15 Best Backyard Toys for Toddlers and Kids

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Last updated: July 17, 2023

A guide with 15 fun backyard toys for toddlers and kids, to help keep them entertained outdoors while also being social and active.

As a proud father of two kids, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to keep toddlers and kids entertained throughout the day when they’re not in school.

Fortunately, we have a big backyard that I treasure, and I always strive to make that backyard the most appealing place to be, especially during the warmer summer months.

As such, I have purchased many different types of outdoor toys that my kids can play with in the backyard. And that, I think, is so much better than having them indoors all day watching TV or playing video games.

Top 15 Backyard Toys

Here is my top 15 best backyard toys. Tried, tested, and approved by my kids and their neighborhood friends!

1. Toy Gardening Set

Gardening is so much more than just a chore. It’s a hobby, or a passion even, that can make us feel good and happy while being outdoors and being creative.

Children have a natural urge to mimic their parents, so if you’re an avid gardener, why not get your kids involved by giving them a toy gardening set, allowing them to be creative and feel fulfilled.

G&F JustForKids Garden Tool Set
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  • Stronger & thicker metal head applicable for older kids to play.
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There are many different types of toy gardening sets available today, some of them being miniature versions of real tools, others being just toys suitable for toddlers role play.

Make sure though that the toy gardening tools you have in mind are safe for your kids to use, and offer enough variety for them to be creative.

Ready my guide to the best toy gardening sets.

2. Sandbox with Cover

Another great way to keep toddlers and kids entertained in the backyard is by investing in a classic sandbox.

Sandboxes come in so many different sizes and shapes that it can be hard to choose just one to entertain your growing child.

Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
  • Molded in detail on the bottom of the sandbox to encourage digging.
  • Large area for lots of sand play
  • Turtle shell is a removable lid that covers sand area

Since children grow so fast, I have always preferred a simple and affordable sandbox that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and one that comes with a cover.

This may sound obvious, but a sandbox cover is so important because it helps keep the animals out, and it also protects the sand against the elements and any unwanted dirt.

Ready my guide to the best sandboxes with cover.

3. Toy Grill and BBQ Set

Like toy gardening tools, with a toy grill and BBQ set, you can get your children to emulate your daily cooking efforts.

Not only is this an excellent way for kids to be social and creative, but there is also an educational benefit for kids to play with a toy grill set.

Little Tikes Cook and Play Outdoor BBQ
  • Working oven door; Molded-in pegs to hang kitchen utensils and pans
  • Clicking knobs on grill make fun sounds!
  • Molded-in sink and cooktop for added creative role play

A toy cooking set will allow your child to expand their imitation game and master some fun new skills in the process. It helps nurture curiosity while also being active for a few hours.

Most toy grills have the same basic setup, but they also come in a wide range of sizes with many different features, so make sure you pick one that suits your child and their age.

Ready my guide to the best toy grill and BBQ sets.

4. Sprinkler Splash Pad

You may or may not have taken your toddler to a public splash park somewhere in the neighborhood before. They have become a popular fixture in parks and city centers across the country.

Toddlers and young children absolutely love playing with these interactive water features on those hot summer days.

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad
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  • TAKE A DIP IN ONE COOL POOL – Get relief from the heat with the SplashEZ...
  • SPLASH SAFELY – Keep kids cool and safe with SplashEZ’s parent-approved...

The good news is that you don’t have to leave your house to enjoy the benefits of a splash park, because you can buy your own mini sprinkler splash pad for in the backyard.

When searching for a new backyard sprinkler splash pad, be sure to pick one that is durable, made with the best materials, and is also the right size for your child.

Ready my guide to the best sprinkler splash pads.

5. Backyard Trampoline

Trampolines have been a backyard favorite for so many years now, so much so that it’s hard to even find a backyard without a trampoline.

Trampolines come in various shapes and sizes, from small kiddie trampolines to larger-sized premium trampolines suitable for all ages.

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Most backyard trampolines are round-shaped, but they are also available as square, rectangular, and oval-shaped.

The most important aspect to pay attention to when searching for a new trampoline is safety. Make sure the trampoline has a safety net and that the springs are covered with padding.

Ready my guide to the best backyard trampolines.

6. Portable Basketball Hoop

A portable basketball hoop for toddlers and kids is a fantastic way to get your children excited about not only basketball, but even more so about sports in general.

Basketball, however, is the perfect sport to practice in the backyard at home, as it only requires a simple hoop to get started.

Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set
  • Basketball Hoop Adjusts to Six Heights from 2 to 4 Feet
  • Includes an oversized rim and junior size basketball
  • Develops social, motor skills and coordination

Selecting the right hoop for your child can be a bit of a challenge, as there are hundreds of different hoops available in different sizes and with various features.

Just make sure you pick one that fits your child’s age and height, and ensure quality materials have been used so that it will last for multiple seasons.

Ready my guide to the best portable basketball hoops.

7. Outdoor Playhouse

An outdoor playhouse in the backyard can be a magical and creative space that your child will love for years and years.

There are so many benefits to investing in a playhouse, as it encourages imaginative play, gets your child outside, and it can get the whole family involved.

Backyard Discovery Sweetwater Wooden Playhouse
  • COZY COTTAGE: Showcasing a country half front door, country style details in the...
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However, picking a good playhouse for your little one is a real challenge as there are so many options available and at very different price levels.

They are usually made with either plastic or wood. Plastic is great as it tends to be more durable outside, whereas wood is often more aesthetically pleasing.

Ready my guide to the best outdoor playhouses.

8. Kids Tee-Ball Set

If your child (or you, the parent!) is more into baseball than basketball, why not get them a kids tee-ball set?

Not only does it allow your toddler to go and smack all the right things, but it can also instill a hidden interest in this exciting sport.

Little Tikes T-Ball Set
  • TOTSPORTS T-BALL SET - Searching for an indoor or outdoor game that will teach...
  • TODDLER DEVELOPING SKILLS - This tball set has an adjustable height "T" which...
  • ADJUSTABLE KIDS TEE BALL SET - Toddlers of different height, alone or with their...

There isn’t a huge amount of variation in the world of kids tee-ball sets, but there certainly are some essential features to look out for.

For example, it’s good to make sure the tee-ball set is height adjustable, not only to make it last more years but also to allow your child to practice at different heights and angles.

Ready my guide to the best t-ball sets for kids.

9. Tree Swing

Most of us will have, at some point, played with a classic tree swing, either at home or in the park.

Back then, all we needed was a flat piece of wood or an old tire and a rope, and we were good to go. Fast forward to today, and we can buy tree swings that look like flying saucers.

Sorbus Spinner Tree Swing
  • ⭐ ADORABLE KID’S SPINNER SWING (BLACK, 40" NET SEAT) – Provides a fun...
  • ⭐ GREAT FOR OUTDOOR PLAY – Can be used as chair swing for tree, hammock...
  • ⭐ COMFY HANGING SEAT – Rope seat cushion provides super comfy ride – 2-3...

When buying a tree swing, you can get yourself a basic one-person swing, or you can go all out and buy a multi-person flying saucer-type swing.

Also look at the materials and make sure the ropes and the seat are top quality and designed with safety and durability in mind.

Ready my guide to the best tree swings.

10. Inflatable Kiddie Pool

If your backyard doesn’t have an in-ground pool (mine sure doesn’t!) or doesn’t have enough space to add a more permanent fixture, then an inflatable kiddie pool is something to consider.

An inflatable pool for the kids means hours of fun each day during the warmer summer months, which can make life for you as a parent so much easier.

Hesung Inflatable Kiddie Pool
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  • More Durable& Stable: Tear-proof materials and tight seams form a strong...
  • Easy to Inflate and cleanup: Quick set up in 3 minutes by electric pump (not...

As you can imagine, inflatable pools come in different shapes and sizes, but it’s crucial to pick one that offers durability and easy maintenance.

There are even kiddie pools available that are so large and durable that the four-legged member of the family can also join in on the fun.

Ready my guide to the best inflatable kiddie pools.

11. Inflatable Water Slide

If you’d like to take that backyard water fun to a whole new level, then you may as well invest in an inflatable water slide.

While these toys do take up a lot of space, and they certainly aren’t the cheapest backyard toys, they can offer so much entertainment.

Action Air Shark Inflatable Waterslide
  • Fast Set-up in 3 Mins & East to Storage: Set-up and take down is easily done in...
  • We Care Your Children: Please Note that air leak from all the seams is necessary...
  • Extra Thick with Double Sliding Sheet: The kids waterslide comes with double...

There are many things to look out for when buying a new water slide, but make sure to read reviews of buyers who have purchased the slide to identify any potential long-term quality issues.

Also pay attention to the actual size of the water slide when in use because it often turns out much bigger than anticipated when trying it out in the backyard the first time.

Ready my guide to the best inflatable water slides.

12. Plastic Outdoor Playset

If you’re not always available to head to the playground in the park with your kids, a good alternative is to purchase a plastic outdoor playset that you can install in the backyard.

Some of those playsets feature many of the same exciting options that you’ll find at the park, such as slides, climbing walls, and swings.

Step2 Outdoor Playset
  • FUN PLAYTIME: Bring excitement of the park playground to the backyard, climbing...
  • INTERACTIVE PLAY: Climber play strengthens the muscles, improves fine motor...
  • NATURAL DESIGN: Earthy colors, realistic textures that reflect nature, blend...

There are also smaller, toddler-friendly playsets that take up very little room in your backyard and are also incredibly affordable.

I prefer plastic over wood or metal because it’s durable, waterproof, safe, lightweight, and often super easy to install and set up.

Ready my guide to the best plastic outdoor playsets.

13. Outdoor Climbing Toy

Climbing is a great pastime for kids, as it allows them to go out of their comfort zone, be physically active, and be social with their friends and other kids in the neighborhood.

What’s more, climbing also helps develop their problem-solving skills and forces them to be proactive in dealing with challenges and making decisions for themselves.

Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber
  • High-Quality Steel Construction – The Space Dome Climber Is Made Of...
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  • Suitable For Children Ages 3 To 9 – Designed For Children Ages 3 To 9, This...

Outdoor climbing toys in the backyard are a real blessing, not just for kids but also for parents, as they keep the kids entertained while growing their skills.

A climbing toy can be as simple as a dome with grips, or a climbing tower or wall. Many options, and for different age groups.

Ready my guide to the best outdoor climbing toys.

14. Backyard Obstacle Course

If you’d like to take the climbing aspect to a new level, a backyard obstacle course for kids can be a super fun and adventurous outdoor toy.

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I always had this desire to constantly look for obstacles to conquer.

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With a purpose-built backyard obstacle course kit, your child can do the same but in a more controlled and safe environment.

A modern kids obstacle course typically contains various challenges, such as rings, monkey bars, a slackline, and a ladder. So much fun!

Ready my guide to the best backyard obstacle courses for kids.

15. Inflatable Bounce House

Did I save the best backyard toy for last? That’s right, an inflatable bounce house in the backyard is every kid’s wildest dream.

As you can imagine though, inflatable bounce houses are usually quite large and also expensive, so they are certainly not for everyone.

Little Tikes Inflatable Bounce House
  • JUMP FOR JOY - Jump, slide, and bounce in this awesome covered bounce-house with...
  • MADE IN THE SHADE - The arched canopy provides constant shade for comfort while...
  • SAFE AND FUN - Three mesh panels keep kids in and let parents watch the fun as...

When selecting a new inflatable bounce house, make sure the size of it will make it fit in your backyard.

And also pay attention to how the structure is inflated and whether continuous airflow is needed.

Ready my guide to the best inflatable bounce houses.


15 Best toys for the backyard

Thomas Dunnett

The backyard is the perfect place to bond with family and friends, to have a good time, or to simply relax with some fresh air and a bit of sunshine. With this website I am hoping to share my passion for the backyard with you.

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