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Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
Updated on
October 31, 2023

Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

By Babylist Team
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Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers

Whether you live in a place where it’s warm all year round or you’re doing your best to soak up those fleeting days of sunshine, getting outside to play with your little one always makes the day a little bit better.

Toddlers especially love to play outside, but finding activities that are age-appropriate and that will hold their attention can be a bit of a challenge. Which is why we’re here with the best tried-and-true, toddler-approved outdoor toys that we promise your little one will come back to again and again.

A Chalk Set

Whether it’s drawing on the paths of your local park or scribbling on the driveway, sidewalk chalk is a must-have when it comes to favorite outdoor toys. The bright colors and thick, easy-to-grip sticks will spark your toddler’s creativity and encourage open-ended, independent play.

Pro tip: stash a few pieces of chalk away in a small bag to keep in your diaper bag; you’ll never know when it will come in handy for last-minute toddler entertainment.

A Set of Buckets

Sometimes the simplest toys are the best toys, and these little buckets make the most of their simple design. Just add water or sand and let kiddo scoop and dump all day. Each bucket has a different sprinkle effect to keep little eyes entranced. To help limit cleanup, have your little one play with these buckets in a sandbox or kiddie pool. They also work great in the bathtub!

A Wading Pool

Nothing says summer quite like a kiddie pool. Minnidip pools have some of the most fun prints and patterns around. They’re perfectly sized for toddlers—and for you, too—plus they’re a cinch to inflate and empty thanks to a valve on the pool’s floor. They make it easy to cool off and have fun splashing around on a hot day.

A Ride-Along

There’s a reason this ride-on toy has been around for 40 years and counting. The Cozy Coupe is a total classic toy—it’s bright, fun and just the right size to encourage toddlers to hop in and take a ride. New features include a removable floor board for older toddlers and a handle on the back for parent-controlled rides. There are even two cup holders in the back to keep your kiddo hydrated on the go. Check out all the other types of Cozy Coupes besides the classic, including trucksand more.

A Sprinkler

Running through the sprinklers is a key part of summer for any kid, but some toddlers might be nervous of the water pressure from regular sprinklers. Start them off with this gentle, friendly sprinkler toy that provides a gentle upward stream just tall enough to get a quick soak.

A Sandbox

A sandbox is an investment your family will use for years. This one takes a bit of effort to put together, but we think it’s well worth the work. The cedar sides give it a natural look and are made to withstand weathering. At 51 inches by 59 inches, it’s large enough to hold two to three kids and up to 350 pounds of sand (sold separately), and it comes with a cover to keep everything clean.

If you’re looking for a few extra features and are okay spending quite a bit more money, we love this option that comes with a full sun shade and two built-in tubs for holding toys, water or more sand.

A Sand Toy

If you have a sandbox, your toddler is going to want toys to dig with (and to bury, of course). This dump truck is made from recycled milk jugs, so it’s super sturdy—sturdy enough to cart around piles of sand and mud and drive smoothly over miles of dunes. And when the truck has reached its destination, the trailer lifts up to dump the load.

A Splash Pad

Love the idea of a kiddie pool but don’t want to deal with the hassle of inflating it, filling it with water and then watching your toddler lose interest in five minutes? Meet the splash pad, your new backyard BFF. This sprinkler + (very) shallow wading pool + learning pad all rolled into one equals tons of fun for older babies and toddlers who aren’t quite ready to take the kiddie pool plunge but want more water than a sprinkler offers.

A Playhouse

A playhouse is a great way to get toddlers—and even older kiddos—out the door and encourage imaginative play. Features like a picnic table, mailbox, chalkboard and play grill make this the perfect outdoor play space. It’s a splurge, but remember it’s an investment toy that will go the distance for years of play.

A Sport Starter Set

Truth: toddlers like to hit things. So why not build those future sports skills while you’re at it? This beginner T-ball set has everything you need for your first ballgame. The set comes with an oversized bat and two XL baseballs, and it all stores inside the base so everything stays together. Batter up!

A Water Table

Not keen on getting an entire pool? If you don’t have the space, or if your little one doesn’t like to get super wet, a waterfall playset like this one takes up a lot less space and uses a lot less water. But despite its small footprint, this water table alternative still comes with tons of fun in the form of customizable waterfall patterns.

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