk Chalk
Inside our house, we have a chalk board the kids love to draw on, so it’s great to send them out with chalk in the summer to draw on the sidewalk and driveway. They can get so creative with chalk, and using the sidewalk and driveway gives them such a large canvas. The great thing about playing with chalk outside is clean up is very easy because it just washes away with the rain.
14. Basketball Hoop
You could look into adult basketball hoops to install next to your driveway or get a small plastic children’s basketball hoop. Either way, your child can get practice playing sports and exercise running around. All you need is a few basketballs, and your kids could be outside in your driveway playing all day.
15. Teeter Totter
They make some swing sets with built in teeter totters, but you can also purchase a separate one. Teeter totters remind me of the episode of Bluey where dad, Bandit, wouldn’t get off the teeter totter. This just proves they can be fun for all ages.
Hoverboards can be so difficult to use but are fun once you get the hang of it. It may look like your child isn’t getting any exercise using it, but it takes so much balance and upper body strength. You should try it yourself!
17. Obstacle Course
When I think of obstacle courses, I think of gymnastics and dance. You could put together your own obstacle course in the back yard for your kids to enjoy. This could include tumbling mats, tunnels to crawl through, hula hoops, balance beams, and more. They also make obstacle course sets you can purchase for your kids right in your back yard.
18. Balance Bikes
If you would like your child to practice their balancing before jumping on a regular bicycle with no training wheels, you could look into balance bikes. These bikes do not have pedals and do not have training wheels. It requires your child to focus on keeping the bike upright.
19. Water Slide
Your child could feel like they’re at a water park with a water slide in their own backyard. If you have a garden hose to wet the slide, you could purchase your own water slide and your kids could have fun all summer long. They also make water slide bounce houses, which would be double the fun.
20. Pogo Stick
Pogo sticks are great for big kids but can be a great toy to learn at any age. My daughter tried jumping on a pogo stick at 4 years old and was starting to get the hang of it. It was a huge hit for her and her friends and is something we would love to purchase to use in our outdoor play space.
21. Inflatable Pools / Kiddie Pools
On those very hot summer days, an inflatable pool would be a great investment for your yard. While a pool is not considered a toy because they can be dangerous, they are the perfect activity for hours of fun. I'm including inflatable pools on my outdoor toy list because it is the perfect way to get older kids and younger kids outside this summer and adults can join in on the fun as well.
22. Water Balloons
Make sure to grab a bag of water balloons this summer and let your kids use the hose to fill them up. Your children can practice their hand-eye coordination throwing water balloons at each other and they can stay cool in the process. They could make a fun game out of fun outdoor toys as simple as water balloons.
23. Stomp Rocket
Stomp rockets are one of the top picks for summer toys that encourage active play with outdoor toys and STEM learning. Your children could go on an outdoor adventure with their stomp rockets and take learning to the next level.
24. Sports Balls
If you child enjoys sports, you could get them so many different sport balls to encourage neighborhood outdoor games. You could look to purchase a soccer ball, football, baseballs, a basketball, and more. The best part about purchasing sports balls is they're inexpensive but can be used every day and are some of the best outside toys for kids. There are even many leagues your children can join over the summer to get them in team sports and playing outside even more.
If you have very hot humid summers, kites might not be ideal, but they can be great for windy days. A great place to fly kites is up on hill tops or near bodies of water where there tends to be more wind. I find the best time to fly kites is towards the beginning and end of summer.
26. Mud Kitchen
My children love to play kitchen inside the house, but a mud kitchen is a great way to encourage imaginative play outside and they don't have to get your house dirty. A mud kitchen can be used to play with water, dirt, and sand. This is a great alternative to a playhouse, sandbox, or water table.
27. Frisbee Golf
Frisbee Golf, or Disc Golf as it's commonly known as, is fun for children and adults of any age. It follows similar rules to golf, but it's played by throwing a frisbee or disc at a target. There are even frisbee disc golf courses you can play at.
28. Powered Riding Toys
Ride-on electric cars and trucks can be enjoyed by younger kids, typically under 100lbs. Many of the faster cars can be driven on grass and can even tow a simple wagon. They even make cars and trucks that can be controlled with a remote control in case your child is not able to drive it yet. This is a good option if you want to have the powered riding toy grow with them through the years.
29. Monkey Bars
Many parks have monkey bar towers the kids can climb on, but you can get them for your own back yard. Monkey bars are great for physical skills and can helps kids get past any fears they might have of heights.
30. Hanging Play Tent
Similar to a hanging netted swing, the hanging play tent is fun for children to sit inside and swing. They can typically hold more than one child and can be hung from a tree or a swing set.
It is so important to get your kids outside on nice days, especially if you live somewhere that gets snow.
You can find the right toys that won’t break your budget and will get your kids playing outside in new ways.
Hopefully you can find the perfect outdoor toy for your child for this summer to keep them playing outside longer.
Many outdoor toys even encourage open-ended play and are some of the best toys for kids over the summer when they're not in a classroom every day.
What kinds of outdoor toys have you purchased for your kids?
Do you have a top pick that keeps your child outside?
We would love to hear some of your favorite summer toys to add to our list of the best outdoor toys.
Feel free to comment below!