The 10 Best Active Toys for Toddlers of 2021

Let your kiddos get all of their energy out

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Every parent has had those days where they look at their toddler and think, “how do you have so much energy?” When they have this kind of energy they need to get it out, which is why it’s smart to have some active toys around the house. Toys that get them moving will help tire them out a little bit (in a good way!) and may even help them get a good night’s sleep!

If this sounds like something you absolutely need in your house, here are some of the best active toys for toddlers.

Our Top Picks
Adjustable to adapt to your tot's growing height, this set gives your 3-year-old a head start on developing their motor skills.
Kiddos can play with this kid-proof rocking horse indoors or outdoors, making it a classic year-round toy.
Equipped with features that are great for outside play, it also comes with two potted flowers and gardening tools.
It includes a tunnel and two tents that serve as ball pits where little ones can have hours of fun.
Little ones who love jumping can stay occupied with this hopscotch rug and add a bean bag into the mix for a challenge.
Kids sit on the stool and spin themselves around using the stationary wheel in the middle and all the energy they can muster.
Young climbers will stay entertained while parents can rest easy knowing there's a safe, non-slip bottom.
It can be used as a push wagon to help provide new walkers stability or converted into a riding toy to help with coordination.
Aspiring musicians or dancers can channel their energy with this piano mat, featuring multiple songs to keep them moving.
Kiddos who want a play space away from home will love hiding out in this bounce house, complete with multiple safety measures.

Best Overall: Little Tikes T-Ball Set

Little Tikes T-Ball Set

The Little Tikes T-Ball Set is a classic for a reason because kids love it! Toddlers 18 months old and up can swing the bat and go chasing after the ball, getting all of their energy out. Then, once they’re good and tired, you can fold down the stand, store all the pieces in it, and hang up on a wall out of the way. 

Best Budget: Little Tikes Rocking Horse

Rocking horse

What little kid doesn’t like a rocking horse? It’s a fun toy and it requires a bit of effort to rock back and forth, so it will definitely use up some energy. This model is made for tots between 12 months and 3 years old (and under 50 pounds), can be played with indoors or outside, and is built sturdy to avoid accidents. 

Best Outdoor: Little Tikes 2-in-1 Garden Cart & Wheelbarrow

There are two things toddlers really love: putting stuff into containers and taking them back out and ‘helping’ their parents any chance they can get. This toy is the perfect combination of both. It’s designed for kids between 2 and 6 years old and is equipped with features that are great for outside play like a shade canopy and a working water sprinkler. It also comes with two potted flowers and two gardening tools.

Best Indoor: Kiddey Children's Play Tent with Tunnel

Toddlers get a kick out of a crawl-through tunnel on their own but add tents at either end (which can also serve as ball pits) and you have endless active fun. Kids 12 months old and up can safely expend their energy with this fun toy, and once they’ve tuckered out, you can collapse everything down into a neat little carrying case. 

Best Versatile: Melissa & Doug Hop & Count Hopscotch Rug

For little jumpers between 3 and 7 years old, this hopscotch rug and bean bag set will definitely keep them occupied. It measures 6 feet long, has a non-skid bottom, and features a vibrant traditional hopscotch pattern. Kids can simply jump from square to square or they can toss a bean bag onto the mat to add a bit of a challenge.

Best Classic: Playskool Sit ‘n Spin

While your toddler is technically sitting on this toy, it’s still very active because they have to use their arms and energy to spin them around, and the more energy they give, the faster they’ll go so you know they’ll give it their all. This classic toy is great for kids between 18 months and 6 years old and can be used indoors or outside on a nice day. 

Best Climbing: ECR4Kids SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set

Climbers between 9 months old and 3 years old will have tons of fun with this five-piece climbing set. Each cushion is made out of a lightweight foam so your little one can easily move things around to create new challenges, and you don’t have to worry because each piece has a non-slip bottom for safety. They’re also waterproof, so if your tot spills something on one of the cushions, just wipe it down with some soap and water and you’re set.

Best for Younger Toddlers: Skip Hop 3-in-1 Baby Activity Push Walker

Toddlers as young as 12 months old and up to 4 years old can get their energy out using this toy which can be configured in three different ways. It can be used as a push wagon to help provide new walkers stability, converted into a riding toy to help with coordination, or set up as a scooter once they’ve gained their balance. The toy also has fun sound effects and a little headlight.

Best for Older Toddlers: B. toys by Battat Floor Piano Mat

Kiddos with a love of music or dancing can get their energy out with this 26 x 54-inch floor piano mat designed for little ones 3 years old and up. They definitely won’t get bored because this toy has four play modes, all of which keep them moving while also aiding in their development. There are tons of great songs, opportunities to dance, and even the option to make up their own sound combinations. 

Best Splurge: Little Tikes Jr. Jump n' Slide Bouncer

If you have the backyard space, this is the toy that is sure to get your kid’s energy out of them. The bounce house is enclosed with safety netting on three sides and the fourth side opens to a slide. It comes with stakes to secure it in place outside, an electric fan to keep it inflated, and a carrying bag for when it’s not in use. This amazing toy is best for kids between 2 and 8 years old. 

Final Verdict

Every tot is different and has their own interests, but you can’t go wrong with the Kiddey Play Tent with Tunnel (view on Amazon) or the B. Toys Floor Piano Mat (view on Amazon) for endless active fun.  

What to Look for When Buying Active Toys for Toddlers

Indoors vs. Outdoors

Before you make a purchase on an active toy for your toddler, you'll want to think about if you want an indoor or outdoor toy. Some active toys may take up more space than you originally thought they would, and may work better outside. Or, you may want a toy that can be used both inside and outside.

For example, the Playskool Sit 'n Spin (view on Amazon) can be used indoors and outdoors and doesn't take up much space. A toy like this helps toddlers burn off energy no matter where they're playing at. But, there's also toys like the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Garden Cart & Wheelbarrow (view on Amazon) that works best outside. Because a toy like this can be used with outdoor materials, like dirt and flowers, it works best for outdoor play. It also may take up more space indoors, so you can store it out front or in the garage.

Age-Appropriate

Purchasing active toys that are age appropriate will ensure your toddler is learning at a pace designed for their age. You don't want a toy that's too little for their age or too advanced because then they may feel overwhelmed trying to use it or may not find it entertaining.

You'll want an age-appropriate toy due to safety reasons as well. Many toys come with age recommendations that parents and caregivers should highly consider before making their final purchase. These age recommendations are a great guideline to follow, especially for little ones and if the toy comes with smaller pieces. Smaller pieces to an active toy can become choking hazards and should be taken seriously.

Entertainment Value

Whether you need to take a break or keep your toddler busy while you work, entertainment value is a necessity. No parent or caregiver has the time to play with their toddler every second of every day, so we rely on books, toys, and other items to keep them busy and still learning. Physical development is important for little ones, and active toys are no different.

Any toy on this list is sure to keep your toddler busy, but it's up to you on what you think your toddler would be most interested in. Consider their interests, like running, jumping, music, and more, before buying. For example, if your toddler loves music, check out the B. toys Battat Floor Piano Mat (view on Amazon) to help them groove the day away.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler is a staff and freelance writer who covers lifestyle, home, parenting, and commerce content for a variety of platforms. She’s a mom to 1-year-old and 3-year-old daughters and an aunt to 3 nieces and 2 nephews ranging from 5 to 10 years old. In addition to regularly scouring the internet to find the best things for herself, Ashley spends multiple hours a week researching, comparing, and writing about products specifically for kids and families.

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