Help your kids enjoy being outside with the best outdoor toys

·8-min read

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Outdoor toys provide some of the physical and mental stimulation needed for younger people
Outdoor toys provide some of the physical and mental stimulation needed for younger people

Being outside is a gateway to fun and excitement for kids and adults alike, but there’s only so much your kids can do outside without friends around. One of the greatest ways of having fun by yourself is by investing in some outdoor toys, they can help provide some of the physical and mental stimulation needed for younger people to live healthier and more engaging lifestyles. And if your kids want to make new friends, a quality set of toys can be a fantastic icebreaker for socializing. They can help your child host more interesting get-togethers, allowing them to be the fun kid on the block!

You do need to do some research to make sure that your kids’ toys actually do what they are supposed to and provide a learning experience while also aiding their physical development. But don’t you worry, we’ve tested out some of the highest-rated outdoor toys for 2022 and have designed a comprehensive guide to help you make a quality purchase.

Top Picks

Best overall: Banzai Bump N Bounce

Belly-to-belly bumping action
Belly-to-belly bumping action

Running into your friends might sound fun on paper but isn’t always that great. Well, not without the Banzai Bump N Bounce! This outdoor toy helps your kids turn into human bumper cars, minus the wheels, of course. This inflatable suit lets you run into your playmate without hurting them or causing damage to the product. Made using quality PVC, punctures and wear are unlikely with this option. The greatest part is that this bumper suit fits children that are 4 years old up to preteens, so this toy is perfect for older siblings as well. Trust us, it’s good to have toys your kids can share. The durable materials, as well as the wide age range, helped us judge this product as the best overall on this list.

Key Features:

  • Material: Durable PVC

  • Comes with a repair kit for punctures

  • Provides protection from falls

  • Comes in pairs of two

Durable materials: Outdoor Toy Rocket Launcher

Fun foam toy rocket launcher
Fun foam toy rocket launcher

When it comes to outdoor toys, a lot of parents want something that can make their kids more interested in science and STEM learning. The Outdoor Toy Rocket Launcher by Motoworx not only allows children to stomp on the launchpad, releasing a rocket up to 100 feet into the sky, it also encourages them to think about space, engineering and physics. With six foam rockets, you can make sure no one gets hurt during playtime, and if one does get lost you still have five left. The launchpad is also made of durable materials, ensuring that it can withstand even rougher stomping and more intense play.

Key Features:

  • Launches up to 100-feet high

  • Perfect for kids over 3 years old

  • Comes in three different colors

  • Easy to assemble

  • Comes with six foam rockets

Best storage: Little Tikes First Slide

Perfect for beginner slide
Perfect for beginner slide

Outdoor fun is kind of incomplete without slides. The Little Tikes First Slide is the perfect outdoor toy for introducing children to slides and helping them learn how to use one. The slope isn’t too steep either, so children can climb up it if they want to. Since the secure handles lock in place, you won’t have to worry about this option coming apart under pressure. This slide isn’t super long either, so it’s perfect for younger children to play on. And when your kids aren’t using it, it easily folds up, saving you some storage space.

Key Features:

  • 3-foot long slide

  • Suitable for kids aged 18 months to 6 years old

  • Secure handles lock in place

  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor play

  • Easy to assemble

Most creative: Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks

Sea creature inspired
Sea creature inspired "baking" set.

When it comes to sparking some imagination, the Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks help bring your kitchen to the beach. This mud pie kit comes with sea-animal inspired utensils that can help children identify both colors and animals. This option allows kids to develop their brains through creative play while also improving their motor skills. This outdoor toy set comes with three shell-shaped measuring cups, an octopus whisk, a crab mixing spoon, a turtle sift, and a mixing bowl. With this play set, you can teach your kids more about the ocean and make every trip to the beach more fun. The greatest part is, this product works just as well in sandboxes too!

Key Features:

  • Comes with various accessories

  • Promotes mental development

  • Perfect for both play and learning activities

  • Dual-use in a kitchen and at the beach

Perfect for socializing: Lydaz Outdoor Toy Bubble Lawn Mower

Mower features realistic sounds and bubble maker
Mower features realistic sounds and bubble maker

If mowing the lawn seems like a boring task, the Lydaz Outdoor Toy Bubble Lawn Mower is here to make things more interesting. This outdoor toy helps your kids develop interests in garden chores while also enjoying some colorful bubbles. This mower helps toddlers begin to balance themselves and learn to walk faster. With the three bubble solution tubes, your child is in for a world of fun. The greatest part is that this option comes with three bubble sticks so that other kids can join in on the fun, allowing for some recreational time filled with social interactions among kids, which can help foster people skills as well.

Key Features:

  • Perfect for outdoor play

  • Makes bubbles as the walker moves

  • Helps children learn to walk

  • Comes with three bubble solutions and sticks

How to find your next set of outdoor toys: A buyer’s guide

All toys can be fun, but not all toys are created equal and there are a few factors that help outdoor toys stand out from the rest. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go through some of the most critical factors that can affect the usability and effectiveness of your kids’ toys.

Things to look for with outdoor toys

1. Age range

First things first, you need to know if the toy you’re thinking of buying is suitable for your kids. If your children are too young for it, there can be health hazards such as pointy edges or small pieces. On the other hand though, if the toys are too basic, your kids might get bored of them. Finding the sweet spot between an age range is necessary so that your toys can last a decent amount of time before your kids outgrow them.

2. Activity levels

Although all toys provide kids with something to do, not all of them give kids the same amount of physical or mental stimulation. Some products focus more on problem-solving, while others focus mainly on the ability to physically power through problems. Ultimately, the decision depends on what you’re looking for. Just make sure that you try to find the right balance between physical and mental stimulation and make sure that an outdoor toy doesn’t overwhelm your kids.

3. Skill requirements

Different games require different skillsets and sometimes even different levels of the same skill. For example, if you are playing pool, you need excellent hand-eye coordination, and if you’re playing football, you need a lot of agility and coordination. This is why you should try to assess the number of skills needed to participate in activities using outdoor toys, this helps make sure that your kids are capable of playing with them and having fun.

4. Safety

Safety should be your main concern whenever you let your kids outside to play with their outdoor toys. Not only do the outdoor toys need to be child-proof and suitable for your kids’ ages, but the activities involved should also be reasonably safe. For example, you cannot let your child go out with a basketball if they are too young since they might hurt themselves. Make sure to constantly teach your kids about the safety hazards involved with their outdoor toys and double-check that they have a safe environment to play in.

People also asked

Q: How do I store my outdoor toys during the off-season?

A: Although outdoor toys are made to be durable, you can never be too safe, especially if you want to get the most value out of them. We suggest you bring your outdoor toys inside your garage or a shed and store them when they are not in use. Make sure you always wipe away any dirt or grime on the surface of the toys before storing them and also ensure that the place you store them in is well-ventilated.

Q: Do I need to clean my outdoor toys?

A: Dirt and grime can often build up on your outdoor toys, leading to wear and tear. This can lower the lifespan of your toys. Not only that, dirty toys are more susceptible to bacteria, which can lead to health hazards for your kids. This is why it is important to always clean and sanitize your outdoor toys before using them. Just make sure not to use harsh chemicals when cleaning your toys, especially for smaller kids, since they can cause more harm than good.

Q: Can my kids play with their regular toys outside?

A: Although regular toys can be taken outdoors and played with, just know that the longevity of the toys will be impacted. This is because indoor toys are not built to withstand the wear and tear of being outside and can easily be torn apart if neglected. Most toys come with a security label that tells you about the environment it can be used in. Electronic toys are also incredibly susceptible to dirt and water damage and can easily get broken. Make sure to pay attention to these details and you should be able to keep your toys for a long time.