Few activities with kids are more fun after a long winter inside than playing in the backyard. Whether hitting a ball, building a fort, or getting sprayed by a ginormous dinosaur sprinkler, there’s something to be said for an afternoon of exhausting outdoor play. And while there’s certainly no shortage of fun backyard toys for kids, some of the most engaging involve throwing. Projectile play is fun for many reasons: One, it’s fun to launch stuff at your kids. Two, projectile play not only hones a child’s hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, but also gives them a crash course in gravity and other principles of physics. To help you enjoy the fun, here are some fun flingin’ toys, from beanbags and bows to supersonic slingshots and oversized plastic ninja stars, that should make for an entertaining summer in the yard.
Djubi is a slingshot catch game played with a pair of deep-netted racquets and a foam ball. After attaching the ball’s elastic loop to a hook to the racket, a player slings the ball in the air while others use the racquets to ‘shag fly balls.’ The Djubi ball can travel up to 100 feet and also floats on water, which makes it great beach game as well.
Fun-Air Scoop Ball
A proto-lacrosse game with a little Jai alai throw in, Fun-Air Scoop involves hurling a Wiffleball around with a curved scoop. Not only is mastering the overhand flick throwing motion a riot ⏤ and gets kids ready for playing lacrosse ⏤ but the shape is also conducive to snagging errant ground balls like an infielder. Two kids can have a blast simply passing the ball back and forth or playing a version of keep away with a third in the mix.
Franklin MLB Pitching Machine
This easy-to-operate pitching machine turns the backyard into a batting cage. It holds nine plastic baseballs, pitches every 10 seconds (with a red flash to let you know when they’re coming), and even offers three height angles to ensure you hit the strike zone no matter how tall the batter.
Zing Air Hunterz Z-Curve Bow
It’s been a hot minute since Katniss was drawing her bowstring and Hawkeye was the Avenger’s resident archer, but kids still enjoy launching foam arrows across the backyard. This insanely popular AirHunterz bow for ages 8+ (which scores almost 5 stars on 1,425 Amazon reviews) rocks an easy-to-shoot ‘z-curve’ and comes with two types of arrows: one suction cup and two long-distance whistling foam “Zonics” that can travel upwards of 125 feet.
Poof Star Toss Game
Star Toss is horseshoes re-imagined for gen Z’ers who’d much rather throw oversized plastic ninja stars than heavy equine footwear. Players hone their aim while taking turns throwing at a spike in the ground 40 feet away and, like horseshoes, points are awarded for ringing the star or touching the pole.
Zing Sky Ripperz
These “supersonic bungee launched rockets” with no batteries (or assembly required) can sail almost half the distance of a football field. Each pack comes with two arrows and one slingshot-style launcher. Better still, there’s plenty of soft padding on each rocket tip to blunt potential damage in case they slam into a neighbor’s window.
Mellissa and Doug Beanbag Toss
There are two ways to play this colorful kid’s precursor to cornhole — with the double-sided board lying down or standing up carnival-style. Either way, players attempt to match the eight numbered beanbags with their corresponding numbered/netted holes in the board. The target folds flat for easy storage and has a carrying handle so you can take it camping or to the beach.