I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not alone in having a major case of cabin fever lately. With the kids home with us around the clock, we’ve all been needing time outside more than ever. That, of course, means I’ve been on the hunt for new outdoor toys to keep the kids running, jumping, creating, playing, and burning off their seemingly endless amounts of energy.
After hours of scouring and a lot of testing with my kids, I’ve come up with my go-to list of the best outdoor toys to keep your kids entertained while you’re all stir crazy in the house.
Pour the bubble solution into the machine’s reservoir, turn the knob to power it on, and you’ll have thousands of bubbles per minute for hours of summer fun! I often share this machine in action on my Instagram stories, so if it looks familiar, that’s why! It has two speed levels and can be either battery-powered or plugged in, so the fun doesn’t have to stop until you do. (PS: Don’t forget to stock up on bubbles!)
Bursting with activities, this large water table features a design that allows multiple children to play together. Use the big bucket to pour water into the top to create a rain shower, launch the frog to the top of the water table, or rearrange the maze pieces to create new waterfalls.
Run, jump, and stomp to launch the foam rocket up to 100 feet in the air! The Jr Glow version is designed for kids ages three and up and comes with four glow-in-the-dark rockets to play at night.
I guarantee this will be the hit of the summer! This bouncer features a seven-foot padded arena for bouncing, which gives space for multiple kids at once. There’s a slide to exit out front, and the shady jumper has an arched canopy to provide shade from the summer sun.
I just showed it off on my Instagram stories while chasing down Memorial Day deals and needed to keep the kids entertained. We’ve had it for years now and just patched one small hole—good as new!
This is one you may remember from your childhood: As your kiddo pushes this mini mower, the beads pop, pop, pop! Turn the key and pull the cord to hear engine sounds, just like a real mower. And your little one doesn’t need to worry about running out of fuel—the included gas can fill it back up anytime!
No batteries, gears, or pedals—just prop your feet up on the footrests and turn the steering wheel to get moving! The Original PlasmaCar comes in multiple colors and rides best on hard, flat surfaces—ideal for ages three years and up (adults included!).
No outdoor toy collection is complete without this summer staple! Your child will spend hours creating, and once they’re done, their drawings wash off easily with water, leaving a blank canvas to start all over again.
Bring Six Flags to your backyard! The Step2 Up and Down Roller Coaster is a ten-foot-long roller coaster ride on a track with a riding car that has a high back, handrail, and footrests for a safe trip every time. Ideal for any thrill-seeking toddler or preschooler. Best to encourage all dads to abstain from taking it on a test run ;).
Who remembers this gem from the 90s? Share one of your favorites from your childhood with your kids! This set is perfect for the whole family, and the velcro paddles make it great for littles who are still learning to catch.
With three wheels and a low-to-the-ground deck to add stability, the Micro Mini Mini Deluxe Kick Scooter will be a family favorite all summer long. Featuring a unique lean-to-steer design, the Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe Scooter will allow your child to use their body weight to lean right or left, learning how to lean into a turn. The adjustable T-bar grows with children from ages 2 – 5 (then they’ll be ready for the Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe Scooter).
Do you have a child who may or may not also be a spider monkey? If yes, this dome climber is for you! It’s made of lightweight, durable plastic and will provide your kids with hours of fun. Recommend for ages 3-6.
If you have a tree, wall, or extra piece of lumber laying around (go you!), consider putting together a climbing wall! This set includes twenty-five hand and foot grips, two climbing handles, and a knotted climbing rope perfect for creating a fun, challenging play area. Even teenagers might think this is a fun activity!
The ultimate beginner’s cycle, the Cub Balance Bike doesn’t have pedals. Say what? A bike with no pedals? New riders move the bike forward with their feet—and where there are no pedals, there are fewer scratches, minimal speed, not as many falls, and better balance. This balance bike fits children from twenty months to five years old with adjustable seat posts and handlebars.
Wow your future World Cup star with this kid-sized soccer set. The Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set comes with a goal and net, a soccer ball and a pump—everything you need for your next backyard match!
What little kid doesn’t love walking on stilts? Just step onto the colorful platform (you can pick from five bright hues), pull the rope tight, and off you go! Older kids and parents like to get in on the fun with these, too, so if you’re debating between two colors, the correct answer is “both.”
The most adorable playhouse features two working doors, windows, and shutters, plus it even has a built-in mail slot. Available in multiple color combos. Big pro: Simple and easy assembly.
Your little one will be ready to dig in right beside you with this gardening toolset! Each piece has a wooden handle and metal head, making them just like the real thing shrunk down to child’s size. The set comes with a shovel, rake, hoe, and leaf rake.
If you’ve got a place to hang it, this hammock will be responsible for hours of summer lounging—and fun! It comes with straps and carabiners, making setup a breeze, and once you’re done, it packs down to the size of an orange.
This wheelbarrow is both functional and fun, letting your little one haul toys and help with chores in the yard. And, just like a real wheelbarrow, it has a steel tray, wooden handles, and a front wheel that rolls easily.
Transform your backyard into a playground with this large slide from Little Tikes! It’s five feet long, so you’ll get more use from it than the smaller version, and thanks to the extra-wide base, it won’t wobble.
This is the ultimate bounce house and water slide combo! What more could your kids need for the total backyard fun? It has a climbing wall with grab handles, a large platform, and two curved water slides that lead to a splash pool. Your little kids won’t be able to get enough of it!
“Can you find a bird? Flap your arms like a bird.” This outdoor scavenger hunt is a fun first game for little ones that get them exploring outside! The set includes twenty double-sided cards with simple questions and prompts to guide your kiddo, leading to hours of entertainment.
Get your kids’ imaginations going by giving them a set of walkie-talkies to play with while they’re outside! This set is sized for little hands and has a simple push-to-talk button that makes it super-easy to use.
Bring the splash pad to your backyard with this adorable splash pad playmat! It’s a 60″ diameter shallow wading pool that doubles as a sprinkler when hooked up to the garden hose. Squeals for hours!
Get your little one exploring the outdoors with this adventure set! It includes binoculars, a flashlight, a multi-use tool, bug container, tweezers, magnifying glass, drawstring bag, and eBook—everything they need for hours of fun outside.
Giant bubbles are sure to be a BIG hit with the little ones! This giant bubble wand has telescopic poles that can be adjusted to 6 different lengths, making it usable for both little kids and adults.
If you’re looking for fun, safe water play this summer, you’ve found it! This pack of four Cooper & Friends Water Shooters is the perfect solution for kids of all ages, including parents looking to feel like kids again. Cooper the Monkey is accompanied by his friends, Hippo, Doggy, and Ducky attached to blue, red, orange, and green foam water blasters. Get ready for wet, wholesome fun!
Take your dog—and water fun—anywhere with this portable, foldable, easy-to-store dog pool! It’s simple (no inflation!) and sets up in no time. With a bottom/side drain, this pool is easy to drain and refresh water. It’ll be your go-to for little kids and canines alike!
Boiiiiing! The My First Flybar foam pogo stick provides hours of healthy, bouncy fun. It’s crafted from durable foam, which makes it an ideal first pogo stick for kids. Each jump makes a fun, squeaky sound. Little kids (three and up) can use it anywhere: indoor, outdoor, on the go. And, unlike other jumping toys, this pogo jumper for kids is made to last.
This cute, colorful chair is the perfect size for little kids! It features two cup holders and is much sturdier than the $15 price tag lets on. As far as I’m concerned, Target’s Sun Squad line can do no wrong!
Bring your cash because this Little Tikes 2-in1 Lemonade Stand comes with tons of accessories, which means your littles will be serving you cool treats all day long. Kiddos will have a blast pretending to scoop and assemble their cones, or they can pretend to run their own lemonade cart and hand out glasses of delicious, “freshly squeezed” lemonade. Perfect for children two and up.
Double down (and contain) the outdoor fun with this Mud Kitchen from TP Toys! It offers wet and dry activity areas, stencils, an oven door, a removable splash tub, storage, hanging rail, chalkboard, serving station, stainless steel pots, pans, and a whisk. It’s made of FSC-certified, pressure-treated European timber wood and capable of churning out endless mud pies.
Shade and play all day with this sturdy 3-in-1 Sand & Water Activity Table! Removing the table top reveals two plastic activity bins (very easy to clean), which turn this picnic set into either a sand table or a water table. You’ll love how safe and sun-covered it is, and they’ll love all the activity options!
Grab something off this list? I’d love to see it! Tag @thriftylittles on Instagram so I can join in on the fun.
PS: For even more ideas to get your family moving, check out local Washington author Katy Bowman’s book, Grow Wild, a field guide for families looking to move more in their everyday lives (setting up your home to encourage more movement, creating dynamic homework spaces, etc.). There are so many wonderful ideas inside even I had been overlooking!