Best outdoor toys for the garden: 14 toys rated

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 14, 2021

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Kids naturally have an urge to play outside and that's a really good thing.

Every child should have the opportunity to play outside to promote his or her social and motor skills and physical development.

Playing outside is best for your children with other children and what certainly contributes well to their outdoor adventures is having lots of fun outdoor toys.

In this article I will look at fun outdoor toys, which are also good for the development of your child.

4 types of outdoor toys for the garden in a collage

Children can do with the right outdoor toys:

Look for loose outdoor toys too here in our outdoor toys category, we all have ideas for fun things to do outside.

In this article I will talk about toys that you can put in your garden.

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Toy reviews & comparisons video

Do you live far from the playground or are you someone who simply prefers to see your child play at home in his or her own environment, then it is high time to look for suitable outdoor toys.

If you don't know yet which outdoor toys are suitable for your child, no problem!

We've made it a little easier for you and listed some really nice ideas for you.

The outdoor toy that has really been the most fun for my son is the BIG Power Worker excavator.

This toy is for children between the ages of 2 and 6 and is offered with a good price and quality ratio.

He can play with it so well and move everything from natural sand to pebbles and gravel we have in the garden and any other toys (the wooden blocks also do service again though!)

However, we have more good recommendations for you. To put everything together, we have an overview of our favorite outdoor toys:

Kind of outdoor toysImages
Most fun excavator: BIG Power Worker Maxi Loader
Photo of the BIG excavator in the garden

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Cutest wheelbarrow: Bosch gardening toys
Photo of the Bosch wheelbarrow garden set with shovel

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Cutest cheap garden toys: Sanlebi Childom construction cars Nicest cheap garden toys: Sanlebi Childom construction cars(view more images)
Best gaming table: Little Tikes Fish and Splash
Closeup photo of the Little Tikes water table in the garden
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Best slide for outside (2 to 6 years): Little Tikes Expedition Climber - Climbing frame
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Best building fort for outside (4 to 12 years): Fantasy Fort Playhouse
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Best outdoor toys from 5 years: Fantasy Fort Chalkboard edition
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Nicest wooden outdoor toys (3 to 12 years): WICKEY TinyWave
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Easy to dig in (3 to 12 years): Tumble bar double
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Best outdoor toys for small garden (1 to 6 years): Little Tikes sandbox turtleLittle tikes little turtle sandbox
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Best toddler outdoor toys (2 to 4 years): Little Dutch Walking scooter Mint
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Nicest outdoor wooden game: Outdoor Play Kubb Game
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Best outdoor toys for toddler (1 to 2 years): Intex Mushroom Baby Swimming Pool
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Best outdoor toys 8 to 12 years: Intex Rectangular Frame above ground poolIntex rectangular frame above ground pool(view more images)

Watch the top 4 in our video or read on to learn more about each of these picks:

Best outdoor toys rated

What makes us like the above items so much? Here we go into more detail about the benefits and enjoyment of our favorite outdoor toys.

We are sure that these products really make children happy and here's why!

Best excavator: BIG Power Worker Maxi Loader

There are so many ways to go with this fun digging toy for them to sit on

Photo of the BIG Power Worker MAxi Loader toy excavator

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There are those kids who simply can't get enough of excavators, cranes and other construction toys. For those kinds of children there is the BIG Power Worker Maxi Loader.

It is a sturdy construction that your child will certainly not sink through. My son was 2 when he got it and could just barely reach the ground but thought it was absolutely beautiful.

So cute with those little legs, but it is recommended on its own from 3 to 6 years old. But here at home it went fine with 2.

So you can ride it, and use your hands to control the slide valve that can be raised and lowered, and the valve itself can also tilt.

Photo of the BIG excavator in the garden

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For example, you can skim something, such as sand, from the ground, lift it to a reasonable height and then fold it down and dump it into a box or container, for example. 

In any case, my son was still much too young for the tilting of the slide valve, but that didn't spoil the fun.

Very nice toys, especially for children who love construction machines.

Check the most current prices and availability here

Cutest wheelbarrow: Bosch garden toys

Everything you need to work in the garden

Photo of the Bosch wheelbarrow in the backyard

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As a your child likes to create and help you with gardening, then this wheelbarrow and garden set from Bosch is one for you.

It is just a simple wheelbarrow, nothing very special, but in that simplicity is the fun part of playing with it.

Just a sturdy plastic wheelbarrow where you can pour a lot of sand, earth or other things into and a matching shovel and rake and the wheel I really liked.

Photo of the Bosch wheelbarrow garden set with shovel

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There are even little gardening gloves included to make it just as real as Mom's or Dad's.

Check the latest prices here

Nicest cheap garden toys: Sanlebi Childom construction cars

Inexpensive but sturdy enough for the outdoors

Nicest cheap garden toys: Sanlebi Childom construction cars

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This series is made for sturdiness with metal body and sturdy mounting points.

They are a bit bigger than I expected for this price, but they are of course small cars to play with and the most fun for children up to 4 years.

What nice cars!

Check the latest prices here

Best game table: Little Tikes Fish and splash water table

For all those hot summer days in the garden

Photo of the Little Tikes water table with water and sand in it

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There are to get a lot of water tables nowadays and so, even if you already know that you want to buy a water table for your garden, you still don't know what you need at all.

We also had the same dilemma when we went to buy one. What I saw right away is that Little Tikes really is at the top of outdoor gaming tables. 

The brand is the most sold on bol.com and also has the best reviews, but there are still a lot of options. I think it boils down to looking at how old your child is and where his interests lie.

For example, we have had doubts about a water table with a water cannon (that's this one) because that idea was just so cool! But in the end not done because our son is just too young for it.

He does enjoy shoveling, catching and throwing things and so we bought this fish and splash water table where you get a few plastic animals and a landing net and also a fishing rod to catch them.

Closeup photo of the Little Tikes water table in the garden

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Furthermore, a nice slide for the water and we can also use it perfectly as a sand table for those days when it is just not warm enough outside for water.

Check prices and availability here

Best slide for outside (2 to 6 years): Little Tikes Expedition Climber - Climbing frame

For the younger kids

Small children on the Little Tikes outdoor climbing frame with slide

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The small climbing frame is very solidly built and will last a very long time.

It has various parts that will give you hours of climbing and crawling fun, even when the child gets older.

With simple instructions, you can set up the jungle gym in the garden in one go and you're done.

You don't have to worry about it collapsing because the parts fit together perfectly and won't come off.

Colorful climbing frame with a walkway, slide if you don't want to buy a separate one for the garden and a tunnel. The climbing frame is made of plastic and is easy to assemble. It has a weight of 33kg.

With this climbing frame your child will be able to develop his or her physical motor skills and have fun adventures.

Despite the small size of the toy, it offers a lot of possibilities and is therefore an absolutely perfect idea for a small garden.

We chose the Little Tikes Expedition Climber - Climbing Frame as one of the best options.

This colorful climbing frame has various parts that your toddler or toddler will enjoy for hours.

The climbing frame has a nice walkway, a slide and a tunnel. Enough activities for your little explorer.

With this climbing frame you are assured of a lot of climbing and crawling fun.

This product is from the well-known brand Little Tikes and comes in a package with separate parts, which you have to assemble yourself.

With a little insight and perhaps some help from a second person, you can set up the structure quickly and easily and your child can quickly get started with playing.

The Little Tikes Expedition Climber - Climbing Frame is going to be really fun. You step up comfortably on the rope walkway.

From that point you can quickly slide down, and then crawl into the tunnel to the next adventure.

Safe and durable material

The climbing frame is made of durable plastic that is very sturdy and will last a very long time.

No matter how hard your little one might climb or stamp, the climbing frame is stable and will not fall over.

The parts fit together perfectly and form a robust whole once they are in position.

You can simply place the climbing frame on any surface, it must be flat and free of obstacles.

It is suitable for a stone surface, a sand surface, but also fits nicely on the lawn.

Also suitable for smaller backyards

This freshly colored climbing frame will certainly fit in nicely with the rest of your garden. Furthermore, this climbing frame fits easily in a small backyard.

The dimensions of the small structure are 1.75mx 3.5mx 1.25m (L x W x H).

The design is the perfect size and is suitable for children between 2 and 6 years old.

Your child can experience his own adventures and enjoy the various possibilities, or with other children there is of course also fun.

The price of this climbing frame is in good proportion to the quality.

If you decide to purchase this outdoor toy, you should definitely see it as a good long-term investment.

Spread the costs over the period of the number of years that your child will enjoy the climbing frame and you will notice that it is not too bad per year.

Since we agree that playing outside is very important, you will also agree with us to start as early as possible.

The climbing frame stimulates your child to explore and be active outside at an early age.

Check prices and availability here

Best building fort for outside (4 to 12 years): Fantasy Fort Playhouse

Nicest building fort for outside

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The best outdoor toys that we also definitely recommend are the Fantasy Fort XL edition – Speelhuis. We think that definitely deserves a second place, because the toys have a nice concept of creative building.

The child can build countless types of fortresses all by himself and have fun with them for hours and in various forms. This product is for children between 4 and 8 years old.

In addition to the competitive price, we found that this is also a good product for a small garden and a smaller budget.

Because you can build and dismantle the playhouse with ease, it is perfect for use in a garden that does not offer many options in terms of space.

After an afternoon of playing, it becomes playhouse (which is often not possible with others) simply disassembled and put away. This frees up your garden for other activities.

We think this is a great deal for a toy with many possibilities and that you can use both outside and inside!

With the 32 cardboard plates, 32 connecting pieces and 2 rolls of Velcro from which pieces are cut, you can build a real fantasy fortress.

Dimensions per plate 57x57cm, some with "window slot".

From about 3 years, children increasingly explore and discover the world around them.

They increasingly interact with the objects around them and also want to shape and bend them to their will.

This builds self-confidence, stimulates creativity and develops spatial awareness.

The Fantasy Fort XL edition – Playhouse addresses exactly these aspects and is therefore a fantastic toy to purchase for your kids.

What we like about these toys are the possibilities that the toys offer. Children will really enjoy this for years to come.

What is the Fantasy Fort?

The complete package of the XL edition of Fantasy Forts contains 32 large cardboard plates. Each plate has a size of 57x57cm.

The package also includes 32 connectors and 2 rolls of Velcro to cut into pieces yourself.

It may take some work to assemble everything for the first time, but then you have something!

The panels are printed and appear to have a wood structure, so that the final whole, in whatever form, really looks like a fortress.

With these components, your child can really create endless different combinations of walls, fortresses, tree houses and other structures.

Anything is possible with this imaginative toy

This handy toy is very easy to use, quick to set up and multi-purpose. It gives your child the opportunity to let his or her imagination run wild.

With the simple concept of connectors and Velcro, your little architect will build a fort or tree house in no time, so that they can have great adventures and lots of fun.

Children just love to play house. So why not a fortress?

Check prices and availability here

It is a great fun game for several children to play with at the same time, but your child will also be able to enjoy it alone.

The children are not only creative, but also learn in a playful way how to build something from scratch.

Building is a fun activity that has always fascinated children, this is also the case what makes LEGO and DUPLO such a fantastic toy.

For outside but also for inside!

Besides the fact that you can use this practical package well as an outdoor toy, your child can also build beautiful creations at home.

Your child no longer has to wait for the warmer days to enjoy these beautiful toys.

Best outdoor toys from 5 years: Fantasy Fort Chalkboard edition

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Extra plates for even more building and playing fun, including 2 plates with chalkboard plate.

But did you know that we are far from done with building possibilities? For example, you can combine this package very nicely with the Fantasy Fort Chalkboard edition.

Both packages are from the Fantasy Fort brand, so they fit together well. This way your child can easily enlarge his fort or tree house.

With the Fantasy Fort Chalkboard edition you get a chalkboard on 2 of the panels as an extra.

Your child can draw and write on this to his heart's content.

Messages such as “Enter at your own risk” or “Girls only” or “No girls allowed” are likely to be seen on the signs from time to time.

Or just nice drawings, they will probably come up with something.

If you perhaps have 2 small builders at home, the Fantasy Fort Chalkboard edition is the perfect solution.

For example, they can indicate on the signs which fort belongs to whom. In this way you prevent a true war between the two kingdoms.

These packages from Fantasy Fort are approved and suitable for children from 3 years and older.

These little ones do need an adult or older child to help them build. The cardboard plates are completely safe, also for your little one.

Check prices and availability here

Best wooden outdoor toys (3 to 12 years): WICKEY TinyWave

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For the older kids.

Beautiful wooden climbing frame with swing, slide, climbing house and sandpit with various set-up options.

We also have a great option for slightly older children.

In addition to climbing, sliding and swinging, you can also have fun with this climbing frame and frolic in the sandpit.

This playground equipment is a composite wooden playground equipment that can be set up in various ways and offers fun activities to your child.

The spacious sandbox under the tower is a nice touch where children can go about their business and dig and dig in the shade when they get tired of sliding and swinging.

With the stairs you enter the tower and you can see what is happening below. Then slide down in one go and then try out the swing again.

In short, there is a lot of action with this climbing frame.

This playground equipment is ideal for slightly older children up to 12 years. Older children can use this play equipment (reviewed more here) lovely to romp and frolic.

But smaller brothers and sisters older than 3 years can certainly participate. But then under the supervision of mom or dad.

The child-friendly playground equipment has a beautiful design and is well finished. All parts are 100% safe for every child.

Check the most current prices here at bol.com

Easy to dig in (3 to 12 years): Tumble bar double

Children turn around in the garden on a tumble bar

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Nice addition to the TinyWave climbing frame above, a tumble bar with 2 bars. Dimensions: 280cm wide x 9cm deep x 240cm high.

The wooden posts go 90 cm into the ground. The weight is 36 kg.

The great thing about this climbing frame is that it is a basic piece of equipment. That means that you can expand it to an even bigger and more fun play setup.

You can add various items such as an extra swing or a rope ladder and even an extra tower to create a fortress effect.

For this extension to the model, you need a little more space in the backyard.

The Double Tumble Bar is a great extension option for older children who like couple tumble (from this age they can do it!).

This is a perfect device for developing your child's physical motor skills.

Couple diving promotes coordination in the arms and legs, but it also trains muscle mass.

It is an ideal playground equipment for children up to 12 years old. Because it takes up very little space, this is a very good choice for a small garden.

It has two tumble bars so that two children can tumble down at the same time.

Your child will have the time of his life looking at the world upside down and exercising his arms and legs at the same time. It doesn't get any better than that!

Check prices and availability here

Read more for a couple of somersaults and playing antics also agree on these airtrack mats for at home. Perfect for doing some gymnastics safely.

Best outdoor toys for small garden (1 to 6 years): Little Tikes Sandbox - Turtle

Cutest-little-sandbox-of-Little-Tikes

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Sturdy green sandpit with a turtle-shaped lid. Suitable for children from 1 year.

The container fits about 70 kg of sand, dimensions: 111x109x30 cm.

Together with the climbing frame, the funny-looking sandbox forms a complete small playground that your child can enjoy every day.

The sandpit is shaped like a turtle. Because of its nice design and green color, the sandpit fits nicely in the backyard as an extra playground.

The little ones can play in this from 1 year. Your little one can dig and scoop to his heart's content in the turtle sandbox.

Add some scoops and buckets and your child will have a great time.

But the slightly older children of the family can of course also come and shovel something in the sandbox.

In this way, the children learn to interact and play together.

The sandbox is not only a place for socializing, but also for fun learning moments together for brothers and sisters among themselves.

Nice lid to keep the sand clean

The sandpit also has a lid that fits perfectly on the sandpit and is light enough to open or close by the children themselves.

It is shaped like a turtle shell.

are you making the sandpit close then the thing looks like a true green turtle.

So if you have pets that also sniff around in the garden, you can happily seal the sandbox with the lid when your child has finished playing.

This way you will not encounter any unpleasant surprises the next day.

The lid is also useful when it rains.

Close the container quickly with the tight-fitting lid when it starts to rain and you prevent the sand from getting wet.

The sandpit is made of plastic and has wide edges on which the children can sit. The material is of good quality.

With products from Little Tikes you are guaranteed durability and long-term enjoyment.

Many more combinations possible

The Little Tikes brand has various types of toys for different ages and with different concepts.

That is why our number is an easy to combine product.

With other types of toys from Little Tikes you can make a real playground in the backyard.

You can expect the same quality and durability of the other Little Tikes products.

The pleasure that your child will experience is always a hit with every product of theirs.

Check out the latest prices here

Best toddler outdoor toys (2 to 4 years): Little Dutch Loopscooter Mint

Boy on a Little Dutch walking scooter

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A very nice wooden walking scooter adjustable to 3 heights. Dimensions: 82 x 37 x 58 cm.

In addition to climbing and clambering, children also like to ride around, play games together and, of course, get involved with water.

We have a number of recommendations for you here if you are looking for fun outdoor toys for your child.

The Netherlands is a cycling country and you cannot start early enough to give children wheels.

A balance bike is a fantastic way to get children used to a two-wheeler from an early age and the balancing and motor skills that go with it.

Are you looking for a nice two-wheeler for your little one, then the Little Dutch Loopscooter Mint is a very good option.

We think this balance bike is very beautiful because of the nice design. It looks like a real scooter!

It is also one of the top balance bikes in our review because of its playful appearance and affordable price.

This cheerful and sturdy wooden walking scooter from Little Dutch is suitable for children from 2 years old and they will be able to enjoy it until about 4 years old, when they will probably need a real bike.

With this walking scooter the little ones can race around outside or inside.

With a little speed, they can even pull their legs up and get a taste of the balance that you can achieve on a two-wheeler!

The bicycle can be set in 3 heights and has a nice soft saddle.

Check prices and availability here

Best outdoor wooden game: Outdoor Play Kubb Game

Outdoor Play Kubb game, made of birch wood, with handy carrying bag and game rules.

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Are you more looking for something that you can play outside with the whole family? Then the Outdoor Play Kubb Game is certainly a classic that will appeal to everyone.

The whole family can participate in this fun Swedish game.

Kubb's goal is to knock down all of the opposing team's base towers with the throwing sticks first. Then you attack the king!

This version of Kubb comes with a handy baby carrier and extensive game rules.

The game itself is suitable for everyone from 5 years old. However, even the smallest will be only too happy with these beautiful birch wood blocks (good for practicing with their hands) get to work.

You simply leave out the rules for your little toddler.

With their own childish imaginations they will be able to create structures for hours, with the king at the top!

Check the latest prices here

Best outdoor toys for toddler (1 to 2 years): Intex Mushroom Baby Swimming Pool

Toddler plays in the garden in a mushroom pool

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Sweet baby pool in the shape of a mushroom, with an inflatable bottom and a sunroof. Dimensions: 89x102x89cm

Ultimately, we are convinced that everyone loves the water.

What could be better than a poodle bathing outside in your own garden on one of those first sunny summer days?

We have found two great options for you to enjoy a swimming pool in your own garden.

For the little ones

Your baby will undoubtedly enjoy playing with water. Small children love to work with water.

It feels so nice and fresh to the skin and really anything is possible with this fantastic stuff!

Do you want to let your little one bathe safely outside? Then go for the Intex Mushroom Baby Swimming Pool.

This cute, good quality tub from Intex is sure to provide hours of poodle fun.

It has an inflatable floor and a nice sunroof, so that your little one can play sheltered even on sunny days.

The nice mushroom gives it a very cheerful appearance.

Check prices and availability here

Best outdoor toys 8 to 12 years: Intex Rectangular Frame above ground pool

Children and a family in the Intex above ground pool

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Ideal set-up pool for the garden, with sturdy metal frame and a blue vinyl lining. Water capacity 1200 liters. Size: 221x150x43cm.

Now it gets really fun. When the summer is in full swing again, you can set up the Intex swimming pool nicely. Here you can enjoy the fresh water with the whole family.

Young and old will be able to splash around in this pool.

It holds no less than 1200 liters of water and has a sturdy metal frame so that it can be set up very stable in your backyard.

A filter and pump are included, so the water will be easy to keep clean.

So invite the friends of your kids and the children from the neighborhood to come and enjoy this beautiful outdoor toy.

Hours of fun are guaranteed!

Check availability here

What should you pay attention to when buying outdoor toys for your garden?

Playing outside is always fun and that includes the best outdoor toys.

Playing outside is not only very important for every child, but is simply a very enjoyable activity that will give all children of all ages the greatest pleasure.

Of course children grow fast and what they like or toys are suitable for them differs almost every day.

We have therefore tried to highlight fun toys for different age categories.

We also have a number of items for you that are (age) timeless, which can even be played with the whole family.

Oh, and for fun playing outside it doesn't always have to be nice weather! After all, we live in the Netherlands and sometimes it will be a bit colder or rainy.

Being exposed to different weather conditions is only good for your child's immune system.

So send them, well dressed of course, outside even when the weather is not radiantly sunny.

Climbing equipment: physical development

Your child will enjoy playing outside with the best outdoor toys.

The fun playground equipment guarantees many hours of entertainment and enjoyment for your toddler or toddler.

With the outdoor toys, your child will be happy for a long time because of the different climbing, sliding, digging and crawling options that the different playground equipment offer.

The products mentioned offer numerous activities for your little ones and will keep them busy for a long time.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers get their money's worth and can have undisturbed fun while enjoying the outdoors.

The fresh and vibrant colors of the climbing frames attract and provide the necessary dose of activity, energy, adventure and imagination for your child.

Children simply have a lot of energy and have to be able to put it somewhere.

Build Fort: stimulation of creativity and imagination

The Fantasy Fort XL Edition - Playhouse is a great alternative to our # 1 favorite pick, as the construction set still offers versatility and adventure.

What child doesn't like building huts? This is really something that plays a role in every childhood.

Your child can really unleash his or her fantasy on these structures.

At the end of the day or play session, the game can easily be stopped again, so that it does not get in the way for weeks.

So tidying up and storing is done in no time.

Another nice thing about this toy is that your child grows up with it, because it is suitable for the age category between 4-8 years. It can certainly be used for a game that an older child shares with his younger brother or sister.

encourage different activities

To stimulate your child to spend time outside as much as possible, you offer as many options for playing as possible.

As mentioned, kids like things with wheels.

So if they have outgrown the walking scooter, they can go out on a bicycle, but also for example roller skating or a cart can be great fun.

Or better yet, you get to work with the kids to build a soap box of all kinds of materials that you have around and then of course enjoy racing!

Speed, creativity, excitement and adventure. In the child's imagination, anything is possible and the world is a great playground.

Make sure that your child moves in this with confidence and curiosity. Beautiful outdoor toys contribute greatly to this.

Especially if you play along as a parent!

Also watch: the best play tents for baby, toddler and toddler

Playing outside with water

Finally is the ultimate outdoor play, especially on a beautiful summer day, often related to water.

Whether this is due to the sprinkler (or this toy that you can plug in) running on the lawn means, or a war with water pistols and water balloons, or a nice paddling in a private pool in the garden.

Water may be the ultimate outdoor toy. So give your kids the opportunity to work with this.

And if they get a little dirty, that's okay!

Conclusion

Whichever option you choose as the best outdoor toy for your child, we as parents agree that playing outside has a lot of benefits.

We have seen that playing outside is not only fun, but is also healthy for the physical and mental well-being of your child.

Why play far from home when you can do it in your own backyard?

So feel free to create your own play paradise in your own familiar environment with one or more of our recommendations.

The choice is huge, but as long as you start early enough by encouraging your kids to play outside, you will see that the best options will be found quickly.

The sooner your little ones start discovering and learning about the outside world, the better this is for their further growth and development.

Your children will only benefit from playing outside, and certainly with the best outdoor toys.

Go out more? Also read our post: how do I limit my kids' screen time?

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.