Kids’ Outdoor Toys Guide
Kids’ Outdoor Toys 101
Outdoor play helps kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and creatively. With all the tempting indoor toys that exist today, you may find that providing a good selection of outdoor toys helps inspire your little ones to take their play outside more often. To promote running, jumping and blowing off steam, you could outfit your yard with swings, climbers and trampolines. Older kids enjoy playing with blaster toys or competing in games like badminton and volleyball. You could also encourage social play by installing a sandbox, playhouse or toy picnic table. An added bonus: the more active your kids are during the day, the more ready they'll be for sleep at night.
Types of Outdoor Toys
Swing Sets, Climbers & Slides
Swing sets, climbers and slides turn your yard into a family playground that will provide kids of all ages with hours of fun. It's easy to find models that fit both your yard and your kids. Swings sets range from toddler swings with safety features to larger, more durable models for bigger kids. Slides also vary from toddler lengths to spiral and wavy slides for more adventurous kids. Mini climbing walls, monkey bars and vertical climbers encourage imaginative play while also helping to build muscles and coordination.
Bouncers & Trampolines
Kids love jumping on springy surfaces like beds and sofas, but bouncers and trampolines designed especially for children are a much safer way for them to play and burn off energy. Inflatable bouncers and trampolines for younger kids have safety features such as anchor stakes, netting enclosures and stability bars. As well, heavy padding on springs and frames help ensure missteps and tumbles are just part of the fun. They'll enjoy themselves so much they won't even think they're exercising. But you'll take comfort in knowing that their healthy, active play is helping them build strong muscles and bones.
Playhouses & Picnic Tables
Playhouses help kids develop their creativity and social skills while providing hours of pretend fun. There are many different types of playhouses, offering a wide variety of play and activity options. Examples include cottages and villas for setting up house, kitchens for budding chefs and workshops for little DIYers. Kid-sized picnic tables also provide creative stimulation. They're ideal for holding lunches and tea parties or engaging in crafts and table games. Durable and lightweight, kids’ picnic tables are simple to clean and fold up for easy storage.
Sand & Water Toys
Young kids are always eager to dig in sand and splash water, so why not turn their play into a learning experience? Sand and water toys stimulate the sense of touch in pre-schoolers and help develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills. The types of sand and water toys available range from simple sandboxes that sit directly on the ground, to kids’ pools and theme-park-style water tables. Some have seats and most have covers to keep sand and water clean and to help prevent animals from contaminating the play area.
Kids have a lot of fun playing with their ride-on toys, and toddlers, in particular, also benefit from improvements in their motors skills and sense of balance. Imaginations can run wild while navigating sidewalks and steering around obstacles on their very own motorcycle, car, jeep, truck or tractor. For younger kids, ride-ons have handles for parent-controlled rides, and removable floors so tiny feet can reach the ground for added stability. Older kids can have a more grown-up experience on ride-ons powered by rechargeable batteries. These models can travel up to five miles per hour, so adult supervision is advised. Helmets are recommended for use with all ride-on toys.
There are two varieties of blaster toys: those that fire soft foam discs or darts and high-powered water guns. Kids will enjoy using them for target practice, an energetic game of tag or, in the case of water blasters, to cool off on a hot summer day. Blasters use powerful air pressure to fire projectiles and water, so they’re recommended for older kids. Younger kids playing with toy guns should always be supervised by an adult.
Backyard games allow young and old alike to enjoy fresh air and healthy exercise and hours of fun. Croquet, bocce ball, horseshoes and bean bag toss promote hand-eye coordination and other motor skills. Lawn darts is another relaxed game that's now safe for all ages due to the introduction of lightweight, soft-tipped darts. For older kids, fast-paced games like badminton, volleyball and tetherball create competitive excitement and help develop balance and agility.
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