It’s that time of year! It seems to always creep up fast. With the busyness of the holiday season I find my mind is constantly wandering and wondering….and outdoor games always seem to come to mind.
Who needs what? Who wants what? What did I buy for this child? What didn’t I buy for that child? What would my sister’s family love? etc.
There are so many options and sometimes that makes gift giving both exhausting and overwhelming. That’s why we have created a list of tried and true outdoor toy and game favorites.
Naturally, all these toys and games support getting families outside! And that’s the biggest bonus of this gift guide. Whether you’re looking for a fun outdoor game to enjoy with family or wondering how to avoid the winter blues, we’re excited to share toys and games that will be a hit with your children and help your family get out the door.
Feel free to scroll through the gift guide to find the category that best suits your gift giving needs. This gift guide includes outdoor games and toys– for families, for winter, for acrobatic kids, for nature loving kids, for crafters, for toddlers and for tweens.
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Outdoor Games that Promote Family Togetherness
Some of my favorite childhood memories are remembrances of playing games together outside. Bocce ball, croquet etc. are the games I recall frequently playing on Sunday afternoons.
While I’m still a big fan of classic yard games we’ve added some other games to our collection in recent years and they are equally as lovable and fun as the classics.
So if you’re wanting entertainment at a campsite, something fun to play together as a family at the park or needing to entertain company in your backyard these are some of the most wildly fun and popular outdoor games we’ve enjoyed over the years and trust that your family will enjoy too.
My best description for KanJam is a mix between frisbee golf and horseshoes. It’s quick to set up, requires little “skill” beyond throwing a frisbee and you can easily use it in your own back yard or have fun with it at a campsite.
Similar to the rules in volleyball, Spikeball is always super popular among teenagers and adults. Create a bracket with anyone interested in playing and make sure you pick a great partner for this game so you come out on top. Teamwork, skill, and motivation to win make this game super fun to participate in and watch.
This game is a family reunion favorite. If you have a large crowd of mixed ages then this game is a blast. It’s a combo of 4 square and volleyball. It’s fast, super easy to learn and keeps a large crowd entertained for hours. The full kit is pricey but if you don’t want to spend the money on the full kit then you can purchase the connector pieces and easily build your own 9 square game.
Aim for the top rung and hope you win the most points is the name of the game in Ladder Toss. You can play with 2-4 players and this is a fun game for mixing a variety of different ages.
The options with giant yard dice are limitless. You can play yardzee, farkle or a host of other dice games. I love the change up of playing some of our favorite indoor games outside for an added dimension of fun with the family.
A classic game and one that can be easily enjoyed in lots of settings. If you think you’re already a bocce expert than play it in a wooded park or on rolling hills and see if you still have skills that impress. That’s when bocce goes from bocce fun to bocce extreme.
All you need is a wide open space and great aim to have a great game of croquet. Don’t be surprised if the competition heats up quickly and make sure everyone agrees before the game that the mallets are not to be used as weapons when someone hits your ball off course. 6 people can play at the same time with this set.
Corn Hole is another easy but fun game and this set from Amazon is collapsible. It packs up nice and small and can be assembled super quick. I love that both toddlers and adults can enjoy this game together. It’s a game that’s always in use once it’s set up.
An old school favorite but still loads of fun, horseshoes is another crowd pleaser. It requires accuracy and good aim for champion status but is still fun to play even when you’re “not a natural”. Horseshoe sets come in at lots of different price points. I think it’s worth spending a little extra money to have a nicer set.
Outdoor Games & Toys for Winter Fun
If you think the winter season is hard, I can relate. I love the first snow and bundling up to play outside; however, by the time the 6th snow of the season rolls around I no longer hustle out the door to make snow angels and catch snowflakes on my tongue.
That’s when fun winter toys and activities save the day! Check out some of these fun winter toys below which can keep things exciting for your family when you are feeling the winter blues.
These toys and activities work great for keeping outdoor time engaging and fun all winter long.
The Zipfy luge sled is a sled for ALL ages. The sled weighs in at 3.5lbs. It’s not too heavy to carry up the hill (even for little feather weight children) but is still sturdy enough that it won’t fall apart after your first run.
If you decide to order one for your child then go ahead and order one for yourself as well. You can thank me later.
Do you need a great stocking stuffer for Christmas morning? These snowball makers are inexpensive and always a hit with kids of all ages. Let your kids get creative and make targets to knock down with their snow balls or see who can build the tallest stack.
Building snow forts and igloos is one of our favorite winter activities; especially when it’s cold enough outside that we know that we’ll be able to enjoy our hard work for a few days. This snow fort brick set helps you have nice, even blocks for building awesome snow forts and igloos. An added bonus is that you can also enjoy it in the summertime playing with sand.
Do you wanna build a snowman? If you’re going to take the time to build a snowman it’s nice to make sure your snowman gets a proper hat, buttons and scarf. We’ve used this kit and love that it’s inexpensive and quickly makes your snowman come to life.
If you have a child who loves all things “art” then this sno-art kit is a fun way to take their artistic talents outside in winter. Until the paint runs out your children will have fun making and admiring their Picasso artwork on the front lawn.
Outdoor Toys for Acrobatic Children
Does the phrase “bouncing off the walls” describe your children? It definitely describes mine. That’s why I love to have toys and activities for my children that let them channel their inner monkey.
So when they start doing flips, cartwheels and jumping from couch to couch inside the house, I know it’s time to take all that fun outside. Below are some awesome toys for outdoor acrobatic play.
My girls love to play on these geometric domes. They’re fun for climbing, hanging upside down, or playing imaginative games.
This is a tent and climbing gym all in one. It can also become a rocket ship, tree house, submarine or whatever your kids want it to become.
If you have trees in your backyard then setting up a zipline is a quick and easy way to have the coolest backyard in the neighborhood. Your kids will love it and so will all their friends. We love this seat option to make holding on easier for little ones.
We love pulling up our Gibbon slackline at home and at the campsite.
It’s well made, easy to set up and challenging for all age ranges. Although we often say we’re setting it up for the kids my husband and I enjoy it as much (if not more) than they do.
This is another “toy” that quickly wins over all the neighbor kids. It’s extra big so more than one kid can play in it at a time and it’s impossible to play on this and not have a bad case of the giggles.
Outdoor Toys for Nature Loving Children
There are so many great toys and outdoor games that foster and encourage your kids to love and appreciate their outdoor playground. That’s why my kids (myself included) love outdoor toys that encourage them to interact with nature.
Shhh! Don’t tell but I’m so excited to gift this set to my daughter in her stocking this year. I love this multicolored set of 5 and all the endless ways you can creatively decorate these creatures with raw, outdoor materials.
I can’t wait to see what my daughter finds to bring her little figurines to life.
The bug bungalow is the perfect way to “enjoy” a bug in a space that keeps the bug safe. It’s affordable and we love the bright colors and separate magnifying container that come with this set.
If you’re going to be out in the garden this spring then this garden toolkit is the perfect way to let your kids tag along. There’s so much children can learn from watching plants grow.
This is the toy that I wish was around when I was a young child. I would have loved these sticklets for building forts with branches and sticks.
Outdoor Activities for Creative Crafters
Because of how much my girls love crafts I’m constantly trying to find ways to take their love of crafting outside. Below are some activities that facilitate crafting outdoors and outdoor art. My children never tire of these activities so we repeat them often at our home.
Flower presses are the coolest way to preserve one of the pretty flowers your child finds on a hike or walk. Your kids will be amazed to see the way they turn out when they’re finished drying and can use their pretty flowers to make cards for a neighbor or grandparents.
Rock painting is fun to do and can yield lots of fun after you’ve painted them by placing the rocks in fun places in the garden or playing hide & seek with them in various parts of the yard.
Build your own stepping stones and enjoy a messy, sensory experience with your kids along with making a keepsake you can keep. My daughters have loved doing this and it’s always so fun to see what they create.
Outdoor Activities and Toys for Mini Adventurers (Toddlers)
If your child’s in the 1-4 age range then check out the list below of toys specifically catered to the young ones of the bunch.
Dinkum dolls are posable unisex dolls made of 100% cotton. They’re the perfect adventure companion to offer encouragement for your little one on their first hike or campout.
Whoever created a flexible track for driving toy cars was genius. The flexible rubber can be used outdoors on any surface and is easy to wash clean after it’s been in use.
Tonka trucks are timeless. You can never go wrong with adding another truck to your child’s collection and they are perfect for hours of entertainment in the dirt and sand outside.
And remember…Tonka trucks aren’t only for boys, girls love them too and Tonka carries a bright pink colored truck if that’s your daughter’s favorite color.
This fun nature flashlight plays animal noises and nature noises along with its cool flashing lights. Bring this along on any outdoor adventures and have fun with your child as they shine their light down a hollow log or begin to recognize and learn which animals make the different noises.
Outdoor Activities and Toys for Experienced Adventures (Tweens)
Are you stuck on what to get a ‘tween’ager? We’ve all observed how quickly kids grow up in our tech-filled society. That’s why it’s hard to put a price tag on a toy or game that gets them off their gadgets and out the door.
They really benefit from the chance to pause, relax and unwind from a world plagued with adult pressures. Plus, it can help them discover a new interest or hobby.
Help your tween appreciate all that there is to see in the beautiful night sky by getting them a telescope.
Whittling wood is therapeutic and creative. Pick up a beginner whittling book and some knives and see what kind of cool creations your child can make with wood.
The glow in the dark version of Capture the Flag is a super fun twist on a classic game and the perfect game to include lots of people of for a large party.
A hoverboard may not use up all your tween’s extra energy but it’s a fun, techy toy that is great to use outside and helps improve balance and coordination.
We hope this gift guide has been helpful in steering you the right direction for your holiday shopping. If you have any suggestions of toys/games/activities that we didn’t mention we’d love to hear from you.
Even with this comprehensive list, we know we’re missing some awesome toys out there and we’d love to get your input. Please share in the comments below!
Wanting additional ideas for outdoor fun and games? Check out our post 25 Best Toys For Encouraging Outdoor Play.
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