We’ll be spending plenty of time in our yards this summer, what with many camps either closed or operating at very limited capacity due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. But while fresh air and sunshine are undoubtedly appealing, kids get bored. They get bored fast. They complain incessantly about being bored. And thus, being home calls for the deployment of smart, unique outdoor toys for kids. If you have younger offspring, you also want to stock up on outdoor toys for toddlers. From slides to swings, these picks should do the trick.
The Best Outdoor Toys for Kids
Croquet is a weird game that's weirdly seriously fun to play. You use the 27 inch hardwood mallets to whack the balls. It's satisfying. It's perfect for your lawn. And this set is easy to set up, totally portable, and made to last forever.
Once kids outgrow the backyard swing, upgrade to a zipline. You need two trees that are up to a hundred feet apart. Once you've got it strung up, kids can just grab the handles, jump onto the adjustable seat, and get a killer adrenaline rush.
The hexagonal paneled design of the ball makes it easy for young pitchers to throw sliders, curveballs, change-ups, and even knuckleballs. The power bat evens the score, giving hitters the chance to whack Blitzballs up to 200 feet. That's far. Very far.
Rustproof hardware, triple-stitched bean bags, and a simple painted stripe make this cornhole set the one that adds to your backyard aesthetic instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. Plus, it's a hell of a good time.
Summer 2020 is going to be the summer of social distancing, and the Ludosport Zorb Ball is the perfect outdoor toy for it. The clear, almost spherical suit is made of one-millimeter-thick PVC that forms a bouncy barrier between the wearer and the outside world when it's inflated. Kids slam into each other. They roll across the yard. They burn off steam. It's a win-win.
This gorgeous set comes with everything you need to start a family tradition. There are eight three-inch balls adorned with colorful, almost mod designs; a shiny silver jack that's easy to spot even in grass that could use a mow, and a bag to keep everything together between rounds.
Slamming balls into goals is one of the best ways (we speak from experience) of getting rid of excess energy. This six by four-foot option from SKLZ is the right size for average backyards. The goals are easy to set up and break down with steel stakes that will keep it in place no matter how powerful your kid's kick becomes.
Forts are an integral part of childhood. And this set takes forts to the next level. The 32 panels are made of corrugated plastic that's lighter than cardboard, making them easy for kids to handle and safe if they come tumbling down. Carton clips and Velcro tape are included, making it easy to construct and destruct the forts of their dreams.
Set up your own sandlot squad at home with four nets placed at each base. A pitch that makes it into the net is called a strike, no ump necessary. And if the fielding team gets the ball into one of the three nets at the bases before the runner tags, the runner is out, no basemen needed.
The Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers
This kids' metal detector lights up and beeps when metal objects are detected, whether it’s treasures buried in the ground, toys hidden in a sand table, or coins laying beneath a sheet.
Turtle shells become a challenging and endlessly fun outdoor obstacle course, as kids hop and jump from one stepping stone to the next. It's the outdoor version of the eternally beloved indoor game, the floor is lava. The set includes six turtle stepping tones, 24 activity cards, and best of all, it helps kids stay active while working on their gross motor skills.
Turn your yard into an amusement park with this bounce house, which inflates and deflates in minutes. It has a 7 by 7 jumping area, and mesh netting around the walls. The slide is a bonus feature because when is a slide not a bonus? The maximum weight limit is 160 pounds.
This three-piece set, made entirely of recycled plastic, includes a watering can, a rake, and a shovel. In other words, everything your kid needs to get started in his or her gardening journey.
Think of this is cheesy sidewalk chalk in the best sense. Instead of hunks of ordinary (translation: boring) chalk, kids use pizza slices to create glittery, multi-colored masterpieces outdoors. These handmade slices feature toppings and glitter crust; everything is non-toxic and biodegradable.
This is pretty much the most perfect two-sided sand and water table ever made. The removable umbrella provides sun protection. And when kids are done playing, you flip the lid and the set becomes an entirely different play surface. It holds up to 10 pounds of sands and three gallons of water, and has drain plugs when you need to empty it out.
This very sweet mud kitchen features everything budding chefs need to get started: A plastic container, stencils, hanging rail, a chalk board so they can list the daily menu, a stainless steel baking pot with lid, a saucepan pot with handle, a frying pan, and whisk. Mud, of course, is free.
Little sluggers will love hammering homers with this smart set, which features three different set ups based on ability. There's even a water-based option: You connect a hose, and the water lifts the ball.
This basic yet smart swing has adjustable straps and T-bar, both of which are removable when your kid outgrows them. Babies as young as 9 months can swing in it, but so can kids weighing up to 50 pounds, which means it gives you several years of play.
Little farmers can drive this authentic looking play tractor over grass, dirt or pavement as they collect treasures. Steering the digger around obstacles will help kids explore the world around them and develop motor skills. It has a large resin digging shovel that rotates 360 degrees, letting kids either scoop up rocks, or use it indoors to clean up stuffed animals and Legos. It's 29 inches in height.
Miniature golfers practice their swing, and aim for a hole in one with this clever and handy wood set, which turns any lawn into a golf course. It includes everything a kid needs: Three clubs, two balls, three tracks, and one hole.
Every kid needs a kiddie pool that looks like a smiling whale and rains water from its tai. Made of durable, 11-gauge vinyl, the 79 x 77 x 36 pool inflates quickly, is large enough for two children to splash around, and its tail-sprinkler easily connects to a garden hose. It holds 53 gallons of water.
This gorgeous wood slide can be used indoors or outside (in dry weather). The sides are molded, so kids feel safe climbing up. The steps are spaced side enough that climbers can secure clamber up before sliding down. The weight limit is 110 pounds.
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