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Turn Your Backyard into a Toddler Oasis with These Toys

a photo of a wooden playhouse for kids/a blue water table with kids playing/a kid's picnic table with umbrella
Backyard Discovery/Little Tikes/Best Choice Products

Can’t get to the beach this year? No problem! Just stock your yard with toddler-friendly toys. Then, you can hang out and relax while they play.

Toddlers should be easy to entertain, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. They can get bored with little toys quickly and attempt to sneak pieces of grass into their mouths instead.

Keeping them busy (and out of trouble) usually just requires giving them a few options to stimulate their minds. Then, they can learn while also having fun. Safe water play is always a good idea, as are any items that allow them to mimic you.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor toys to turn your backyard into a toddler wonderland!

Hesung Inflatable Play Center

Two children in the Hesung Inflatable Play Set

A simple inflatable pool is fun for little kids, especially on particularly hot days, but this Inflatable Play Center gives them so much more to do than just splash around. It features a slide, a wading pool, and a “raining” rainbow.

It’s the perfect size for three to four little ones. It also has handrails and spongy extra cushioning. Made of naphthalene- and lead-free PVC, it’s safe, and 40% thicker than similar products, so it won’t easily puncture. It inflates in one minute with an electric air pump.

Minnidip Fruit Slice Splash Pad

splash pad decorated with colorful fruit slices like a lemon and watermelon

Inflatable pools are great, but they can be a bit of a pain to fill up and then drain. If you want water play fun without the hassle, opt for something like this Minnidip Fruit Slice Splash Pad. It’s basically like a contained sprinkler that will cool the kids off and let them run around.

This one is a great size, with overlapping fruit slices making a fun and colorful pattern. It’s easy to set up with a standard garden hose and can be deflated and folded away when not in use.

Outsunny Playhouse

A child in the Outsunny Playhouse.

Little kids’ playhouses are always fun for toddlers, who love to mimic their parents and act like tiny adults. The Outsunny Playhouse is made of sturdy, coated natural fir. It even has its own fence, windows, mailbox, flower boxes, and serving counter.

Your kids will love pretending like they have their own “grown-up” house. Or, they can pretend that they run their own restaurant and serve “customers” at the snack bar. It’s durable enough to withstand the elements outside and is suitable for kids ages 3-6.

Step2 Panda Climber

colorful climber with a red slide

Bring the playground to you (well, sort of) with this Step2 Panda Climber. This small outdoor activity gym is the perfect playground set for toddlers before it’s time to upgrade to something a lot larger (and a lot more expensive).

It includes steps and a small slide, with a platform on top that toddlers can stand on. It might seem really simple and small, but you’ll be surprised how much fun toddlers can have with this. And it’s also small enough that you don’t have to stand there and hold them as they go down.

Costzon 4-in-1 Toddler Climber and Swing Set

turquoise and gray play set with a slide and swing with two kids playing on it

If you want something larger with more going on, then go for the Costzon 4-in-1 Toddler Climber and Swing Set. This multifunctional set offers a lot and has great value. There’s a slide, a safe swing, a basketball hoop, and a ladder—all things that will keep your tot very entertained.

The slide has an extended buffer zone that increases cushioning and prevents kids from getting hurt by sliding down too quickly. The swing has a wide seat with a “T” shape, forward-leaning protection, and a safety belt.

The whole thing is also made of environmentally friendly PE material, so it’s nontoxic and durable.

National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones

a collection of colorful stepping stones
National Geographic

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t take up quite as much space, these National Geographic Balance Stepping Stones are an excellent indoor/outdoor choice. They’re versatile and simple, and kids can use them however and wherever they want.

They’re fantastic for building balance when used as stepping stones, but they’re also just fun. If you want, you can use them to create a DIY obstacle course. My toddler uses them as “plates” with her fake food and is basically just obsessed with carrying them around.

They’re made of soft foam and can easily be moved or carried anywhere.

Best Choice 3-in-1 Outdoor Activity Table

picnic table with umbrella and middle panel for sand and water
Best Choice Products

A multifunctional toy like the Best Choice 3-in-1 Outdoor Activity Table gives your toddler lots of play options. It acts as a regular picnic table for little ones as well as a sandbox and water table.

If you remove the middle panel, there’s room for two large buckets that can hold sand or water. Kids can sit down and play with their toys at the table, which is comfortable for them. It even has an umbrella for shade.

Little Tikes Flowin’ Fun Water Table

blue water table with three kids standing around it playing
Little Tikes

A water table is basically a must-have for toddlers. They love playing in it, and this keeps the potential mess contained while allowing them to be creative. There are lots of options out there, but the Little Tikes Flowin’ Fun Table is a favorite due to all the accessories that it comes with.

Kids can pour water into the central tower to create a waterfall, and there are also 13 interchangeable pipes, fittings, and faucets as well as a scoop, bucket, and boat. They can dump water into different things to their heart’s content.

It’s a safe way for your little ones to cool down in the summer sun, and it will definitely keep them busy.

Best Choice Wooden Cabana Sandbox

large wooden sandbox with a blue and white striped canopy
Best Choice Products

You really can’t go wrong with a classic like a sandbox. It gives kids a contained space to play with sand, which always seems to fascinate them. The Best Choice Wooden Cabana is a fancy sandbox, with a water- and UV-resistant canopy for plenty of shade and elevated sides to minimize any overflow.

It’s made of solid wood, is super durable, and offers a lot of seating for a few kids to play at once. One side features two buckets that can hold sand or water. The bottomless design comes with a liner that makes it easy to fill or drain. It even has a cover to keep the critters out when it’s not in use.

Utex 3-in-1 Pop-Up Play Tent

colorful play tent with a ball pit and a long tunnel with mesh windows

This Utex 3-in-1 Pop-Up Play Tent is great because it can easily be used inside or out, so your kids can play with it all year. It’s a little adventure play tent and tunnel set that’s basically like a small obstacle course. There’s one square tent, a teepee house, and a long tunnel for them to crawl through.

Mesh windows provide ventilation and allow the kids to look outside. You can also throw balls in one of the tents to make a small ball pit. It’s affordable, durable, resistant to wear and tear, and easy to set up.

ArtCreativity Bubble Lawn Mower

little boy pushing a lawnmower that is also a bubble machine

Toddlers absolutely love bubbles, but creating them themselves gets old fast. That’s why a bubble machine is awesome! It does all the work for them. The ArtCreativity Bubble Lawn Mower is ideal because they also get to play with it while it creates bubbles.

Just add some batteries, fill it with bubbles, and turn it on. You’ll then be greeted by tons of bubbles. It can be used while it’s being pushed around or sitting still. It’s lightweight and small, making it easy to store.

Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer

red, yellow, and blue bouncer with a wide slide
Little Tikes

You know those bounce houses that kids adore at parties? That’s basically what the Little Tikes Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer is. It’s so user-friendly, you’ll be able to blow it up when and wherever you want.

It features a closed section with mesh walls, so your little ones can jump as much as they want. There’s also a wide slide.

It comes with a heavy-duty blower and (once connected) blows up (or deflates) in seconds. A few toddlers can play on it at once, and it’s easy to fold up and put away whenever it’s not in use.

Jessica Booth Jessica Booth
Jessica Booth is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy. She has been working in the editorial world as a freelance writer for over two years and previously worked as an editor for over eight years.  Jessica writes about travel, beauty, wellness, health, food, home decor, and parenting, and has reviewed and tested out products for all of those verticals over the course of her career. Read Full Bio »
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