The 9 Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers of 2021

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table at Walmart

"You can bring the beach to your backyard with this water table that is a great sensory experience."

Best Budget: Sidewalk Crayola Chalk at Amazon

"Sidewalk chalk is one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers, and kids of all ages can get in on the fun, too!"

Best Water Toy: Step2 Waterfall Discovery at Amazon

"Tons of reviews agree that this unique water toy is as much fun for adults as it is for kids."

Best Swing: Little Tikes 2 -in- 1 Snug 'n Secure Swing at Amazon

"This swing sets up super quickly and can hold children up to 50 pounds."

Best Bubbles: Bubble Machine at Amazon

"This machines can produce 500 bubbles a minute."

Best Pool: Intex Dinosaur Play Center Swimming Pool at Amazon

"This pick not only has a pool so your child can cool off but it also has a sprinkler, slide, and a dinosaur water pit."

Best Sports: Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set at Amazon

"The hoop can be adjusted from 2.5 to 4 feet."

Best Splash Pad: Splashin Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat at Amazon

"Bring the splash pad to your backyard with this handy mat that comes at a bargain of a price."

Best Slide: Allstar Sports Climber at step2.com

"This colorful toy features several of your little one’s favorite sports, like soccer, football, and basketball."

If you're in the market for outdoor toys for your toddlers, you are no doubt looking for something that will keep their imagination running wild until it's time for bed. Outdoor toys today can keep your adventurous little ones engaged in sensory play while encouraging them to get creative and burn off extra energy.

From sandboxes to climbing walls, here are the best outdoor toys for toddlers you can buy.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

 Courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to outdoor play for little ones, we can’t think of a better combination than sand and water. You can bring the beach to your backyard with this water table that will indulge their sensory play. Fill it with water, sand, or both, and watch your toddlers get to work filling up cups and bowls, or pushing along their trucks.

Kids will love the endless entertainment this toy brings and parents will love that this has an umbrella to keep them protected and a cover that keeps sand dry and clean. Plus, the cover can also be used as a play space for imaginative play.

Reviewers think this is the best water table they've seen with many bringing it indoors in the winter and using it as a sensory table for indoor activities.

Best Budget: Sidewalk Crayola Chalk

When it comes to summer fun—budget doesn’t have to equal boring! Sidewalk chalk is one of the best outdoor toys for toddlers, and kids of all ages can get in on the fun, too! Use it to sketch out one of your favorite childhood games, like tic-tac-toe or hopscotch, or to encourage your kids to create their own masterpiece. Either way, they’re guaranteed to have tons of hours of fun. That’s why sidewalk chalk gets our vote for the best budget outdoor toy for toddlers.

Depending on your budget, you can purchase a small pack of chalk to start with, or you can go big. Try this set of 16 pieces that’s got every color your child could want.

Best Water Toy: Step2 Waterfall Discovery

When you’re a toddler, there’s just nothing better than playing with water. So take their water play to the next level with this fun waterfall discovery toy by Step 2. Watch your child's eyes light up as water cascades down the front and back of the plastic waterfall and pools at the bottom. Then change things up with 13 included cups, chutes, and water wheels that he can move around to create his own obstacles. It’s a great way to incorporate a cause and effect lesson into his water play—and what could be better than that?

Tons of reviews agree that this unique water toy is as much fun for adults as it is for kids.

Best Swing: Little Tikes 2 -in- 1 Snug 'n Secure Grow With Me Swing

Little Tikes Swing

Courtesy of Walmart

Swinging is a favorite pastime for all. Why not let your kids get in on the action at home without the need for an expensive swing set. This swing sets up super quickly and can hold children up to 50 pounds. You can install it on your porch, on a tree, or one clever reviewer hung it inside her house for a rainy day activity. Wherever you hang it—we're sure it will be a hit and it cut down on your car trips to the park.

Best Bubbles: Bubble Machine

You can't go wrong with a bubble machine. This machine can produce 500 bubbles a minute—making it a little too messy for indoors. Kids will delight at the bubbles that fill the air as they run around and pop them. While bubble machines are great for any old day, they are extra special for a birthday party.

This machine is shaped like a dolphin and comes with an 8-ounce bubble solution. This requires six batteries that aren't included. Reviewers say it is a quality machine for the price.

Best Pool: Intex Dinosaur Play Center Inflatable Kids Set & Swimming Pool

If you are looking for some outdoor entertainment for your children when the weather is warm—nothing is better than a kiddie pool. This pick not only has a pool so your child can cool off but it also has a sprinkler, slide, and a dinosaur water pit. The pool has padding on the bottom to keep them comfortable as they wade around and the kit comes with a repair kit for when holes are bound to happen. (Remember, it's always important to keep a close eye on kids especially around the pool. Using a toy like this could also be a great chance to teach your kids about pool safety!)

When it comes time to pack this up it has a clever drain so you don't have to tip it over. Parents say this pool is amazing with many saying the whole family got in on the action (even grandma!). One parent even brought it inside and filled it with toys.

Best Sports: Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

This iconic basketball set lets your little one shoot some hoops in the backyard without having to aim high. The hoop can be adjusted from 2.5 to 4 feet so this can be used for children as young as 18 months and up to five years old. It comes with three balls for them to dunk until their heart is content. To keep the hoop from falling over, you can fill the base with sand.

Parents agree that this is a must have for any active household with kids. Many admit to enjoying it just as much as their little ones!

Best Splash Pad: Splashin'kids 68" Sprinkle and Splash Play Mat

Bring the splash pad to your backyard with this handy mat that comes at a bargain of a price. Just hook it up to your hose and watch all the neighborhood kids flock over to cool off. At 68 inches in diameter, the whole family can get splashed. Your pets might even want to get in on the action.

Reviewers love the price and that you can just take this out of the package and hook up to your hose. No assembly required. A major plus for busy homes.

Best Slide: Allstar Sports Climber

All-Star Sports Climber

Courtesy of Step2

Is your toddler already a sports enthusiast? If so, she’ll get a literal kick out of the Allstar Sports Climber by Step 2. This colorful toy features several of your little one’s favorite sports, like soccer, football, and basketball. If that’s not enough, there’s also a climbing ladder and slide—it’s sure to keep your adventurous toddler busy for hours on end to burn off some of that crazy energy.

Keep in mind you’ll have to assemble this top-rated climbing toy, but most parents agree that it’s a pretty simple process. Plus, when you think of the excitement you’ll see in your toddler’s eyes, it will definitely be worth it! With lots of different activities that’ll inspire your budding sports star, the Allstar Sports Climber is our pick for one of the best sports outdoor toys for toddlers.

What to Look For in an Outdoor Toy

Age

You can check the toy's age range on the box. This helps you determine whether it will be a good fit for your child and their developmental stage. You want them to engage with the toy and be able to comprehend what it's used for. If you think they're too young to understand it, or too old to be interested in it, you may want to select another toy.

Inspires Learning and Discovery

The best types of toys for your little ones will inspire their creativity while also letting them learn something new. Choose a toy that can educate them about a certain topic or hobby, or one that allows them to interact with a new sound, texture, or taste. Sensory play is important for development and toys are a great way to help them explore new things.

Ease of Use

From installation to clean up to bad weather, some toys are better than others in certain circumstances. If you tend to be more on the go, you may want a toy that doesn't have a difficult installation process. Perhaps it's important for you to have an outdoor toy that can easily be moved inside if the weather doesn't permit it. Also, consider the cleanup. When it's time to wind down for the day, is the toy easy to pick up and store away?

Durability and Safety

Babies love to put things in their mouths, so make sure that the toy you're buying doesn't pose any hazards. For instance, it may be worth checking whether the toy is made with non-toxic materials. Also, does it contain small pieces a child could choke on? Consider the durability of the toy, too. You want to find a toy that will live through any throwing, hitting, and biting so it is long-lasting.

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