What Are Some Engaging Outdoor Toys For Toddlers?

Are you on the hunt for some engaging outdoor toys for toddlers? Look no further! In this article, we’ve got you covered with a variety of exciting options that will keep your toddlers entertained and active. From water tables to trampolines, we’ll explore some great choices that are perfect for outdoor play. So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and get ready to discover the perfect toys for endless fun in the sun!

1. Ride-On Toys

Benefits of ride-on toys

Ride-on toys offer numerous benefits for toddlers. Firstly, they promote physical activity and help develop gross motor skills as children learn to push themselves forward or pedal. Riding on these toys also helps improve balance and coordination. Additionally, ride-on toys can enhance cognitive development by encouraging imaginative play, as children create scenarios and stories while “driving” around. They also provide a sense of independence and allow children to explore their surroundings.

Types of ride-on toys

There is a wide variety of ride-on toys available for toddlers. Some popular options include:

  1. Push-along toys: These toys have a handle for parents to push while the child sits and steers. They are suitable for younger toddlers who may not yet have the coordination to pedal or push with their feet.
  2. Tricycles: Tricycles are three-wheeled bikes that toddlers can pedal themselves. They come in various sizes and styles, with some featuring fun designs and themes such as characters from popular shows or movies.
  3. Balance bikes: Balance bikes are similar to tricycles but do not have pedals. Children use their feet to stride and balance, helping them develop the necessary skills for riding a traditional bicycle later on.
  4. Ride-on cars: These toys mimic real cars and usually require a battery to operate. They often come with lights, sounds, and even a steering wheel, offering a more realistic experience for toddlers.

Popular ride-on toy brands

Various reputable brands specialize in ride-on toys for toddlers. Some well-known options include Fisher-Price, Little Tikes, Radio Flyer, Step2, and VTech. These brands prioritize safety, durability, and engaging designs to provide toddlers with an enjoyable and safe ride-on experience.

2. Tricycles and Balance Bikes

Advantages of tricycles and balance bikes

Tricycles and balance bikes have their own unique advantages for toddler outdoor play. Tricycles, with their three wheels, offer stability and are excellent for promoting balance and coordination. They allow toddlers to build confidence in pedaling and steering while cruising around the yard or park.

On the other hand, balance bikes provide a stepping stone to learning how to ride a traditional bike. By not having pedals, these bikes teach children how to balance and steer using their feet. This method helps toddlers develop a strong sense of balance and spatial awareness, making the transition to a pedal bike much smoother.

Choosing the right size

When selecting a tricycle or balance bike, it is crucial to consider the appropriate size for your toddler. A tricycle should allow your child to comfortably reach the handlebars and pedals while keeping their feet flat on the ground. Ensure that the seat is adjustable to accommodate your growing toddler.

For balance bikes, the height of the seat is essential. Your child should be able to sit on the bike with both feet flat on the ground. As they become more comfortable, you can gradually raise the seat height to encourage proper balance and leg extension.

Safety considerations

Safety is paramount when it comes to tricycles and balance bikes. Always ensure that your child wears a properly fitted helmet to protect their head in case of any accidents. It is also crucial to supervise your child, especially when they are just starting to ride.

Check the tires, brakes (if applicable), and any other parts regularly to ensure they are in good condition. Avoid riding on busy streets or areas with heavy traffic, and always choose areas where your toddler can ride safely, such as sidewalks or designated bike paths.

3. Outdoor Playhouses

Interactive playhouses

Outdoor playhouses offer a world of imagination and fun for toddlers. They come in various designs, from miniature cottages to pirate ships and castles. Interactive playhouses often feature doors to open and close, windows to peek through, and even built-in play accessories such as kitchens or workbenches. These features encourage imaginative play, social interaction, and role-playing activities, providing endless entertainment for toddlers.

Benefits of outdoor playhouses

Outdoor playhouses have numerous benefits for toddlers. They offer a space for imaginative and unstructured play, allowing children to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills. Playhouses also provide a sense of ownership and responsibility, as toddlers can take care of their own mini-home, arranging and organizing their toys and belongings.

Additionally, outdoor playhouses encourage physical activity. Climbing up stairs, crawling through tunnels, and jumping off small platforms all contribute to developing gross motor skills and coordination. Being outside in nature also promotes a sense of well-being and a connection with the outdoors.

Features to consider

When choosing an outdoor playhouse, consider the following features:

  1. Size: Ensure that the playhouse is appropriate for your toddler’s age and size. It should have enough room for them to comfortably move around and play.
  2. Material: Playhouses are commonly made of plastic or wood. Plastic playhouses are lightweight, easy to clean, and often come with vibrant colors and interactive elements. Wooden playhouses tend to be more durable and may offer a more natural and aesthetically pleasing look.
  3. Safety: Look for playhouses with rounded edges, secure doors and windows, and sturdy construction. Check for any potential hazards or sharp edges that could harm your child.
  4. Assembly: Consider the ease of assembly. Some playhouses require minimal assembly, while others may require more time and effort.

Remember to regularly inspect the playhouse for any signs of wear or damage and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance and safety.

4. Sand and Water Play Toys

Baby toys

Benefits of sand and water play

Sand and water play is highly engaging for toddlers and offers many developmental benefits. Playing with sand and water allows children to explore different textures, develop fine motor skills as they scoop and pour, and learn about cause and effect. It also promotes creativity and imaginative play as toddlers build sandcastles or create water channels.

Types of sand and water toys

There is an array of sand and water toys available to enhance outdoor play. Some popular options include:

  1. Sandboxes: A sandbox provides a designated area for sand play. They come in various sizes and designs, some featuring covers to protect the sand from weather elements or unwanted animals.
  2. Sand and water tables: These versatile tables allow children to play with both sand and water simultaneously. They usually come with compartments for each element, as well as various accessories such as scoops, shovels, funnels, and waterwheels.
  3. Sand molds and tools: Sand molds come in different shapes such as animals, vehicles, and buildings, allowing children to create detailed sand sculptures. Sand tools like shovels, rakes, and buckets can also facilitate different types of play.
  4. Water play toys: Water play toys include items like water guns, sprinklers, and watering cans. They add an element of fun and interaction to the water play experience.
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Safety tips

When engaging in sand and water play, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Supervision: Always supervise your toddler during sand and water play to prevent any accidents or potential drowning hazards.
  2. Hygiene: Ensure that the sand and water are clean and free from any contaminants. Regularly change the water and clean the toys to maintain hygiene.
  3. Sun protection: Apply sunscreen to your toddler’s exposed skin, provide shade, and encourage breaks from direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and overheating.
  4. Age-appropriate toys: Choose toys that are suitable for your toddler’s age and do not pose any choking hazards. Avoid small sand or water toys that can easily be swallowed.

By following these safety tips, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for sand and water play.

5. Swings and Slides

Different types of swings and slides

Swings and slides are classic outdoor play equipment loved by toddlers. They provide opportunities for physical activity, socialization, and sensory experiences. There are various types of swings and slides available, including:

  1. Toddler swings: These swings are specially designed for younger children, with secure straps or bars to keep them safely seated. They often have high backs for support and adjustable restraints to accommodate different sizes.
  2. Tire swings: Tire swings offer a different swinging experience, as toddlers can sit or lay down inside a tire. They provide a fun and unique way to swing and can accommodate multiple children at once.
  3. Slide sets: Slide sets come in different sizes and configurations, from small toddler slides to larger play structures with multiple slides of varying heights. They often incorporate other climbing elements, such as ladders or platforms, to enhance the overall play experience.
  4. Water slides: For warmer weather or if you have access to a pool, inflatable water slides can provide hours of refreshing fun. These slides are designed to be used with water, allowing toddlers to slide and splash.

Safety guidelines

Safety should always be a priority when using swings and slides. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  1. Age-appropriate equipment: Ensure that the swings and slides you choose are suitable for your toddler’s age and size. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight and age limitations.
  2. Soft surface: Place swings and slides on a soft surface such as grass, rubber mulch, or foam mats to cushion falls and reduce the risk of injury.
  3. Supervision: Keep a watchful eye on your toddler while they are playing, especially when using slides. Assist them on the equipment as necessary and teach them how to properly navigate the slide or swing.
  4. Regular maintenance: Inspect the swings and slides regularly for any damage or signs of wear. Check that the equipment is secure and stable before allowing your toddler to play.

Remember to reinforce proper playground etiquette with your toddler, such as waiting their turn and using the equipment appropriately, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Also Check: How to Choose a Safe & Practical Baby Gate for Your Home?

6. Ball Games

Benefits of ball games

Ball games are excellent for toddler outdoor play as they provide numerous physical and developmental benefits. Here are some reasons why ball games are beneficial:

  1. Gross motor development: Playing ball games helps toddlers develop their gross motor skills, such as running, jumping, throwing, and catching. These activities strengthen muscles and improve coordination.
  2. Social interaction: Ball games encourage socialization and cooperation. Toddlers can play together, take turns, and learn basic sportsmanship, fostering social skills and teamwork.
  3. Balance and coordination: From kicking a soccer ball to bouncing a basketball, ball games require balance and coordination. Practicing these skills helps toddlers develop body awareness and control.
  4. Cognitive development: Ball games allow for problem-solving and decision-making as toddlers learn to anticipate movements and strategize during play. They also stimulate cognitive development by introducing concepts like cause and effect and spatial awareness.

Variety of ball games for toddlers

There is a wide range of ball games suitable for toddlers. Some popular options include:

  1. Soccer: Miniature soccer sets with small goals and soft balls allow toddlers to practice kicking and coordination.
  2. Basketball: Toddler-sized basketball hoops and large foam or inflatable balls enable toddlers to learn basic dribbling, shooting, and coordination skills.
  3. T-ball: Soft T-ball sets with large foam balls and oversized bats introduce toddlers to the basics of hitting and hand-eye coordination.
  4. Catch games: Soft fabric or foam balls with Velcro patches or mitts are perfect for playing catch, improving hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
  5. Volleyball: Volleyball sets designed for young children feature a lower net and a softer ball, allowing toddlers to practice hand-eye coordination and teamwork.

Practicing motor skills through ball games

To enhance motor skills development during ball game play, try the following tips:

  1. Vary the activities: Introduce different types of ball games to engage various motor skills. For example, kicking a soccer ball requires different movements than throwing and catching a softball.
  2. Use age-appropriate equipment: Choose balls and equipment that are the right size and weight for your toddler to handle comfortably. This ensures that they can fully participate and reduces the risk of injury.
  3. Encourage practice: Allow your toddler to practice ball games regularly to build confidence and improve their skills. Support and encourage their efforts, celebrating small successes along the way.
  4. Provide a safe environment: Play ball games in an open area with minimal obstacles to avoid accidents. Ensure that the playing surface is suitable for running and provides enough space for various ball game activities.

By incorporating ball games into your toddler’s outdoor playtime, you can promote physical development, social skills, and cognitive abilities in a fun and engaging way.

7. Spray Toys

Fun with water spray toys

Spray toys are an exciting addition to outdoor play for toddlers, especially during hot summer months. These toys typically involve water, creating refreshing and energetic play experiences. Some popular spray toy options include:

  1. Splash pads: Splash pads are water play areas that feature built-in jets and sprays. They provide a safe and controlled environment for toddlers to enjoy water play without the need for a pool.
  2. Water guns: Water guns come in various sizes and designs, allowing toddlers to engage in friendly water fights or target practice. Choose ones that are easy for small hands to operate.
  3. Sprinklers: Sprinklers provide a fun way for toddlers to cool off and play with water outdoors. They come in different shapes and designs, such as rotating or animal-themed sprinklers.

Considerations for choosing spray toys

When selecting spray toys for your toddler, keep the following considerations in mind:

  1. Safety features: Ensure that the spray toys are age-appropriate and have appropriate safety measures in place. Avoid toys with small parts that may pose a choking hazard and always supervise your toddler during play.
  2. Durability: Look for spray toys made from durable materials to withstand outdoor use and rough play. Water-resistant materials or waterproof designs are important to prevent damage.
  3. Ease of use: Choose spray toys that are easy for your toddler to operate independently. Large buttons or handles that are suitable for small hands will enhance their play experience.
  4. Adjustable features: Some spray toys offer adjustable water pressure or spray patterns, allowing you to customize the play experience based on your toddler’s preferences and comfort level.

Creating a water play area

To create a dedicated water play area for your toddler, consider the following:

  1. Safety precautions: Always ensure that the water play area is safe and supervised. Use non-slip mats or towels to prevent slipping near water sources and set clear boundaries for play.
  2. Water source: Determine the water source for your spray toys, such as a hose, faucet, or portable water tank. Ensure that the water pressure is suitable for the toys you plan to use.
  3. Play surface: Choose a safe and suitable surface for water play, such as grass or a non-slip mat. It should be easy to clean and drain excess water.
  4. Toy storage: Designate a storage area for your spray toys when not in use. Consider using a bin or storage unit specifically for water play toys to keep them organized and prevent damage.
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Remember to encourage your toddler to engage in water play responsibly, respecting water conservation and the rules of play. With proper supervision and consideration of safety measures, spray toys can offer endless fun and enjoyment for your toddler during outdoor play.

8. Bubbles

Types of bubble toys

Bubbles are a simple yet fascinating outdoor play activity for toddlers. Various bubble toys are available to enhance the experience and ignite their imagination. Here are some common types of bubble toys:

  1. Bubble wands: Bubble wands come in different shapes and sizes, allowing toddlers to create bubbles of various sizes and patterns. They often feature character-themed designs, such as animals or popular cartoon characters.
  2. Bubble guns: Bubble guns are handheld toys that blow continuous streams of bubbles. They are easy for toddlers to operate and offer a more interactive bubble play experience.
  3. Bubble machines: Bubble machines are automated devices that generate a continuous stream of bubbles. They are perfect for large-scale bubble play, such as parties or outdoor events, and provide a mesmerizing visual effect.

DIY bubble recipes

Making homemade bubble solutions can be a fun and cost-effective alternative to purchasing pre-made bubble solutions. Here are two simple recipes you can try:

  1. Classic bubble solution:
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1/4 cup of dish soap (such as Dawn or Joy)
    • 1/4 cup of light corn syrup or glycerin

    Mix the ingredients gently, being careful not to create too many bubbles during the process. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour before use for optimal bubble production.

  2. Edible bubble solution:
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup of dish soap (such as Dawn or Joy)

    Heat the water until it reaches a simmer. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves completely. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. Once cooled, stir in the dish soap gently to avoid creating excessive bubbles.

Games and activities with bubbles

Bubbles offer various opportunities for fun games and activities. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Bubble catching: Challenge your toddler to catch as many bubbles as they can with their hands or a small net. This activity helps improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
  2. Bubble chain: Encourage your toddler to blow bubbles and link them together using their hands or wands. See how long of a bubble chain they can create.
  3. Bubble pop: Have your toddler try to pop as many bubbles as possible before they touch the ground. This game fosters hand-eye coordination and provides a playful exercise.
  4. Bubble art: Support your toddler’s creativity by giving them a large sheet of paper and a bowl of bubble solution. Show them how blowing bubbles onto the paper can create unique patterns and designs.

Remember to supervise your toddler closely during bubble play, especially when using homemade solutions, to ensure they do not ingest or get the solution in their eyes.

9. Outdoor Musical Instruments

Benefits of outdoor music play

Outdoor musical instruments offer a unique opportunity for toddlers to explore the world of music while enjoying the benefits of being outdoors. Here are some benefits of outdoor music play:

  1. Sensory stimulation: Playing outdoor musical instruments engages multiple senses, stimulating auditory, visual, and tactile perception. Toddlers can explore different sounds, rhythms, and textures.
  2. Emotional expression: Playing musical instruments allows toddlers to express their emotions creatively. They can experiment with different tones and melodies to communicate their feelings and experiences.
  3. Cognitive development: Toddlers develop cognitive skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and memory through music play. They learn cause and effect as they discover how their actions produce sound.
  4. Sensory integration: Outdoor music play helps toddlers integrate sensory input as they coordinate their movements and adjust their actions to create desired sounds. This improves their motor skills and coordination.

Types of outdoor musical instruments

Outdoor musical instruments come in various shapes, sizes, and materials to suit different preferences and age ranges. Some popular types of outdoor musical instruments for toddlers include:

  1. Xylophones: Colorful xylophones with metal or wooden keys provide a fun way for toddlers to explore different sounds and melodies.
  2. Drums: Child-sized drums made from durable materials allow toddlers to experiment with different beats and rhythms.
  3. Chimes: Metal or wooden chimes produce gentle and soothing sounds when struck by toddlers. They can be standalone or incorporated into larger musical structures.
  4. Rainmakers and shakers: Rainmakers and shakers are small percussion instruments that produce noise when shaken or turned. They are easy for toddlers to handle and create rhythmic sounds.

Engaging in sensory play

To enhance the sensory play experience with outdoor musical instruments, consider the following:

  1. Nature-inspired instruments: Opt for instruments with nature-inspired designs, such as leaves, animals, or flowers. These instruments can help toddlers connect with the natural environment and stimulate their imagination.
  2. Musical trails: Set up a musical trail by arranging instruments along a pathway or in different areas of the outdoor space. Encourage your toddler to explore and create sounds as they move through the trail.
  3. Improvisation and imitation: Encourage your toddler to experiment with improvisation by creating their own musical compositions using the instruments. You can also imitate each other’s rhythms and melodies, fostering imitation skills.
  4. Sensory materials: Incorporate sensory materials such as sand, water, or fabric into the musical play. Let your toddler explore the instruments through touch and feel, enhancing their sensory experience.

Remember to provide appropriate supervision and guidance during outdoor music play and encourage creativity and self-expression.

10. Sports and Activity Sets

Benefits of sports and activity sets

Sports and activity sets provide toddlers with opportunities for physical fitness, social interaction, and skill development. Here are some benefits of engaging toddlers in sports and activity play:

  1. Physical fitness: Sports and activity sets help promote physical fitness and overall health. Toddlers engage in active play, improving strength, coordination, balance, and cardiovascular endurance.
  2. Social skills: Playing sports and engaging in activities with others can enhance social skills. Toddlers learn cooperation, taking turns, and sportsmanship and develop friendships through team play.
  3. Skill development: Sports and activity sets allow toddlers to develop specific skills, such as throwing, catching, kicking, and balancing. Regular practice and play enhance their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  4. Confidence building: Achieving goals and improving skills through sports and activities can boost toddlers’ self-confidence and self-esteem. They gain a sense of accomplishment and learn to overcome challenges.

Examples of sports and activity sets

There is a wide range of sports and activity sets available for toddlers. Here are a few examples:

  1. Miniature soccer or basketball sets: These sets come with a small goal or hoop, a softball, and often include cones or markers for practice drills and skill development.
  2. Balance beam or obstacle course sets: Toddler-sized balance beams or obstacle courses encourage balance and coordination. They typically feature soft and safe materials to reduce the risk of injury.
  3. Miniature golf sets: Miniature golf sets designed for toddlers introduce the basic concepts of putting and aim. They often come with colorful obstacles and targets for added fun.
  4. Beanbag or ring toss sets: These sets promote hand-eye coordination and aiming skills. Children can throw beanbags or rings at targets to develop accuracy and focus.

Promoting physical fitness and coordination

To promote physical fitness and coordination with sports and activity sets, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Age-appropriate equipment: Choose sports and activity sets that are suitable for your toddler’s age and size. Consider their developmental stage, strength, and coordination abilities to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
  2. Active involvement: Engage in the activities with your toddler to provide guidance, model proper techniques, and foster a sense of partnership and connection. This helps them feel supported and motivated to participate.
  3. Variety of activities: Introduce a variety of sports and activities to keep your toddler engaged and expose them to different skills and challenges. This broadens their experiences and allows them to discover their preferences.
  4. Fun and positive reinforcement: Make sports and activity play enjoyable by incorporating elements of fun, such as colorful equipment or friendly competitions. Provide positive reinforcement and celebrate their efforts and achievements.

By encouraging your toddler to participate in sports and activity play, you can contribute to their physical and social development while instilling a lifelong appreciation for active lifestyles.


Engaging outdoor toys for toddlers provides a myriad of developmental opportunities. Ride-on toys enhance physical activity and imaginative play, while tricycles and balance bikes develop gross motor skills and coordination. Outdoor playhouses foster creativity and independence, and sand and water play toys offer sensory exploration and cognitive development. Swings and slides provide physical exercise and exciting play experiences, while ball games promote motor skills, social interaction, and cognitive development. Spray toys and bubbles offer refreshing and sensory play, and outdoor musical instruments engage children’s creativity and sensory integration. Finally, sports and activity sets promote physical fitness, skill development, and social skills. By selecting the appropriate outdoor toys for toddlers and creating a safe and stimulating environment, you can provide endless hours of enjoyment and learning for your toddler.