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Last updated: November 18, 2021
In this article, I am going to share 15 fantastic backyard toys, in different price ranges, suitable for toddlers and kids in different age groups.
Being the 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 do have a big backyard that I absolutely 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 a good amount of different types of outdoor toys that my kids can play with in the backyard. Which I think is so much better than having them indoors all day watching TV or playing video games.
Top 15 Backyard Toys
Here we go, 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, which will allow them to be creative and feel fulfilled.
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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.
Check out my list of 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.
- 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.
Check out my list of best sandboxes with cover.
3. Toy Grill and BBQ Set
Similar to 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 a great way for kids to be social and creative, there is also an educational benefit for kids to play with a toy grill set.
- Working oven and fridge doors; 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 his or her age.
Check out my list of 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 at parks and city centers across the nation.
Toddlers and young children absolutely love playing with these interactive water features on those hot summer days.
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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 and is made with the best materials, and is also the right size for your child.
Check out my list of 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 though, when searching for a new trampoline, is safety. Make sure the trampoline has a safety net, and that the springs are covered with padding.
Check out my list of 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 literally only requires a simple hoop to get started.
- 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 literally hundreds of different hoops available out there, in different sizes and with different features.
Just make sure you pick one that fits the age and height of your child, and make sure quality materials have been used so that it will last for multiple seasons.
Check out my list of 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, it gets your child outside, and it can get the whole family involved.
- Children's wooden playhouse with wide windows for breezes and natural light
- Assembled Dimensions: 3' 6" W x 3' 10" L x 4' 7" H | Weight: 88lbs
- Play accessories inside including sink, stove, cordless phone and working...
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.
Check out my list of best outdoor playhouses.
8. Kids Tee-Ball Set
If your child (or you, the parent!) is more into baseball than into 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, it can also instill a deep seeded interest in this exciting sport.
- 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...
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There isn’t a huge amount of variation in the world of kids tee-ball sets, but there certainly are some important 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 longer, but also to allow your child to practice at different heights and angles.
Check out my list of 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 tyre and a rope, and we were good to go. Fast forward to today, and we can buy tree swings that look like flying saucers.
- ADORABLE KID’S SPINNER SWING (BLACK, 40" NET SEAT) – Provides a fun hangout...
- GREAT FOR OUTDOOR PLAY – Can be used as chair swing for tree, hammock swing...
- COMFY HANGING SEAT – Rope seat cushion provides super comfy ride – 2-3...
When buying a tree swing, you have the option to buy 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.
Check out my list of 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.
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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, the four-legged member of the family can also join in on the fun.
Check out my list of 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.
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There are a lot of things to look out for when buying a new water slide, but make sure to read reviews of buyers that have bought the slide to work out if there are 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 then anticipated when trying it out in the backyard the first time.
Check out my list of 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.
- Dimensions: 70.00" H x 137.00" W x 91.50" D | Weight: 197 lbs
- Maximum weight: 240lbs | Limit 4 children | Recommended Age: 2 - 6
- Elaborate playset rests securely on the ground for easy placement
There are also smaller, toddler-friendly playsets that take up very little room in your backyard and are also incredibly affordable.
I personally prefer plastic over wood or metal, because it’s durable, waterproof, safe, lightweight, and often super easy to install and set up.
Check out my list of 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 it forces them to be proactive in dealing with challenges and to make decisions for themselves.
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Outdoor climbing toys for in the backyard are a real blessing, not just for kids but also for parents, as it keeps the kids entertained while also growing their skills.
A climbing toy can be as simple as a dome with grips, or a climbing tower or wall. Many options, for different age groups.
Check out my list of 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 different challenges, such as rings, monkey bars, a slackline and a ladder. So much fun!
Check out my list of 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 kids wildest dream.
As you can imagine though, inflatable bounce houses are usually quite large and also expensive, so they are certainly not for everyone.
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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 being inflated and whether continuous airflow is needed.
Check out my list of best inflatable bounce houses.