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Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.
As the weather gets warmer and backyards begin to thaw, most parents can hardly wait to utter three fantastic words: "Go play outside."
It'll be glorious at first. But it won't be long until kids — who spent the winter cooped up inside, dreaming of sunshine — begin to complain about having nothing to do.
If you're dreading whiny voices saying, "I'm bored, Mom," we've got your back.
With everything from scooters to craft sets, kids will beg to stay outside long after the sun starts to set.
- 1. Super Wubble Ball With Pump, $20, Walmart
This tear-resistant ball provides endless hours of playtime. Kick it, whack it, bounce it, throw it, even sit on it! The only limits are your imagination.
- 2. Gazillion Bubble Cycle Bubble Toy, $15, Amazon
Fill your summer with bubbles with the Bubble Cycle! Light-weight and easy to push, it can be used pretty much anywhere, and the no-leak bubble chamber means no lost bubble solution. It includes an 8-ounce bottle of the brand's bubble solution, giving you a great start.
- 3. Minnie Light and Sound Bubble Wand, $8, Walmart
Light up those summer nights with this bubble wand. With battery-operated lights, sounds and continuous bubbles, the fun never has to stop. It comes with a beginner 4-ounce bottle of bubble solution.
- 4. Bestway Sea Life Inflatable Play Center, $46, Amazon
Take a beach trip in your backyard with this inflatable play center. Including a slide, toys, and games, there's plenty to do. The built-in water sprayer can be easily attached to a garden house, and an inflatable cushion on the pool floor provides extra comfort.
- 5. SwimWays Blow Up Blaster, $17, Amazon
Prepare for the ultimate water fight with these blow up blasters! Inflatable up to 2 feet long, these toys are easy to carry and operate. When used in the pool, their unique design allows for endless water supply, meaning the fun never has to end!
- 6. NERF Fortnite RI Super Soaker Water Blaster, $18, Amazon
These replica water blasters bring video-game fun into the real world. With a huge tank that holds 9.3 ounces of water and an easy-to-operate refill system, the water fights can go on for hours.
- 7. H2OGO POP Llama Ride-On Pool Float, $50, Amazon
This bold, supersized pool float is sure to catch every eye. Three air chambers leave it consistently balanced (and help it inflate faster!) and the heavy-duty handgrips mean you'll never have trouble climbing aboard.
- 8. H20GO POP Rhino Ride-On Pool Float, $40, Amazon
This colorful, eye-popping float is covered in endless patterns and colors. With a built-in seat, it's easy to lounge on, and the six air chambers give it perfect balance on the water.
- 9. Tiny Pong Table Tennis Electronic Handheld Game, $20, Amazon
Bring the action of a pingpong game into the palm of your hand with this tiny court! Start off slow with "Beginner" mode, and then kick it up a notch into "Expert" level. With lights and sounds, it's sure to keep players engaged for hours.
- 10. Giant Games Giant Kick Croquet, $25, Dick's Sporting Goods
Kids will have a ball with this jumbo-sized croquet set! Guide a giant, blow-up ball through the seven-wicket course. Make it as hard or as simple as you'd like, and let the game begin!
- 11. Rollplay 12 Volt Nighthawk Ride On Toy, $150, Amazon
Reaching speeds of six miles per hour, this fun ride gives kids the speed boost they're craving, while giving parents peace of mind. The speed is easily controlled with accelerator and brake pedals, and side hand grips keep small fingers safe. A rear safety flag means you'll always be able to easily spot them, and the easy charge means the fun almost never has to stop.
- 12. Rollors Outdoor Game, $50, Amazon
This wooden game can be played on any flat surface — from the backyard to the beach — and family members of all ages can get in on the fun. Players take turns rolling wooden disks toward goal posts and score points based on where the disks land.
- 13. Stephen Joseph Beach Tote With Sand Toys, $21, Amazon
Available in a variety of characters from pirate alligators to pink flamingos, these adorable totes come with a set of sand toys and provide plenty of room for additional beach necessities like sunscreen or snacks.
- 14. Mandala Paint Your Own Rock Art, $5 (usually $8), Amazon
Inspire some warm weather creativity by sending kids outside to paint with this mandala rock painting set. The box includes everything kids need to paint rocks: paint brushes, acrylic and puffy paint and 2 pounds of smooth rocks.
- 15. RazorX Cruiser Electric Skateboard, $149 (usually $180), Amazon
This electric skateboard from Razor is a great way for kids to zip around the neighborhood on sunny days. Controlled with a handheld remote, the board travels up to 10 miles per hour and runs for approximately 40 minutes with each recharge of the lithium-ion battery.
- 16. Aerobie 10' Sprint Ring, $7 (usually $11), Amazon
An Aerobie Pro flying ring was once used to set a Guinness World Record for the farthest throw. Whether your kids are playing a backyard game of catch or trying to beat the 1,333-foot record themselves, this colorful disc makes a fun outdoor toy.
- 17. SwimWays Star Wars Bocce Ball, $71, Amazon
Not only does this bocce ball set come with beautiful, laser-etched balls featuring "Star Wars" characters, but the game also comes in a carrying case that makes it easy to transport to barbecues or picnics in the park.
- 18. SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy, $19 (usually $30), Amazon
Your smallest family members can get in on the outdoor fun with this SwimWays baby float that comes with a sun canopy to keep baby's skin from catching too many rays.
- 19. Fin Fun Mermaid Tail, $70+, Amazon
Warm weather makes us all want to be mermaids. These mermaid tails with swim fins are perfect additions to summer playtime. And tails and fins come in adult sizes, too, in case Mom wants to get in on the fun.
- 20. Coop Sport Scatter Dodgeball, $18, Amazon
A new twist on the classic game of dodgeball, this game set by Coop accommodates up to six players and involves collecting hit players' colored wristbands in order to win.
- 21. Creative Roots Paint Your Own Unicorn Set, $13, Amazon
Who needs a fairy garden when you can make a unicorn pasture? Send your kids outside to paint their very own resin unicorn, then let them create their own garden space for their colorful friend to rest in.
- 22. SwimWays Eaten Alive Shark Pool Float, $22, Amazon
Shark attack! With these SwimWays Eaten Alive pool floats — available in shark oralligator styles — kids can float on their choice of water predator. The float is large enough for parents, too, and has a drink holder for those long afternoons watching kids splash around.
- 23. RampShot Game Set, $58, Amazon
This four-player outdoor game features plastic ramps and racquetball-sized balls that can easily be taken on the beach or in the grass. Players toss balls toward their opponents' ramp, and points are awarded based on whether the balls are caught by the opposing team or make it into the net.
- 24. Razor Turbo Jetts Electric Heel Wheels, $74 (usually $130), Amazon
What travels 10 miles per hour on the heels of its feet? Your kid when he tries these turbo heel jets from Razor. The rechargeable heel wheels get 30 minutes of continuous use per charge and fit the feet of kids ages 9 to adult — meaning dad can try his luck on the battery-powered wheels as well.
- 25. Fin Fun Shark Fin, $30, Amazon
Little brothers who are jealous of sister's mermaid fin can try their luck as a shark with this Fin Fun Shark Fin. The fin is worn like a backpack with a waist strap to hold it in place, and can turn any little one into a pool predator.
- 26. Glove-A-Bubble, $10 (4-Pack), Amazon
Elephants, lions and bunnies — oh, my! These animal-themed gloves hold bubble solution and make lots of bubbles when kids wave their hands.
- 27. Playmobil Sand Excavator Building Set, $12, Amazon
This Playmobil sand toy is a cool addition to your backyard sandbox or beach vacation. Removable parts on the toy turn into sand toys like shovels and castle molds, making the truck a multitasking toy.
- 28. Watermelon Smash Game, $8 (usually $20), Target
This messy game comes with a spinner that tells each player the number of times they should press the water-filled watermelon on their heads. The unlucky player who triggers watermelon to crack open gets soaked! An indoor version of the game — with plastic watermelon seeds — can also be played.
- 29. Playmobil Aquarium Building Set, $49 (usually $60), Amazon
This aquarium set by Playmobil is perfect for building outside on a warm day. Why? Because the tank can be filled with water once assembled, allowing kids to splash — and get messy — with seals, dolphins and fish as they play.
- 30. BuddyPhones Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for Kids, $55, Amazon
These headphones from BuddyPhones can be wireless or wired, and hold a single battery charge for 10 days. But what really makes them a great outdoor option is they're waterproof, ensuring that whatever warm weather activity your child engages in, they won't get water damaged.
- 31. Grand Trunk Junior Parachute Nylon Hammock, $45, Amazon
Because relaxing outdoors can be as much fun as playing, this kid-sized Grand Trunk junior hammock is the perfect place for your kid to curl up with a book or hide out with a favorite toy. And, if a family-sized hammock is what you need, Grand Trunk makes those as well.
- 32. Razor Spark Scooter, $59, Amazon
This cool take on the traditional Razor scooter makes sparks fly when your child steps on the rear flint pad; it also has light-up wheels for nighttime visibility.
- 33. Zing Metaltek Ball, $11, Amazon
This unique high-bounce ball comes in an assortment of metallic colors, making it a hit with kids of all ages.
- 34. Springfree Trampoline, $1,745, Amazon
Springfree trampolines were invented by a dad who wanted to protect his toddler from spring-related injuries while she played on her trampoline. The trampolines are available in several shapes and sizes, making it simple for parents to find a model that fits their backyard space perfectly.
For more toy suggestions, check out:
- The best gifts for 1-year-olds, according to child development experts
- The best gifts for 2-year-olds, according to child development experts
- The best gifts for 3-year-olds, according to child development experts
- The best gifts for 4-year-olds, according to child development experts