In this guide we’ll take a look at the best kids outdoor toys!
I’ve compared design, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Kids Outdoor Toy?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
A well-loved classic!
This Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-On is a timeless classic. Made from sturdy plastic, it has loads of enchanting features that toddlers will love: sturdy wheels, an opening door, moveable steering wheel, cup holder and open-close petrol cap. It’s suitable children ages 18 months – 3 years and can be used indoors and out.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Outdoor Toy Reviews
Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-On Review
This Little Tikes Classic Cozy Coupe Ride-On is practically an icon in the world of children’s toys.
It’s been providing fun for little ones for a couple of generations now and has proved a firm favourite.
The simple design, bright colours and sturdy construction make it one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers. Not to mention the immense joy kids get from riding around in these little coupes!
It will provide hours of fun for little ones aged from 18 months to 3 years.
The Cozy Coupe features sturdy wheels, an opening door, moveable steering wheel, cup holder and open-close petrol cap. It’s great for hours of imaginative play and is available in loads of different colourful designs.
It can be used indoors and outside and will help your little ones develop coordination as well as get plenty of exercise.
The Cozy Coupe requires some assembly and is quite complicated to put together, so don’t leave it until Christmas Eve!
However, once the construction has been mastered it is a sturdy toy that will offer hours of play value and last for years.
This is easily one of the best kids outdoor toys that has stood the test of time – an absolute classic and a firm favourite among toddlers! They’ll be “driving” round your patio in no time!
Classic Swingball Review
Who doesn’t love a game of Classic Swingball? This is a toy which has really stood the test of time and remained incredibly popular with children and adults alike!
This set includes two bats, a pole, and a tennis ball attached by a tether. I’m sure we all agree – this is one of the best kids outdoor toys around!
Swingball can be played alone or by two people so it can be an activity that you and your child do together, if you wish.
It’s a great toy for getting children outside and exercising and it will help them develop hand-eye coordination, too.
The bats are made of durable plastic and the pole is weather resistant.
Its compact size means its easy to store and transport to the park or beach. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing the ball or hitting it over the fence!
This is the lawn or beach version with a spike to insert into the ground. There is also a Swingball available with a base that you fill with sand or water and this is suitable for use on a deck or patio.
Swingball is a classic family favourite that will give you and your children many hours of fun!
Original Stomp Rocket Review
The Original Stomp Rocket is one of the best outdoor toys for kids; it’s great fun to use at the park or beach.
The toy is simple in design and requires no batteries or power making it portable, cheap and easy to use.
It is easy to set up and children simply love stomping on the launcher which shoots a rocket soaring up into the air.
It’s great fun for children and adults alike and is suitable for children aged 6 and up.
Smaller kids can still get involved with the fun with some help and supervision.
It’s best to play with this toy in an open space such as a park otherwise you may lose the rockets. I would also recommend investing in some spare rockets when you order, just in case you get them stuck in a tree.
Overall this is a fantastic toy; it’s another classic with a proven reputation for fun!
Nerf Vortex Mega Howler Review
This Nerf Vortex Mega Howler is a more modern outdoor toy that is fast becoming a classic!
Of course, ball games are always a perennial favourite but this one has some added features that make it even more fun to play with.
The howler is a tough, foam, rugby-shaped ball with a tail that is super aerodynamic – it certainly flies a long way!
It also howls as it flies through the air. The ball has a well-designed hand grip which makes is easy to throw. Plus. it’s water resistant, so perfect for use in the pool or sea.
This is another highly portable and durable toy that will provide hours of entertainment. It’s great to use at the park or on the beach and is easy to pack for days out and holidays.
It is one of the best outdoor toys for the whole family and is suitable for everyone aged 5 and up.
Aerobie Pro Flying Ring Review
This Aerobie Pro Flying Ring has to be used to be believed.
It is so much easier to throw than a traditional frisbee and even young children can throw it a long way.
In fact, the only word of warning is not to throw it too hard or you will have a very long walk to retrieve it!
The original Aerobie Pro flying ring was used in setting a Guinness World Record for the farthest throw in history – an incredible 406 m!
The flying ring provides plenty of fun for all the family, but you will need to use it in a big open space such as a park or beach, otherwise, it can easily scoot over the fence or get stuck in a tree.
The flying ring is great for playing catch with others, plus it’s soft enough that it isn’t too hard on little hands. You can use this toy in even windy conditions with no trouble at all (great news for those blustery summer days in the UK!).
However, avoid using it too close to the sea as it doesn’t float.
This flying ring will ensure you and your family get lots of exercise whilst having hours of fun!
Giant Bubble Kit Review
Of course, blowing bubbles is another favourite activity for children and even as adults it’s easy to get caught up in the fun..!
With this Giant Bubble Kit, you can make gorgeous, colourful, ginormous bubbles with ease.
Small children will have great fun watching huge bubbles emerge, bubbles that are sometimes as big as they are!
Older children and adults will enjoy blowing the bubbles themselves – it can get quite competitive! A slow sweep of the wand produces really huge bubbles.
The kit comes with a large bubble ring, a tray for the bubble solution and a 250 ml bottle of bubble solution.
I would recommend that you stock up on a lot of bubble solution when purchasing, so you can keep blowing gorgeous bubbles for longer.
This is a great toy for some inexpensive garden fun. It’s one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers and everyone can join in.
Paw Patrol Bowling Set Review
For another classic game, great for all the family, skittles is a great option.
This Paw Patrol Bowling Set is perfect for Paw Patrol fans and will encourage little ones to develop good hand-eye coordination.
It’s great for indoor or outdoor use but you will need a nice flat smooth surface to play.
The bowling pins are very small and light, but this makes them ideal for very little children as they are easy to knock over. The set contains 6 bowling pins and one ball.
It’s one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers in my opinion!
Things to Know Before Buying Kids Outdoor Toys
There are so many outdoor toys for children these days that it can be hard to decide which are worth the investment, and which are just fads that will offer little stimulation, education or play value.
If you choose correctly, kids outdoor toys will offer lots of benefits.
Not only do they encourage children to play outside, and get lots of fresh air and exercise, they also help their physical, mental and emotional development.
In the list below, I’ve aimed to review the best outdoor toys that have stood the test of time. I’ve also tried to include toys and games that are suitable for all the family, from tiny tots to grandparents. Children of course love it when they get to play with the whole family, so I hope that you are inspired to create lots of low-cost family fun!
Here’s some information about the different outdoor toys available for children and the benefits they can offer:
Toys for Developing Motor Skills and Coordination
From as young as just a few months, children start learning from their surroundings. The principles of ‘cause and effect’ and problem solving are skills that children develop early on.
Once children reach around 2 years old, they are a lot more mobile, and toys that help develop their motor skills and coordination take centre stage.
Anything from push cars, to tricycles, to bowling sets and ball games, really help hone these skills. To develop muscle memory and hand-eye coordination, children have to learn by doing.
Therefore, encouraging children to use as many toys as possible that promote physical movement, balance, planning, and troubleshooting is really important.
We always refer to the idea of ‘learning to ride a bike’ – and it’s true, once you learn to ride one, you don’t forget. However, this idea can also be applied to learning other skills which are less plain to see.
For example, every time a child uses a swing-ball and bat, they’re learning what works and what doesn’t – slowly building an information bank in their minds about coordination and balance that can be applied across many activities.
Toys for Developing Imagination and Self Confidence
Watching physical skills develop is one thing, but many of the best kids outdoor toys will also encourage the development of imagination and self confidence.
Kids have incredible imaginations, and encouraging them to use them and develop them is fantastic for expanding their creativity.
Imagination should be thought of an ‘active’ muscle; it benefits from being constantly used, and requires children to be hands-on with activities (as opposed to passively watching videos of other people partaking in activities).
It’s important to support your child’s imaginative endeavours; be that by providing the resources to stimulate their minds, offering verbal encouragement, or joining in with their projects.
Whilst sometimes difficult, it’s also paramount not to stifle a child’s creativity; avoid being critical about how much mess they are making or being too vocal if their ideas don’t seem to make sense (who knows, they could be onto something!).
Outdoor toys which encourage imagination, such as playhouses, forts, climbing frames and cars are perfect for inspiring imaginative play and role play games. What’s more, they have the added benefit of being outside, so mess is much less of a factor.
Giving your children more places to go outside, especially into playhouses or forts which they can consider ‘their own’, will allow them to develop independence. These types of toys also help children evolve their individual personalities, self confidence and a creativity. Who knows, you might even get invited round for tea!
What’s more, any type of imaginative toy – be it a sandbox, bouncy castle, pedal car or magic wand, will help children learn social skills when playing with a friend or sibling. Children who learn to play harmoniously together are developing skills like sharing which will be absolutely vital later in life.
The Importance of Encouraging Children to Exercise
We all know the importance of exercise for our health – helping build a stronger heart, preventing injury by developing muscle, improving bone strength, etc., the list goes on.
One thing that is really important is making exercise a habit from an early age – now, I’m not talking about push-ups and burpees, but just an awareness that running around outside is an option, as opposed to automatically turning on the games console.
As humans, we naturally tend to stick to the habits we know. Children who don’t have the habit of going outside or exercising tend to grow up into adults who also don’t develop this habit. This can cause health problems in the long run.
Creating the idea in your child’s mind that there are plenty of energetic activities to get involved in, so that they don’t automatically turn to the TV or computer, is invaluable.
Not only are there these long-term benefits to encouraging children to exercise, but things that will improve their everyday lives too.
Children who exercise regularly – be it running around in the garden, playing frisbee or bat and ball – have been shown to have improved levels of concentration and less anxiety. They also sleep better, which is music to our ears as parents!
Participating in games and sports naturally increases fitness, which helps with self esteem and self confidence, whilst also providing an opportunity to socialise and learn to work in a team.
How Much Exercise do Children Need?
Once children start walking by themselves, you can start encouraging a positive pattern of exercise in their lives.
Children under 5 (who have started walking unsupported) should have approximately 3 hours of ‘active time’ throughout the day. This can be walking, running, playing catching games or using toys like scooters and trampolines.
Children over the age of 5 should be doing at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. These are activities which raise your heartrate. Anything from playing frisbee or long-distance catch games, to riding a bike is included.
It’s also important for these older children to be involved in resistance activities, such as climbing, or higher-intensity activities like tennis or gymnastics, at least three days a week. This helps increase muscle as well as continued to hone balance and coordination.
What’s the best way to stop kids from spending too much time on the computer?
Whilst it can be difficult to tear your child away from the computer, you need to set parameters early on so that their behaviour doesn’t become a problem.
- Don’t let children have computers or games consoles in their bedroom. This is a sure-fire way for them to end up using them too frequently.
- Lead by example – if you spend a lot of time on your phone or on the computer, your child will learn from your habits. Suggest group activities outside like a tennis game, frisbee, or outdoor adventure course.
- Ask your child what would toys they would like, for playing outdoors. Making it feel like your child has chosen the activity will make them more likely to leave the games console.
- Set limits on how long your children can use the computer/console for. This might be one hour a day, or less.