These days, most if not all children are often glued to screens in order to get the stimulation and entertainment that their growing minds need.
While new technology can be a good way to expose them to new learning, it often is associated with negative effects such as eye strain, behavioral problems, and developmental setbacks, especially for younger kids.
That is why it is important that children do not rely on screens to fill up their time. The great outdoors is a wonderful avenue to be able to stimulate the kids while minimizing their screen time.
There are a variety of outdoor activities that children can enjoy with the help of fun and educational toys that can make their outdoor play experience all the more worthwhile. One can easily pick out the best toys for a certain age group by browsing through the internet and making an online or in-store purchase.
Considering age when choosing outdoor toys for kids
Considering how old the child is playing an important role in how effective and safe a specific toy is for a particular child. As children grow and develop, their skills and developmental needs change over time so one toy may not be applicable to all age groups.
For example, rattles and mobiles may be fascinating for babies, but school-age kids may find it boring. There are also safety considerations that are very important, especially if the child is younger since the danger of asphyxiation is higher at a younger age.
Toys with small operating or removable parts may be fine for a five-year-old but it would be especially dangerous for a one-year-old. So, whether you are buying for your own child or gifting a friend or relative, make sure that the toy you choose is age-appropriate.
You can easily spot the recommended age group that a toy is for printed on its box or on a tab attached to the toy.
Other things to consider when choosing outdoor toys for kids
Safety. You got most of the safety factor covered once you choose age-appropriate toys. Still, it is important to note other nuances when choosing toys such as the material it is made out of, the quality of its components that may break or have sharp edges, as well as the possible presence of chemicals which may harm your child. It would be extra reassuring if the toy you choose has passed safety standards from an accrediting body or company which is usually featured on the packaging of the toy itself.
Mentally stimulating. The main aim of buying a toy is to be able to stimulate your child so that they actually learn from playing. Playing is an important aspect of a child’s life since it is their own personal introduction to the world and how it works. It is therefore important that the toy you choose promotes some form of learning.
Physically stimulating. Another benefit that a child may get from play is physical activity. It is known that a sedentary lifestyle is not a healthy one so it is important for children to be able to move around freely, and the most exciting way to do it is through play.
Transformative. Raising children can be quite expensive. Buying toys can be costly as well, so it would be an added bonus if the toys you choose grow along with your baby. Toys that can transition from one age group to another can also be very useful for families with multiple kids of varying ages. This way, everybody has fun while parents get to save.
Here are some of the bestselling outdoor toys for kids based on their age range.
Best Outdoor Toys for Babies 0-2
Babies are easy to entertain since they are naturally curious about everything around them. The main concern with choosing toys for this age group is their safety. Make sure to choose toys that do not pose choking or asphyxiation hazards while allowing your baby to learn more about the world around them through fun and colorful toys.
1. SplashEZ 3-in-1 Sprinkler for Kids, Splash Pad, and Wading Pool for Learning
What a fun and cool way to enjoy the outdoors while learning! This splash pad is safe enough to be occupied by babies and stimulating enough to encourage early learning. The sprinkling water will surely amaze your little learner while cooling her down during a hot summer outside while the pad is shallow enough for little tykes to sit in and make splashes.
- It is a perfectly safe water activity for babies.
- It comes in three available educational designs: From A to Z, The Deep Blue, and Know our Planets.
- The Splash Sprinkler operates by filling up the edges with water and once they are filled, the pressure built up shoots the water out of the sprinklers. These edges balloon and there may be a tendency for the seams to rip open easily with too much water pressure.
2. Little Tikes 2 -in- 1 Snug ‘n Secure Grow With Me Swing
Babies love to be rocked, swayed or bounced. Play times that involve motion is especially soothing and enjoyable for them. Swinging is a fun activity for many babies as they seem to enjoy the motion a lot. It is, however, important that swings come with safety features that make it safe for babies.
- The shoulder straps and T-bar are adjustable to accommodate your growing baby, removable T-bar for bigger babies who do not need support.
- You may notice that the rope is not long enough for high bars, trees, door frames, or ceilings.
- You’ll need some extra ropes to get it to a safe height for your baby, otherwise, it is best suited for little swing sets or low places.
3. Click N Play 18Piece Beach Sand Toy Set, Bucket, Shovels, Rakes, Watering Can, Molds
Playing in the sand has great benefits for young babies as it introduces them to new textures and colors. This toy set makes the sand play all the more enjoyable as they scoop and rake.
- The entire set is lightweight and is the perfect size for little hands to grasp and maneuver.
- Since it is made of light materials, it is actually not as durable and the colors.on the toys may fade with prolonged sun exposure.
Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers 3-5
1. Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
What is good outdoor fun if it doesn’t involve a pool? This inflatable pool is not the average pop up pool. It comes with a slide, a rainbow sprinkler, hoops, balls, and a host of nooks and activities that your kids can enjoy.
- It has so many play features that can stimulate and provide endless entertainment for kids.
- It may be difficult to set up.
- You will definitely need a good quality air pump for this, and some time and patience as well with all the inflatable parts.
2. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
It is a known fact that most children just love to play with water. So why not indulge them with an activity center? It’s like their own mini water park at the tips of their fingers.
- It’s an engaging motor skill water activity for toddlers that can keep them occupied for hours on end!
- Surfaces may be prone to mildew, and there may be difficult to clean places.
- The upper basin that rains down water cannot hold enough fluid for the rain to last long so you may have to keep on filling it.
3. Sunny Days Entertainment Maxx Bubbles Bubble-N-Go Toy Mower
Kids sometimes like to mimic adult activities like cooking and cleaning. It is a natural way for them to learn about the world around them.
If you find that your little toddler is especially curious about mowing the lawn, you can gift him his very own lawnmower. The best part? It comes with an extra bubble blowing feature!
- This toy is absolutely perfect for pretend play.
- It works well only on flat and even surfaces as per parents’ feedback. Getting it onto real grass may be a challenge so you may have to improvise to provide a more realistic experience.
Best Outdoor Toys for School-Age Kids 6-8
Kids of this age like excitement and thrill. And since they have better-developed ideas, their imaginations can stretch even wider than younger kids.
With this age group, you may want to consider outdoor toys that involve some action and/or role-playing to make outdoor activities all the more fun and exciting.
1. Nerf Super Soaker Scatterblast Blaster
Everybody loves a good Nerf gun. It is all the more enjoyable if it blasts water. If you own a pool, this would be the perfect toy gun that bigger kids can enjoy.
If you do not have a pool at home, you can simply fill a big bucket where they can refill and play around in the yard while splashing at each other.
- It is an efficient water blaster with good aim and water pressure.
- Some adults even use it to ward off pesky wild critters like birds or squirrels.
- According to some buyers, it leaks so you may get wet as well.
- If you are playing a shooting game, you lose when you get wet. It may get complicated if you get wet too while shooting your opponent.
2. Wham-O Slip N Slide Wave Rider Double with 2 Slide Boogies
This is a slip and slide that your big kids can definitely enjoy. If you have a roomy yard and want to have some outdoor fun with water, this is the perfect outdoor toy.
- It covers large surface area for more fun.
- The double slide allows two to slide down at once so you can race down the slide as well.
- Since it is a bigger slide, it needs more water pressure to get all parts wet.
3. Intex Pool Volleyball Game
This is a fun way to introduce your kids to an actual sport. Pool volleyball combines the sporty qualities of volleyball with the fun element of water.
- You’ll notice that it is a good size for bigger kids and even adults.
- It comes with its own inflatable beach ball.
- This may be difficult to maneuver once inflated since it is quite large.
- You may need some help setting it up.
No matter what age your kids are, they can all benefit from some good and wholesome outdoor fun with friends and family.
Outdoor activities allow them to soak up some sun, enjoy some fresh air, and give them much-needed exercise which many kids lack these days.
All you have to do is to remember the key importance of choosing age-appropriate outdoor toys so that your kids can enjoy and learn in a safe and stimulating environment. This way, you can get the best value out of your chosen toy.