Active Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

These toys encourage fitness and physical activity — and they're fun!

Toys aren't just for fun; play is essential to your child's growth, learning, and development. At each stage, the best type of toy for a child will be different. For children of all ages, but especially toddlers and preschool-age kids, be sure to include some active toys along with books and cuddly buddies for pretend play.

Active toys help build motor skills and encourage physical activity. Many of the toys on this list can be used indoors or outdoors and while they're geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, they'll likely appeal to other kids (and even parents) too.


Learning Resources Crocodile Hop

Learning Resources Crocodile Hop Floor Game
Learning Resources

With this floor game, kids hop across a mat decorated with a river of colors, shapes, and numbers. Better yet, they can play and learn on their own or with friends. The game comes with large, inflatable dice which are not only easier for kids to use as their fine motor skills are still developing — they're also much harder to misplace.


Step 2 Big Folding Slide

Step2 Natural Play Big Folding Slide

This innovative slide folds up for storage or transport, making it easy to move from the yard to the garage or around your home. When your toddler outgrows the game's 50-pound weight limit, it can be tucked away until a younger sibling or friend is old enough for some sliding fun.


Rody Horse

Rody horse preschool toy


Your active preschooler can rock and bounce to their heart's content on this inflatable horse named Rody. As your toddler grows, their new friend can too — just add more air to make the horse bigger (by hand or with the help of a pump).

Rody is made of a soft, sturdy, latex-free vinyl that comes in several bright colors. You can also buy a base to turn Rody into a traditional rocking horse.


Step2 Wonderball Fun Playhouse

Step2 Wonderball Playhouse


This sweet little playhouse is sure to get your toddler's imagination going and makes a great setting for stories. The house comes with 10 colored balls kids can toss onto the roof, then watch as they funnel down through tubes positioned at each corner. More tunnels and tubes are revealed when you step inside.


Little Tikes Clearly Sports Kick Ball

Little Tikes Clearly Sports Kick Ball
Little Tikes

The Little Tikes Clearly Sports Kick Ball set helps little kids get ready for a game of kickball with the family or on the playground. The set comes with three bases, a home plate, and a clear ball with smaller balls inside that produce sound effects during the game.

You can play indoors or outside, setting the bases anywhere you like. The bases are also a great way to reinforce color and number learning.

If your child is into other sports, Little Tikes' Clearly Sports line also includes bowling, baseball, and golf sets.


Step 2 All-Star Sports Climber

Step2 All-Star Sports Climber

If your preschooler has already mastered the monkey bars, look no further for a versatile climber. The Step 2 All-Star Sports Climber includes a slide, rock wall, basketball hoop, ball-throwing target, and scorekeeper, and even comes with three inflatable balls.

Use it in the house or the yard to introduce your toddler to sports, keep them busy, and encourage them to get active. Looking for a smaller, less expensive option? Consider the Sports-Tastic Activity Climber.


Manhattan Toy Company Boysterous Boys

Boysterous Boy toy


These active action figures are suitable for kids ages 3 to 8. From Slap Shot Sam, shown here, to Slope Shreddin Sean, each one has a sport they adore and all the gear to go with it. You can choose from soccer, skateboarding, hockey, snowboarding, or football.

Each figure has bendable arms and legs and an accessory (which the action figure can hold on to, thanks to the magic of magnets). Also available is a Zip-bin, a playing field floor mat that doubles as a storage bin.


ALEX Beanbag Toss-n-Tote

Alex beanbag toss preschool toy


Spread out the colorful, 3' by 3' mat in the living room or the yard for a simple game of beanbag toss. Four beanbags are included in the attached, zippered bag.

Flip the map over to reveal a second game, "Feed the Fish," which kids can play to practice their numbers and counting skills.


Giraffalaff Limbo

Hasbro Giraffalaff Limbo

Here's a fun take on the classic how-low-can-you-go party game. This battery-operated limbo bar only needs two players — but more can join in!

Spin the dial and you'll be given one of six limbo styles to try: classic, crabwalk, crawl, giraffe walk, forward, or backward. Sneak under without knocking down the giraffe. If you do bump into him, no need for tears: the giraffe will giggle (and you and your child will too).


ALEX Monster Clompers

Alex Monster Clompers


Looking for a cute, but quiet, version of the coffee can stilts you made as a kid? This modern version is bright, fun, and made from sturdy foam with rope handles that are perfect for indoor or outdoor stomping.


Kidoozie Preschool Super Skipper

International Playthings Preschool Super Skipper
International Playthings

Take jump roping to the next level with this electronic take on the classic childhood activity. As the music plays, your preschooler must jump over the skipper's rotating pole.

The physically active play session helps kids practice timing and balance. You can also adjust the height of the pole and the music's speed to suit your child's size, skill, and energy level.


Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling

Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling
Melissa & Doug

These monsters are multi-taskers! This Melissa & Doug bowling set comes with six soft pins, each featuring a funny face and plenty of color and texture, and a ball to toss. When your toddler tires of knocking them down, the fuzzy friends double as props and puppets for make-believe play.

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