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. 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.
These are our top picks for outdoor toys this summer!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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