Best Outdoor Toys for Kids 2024

Outdoor play is fun and beneficial for kids! Toys can certainly be a part of the outdoor experience, and below are some of our best outdoor toys for kids. Whether the kids in your life are active or artistic, younger or older, or play solo or in a big group, here are some great choices to peruse!

Be sure to check out ALL our gift guides, they are regularly updated with our latest recommendations.

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Fun Outdoor Activities

Are you ready for some quality family time this spring while kids are out of school and stir crazy after a long winter indoors? Maybe you are looking to send a passel of neighbor kids outside for a couple of hours, or get a game going where both adults and children can participate.

Flag Football Set

You don’t have to be an NFL enthusiast to enjoy running around carrying a football on a brisk day. A flag football set comes with adjustable belts for players of any size and age, cones, a down marker, and a football. That former-high-school-football-star neighbor dad can go head to head with the kids in your family, and doesn’t have to worry about getting injured on a tackle.

A boy stands in a field wearing a flag football belt and preparing to throw a football.
My middle son gets ready to play some flag football.

CrossNet

CrossNet is honestly such a blast. We have pulled it out in a variety of settings, and literally everyone has loved it, from adults all the way down to five year olds. The poles can be adjusted for height, and it’s really portable and easy to set up. The four playing positions rotate quickly so no one is left waiting their turn for very long.

When playing with very small children, we like to use a large lightweight bouncy ball to make it easier on the smallest kids.

A group of children and adults play CrossNet in a grassy field.
Playing CrossNet with friends.

Lawn Skee Ball

Who doesn’t love a good game of Skee Ball? Now you can play it outdoors without the fluorescent lights and constant ringing of arcade games! You will also have to manage without the dispensing of tickets when you hit the big point total. Players simply roll the balls up the ramp and see which target circle they land in.

Kubb Viking Lawn Game

Maybe your group is a little more strategically-minded than the Skee Ball crowd. Try this headier game that dates back to the Viking age! Kubb Viking Yard Game calls for some thoughtful play, but also involves throwing sticks–perfect for the would-be Viking warriors in your family.

Art Toys

Sometimes a peaceful outdoor art project is just the activity that is needed. There are lots of outdoor-themed creative toys, and here are some that we have loved!

Rock Painting Pens

This artistic toy was a Christmas gift for one of our daughters, and it was even better than we had hoped! We opted for oil-based paint pens and a set of smooth rocks, and the designs she created were beautiful. They made lovely gifts from her as well. Of course you can find your own rocks if preferred!

A girl sits on porch steps painting rocks with paint pens.
My daughter painting some of her rocks.

Mandala Chalk Stencils

I have a couple of children who can’t get enough of chalk drawing. These beautiful Mandala chalk stencils can take their designs up a notch and even jump-start their creativity as they come up with ideas of their own.

A girl draws with chalk in a brick patio.
A little chalk artist in action.

HearthSong Outdoor Easel

Let the budding artists in your family take their talents outdoors to do some plein air painting in your backyard with this inflatable and washable outdoor easel. The idea of kids freely able to paint without concerns about paint on the walls or floors of the house is definitely appealing!

DIY Toys for Kids

Rock Tumbler

Rock tumbling is another way to give a toy that can also turn into future gifts! And it’s a fun way for kids to use the treasures they often discover while out hiking and exploring. The National Geographic Rock Tumbler Hobby Edition has a rubber barrel that is quieter than some other models out there, and comes with rocks to get you started.

Fairy Garden

My middle daughter loves to add to her fairy garden! This one even includes a solar powered light and glowing stones to add that extra special touch on long dark winter days. A fairy garden is fun for kids and adds sweet decorative charm to your home.

Two young boys wear smocks and paint white ceramic turtles for outdoor decor.
Friends painting turtles to add to fairy gardens.

DIY Birdhouse Kit

A do-it-yourself birdhouse kit gives kids a chance to flex their construction muscles as well as their artistic leanings. Plus, once the birdhouse is completed, it can be hung and become a draw for local birds–another way to get your children outdoors and engaging with nature! Build and paint it, and let the birds take it from there.

Gifts for Active Kids

There are some toys that just never get old and the rite of playing with them is passed down for childhood fun through generations. Several outdoor toys fit that bill and could be perfect for your children, or for adults looking to relive the glory days!

Pogo Stick

If you haven’t jumped on a pogo stick since elementary school gym class, it’s time for a refresher course! It might be a little tougher than you remember, so prepare yourself to be schooled by your children. A pogo stick is a perfect way to put that pent-up winter energy to good use.

Kick Scooters

A scooter is a great way for littler people to keep up with older siblings who are using roller blades, but any age can enjoy the speedy leg power! They come in two-wheeled and three-wheeled varieties so that no matter their size or ability, kids can join in the fun! This beginner scooter even comes with a resting seat.

Light-up Roller Blades

Rolling around on wheels is a timeless activity. Update the classic skate to blades, and even add light-up wheels for good measure. Outdoor basketball or tennis courts that sit empty for much of the colder months are the perfect smooth surface, ideal to be an open air roller rink!

A boy wearing black roller blades skates on a small pump track.
My son and daughter take advantage of an empty pump track to blade.

Stilts, DIY or store-bought

Stilts are truly a classic. If you or one of your children is a handy do-it-yourself type, you may enjoy the family project of building your own. For the rest of us, there are plenty of premade options available. Of course, you can always go really old-school and loop string through a set of large cans. Recycle some giant soup cans for some quality home entertainment!

Swimming Fun and Water Play

Kids love playing with water. And while some of us are in chilly climates, others of us get to enjoy warm weather year round, or at least often enough to want to be prepared!

Water Table

This water table is a great interactive way for kids to enjoy water. Lots of features show how water flows, filters, runs, spins, pours, and swirls. It’s a great preschool toy for kids learning about liquids through play!

Check out this genius hack for water tables… I wish I had done this!

Underwater Torpedo

My kids cannot get enough of pool time, and this underwater torpedo has been the source of a lot of hours of fun. It moves quickly through the water, creating a fun game for kids as they chase it around the water. I honestly love it too.

Two children play in a pool.
Two of my kids enjoying the pool.

Inflatable Pool Basketball Hoop

If you live in a warmer climate or have travel plans to one this winter, bring along an inflatable basketball hoop for the pool! No dribbling skills required. Just inflate and enjoy the fast and loose rules of swimming pool basketball, or take turns dunking from the diving board.

Things to Do in Your Backyard

Having some great backyard toys can make it easy for kids to enjoy being outside, even when the weather is chilly and the days are short. The limited hours between school and dinnertime can mean that the only daily outdoor time kids will get has to be in their own backyard!

Mud Kitchen

Many kids love nothing more than getting down and dirty in the mud, and there is evidence that shows it may be really good for them. With this adorable outdoor kitchen set, you can freely let them muddy up their own dishes and have a blast doing so! You can also build your own, but either way, make sure to get Kristin’s printable mud kitchen recipes from her post.

Camping Hammocks

Is there anything better than something that is a toy for kids and a source of relaxation for parents? A sturdy camping hammock checks both of these boxes. My kids have gotten hours of entertainment out of a hammock, enjoying swinging each other or reading alone. When they theoretically tire of it, it’s the parent’s turn! This kids hammock is a great hammock at a great price!

Check out our entire Hammock Shopping Guide!

Two kids relax in colorful hammocks in a wooded setting.
Relaxing in hammocks on a camping trip.

Ninja Line

If your kids want to level up from a backyard swing and test their ninja skills, try this ninja line from Slackers. They can strengthen their upper bodies and call it fun, as well as prepare to be future reality TV competition stars!

Best Swings for Kids

Sky Swing

Swinging is fun, but swinging on a giant swing with several of your best friends or siblings is even better! This sky swing can be added to your playset or attached to a sturdy tree branch, or you can get a metal or wood swing frame to hang your swing.

Swing Line

We love hitting up big playgrounds, but it’s not always possible to get out to one, and having a swing line in your own backyard can really save the day! This swing line from Slackers hangs between trees and makes it possible for your kids to have a blast at a home while you are free to supervise and do things around the house.

Two boys play on a backyard swing line among colorful fall trees..
My nephews enjoying their swingline.

Surf Swing

Another fantastic swing option is the surf swing! We attended an outdoor birthday party where one of these was present, and there was never a moment where a partygoer wasn’t on the swing with another waiting for their turn. I got to try it myself and, in addition to being a bit of a workout, it was so much fun!

Outdoor Climbing Toys and Trampoline

Geometric Dome Climber

Climbing is fun for kids, and it has the huge added benefits of increasing their overall muscle development, gross motor skills, and decision-making abilities! Set up a climbing dome in your backyard where they can get hours of beneficial playtime! Grab a kids hammock to attach and you can swing or relax in the dome.

Two small boys climb on a dome built of triangles in a backyard.
Enjoying climbing on their dome in the backyard!

Rope Ladder

Another way to flex those climbing skills is with a rope ladder! It can be anchored to the ground for added balance for kids as they climb up to a tree, a swingline, or a treehouse. Bonus: if you attach it at an angle, someday they could win a giant stuffed animal for their skills at a fair.

Trampoline

Nothing is better for getting out those winter wiggles than a thousand bounces on a trampoline. It’s also a great way for parents and kids to play together–my kids love when I go out and play “butt bounce” with them! Try a trampoline from Springfree, which includes great safety features unique to their products. This is Amelia’s favorite trampoline by far.

For even more safety on the trampoline, try an in-ground option! No more worries about falling between springs or tearing net barriers three feet above the dirt. Avyna Trampolines can take your backyard trampoline game to the next level.

Six children jump on a backyard trampoline.
Family jump time on the trampoline.

Baby Outdoor Toys

Babies love to be outside! They will be pretty happy turning rocks or grass into a toy, but in case that’s not your first choice, here are some other options for baby outdoor toys.

Baby Play Mat

This playmat is lightweight, packable, and washable, making it ideal for your outdoor baby. It comes with a carrying case and includes some simple hanging toys for extra fun, while not overstimulating your little one, who is taking in the natural excitement of the world’s largest playground!

Little Tikes Slide

We got a Little Tikes slide when our second child was a toddler. She’s 15 now, and we still have that same slide, having been heavily used by her five younger siblings as well. Talk about a sturdy and worthwhile toy! Our babies started using the slide before they could walk, and had a blast with it well into their preschool years.

A toddler boy climbs up a small plastic slide.
A well-loved toddler slide.

Mini Sensory Seat

This unique and versatile outdoor toy is a perfect opportunity for your little one to work on those important gross motor skills. Set the seat in your backyard and let your little one roll around, laugh, giggle, and breathe in that fresh air.

Best Outdoor Gifts for Kids

Giant Bubble Wands

These Giant Bubble Wands are the real deal. My kids had an absolute blast creating the biggest bubbles I have ever seen using these wands. Just fill a bucket with your favorite bubble mixture and go to town with bubbles bigger than your children!

Girl stands outside behind a giant soap bubble.
These bubbles were so impressive!

Toy Excavator

A major component of childhood play is mimicking adult responsibilities, and play-acting as a construction worker is a favorite! Put this Big Dig and Roll Excavator in your sandbox or dirt patch and kids can blend “work” and play for hours.

Stomp Rockets

These entertaining toys are a lot of fun for young feet, as they see how high they can make the rocket fly off the stand. It’s like the backyard preschool version of a state fair strongman hammer game, but this time no one gets stuck with a grizzly-sized stuffed animal as a prize for the best stomp.

Outdoor Toys for Teens and Tweens

Big kids like toys too! And they need outdoor time just as much as their younger selves, so here are a few ways to draw them outside without making it a chore.

Tiki Toss

It’s amazing how much fun can be had from a simple game like Tiki Toss! Attach the backboard to the side of your back porch or garage, set up the hook and pole, and let kids compete over who can swing the ring just right to snag the hook! It’s a fun and friendly competition game ideal for preteens and teenagers. My kids rate this game A+!

Flint and Steel Fire Starter

While this isn’t a traditional toy, learning survival skills can be a lot of fun for an older kid. A gift of a flint and steel fire starter is not only enjoyable for a tween or teen, but it triples as a science experiment and survival training! Win-win-win!

Three children roast marshmallows around a fire in a firepit.
My children and nephew enjoying the fire they built.

Remote Control Car

If you have an older kid that really enjoys tech, why not take it outside? These rock crawler remote control cars are great entertainment to take to a dry creek bed and see what they can do! They come with an additional battery pack to extend the fun.

Inflatable Lounger

An inflatable lounger is a perfect outdoor toy for an older kid because they have to run to inflate it, but then they can just sit and chill in relaxed outdoor comfort. There are tons of options, including lots of really engaging patterns from Chillbo Swaggins.

Enjoy Fun Outdoors!

Any of the toys above will provide lots of fun outdoors for your family! With them, you can look forward to lots of togetherness and entertainment just at your own home or local park, no matter your age, interests, or abilities.

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Best Outdoor Toys for Kids 2024

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