Outdoor playtime is an essential part of childhood development, but it’s not always easy finding the perfect toys to enhance their experience. So I’ve rounded up the top 10 outdoor toys for preschoolers that will take their playtime to new heights.
As a mom to young children myself, I understand what it takes when it comes to choosing the best toys, and I can say, without a doubt, these options will not disappoint.
From ride-on toys to water play options, each one has been chosen for its ability to keep your little ones entertained while simultaneously boosting their physical and sensory development. So get ready to enjoy some fresh air and lots of giggles with these exciting outdoor toys for preschoolers.
I get it, not everyone has a big backyard but some of these fixtures are a great fit for even small outdoor spaces or balconies, so don’t discredit them!
These also are some bigger-ticket items, so start thinking about what could go on a summer or birthday wishlist, they would make great gifts.
Let’s be real, nothing beats a day splashing in the water in the backyard. Water play is a classic summer activity that preschoolers love. Consider getting a kiddie pool, fun sprinkler or splash pad for your backyard or take a trip to a nearby beach or lake. Water toys like water blasters, water balloons, and water tables can also provide hours of entertainment.
Pro Tip: grab these quickly because summer is fast approaching + they’ll go quickly! And of course, remember to supervise your child at all times + follow water safety guidelines.
A sensory table is a great outdoor toy for preschoolers to cool off and have fun during hot summer days. It’s a small table filled with water and various accessories like cups, funnels, and water wheels that allow children to explore and experiment with water. Water tables also promote sensory play and help develop fine motor skills. Look for a sturdy and durable water table with removable bins or a drain plug for easy cleaning.
Personally, we have a small sensory table that stays indoors but goes outside on days that are nice. This table looks very similar to the one we have—I love that it can double as a play table when not in use. Put this on a birthday wishlist or just splurge + I guarantee you’ll have hours of entertainment in your backyard or even on a balcony! Also, how perfect would these sand tools be to go with it?
I have distinct memories from my childhood making soups + potions with various combinations of rocks, mud + botanicals. And my kids absolutely love playing in a mud kitchen to do the very same.
A mud kitchen is a great outdoor toy for preschoolers who love to get messy and explore. It’s essentially a small outdoor kitchen made from natural materials like wood and rocks, where kids can mix and create their own mud pies and other concoctions.
It’s a great way to encourage imaginative play and sensory exploration, and it’s also a fun way to teach kids about nature and the environment. Plus, it’s easy to set up and can be customized with different materials and accessories to keep kids engaged and entertained all summer long.
These pinewood mud kitchens from Grow Wild Designs are handmade + simply beautiful. If you get one, it is sure to be a beloved backyard staple!
Okay, we admittedly don’t have a Jungle Jumparoo (yet), but I cannot wait to try one out because I’ve heard nothing but great things! This is so perfect for indoors + outdoors. I love that they don’t take up much space + offer more safety than a trampoline. They offer a full-size + a mini so you can pick which is right for your child’s size! If you get a Jumparoo, you have to tell me what you think of it!
I distinctly remember our neighbors having this a climbing dome when I was growing up. And I can confidently say that a climbing dome is one of the best things you can offer your child for their physical and mental development. They not only improve balance, coordination, and strength, while also promoting problem-solving skills as they learn how to maneuver around the dome.
Plus, kids absolutely love climbing, and a climbing dome is a safe and fun environment for them to do so. So if you’re on the fence about investing in a climbing dome for your child, I highly recommend it. It’s the perfect alternative to a playset, especially as the kids get older. I personally love this canopy option which creates such a tent-like feel. But also check out this dome that comes in the size of your choice!
These options are fantastic for playing in the backyard, park or at a friend’s house! I’m including some of our most loved toys with an emphasis on quality because when it comes to outdoor toys durability is super important. That means some of these are more of an investment than their plastic counterparts, but buying thoughtfully-made, sustainable + high-quality products is something I value for our family + yours!
Stella’s PE teacher told us about the Foxtail + we absolutely love it! It has lots of options for a variety of games you can play + really gets the whole family moving. Just know that the ball is on the harder side, so if you’re worried that your child will struggle with throwing it safely, I recommend grabbing the Foxtail Softie! Once you teach them how to be safe with the Foxtail, everyone is sure to have a great time playing together!
Both kids have these scooters + I really appreciate that they’re well made. They have 3 wheels to make riding a little safer + I love that they’re extra sturdy. These don’t fold up, but I’ll take peace of mind over convenience any day! For elementary kids, the Micro Maxi is fantastic + preschoolers are the perfect size for the Micro Mini.
A balance bike is a great outdoor toy for preschoolers to learn how to ride a bike. Unlike traditional bikes with training wheels, balance bikes teach children how to balance on two wheels from the start. This helps them develop their coordination and confidence, making the transition to a pedal bike much easier. Look for a balance bike with adjustable seat and handlebars to ensure a comfortable fit for your child as they grow.
I have fawned over these balance bikes for years! I think this is the summer my daughter will get one. They come in a variety of colors, are thoughtfully made + perfect for teaching your child the skill of balancing the bike before adding pedaling—definitely check out this option!
My kids love getting into the dirt or exploring nature on our neighborhood walks + these are some of our absolute favorite things to have for hours. This Closer Look Flower + Bug Box is amazing for helping the kids get a better look at their treasures. And we have been loving our Flower Press so that the kids can preserve their botanicals for display, projects + more! (Also, if you aren’t already following Oak + Ever, this is one of my absolute favorite mommy-owned businesses, don’t miss out on following Julie on Instagram!)
Also, you may be interested in a set of children’s gardening tools. My kids absolutely love grabbing a shovel or spade to dig for worms + bugs. I don’t always love the dirt but it keeps them so busy + engaged forever! I absolutely love the beautiful handheld set + seed slinger at Terrain, but your local gardening center is sure to have great options available, too!
Were you a sidewalk chalk kid? We had a gravel driveway (any other rural kids here) but we had the cement apron that I spent a lot of time decorating each summer. Without a doubt, sidewalk chalk is a classic outdoor toy that never goes out of style.
It’s perfect for preschoolers who love to draw and create, and it’s a great way to encourage outdoor play and creativity. With a pack of colorful chalk, kids can draw pictures, write messages, and play games like hopscotch or tic-tac-toe. Plus, it’s easy to clean up and doesn’t require any special equipment or setup. Just grab some chalk and head outside for hours of fun.
One thing that’s great about parenting in 2023 is the super washable chalk that washes away with ease. But additionally, there are so many fun ways to mix up your sidewalk art! I love these chalk mandala stencils. We also enjoy grinding up the chalk into a powder to create a paint–a wooden seafood mallet + chisel are great for that!
It’s true, you don’t have to buy special outdoor toys in order for your kids to have a great time. The truth is, some of the best outdoor toys for kids are the outdoor environment itself! There is plenty to be explored + played with using the natural elements + environment alone!
Even still, one of my favorite playtime hacks is to take some of our more durable indoor toys + bring them outdoors. Trust me, taking familiar toys into a new environment is one of the best ways to breathe new life into old toys. My kids love taking magnetic tiles (they even work on garage doors), paper + paint, baby dolls for an outdoor bath time + play scarves for for making or dress-up.
Investing in outdoor toys for preschoolers is a great way to encourage your child’s development while also providing them with hours of fun and entertainment. And regardless of what resources you have, I encourage you to get outdoors with your kids. There’s nothing better than fresh air, nature + engaging the senses by getting outside. I commit to daily time outdoors + I hope you will too this summer!
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