The benefits of outdoor play are enormous and indisputable component to children’s emotional, mental and physical health. I don’t need to tell you how studies have proven that the overall times of unscheduled outdoor play is down from previous generations and the effects can be seen in the highest rates of anxiety, stress boredom, and inability to focus even seen.
The best and only effective way to combat this?
Open the doors and let your kids play outside unscripted.
These play items and toys will promote active play, inspire imagination and healthy habits.
Our family has personally owned or used at fiend’s homes, these toys. They are kid-tested and parent-approved and most of them can be used outdoors and then brought inside for colder months. As you know, active kids don’t stop being active just because they can’t go outside.
These are our favorite play toys to help kids stay active, healthy and explore their imaginations.
Outdoor Toys for Toddlers 18 Months – 4 Years Old
Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter (my daughter still uses and loves hers and she’s almost four. The board is wide enough to provide extra balance and the two wheels in front stabilize the rider around corners and turns. (It also comes in a variety of colors for boys and girls.)
This rollercoaster was inside and out of our house depending on weather for three years before my kids finally outgrew it when they were five. It’s worth the giggles as they roll down the hill each time.
We had this exact climbing dome when my toddlers turned 2 until they were 7 and it stood up to Colorado weather and some pretty tough kids. The plastic is gentle when they fall or bonk themselves and the dome is just the right height for beginning climbing.
A strider bike is the perfect segway into learning how to ride a bike and skipping the training wheels altogether.
If you don’t have space in your yard for a jungle gym, this climbing dome and slide combination could be the perfect fit. Not only that, the landing space is great for activities and building forts, too.
An outdoor swing is a necessity of childhood. This webbed outdoor swing can grow from toddlers to big kids easily and straps onto a sturdy branch or bolted fixture of your house easily.
Add something extra fun to your sandbox! This construction digger is a blast and helpful tool to have when building giant sand castles and digging pits to bury your dinosaurs.
Outdoor Toys for Kids 5+
The Hanging Pod can fit multiple kids (up to 250lbs) and is easy to pack – take it camping, the beach, grandma’s, or to the backyard. All you need is a sturdy tree branch or pole
Ninja Slackline is the ultimate backyard accessory for burning extra energy. The Monkey Line Backyard Obstacle Course provides challenging obstacles for your kids but NOT impossible obstacles. Crafted with a monkey ladder, 4x Gymnastic Rings, 3x Wooden Monkey Bars, 50 foot Double Sewn Slackline and Ratchet Set.
I’ll admit, I was hesitant to buy a Bubble Ball at first, but then after we inflated it, we saw how fun it could be to roll around in and even see the twins work together to push one another. It wasn’t dangerous or too rough for them to get banged up, which I was initially worried about. The inflatable is extra cushiony, but be sure to store under a patio or covered area when it rains or snows so you don’t have to scrub out dirt and water later on.
Perfect for inside or out, Hop On Hop Balls come in different sizes based on your child’s height so they can fit over the ball, hold onto the handle and hop around.
The Razor Scooter is the next step up from the Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter and the slick design is easy to maneuver. Sometimes the scooter even replaces our bikes on nightly family walks and it takes turns and corners very well.
For the little gymnast at your house, this is a compact way for them to practice what they learn at the gym and wear themselves out at home. The Gymnastics Kipping Bar and Mat is easy to assemble and doesn’t take up much space. It adjusts based on your child’s size and the mat is nice to have underneath or pull out to use for tumbling, handstands or kart-wheels.
We had the toddler version of the climbing dome for many years, but as the kids got older, they needed something larger that was a better challenge for them to maneuver. The Geometric Climbing Domes is a great addition to every backyard. You can also throw blankets over it for a fort or camp out.
Inside or outdoors, the Mini Trampoline with Bar is the perfect energy zapper to get out spare energy and calm down. The bar is nice to stabilize kids so they can jump high, without crashing off the side.
Pogo Stick is nice for kids with more balance and coordination. It’s fun to watch them hop around on their pogo sticks and it really does take some energy to use one.