Active Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Find toys that encourage fitness and physical activity in young children

For little kids, toys are essential to growth, learning, and development. When you choose toys for children this age, make sure you select some active toys along with ABC books and cuddly buddies for pretend play. Active toys help build motor skills and encourage kids to get their daily dose of physical activity. Many of these top toy picks can be used indoors or out and are appealing to both boys and girls.


Learning Resources Crocodile Hop

Learning Resources Crocodile Hop Floor Game
Learning Resources

With this floor game, kids hop across the river and learn colors, shapes, and numbers while they play. Better yet, they can play alone or with friends. The game comes with large, inflatable dice which are easier for kids to manipulate—and harder for them to lose.


Step 2 Big Folding Slide

Step2 Natural Play Big Folding Slide

Because this slide folds up for storage or transport, you can move it easily around your yard, garage, or home depending on where you need it most. Or if your child outgrows it (there is a 50-lb. weight limit), you can stash it out of the way until a younger sibling is ready for some climbing and sliding fun.


Rody Horse

Rody horse preschool toy
Courtesy of Amazon

Young children can rock, bounce, and move on this clever, inflatable horse--and as they grow, you can add more air to make the horse bigger. Rody comes in many bright colors and is made of a soft, sturdy, latex-free vinyl. Supply your own hand or foot pump. You can also buy a base to turn Rody into a traditional rocking horse.


Step2 Wonderball Fun Playhouse

Step2 Wonderball Playhouse
Courtesy of Amazon

This sweet little playhouse is a fun setting for the imaginative play. It also comes with 10 colored balls that kids can toss onto the roof, where they'll funnel down through the tubes at the corners. There are more tubes and tunnels for the balls throughout the playhouse.


Little Tikes Clearly Sports Kick Ball

Little Tikes Clearly Sports Kick Ball
Little Tikes

Get little kids ready for family kickball fun with this starter set. It comes with three bases, home plate, and a clear ball with sound effects (more balls inside). Play indoors or out, since you can set the bases anywhere you like. You can also use them to reinforce color and number learning. The Clearly Sports line also includes bowling, baseball, and golf sets.


Step 2 All-Star Sports Climber

Step2 All-Star Sports Climber

Look no further for a versatile climber. This one includes a slide, rock wall, basketball hoop, ball-throwing target, and scorekeeper, and even comes with three inflatable balls too. Use it inside or out to introduce little kids to sports and keep them busy and active. For a smaller, less expensive option, consider the Sports-Tastic Activity Climber (compare prices).


Manhattan Toy Company Boysterous Boys

Boysterous Boy toy
Courtesy of Amazon

From Slap Shot Sam, shown here, to Slope Shreddin Sean, these active action figures each have a sport they adore and the gear to go with it. Choose from soccer, skateboarding, hockey, snowboarding, or football. Each figure has bendable arms and legs and an accessory that he can hang onto (thanks to magnetic magic). Also available is a Zip-bin, a playing field floor mat that doubles as a storage bin. Suitable for kids ages 3 to 8.


ALEX Beanbag Toss-n-Tote

Alex beanbag toss preschool toy
Courtesy of Amazon

Spread out the colorful, 3' by 3' mat indoors or out for a simple game of beanbag toss. Four beanbags are included in the attached, zippered bag. Flip the mat over for a second game called "Feed the Fish."


Giraffalaff Limbo

Hasbro Giraffalaff Limbo

Here's a fun take on the classic how-low-can-you-go? party game. This battery-operated game requires only two players (but more can join in!). Spin the dial to try one of the six limbo styles: classic, crabwalk, crawl, giraffe walk, forward, or backward. Sneak under without knocking down the giraffe—but if you can't, no worries. He'll just laugh, and your child will too.


ALEX Monster Clompers

Alex Monster Clompers
Courtesy of Amazon

Looking for a cuter (and maybe quieter) version of home-made coffee can stilts? These fab feet are made out of sturdy foam with rope handles, so kids can stomp inside and out.


Kidoozie Preschool Super Skipper

International Playthings Preschool Super Skipper
International Playthings

When the music plays, kids must jump over the skipper's rotating pole for a physically active play session that challenges timing and balance. Adjust the height of the pole and the music's speed depending on your child's size, skill, and energy level.


Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling

Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling
Melissa & Doug

Scare up a game with this cute set of 6 soft bowling pins and a ball, each featuring a funny face and plenty of color and texture. Set them up and knock them down—or turn them into props for imaginative play. These monsters are multi-taskers!

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