Need the perfect gift idea? Check out these outdoor toys for kids!
In an age dominated by digital devices and screens, it’s more important than ever to inspire children to step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and take part in the joys of outdoor play.
As we simplified our lives and decluttered the toy rooms, we realized our children were more imaginative, embraced boredom, and socialized even more. Much of this creative time is now spent outdoors, something that isn’t as natural in today’s world.
It doesn’t matter if your kids live in a home on twenty acres or in an apartment high rise, there’s always an opportunity to get outside and play.
Sure, your outside play looks different depending on where you live, but even in the hottest and coldest environments, it’s important to get the kids playing in the sunshine (or rain, snow, etc.).
I’m thrilled to share a collection of gifts and toys that will spark your children’s imagination, creativity, and curiosity about the natural world. These carefully chosen items not only provide endless hours of outdoor fun but also promote physical activity, social interaction, and a lifelong appreciation for nature.
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The Best Outdoor Toys for Kids:
1. Classic Toys with a Twist
Classic toys like frisbees, kites, and yo-yos have been entertaining children for generations. Upgrade these classics with modern twists to add excitement to outdoor play.
Ideas may include:
- Light-up frisbees for evening fun
- Stunt kites for acrobatic displays
- Trick yo-yos for mastering new skills
2. Adventure-Ready Bicycles and Scooters
A bicycle is a timeless gift that opens up a world of exploration. Opt for rugged, off-road bikes that encourage kids to venture beyond the pavement.
Remember to equip your kiddos with a helmet and knee/elbow pads ensures safety while they explore trails, parks, and nature reserves.
3. Magnifying Glasses and Bug-Catching Kits
Foster an appreciation for the natural world with magnifying glasses and bug-catching kits.
Children can examine intricate details of leaves, rocks, and insects, sparking their curiosity and understanding of the environment. Encourage them to document their discoveries in a nature journal.
Here are some outdoor gift ideas to encourage kids to explore their natural world:
4. Exploration Gear
Equip young adventurers with exploration gear like binoculars, compasses, and hiking boots.
These tools not only enhance outdoor play but also teach valuable skills in navigation and observation. Plan family hikes or birdwatching outings to put these gifts to good use.
Here are some of my favorite exploration gift ideas for kids:
5. Gardening Kits
Gardening is a wonderful way for children to connect with the earth.
Gift kids gardening kits that include child-sized tools, seeds, and pots. Encourage them to plant, nurture, and harvest their own vegetables or flowers.
Gardening instills responsibility and patience while fostering an understanding of nature’s cycles.
No room for a full garden? Bring your growing efforts inside on a smaller scale. They can still learn!
6. Outdoor Art Supplies
Inspire artistic expression outdoors with gifts like chalk, watercolor paints, and easels.
Sidewalk chalk art, plein air painting (drawing outside), and nature-inspired crafts are fantastic ways for children to engage with their surroundings while developing their creative abilities.
- The Big Book of Nature Art
- Sidewalk chalk stencils
- Rock painting kit
- No-spill paint cups
- Shell painting kit
- An easel that can handle being outside
7. Treasure Hunt Kits
Treasure hunts are an exciting way to combine outdoor play and learning.
Create custom treasure hunt kits with maps, clues, and small surprises hidden throughout your yard or a local park. Children will love deciphering clues and searching for hidden treasures.
Feeling uninspired? Here. are some ideas to get you started:
8. Stomp Rockets and Water Balloon Launchers
Toys that launch objects into the sky are sure to captivate young imaginations. My kids have one of these rockets, and it will entertain them for hours!
Stomp rockets and water balloon launchers provide endless opportunities for outdoor fun, experimentation, and physical activity. They’re perfect for family gatherings and playdates.
Here are a few recommended ideas for high-flying toys:
9. Outdoor Building Sets
Encourage children to become builders and engineers by gifting outdoor building sets.
Whether it’s constructing treehouses, forts, or elaborate sandcastles, these sets foster creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
If your kids need a little inspiration, try these ideas:
- National Geographic Fort Building Kit
- Kids Fort Building Kit
- Tote a Fort (Fort in a bag that can go anywhere!)
- Brick Mold (for sand or snow)
10. Sport Equipment
Sports equipment such as soccer balls, basketballs, and tennis rackets promote physical activity and social interaction.
Consider setting up mini sports tournaments in your backyard or at the local park to encourage friendly competition and teamwork.
11. Bird Feeders and Birdhouses
Bird watching is a peaceful and educational outdoor activity. Gift children bird feeders and birdhouses to attract feathered friends to your outdoor space.
Encourage them to identify and learn about the different bird species that visit. My girls often reference our bird identification book and then like to draw them in their nature journals. Get a set of fun watercolor colored pencils to make it even more beautiful and fun!
12. Outdoor Cooking Kits
Outdoor cooking kits, such as marshmallow roasting sets or mini grills, add an element of adventure to outdoor play.
Children can learn basic cooking skills while enjoying the excitement of preparing and sharing food outdoors.
13. Camping Gear
Camping is a fantastic way to connect with nature and foster a love for the outdoors. Invest in camping gear, including tents, sleeping bags, and campfire cooking equipment.
Plan family camping trips to ignite their passion for outdoor adventures.
Here are a few outdoor camping gift ideas to inspire your kids to play outside:
- Hammocks (choose from a variety of colors)
- Wilderness Survival Guide for Kids
- Headlamps (My kids LOVE these!)
14. Science Experiment Kits
Science experiment kits designed for outdoor use allow children to explore natural phenomena.
Kits for growing crystals, studying weather patterns, or conducting simple chemistry experiments provide hands-on learning experiences in the great outdoors.
Here are a few science experiment kits you could use outside:
15. Outdoor play equipment
If you have the space, take advantage of trees, gullies, or open fields. Here are some ideas that will keep your kiddos outside for hours of play.
Looking for more unique gift ideas for kids? Check out these posts:
Want to encourage your kids to spend even more time outside? Check out 1000 Hours Outside for even more inspiration.
Get your kids back outside with these outdoor toys for kids!
These outdoor toys for kids aren’t just toys; they are gateways to a lifelong appreciation for the beauty and wonder that can only be found in the great outdoors. So, choose one or more of these gifts, step outside, and let the adventures begin!