Whether you’ve got a child who’s bouncing off the walls or a screen-obsessed kiddo who can barely tear themselves away, summer offers an easy solution to both challenges—get them outside and get them active. For one thing, getting kids to play outdoors is one of the best things you can do for them. Not only does it improve their mental and physical health and help regulate behavior, it’s also just plain fun. Especially with an arsenal of awesome outdoor toys.

The best outdoor toys for kids are the ones that make them move and work up a sweat that can only be cured by a glass of ice-cold lemonade. Alternatively, working their brain and flexing those creative muscles works too. No backyard? No problem. There are plenty of options that can be used at the neighborhood park or on the sidewalk. From foam rockets they’ll chase for hours, to a toddler-friendly foam pogo stick, we’ve rounded up some top-rated outdoor toys for toddlers and kids that are sure to keep them playing without a single “I’m boooooooooreeeedddd!” protest.

Looking for other ways to make the most of outside time? Check out our favorite sandboxes, water toys, inflatable pools and balance bikes (don’t forget to wear a bike helmet)!

These are our top picks for outdoor toys this summer!

Best Outdoor Toys for Kids

mom reading with daughter in bed

Building a Daily Flow Virtual Class

Establishing a productive daily flow in the first 2000 days of a child’s life is so important for their long term health and well being. In this on-demand virtual class, you’ll learn simple daily life habits to support their development through this crucial period.

Stomp Rocket stunt planes

Stomp Rocket


Stunt Planes

On a dollars to fun ratio, Stomp Rockets may be the best toy investment I ever made. I mean, who doesn’t love the satisfaction of stomping something into space? Kids will spend literally hours setting them up and chasing them down, experimenting throughout the process with direction and force. This particular set includes three different styles of rockets, adding an additional layer of STEM learning. Trust me when I say you’ll be asking for a turn yourself.

Wonder Wave Outdoor Lounging Rocker

Wonder Wave


Outdoor Lounging Rocker

It might look like a giant potato chip, but this rocking lounger is tons of fun! Made from super-durable fabric and foam-padded metal piping, the Wonder Wave gives kids ages five and up a place to play and rest. With one kid on each side, it rocks back and forth and when they’re ready for a break, it becomes the perfect spot to read a book.

Taylor Toy Kids Gardening Set

Taylor Toy


Kids Gardening Set

Even the smallest of gardeners need the right tools to get the job done! These wooden + metal gardening tools look (and work) just like the real thing, and are crafted from natural materials and without toxic paints or finishes. Your little one will love getting their hands dirty while also developing their motor skills.

Playmobil Water Park



Water Park

Many kids can spend hours lost in the world of Playmobil. With so many fun sets, it’s hard to get tired of it! This summer they’ve released a handful of super cool water park themes that are the very essence of summer fun. With working squirters and water pump features each set offers hours of water-based play. Of course they can play with this one inside too, but we love the idea of setting them up on the deck or driveway so they can splash and slide to their heart’s content.

Guardian Bike




When it comes to outdoor fun, a bike is a no-brainer. The award-winning rides from Guardian Bikes are a top pick for new and experienced riders given their totally kid-centered design. Most impressive is their patented SureStop braking system which leverages a single hand brake that’s perfectly placed for small hands (as opposed to pedal brakes which can stop them just as they get their balance) and prevents flipping, even if they brake fast and furiously. We also love how their size guide makes it easy to find the right bike for your kiddo by measuring their inseam. But best of all? It shows up on your doorstep nearly fully assembled with the tools to finish the job in five minutes. 🙌 Prices start at $269.

Gomo balance bike



Balance Bike

Got a toddler on your hands? No need to wait for bike riding fun! Also known as glider bikes or strider bikes, balance bikes are designed without pedals so that little ones can learn to balance on their own as they power themselves with just their feet. Eventually, when they have more coordination and trust, they can glide with their feet up. There are a ton to choose from but one of our favorite budget options is the GOMO balance bike. GOMO (which stands for “get out more often”) originally hit our radar for their awesome scooters, but earns top marks for balance bikes as well! It’s similarly affordable, super sturdy and made from high-quality materials. The intuitive design features an extended wheel base with lots of room to maneuver and grow, while a turn-limiter allows them to keep control as they learn to steer. And even though it’s a budget-friendly style, it’s still made to last through multiple kiddos.

Crayola Sidewalk Chalk



Sidewalk Chalk

Simple, timeless and endlessly entertaining, there’s nothing better than a big ol’ box of sidewalk chalk. This well-stocked box has 64 colors including glitter and tie-dye to create some totally epic masterpieces.

Eezy Peezy Climbing Tower

Eezy Peezy


Climbing Tower

Designed for kiddos ages 3-8, this climbing dome gives them thrills without giving you a heart attack. It’s made from interlocking plastic tubes and connectors which are super durable but also lightweight for easy relocation around the yard or inside when the weather cools.

Micro Kickboard - Maxi Deluxe LED Scooter

Micro Kickboard


Maxi Deluxe LED Scooter

If your kids are anything like mine, there’s no better bang for the buck than a Micro Kickboard scooter. Designed with three wheels, it can expertly carve sidewalks and driveways at breakneck speeds (there’s a reason you see hoards of kids traversing NYC streets on these bad boys). They’re super easy and fun to ride and I can’t say enough good things about their customer service. After years of abuse (and some older brother antics) my daughter’s suffered a cracked piece between the front wheels. It was super easy to get a replacement part which made it as good as new. Best of all, it didn’t mean adding to the landfill!

If you’ve got younger kiddos, check out our favorite scooters for toddlers!

Special Supplies Stepping Stones

Special Supplies


Stepping Stones

Simple, open-ended toys are always on the top of our list. These colorful stepping stones are an engaging addition to outdoor (and indoor!) play, challenging kiddos to jump from one to the next. The non-slip rubber edge helps them stay put on pretty much any surface, but we especially love them for driveway obstacle courses!

Hoovy giant fun inflatable roller



Giant Fun Inflatable Roller

If you have a big grassy lawn, the Hoovy’s giant inflatable roller is the toy you need this summer. Just inflate and get ready for hours of rolling, laughing and wearing them out. Ready for a break? Turn it on its side and they’ve got a fun place to hide.

Fubbles No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket



No-Spill Big Bubble Bucket

Every kid who has ever played with bubbles has likely cried over spilling bubbles. That’s why we love the spill-proof (and shareable!) bucket o’ bubbles from Fubbles. The oversize re-fillable bucket comes with three wands and enough solution to last you a good long while.

Picnic Sand & Water Table

Magic Cabin


Picnic Sand & Water Table

Sensory tables are a staple in any preschool classroom—and can be in your own home, too. They’re perfect for stimulating your little one’s senses and facilitating play, creativity and exploration. This beautiful table has a built-in sandpit that can hold up to 50 lbs of play sand or nearly 3 gallons of water. Plus, it doubles as a place to paint, color or draw.

Web swing

M & M Sales


Web Swing

This swing will take you back to simpler times and long, warm summer days spent swinging outside. With more than 1,000 great reviews, this is a bestseller for a reason. It holds up to 600 lbs so multiple kids can hop on (even parents can join in!), and the tree straps are built to be durable.

Step2 up and down roller coaster



Up and Down Roller Coaster

Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don’t think it will be put away too often!)

CTSC zipline kit



Zipline Kit

If you really want to dial up the adventure, a zip line kit will do the trick. This highly recommended kit is safe and durable option since it comes equipped with a stainless steel spring brake system which keeps it from coming to a sudden (and often alarming) stop. What’s more, if your yard can’t accommodate the out-of-the-box measurements, you can contact the company to get a custom setup.

Minnidip inflatable pool



Inflatable Pool

Sure, there are tons of inflatable pools out there, but we love the fact there’s a wealth of fabulously photogenic ones these days. Of all of them, we’re partial to the super fun options from Minnidip. Measuring 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, they’re big enough for you and the kiddos (ummm or just you?) to stay cool and come in so many fabulous prints it’s impossible to choose. (Find more in our inflatable pool round-up!)

HearthSong giant inflatable dome rocker



Giant Inflatable Dome Rocker

If this crazy contraption can’t tear them away from screen time, not much will. At four feet tall and eight feet in diameter, the planet-like giant inflatable dome rocker can be climbed up, bounced on, rocked and rolled by up to three kiddos at a time. It’s bringing me all the American Gladiator vibes and could be an epic way to settle sibling disputes, IMHO.

Pottery Barn Kids Rainbow Sprinker

Pottery Barn Kids


Rainbow Sprinkler

Nothing says summer like a giant inflatable rainbow sprinkler in your backyard 🤣 This playful sprinkler showers and is the perfect way for kids to cool off during those hot days. ( Shh , we won’t tell if you want to join in on the fun, too!)

Green Toys Oceanbound Tide Pool Set

Green Toys


Oceanbound Tide Pool Set

For the littlest ones, it’s easy to keep it simple. Take their bath toys and use them in a new way outside. With this tide pool set, there are so many opportunities for fun sensory play, whether it’s in a sandbox, a rice sensory bin or just good old fashioned dirt. We especially love that these toys are made from 100% recycled plastic and that they come in their own adorable storage bag that can also be used for play.

KidKraft Modern OUtdoor Wooden Playhouse



Modern Outdoor Wooden Playhouse

This one is spendy for sure, but a sturdy, beautiful playhouse is an investment that will pay off in years of imaginative play for everyone from young toddlers to school-aged kiddos. This one is large enough for several children yet compact enough to work in even tiny backyard spaces. It’s made from 100% cedar wood and features several large built-in windows, an attached picnic table and benches, a working door, and even a chalkboard.(Check out our other picks for outdoor playhouses!)

Ninja tree climbing holds



Ninja Tree Climbing Holds

Little monkeys will love the tree climbing boost these provide! Made from high quality, weather-resistant plastic resin, the textured holds turn any tree into a ninja-worthy obstacle. Ratchet ties make set up and take down a breeze and keep the tree safe in the process.

Little Tikes t-ball set

Little Tikes


T-Ball Set

The t-ball set from Little Tikes has been a little slugger staple for ages. Complete with everything they need to practice their home runs, it’s got five balls to chase after and is virtually indestructible.

PlasmaCar ride on

PlasmaCar ride on

The endlessly fun PlasmaCar has been winning toy awards since 2005—and with good reason. All they have to do is hop on, put their feet up and turn the steering wheel to get moving. With a bit of side to side motion and elbow grease, kids (and even adults up to 220 pounds!) can reach speeds up to 6 mph. It’s perfect for driveway derbies and parking lot doughnuts—the only disappointment will be waiting your turn.

Flybar maverick walking stilts

Flybar maverick walking stilts

If you’ve got a future Cirque du Soleil performer on your hands, these beginner stilts will help them get started on their resume. The ergonomic design and extra-wide, non-slip footrests and tips make learning how to stilt walk easy-peasy for kiddos ages 5 and up. As they grow and improve, both the arms and footrests adjust to grow right along with them.

Flybar foam pogo jumper



Foam Pogo Jumper

Bouncing off the walls? Let them try this instead. Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord “stick” is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don’t let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

A version of this story was published May 6, 2021. It has been updated.