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Summer's looking a lot more normal than it did this time last year. While parks, pools and camps are opening back up for families and children, it's also super simple to head to the backyard to soak up some sun and fresh air with the kids.
We found some great outdoor toys that will keep them preoccupied for hours on end — whether they prefer an active game or sitting in an inflatable kiddie pool. Read on to see 45 fun water games, sand toys, fun pool accessories and more that will help elevate their playtime this summer.
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Best outdoor toys for kids
Sometimes, all you need for hours of fun is a sunny kite and some wind.
Lovers of au naturel mud pies and slides will love mixing up their own messy creations at this outdoor activity area. Little chefs ages 3 and up can whip up their masterpieces with the set's pots, pans and removable splash tub.
Let the sidewalk be their canvas! Hook your crafty kids up with this set of 64 chalk sticks from Crayola.
If they've outgrown the playground swings, step it up a notch with this oversized curved version from SkyCurve. Made with comfortable polypropylene fabric and thick durable ropes, this mega swing can support up to 400 pounds and only requires a sturdy tree branch to hold everyone up.
Combining active and imaginative play, this unique fort includes rock wall siding and canvas tent flaps that give plenty of privacy.
Toddlers can use a spinner, wavy dropper, scooper and squeeze bottle to have fun with sand and water — helping build fine motor skills along the way.
Dig up seashells, build towering sandcastles and more thanks to this classic set of beach toys.
Spark your child's imagination in the sandbox with this pretend sand baking set.
After eating some actual ice cream inside, head outdoors to open up your own shop in the sand.
Turn the lawn into a cornfield with this lifelike John Deer tractor. It has an adjustable seat, a large trailer and can go up to 2.5 miles per hour.
Train your little one to drive with this ride-on Mini Cooper. It's battery-powered and comes with LED headlights.
Instead of kicking around the ball, they can be the ball! These cushy body bumpers will keep the kiddos entertained for hours.
This lightweight cycle can be used on the grass or the driveway. Either way, one push is all it takes to launch a bunch of bubbles in the air.
Available in alligators, butterflies, jellyfish and more, these totes are filled with fun sand toys to spark your child's imagination.
Grab some rocks from your yard and get to painting! The box contains brushes, acrylic paint, puffy paint and additional rocks.
You'll have a blast watching the kids use this push-powdered skateboard. Soft wheels and a molded waffle deck gives your aspiring skater kid plenty of grip and mobility.
17. Aerobie Pro Ring
The Aerobie Pro Ring is the perfect upgrade to a regular game of frisbee. This one can travel exceptional distances and the bright colors make it easy to find.
Do you have a crafter in your family? Gift them this paint-your-own unicorn kit that will have them gleaming.
Upgrade your idea of fun with these Razor heel wheels. The rechargeable wheels attach directly to your kids' shoes, holding up to 176 pounds of weight.
When you rub these animal-themed gloves together, you'll be able to create a bunch of bubbles from the palm of your hand.
Channel your inner construction worker with the Big Dig sandbox crane.
Bring the beats outside with the BuddyPhones Bluetooth headphones. They come in multiple styles, including one decorated in bees, monkeys, robots and unicorns, and last up to 20 hours on one charge.
Sit outside and relax in this junior-sized nylon hammock. Whether your child needs some alone time or wants to read their book outside, they'll find this to be the perfect place to relax.
Zip around the block with the Razor Spark Kick Scooter. The compact size also makes it easy to store in the garage.
This unique ball bounces extra high to bring your regular game of catch to a whole new level.
Best outdoor games for kids
Have you ever playing Giant Yahtzee? Now you can, thanks to this game set complete with six jumbo dice and a roomy canvas storage bag.
Connect 4 never gets old, especially when it comes in an oversized version.
Try your hand at backyard archery this summer with this game set from NSG. If you're worried about safety, fear not: the arrows are made with suction cup tips.
Bring the charms of Italy to your backyard! This popular set from Target includes everything you'll need to play including four pairs of vivid bocce balls and a large canvas bag that's comfortable to carry around.
Who can pass up two games in one? This Crate & Barrel set doubles up the backyard fun with tic-tac-toe and cornhole.
Perfect for kids (and adults) of all ages, this larger-than-life set includes 28 dominoes made with solid pine wood.
Hit a home run in a new fun way! This set is perfect for little baseball fans.
Don't have a ping pong table in your home? No problem. This handheld game includes all the fun of the game in a compact little gadget.
Challenge the family to a fun-filled game of croquet in the backyard. Instead of hitting the ball, you can kick it through the seven-wicket course.
Mom, Dad and the kids can get in on this family-friendly game. To play, participants roll wooden disks toward goalposts to score points.
This four-player game features racquetball-sized balls and plastic rams that can easily be transported from the driveway to the backyard. It's sure to bring out a little competitiveness among the entire family.
Best water toys for kids
If you live next to a pond or have a pool in the backyard, this underwater explorer boat is a must. By placing it on the surface of the water, you can see everything below in clear sight.
From the tub to the pool, this rainbow mermaid Barbie will have your child imagining they're exploring the ocean with their doll.
Turn the video game into a real-life adventure with this Fortnite Super Soaker. It can hold 9.3 ounces of water and has a simple refill system.
Dive into your pool and have some fun with this SwimWays Toypedo Bandits set. Using toys like this can help your kid strengthen their swimming skills as well.
Splash, slide and climb your way to an afternoon of water-filled fun with this backyard splash park.
Have the ultimate water fight with this SwimWays blow-up blaster. This inflatable toy features an easy-to-use trigger that will shoot water in and out of the pool.
Whether you have an in-ground pool or an inflatable one, the SwimWays float is an accessory you'll want for your baby. It comes with a canopy that provides shade from the sun and a soft mesh seat with secure leg holes.
If your child is itching to swim with the mermaids, you may want to add these to your pile of pool toys. They come in kids' sizes and adult sizes in case a parent wants to join the fun.
The SwimWays Eaten Alive Shark Pool Float is perfect for kids and parents alike. If your predator of choice isn't a shark, they also have an alligator version.
For more stories like this, check out:
- 13 pool toys to keep you and your kids entertained all summer long
- 15 colorful (and foolproof) tie-dye kits to get crafty this season
- From sprinklers to splash pads, these water toys are perfect for backyard fun
- 19 toys and games to get your kids outside this season
- This Barbie line is made of trash – and that’s a good thing
This article originally published on May 17, 2018.