Best Toys for Outdoor Play

25 Best Toys For Encouraging Outdoor Play

We have done our research and gathered the best toys for outdoor play that just enhance time outside for kids. There’s no replacement for a great stick, but sometimes encouraging time outside is helped by quality toys.

Note: This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through them. 

Check out this guide and then be sure to head here for ALL our guides for 2019 – our team has worked hard to gather our very favorite recommendations.

Outdoor spaces provide a perfect setting for children to learn, adventure, and let their imaginations run wild. Trees become pirate ships, bushes become forts, worms become special pets, sticks become weapons and sidewalks become balance beams.

This is why toys and games we use exclusively outside are some of our children’s favorite things.

The consequence of combining their natural world playground and toys that inspire active play, movement, art, learning, and their imagination is many hours spent happily outside .

This posts highlights some of our favorite toys/games for facilitating outdoor adventures and play for your child from Fat Brain Toys.


Outdoor Toys that inspire Active Sport Play

Best Toys for Outdoor Play

Most children are naturally active with a surplus of energy. Sport activities are great at teaching children patience, strategy, teamwork, etc. and they’re especially great for burning off excess energy. This is why we love outdoor toys that encourage active play.

Some of our best family memories have been made playing soccer in the front yard, balancing on our slack line and having “how high can we bounce the bouncy ball” competitions. See below a round up of some awesome toys that encourage active sport play!

Kickback Soccer Goal

Waboba Moon Ball

Ogosports Disk 

Ninja Line

5 Ways to Add Fun at the Campsite

Plasma Car

Stomp Rocket


Outdoor Toys that Inspire Art & Playful Movement

Best Toys for Outdoor Play

Children love to freely express themselves through art and playful movement. Our driveway is regularly covered in sidewalk chalk drawings and our girls love to make giant bubbles, swing on our round tree swing, play in sprinklers and fly kites (until the kite gets caught in a neighbor’s tree and the fire department has to save the day…we recommend saving kite flying for a wide open space).

Below are some fun outdoor toys that encourage artistic expression and playful movement.

Sidewalk Chalk

Sand & Snow Stompers 

Bubble Wand 

Giant Parachute 

Swing-A-Ring Tree Swing

Sprinkler 

Airplane Drone 

Spinbox Kite 


Outdoor Toys that Inspire Learning

Our oldest daughter is an insect, bird and animal lover. This trait is not something passed on by me but we’ve never regretted any of the extra things we’ve bought to encourage this passion. She regularly collects bugs and monarch caterpillars, “studies” them and then sets them free.

She sets birdseed out so she can identify different birds, and earlier this year she wanted a rock tumbler for her birthday. We love that her interest in her natural environment provides opportunities to teach her how to respect it and that we’re also learning more about our natural world right along with her.

These toys help just that – enhance a study of the natural world!

Kidnoculars

Rock Tumbler 

Butterfly Garden Cage

Geology Kit 

Best Bug Jar


Outdoor Toys that Inspire Imaginative Play

If someone had told me how much my children would enjoy playing with a simple wagon I would have stopped buying other toys a long time ago.

With their wild imaginations the wagon has turned into a rocket ship, a cave, a baby stroller, a grocery cart and a host of other things. It’s arguably the most used “toy” we own.

The best part about the wagon is that it can only be used outside so it keeps them happily occupied for hours.

Toys that encourage imaginative play (even those that are dual purpose like umbrellas and wagons) are some of our toy favorites. Check out the list below of some great toys to inspire your child’s imagination.

Dump Truck 

Sand & Water Activity Table

Fairy Garden

Bow & Arrows

Wagon 

Umbrella 

Outdoor play toys and activities are the best! We love them for multiple reasons.

First, most of these toys and games don’t take up extra space in our home (we store them in the garage).

Second, the entire time our children are playing they are also getting the added benefits of fresh air, vitamin D, and freedom to explore their natural world.

Third, there is less fighting and contention when they are outside playing. I am not sure if there’s any “science” behind this but it is a true fact in our family.

Fourth, (and maybe my favorite reason) is that the mess stays outside.

We hope you find some of these toys facilitate awesome outdoor play for you and your family!

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