Children’s outdoor toys can encourage kids to put down their devices, and play in the garden – and trick them into getting some fresh air at the same time!
Outdoor toys come in all shapes and sizes, from larger structures such as playhouses and mud kitchens, to classic outdoor games such as Swingball. You can even get weatherproof versions of many indoor games – giant chess, anyone?
These toys are often made from durable plastic, to withstand all weather conditions, and can sometimes be left outside year-round. Many outdoor toys are suitable for a wide range of ages, and some can even be enjoyed by adults too.
If you want to add the fun factor to your garden, take a look at our selection of 5 of the best children’s outdoor toys on the market.
Last update on 2021-04-22 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
We’ve based this on their quality and affordability – but most importantly, the amount of fun they offer!
Our best children’s outdoor toy is fun, affordable, and can be enjoyed by all ages
This Elite Quoits Ring Toss Game comes out on top of our list of the best children’s outdoor toys. This is mostly due to the fact that it offers fun for all ages, and is a game the whole family can enjoy together.
Included with the game is a sturdy wooden ring board with pegs and markings, 10 plastic rings, and 5 rope rings. The object of the game is to throw the rings onto the pegs on the board and try to score the highest number of points.
As well as being fun for children and adults, this game can also help to improve little ones’ hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills – it makes an excellent way for younger children to practise their throwing skills.
The included carry bag makes it easy to store and transport this game. You could take it to the park, beach or on a camping holiday – that’s right, this isn’t just a garden game. In fact, if you have the space, you can also play it inside (just keep it well clear of the best china!)
The manufacturer provides a 1-year warranty, so you can rest assured that it will stand the test of time. Other than the odd report of breakages or quality issues (to be expected), this is a very highly-rated outdoor toy, and one which is sure to provide the whole family with hours of enjoyment.
- Contains durable wood scoreboard and pegs, with 10 plastic rings, and 5 rope rings.
- Fun for the whole family.
- Can help to improve hand-eye coordination.
- Includes carry bag, for easy portability.
- Reasonably-priced, compared to similar games.
- Includes 1-year warranty.
- A minority of online users report quality issues.
Our best value toy produces giant bubbles that are sure to delight kids and big kids – and for a very reasonable price
Cost: Price not available
Our next outdoor toy is another one that is guaranteed to delight both children and adults. This UBITREE Bubble wand can be used to create giant bubbles and bubble tubes, in all sizes.
Not only will (older) kids love to create the bubbles, but they’ll enjoy chasing and playing with them – until they pop, of course. You could also use it as an educational opportunity, to teach kids about how bubbles are formed.
The toy consists of 2 stainless steel telescopic poles, which can be adjusted to 6 different lengths, depending on how big you want your bubbles. At the base of the poles are handles, made from non-slip sponge, to provide a comfortable grip.
In between the poles is a length of rope, which is what creates the bubbles. Bear in mind that, in order to make bubbles, you will first need to submerge the wand in bubble mixture (not provided). A bucket of soapy water can also work, but the bubbles won’t last as long.
The wand comes with a black storage bag, perfect for storage and transportation. This would make a fun addition to festivals and parties, as well as the garden – and best of all, this is our lowest priced outdoor toy!
- Made from durable stainless steel.
- Adjustable poles allow you to create different sizes of bubbles.
- Non-slip foam handles, for a comfortable grip.
- Includes storage bag, for easy transportation.
- Great for the garden, birthday parties, festivals and as a gift.
- Can be enjoyed by all ages.
- Includes 12-month warranty.
- Bubble mixture not included.
- Wand must be dried thoroughly before storage, otherwise it may rust.
This water-based children’s outdoor toy is perfect for summer, and will encourage their creativity
If you’re looking for a toy solely for little ones, this Little Tykes Fountain Water Table is designed for young children, of pre-school age – the manufacturer recommends it for ages 2-5 years.
The table consists of a colourful, plastic construction, with various water features. A water pump fills the tower with water, and this then flows into 3 fountains. There are multiple plumbing pipes and taps which can be rearranged by your child, to direct the water where they want it.
As well as this, there are peek-a-boo characters which rise up on the water, to entertain little ones. This toy is not only fun, but also encourages STEM learning, and can help your child to use their imagination, and express their creativity.
It’s perfect for use in summer, and on hot days – just bear in mind that kids will get wet when playing with it! It can be left outside, but it would be a good idea to cover it when not in use, to prevent it going green.
This is our priciest outdoor toy – but it’s also one of the most substantial, and offers you more for your money. The best children’s toys are the ones which are fun, yet also educational or inspiring – and this one certainly fits the bill.
- Made from sturdy and durable plastic.
- Multiple water features to keep little ones entertained.
- Ideal for pre-school children.
- Encourages STEM learning – educational, as well as fun.
- Easy to assemble.
- Perfect for summer.
- Our priciest outdoor toy.
- Not suitable for children over the age of 5.
- Some users report the table turning green over time – try covering it with a tarpaulin to avoid this.
- Kids will get wet!
This mud kitchen is an exciting and creative outdoor toy for children of pre-school and primary school age
For another outdoor toy that encourages kids’ imaginations, check out this TP Muddy Kitchen. This small mud kitchen will enable your kids to ‘cook’ up all manner of treats – expect to be served a delicious mud pie for dinner!
The stylish unit is made from FSC certified wood, which gives it a Scandinavian look that adults will likely prefer to plastic. The wood is pressure-treated, so you can leave the kitchen outside year-round (although you can also bring it in for indoor play).
The design features a removable plastic splash tub for mixing mud, a painted hob area for ‘cooking’, and a serving shelf, to display their creations. There’s also a roomy shelf underneath, to store their pots, pans and accessories and some hob ring and logo stencils, to allow children to personalise their mud kitchen.
The included starter set of stainless steel pans and whisk means you won’t have to sacrifice your kitchen equipment to your new mud chef(s). Kids will love foraging in the garden and thinking up new recipes, and this will also encourage their creativity, and help with tactile perception.
Overall, this outdoor toy is fairly simple in design, but with a little imagination, can provide your children with hours of fun. It’s not the cheapest outdoor toy out there, but we think it’s more than worth the money.
- Made from durable, FSC certified wood.
- Pressure-treated, so it can be left outside.
- Features a removable tub, hob area, serving station, shelf and stencils.
- Includes a starter set of stainless steel pans and whisk.
- Perfect for ages 3-10 years.
- Encourages children’s imagination, creativity and tactile learning.
- Not the most affordable option.
- Due to the nature of the product, children will get messy!
This simple-yet-addictive outdoor toy never goes out of style – you just can’t beat a classic
Last, but by no means least, on our list of the best outdoor toys, is a true classic: Swingball. It’s highly likely you had one of these yourself as a child, or at least, knew someone who did.
Swingball is an extremely simple concept, yet somehow one of the most entertaining outdoor games out there. It consists of a tennis ball tethered to a pole, which is inserted into the ground. The pole can be adjusted, up to a height of 1.6m.
There are 2 bats included, and these are used by the 2 players, to take turns hitting the ball. The elasticated tether makes the ball travel at exciting speeds and trajectories. Not only is this fun, but it also encourages healthy competition and exercise, and can help to improve hand-eye coordination.
This is a great garden game, that can easily be thrown in a bag and taken to the park or beach. The components are weather-resistant, so it can be used in all conditions – although we would recommend storing it inside. As the ball is attached to the tether, you also don’t need to worry about losing it, or hitting it into the neighbour’s garden!
Ultimately, we’re ending our selection on a high with this classic garden game – it’s been popular with children and families for years, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Provides entertainment and exercise.
- Perfect 2 player game, for friends or siblings.
- Encourages exercise, and can help with hand-eye coordination.
- Adjustable pole height, up to 1.6m.
- Pole splits into 3 sections, for easy storage and transportation.
- Ideal for the garden or beach.
- Suitable for all ages.
- Can only be played by 2 people at a time.
- No base – pole must be inserted into the ground, creating a small hole in your lawn.
How To Clean Outdoor Toys
Keeping outdoor toys clean not only makes them look more appealing, but it also makes them more hygienic and safe for children. Additionally, cleaning your outdoor toys can be a good time to check them over for any safety issues, such as sharp edges or loose screws.
The best way to clean outdoor toys is with good old-fashioned soap and water. Add washing up liquid to a bucket of warm water, and sponge down your outdoor toys. You may need to use a brittle brush to remove any ingrained dirt.
For playhouses and other structures that are left outside year-round and are covered in deep grime, consider using a garden sprayer to power wash them. Alternatively, try applying a weak solution of baking soda or bleach and water, leaving it on for 30 minutes, and then rinsing with water.
Can You Paint Plastic Toys?
The key to successfully painting outdoor plastic toys is in the preparation. If you paint directly onto an un-primed surface, you are likely to end up with a cracked finish, that will quickly deteriorate over time.
Before you begin painting plastic toys, you should first make sure the toy is clean. Wash it thoroughly with soap and water, and allow it to air dry completely. Next, use a specialist plastic primer, and spray it evenly over the surface of the toy.
Allow the primer to dry completely, before applying your coloured paint. For this, choose a quality spray paint that’s specially designed for use on plastic (it will specify this clearly on the bottle). Apply the paint evenly, using consistent strokes. Ensure each coat of paint is completely dry before applying the next, and stop once you’ve achieved your desired colour. Finish by applying a spray-on sealer, which will help make sure your shiny new paintwork will last.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.