Fall and Spring temperatures in St. Louis are the best months to enjoy outdoor activities. My outdoorsy kids love having a ton of options in their arsenal of fun outdoor toys. With the holidays approaching, it is the perfect time of year to buy practical gifts. I’ll go over the best outdoor gifts for kids of all ages to help make your holiday shopping a little easier.
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Toys To Keep Them Playing: The 42 Best Outdoor Gifts For Kids
Once the weather cools down, I can hardly get my crew to come back inside. We live in a neighborhood where they can have outdoor adventures and fresh air. From riding bicycles and scooters to playing on a swing set and fighting pirates, they have such active play that it makes me happy to see them having outdoor fun. If you have active kids who love to explore the natural world, a perfect gift for the holidays is their favorite outdoor toys.
Benefits Of Play Time Outdoors
When I was younger, it was common practice to have all of the kids in the neighborhood outside on any given day. We would spend time playing games, riding scooters, camping, and taking turns on different swing sets. In today’s environment, older kids spend way too much time tied to their screens. We certainly aren’t anti-screens in our household. However, I do try to keep everything in moderation. So, if one of my big kids has been on their Ipad for the morning, then I’ll make sure they take the afternoon for outdoor time.
If you want your kids to get more time outside, a great way to get them there is to spend time together as an entire family. The amount of time your child spends outdoors ends up benefiting them in many different ways.
Kids who spend time outdoors are generally happier and healthier individuals. Specifically, those children who spend time outdoors are more active and less likely to suffer from childhood obesity. Hand-eye coordination and gross motor and fine motor skills are also benefited from outdoor play. Lastly, immune systems tend to be stronger which allow them to fight off common childhood illnesses more easily.
Not only are there health benefits, but also those children who play outside also have much more active imaginations. Imaginative play is key for language, social and emotional development in children. Additionally, a child’s imagination can help with problem solving skills later on in life.
With all of these benefits (and more), there is no better time to encourage outdoor exploration. There are so many great outdoor toys that can help keep their attention span and interest in continuing to play.
Toy Guides For The Whole Family
I hope these gift guides are helpful in planning your holiday gift or birthday shopping list. This is the perfect time to stock up on fun outdoor gifts and add to your arsenal of toys before they sell out around the holidays.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be summer to enjoy them. With some smart dressing, your kids can enjoy their outdoor toys all year long.
Best Outdoor Toys For Kids Under 5
Some of the best gift ideas are centered around your child’s amazing imagination. Goldie loves pretending to be a ballerina and Walker is a big fan of collecting items he finds outside for his pretend shop. The great thing about imaginative play is that your little kids can use what they find around them in nature to help the fun last even longer.
What younger kids wouldn’t want this incredible playhouse? With a bench, grill, mailbox, and door, this modern playhouse is a classic toy that will last for years. If you happen to not care for the aesthetics, there are some incredible DIYs to make this playhouse your perfect fit!
This mud kitchen is a great addition to your backyard. If you have curious kids who love a good mess, they will love making mud pies, potions, and stews in their very own mud kitchen. Collect items you find on nature walks or use what you have on hand in your backyard. This is a fun way to get messy, get creative, and enjoy the outdoors.
We are blessed to have some incredible places in Saint Louis where children can explore and learn about nature. The Butterfly House in Chesterfield is one of those places. If you have a little one that loves bugs, this is a great outdoor family place to take them to. Grab this set of butterfly wings and watch as they dance around outside pretending to be a butterfly, fairy, or bee.
Some days I just need my kids to run out their energy. On those days, I send them outside with their favorite active toys and let them get all their wiggles out.
Scooters are a great toy that you can get your child at around 18 months old. I generally start my kids off in the house with their scooter so they can learn how to fall inside first. Once they have an idea of how to balance, then I take it outside and let them go. This is a perfect size scooter for ages 2-5. If you need more information on scooters, check out my post all about kids’ scooters.
Balance bikes are another great gift idea for younger children. Once they can learn how to balance, this in turn helps them learn how to ride a bicycle faster without training wheels. My crew typically started riding their balance bikes around 3 years old and by 5 years old they were on to their big kid bikes. Of course, every child is different, but I do think that having this balance bike helped the transition. Also, they seem to have so much fun going down big hills!
This is another great outdoor gift for young kids. Walker was gifted this tricycle when he was around 2 years old and he has loved it ever since. I’d say this is better suited for kids under 4. If you have a taller kiddo they may outgrow it more quickly. Nonetheless, Walker is able to push Goldie on this now and they have a blast playing together.
We love our Veer Wagon. I had to put this one on the list as this is an outdoor item we still use! Check out my my full Veer Wagon review from a mom of 4. This is perfect for outdoor adventures for those non-walkers, early walkers, and toddlers who can run beside it. Eventually, you use the wagon to haul all your items with you for those beach or camping trips once your kids are too old.
What better way to get outside and get moving than by going on your very own roller coaster? We don’t own this one, but I do have friends with it who say their kids are obsessed with riding it. I could see young toddlers getting worn out from running over and over to ride their favorite toy.
Enjoy the outdoor air while your child swings in this outdoor saucer swing. You’ll need to hang this swing from a sturdy tree or buy the stand for it.
Did anyone else buy a bounce house as a panic buy during the height of the pandemic? Laugh all you want, but our bounce house has been one of the best outdoor gifts for kids. We prefer to keep ours inside, but you definitely can set it up outside if you don’t have the indoor space. If you have a garage, this can easily go in there during the bitterly cold winter months. The best part is that with all of the jumping, you won’t even notice the cold.
Encourage your young one to run after this glow in the dark sensory ball. This is perfect for small hands and eye-hand coordination.
These are some of the best gift ideas to keep cool this summer.
If you need to beat the heat on a hot day, this is a good option for your young kids. Attach a hose to the bottom of the splash pad and you’ll have an instant small pool and sprinkler.
This water table has over 15,000 5 star reviews on Amazon. Clearly, this is a loved toy among many families.
If you have a sports obsessed child, this is a great toy with a modern twist. You can hook up your hose to the t-ball set, and the ball will float with water. When your child goes to swing, they will get splashed as they hit the ball.
Art & Bubbles
Who doesn’t love bubbles? You can never go wrong with a simple bubble wand and sidewalk chalk. But, if you want to go a little extra, these are our favorite art and bubble toys.
Teach your child while they are young to mow the lawn. We used to have this bubble machine when Jack was younger. It was fun to watch him pretend to cut the grass while Sam was actually tending to the yard. Plus, what child doesn’t love bubbles?
This is the bubble machine we own and it works great! While you don’t get giant bubbles, you do get a steady stream of bubbles constantly flowing. Don’t forget to add the bubble solution or make your own.
This inflatable outdoor art easel is a great gift for those creative kids in your life. You can actually use this indoors as well, but in my opinion, I prefer to have my kids do their arts and crafts outdoors. The best thing is that when they finish up, you can hose it off for a new masterpiece.
Science & Nature
If you have a tiny explorer, these next products will be the right gift for their curiosity. Encourage their love of nature and exploration to fully embrace the outdoors.
One of my girlfriends swears by this book! This version is actually available for pre-order. However, this author has an older version where she encourages you and your family to spend 1000 hours in a year outdoors. Looking at this book’s preview, I’m going to have to put it on my list to grab. I love that there are tons of activities for some great ideas with easy supplies and materials to get you started. I know Walker would love to make a rainbow ice house this winter. If you aren’t great at thinking of ways to entertain your kids outside, this book takes away all the guesswork.
What a fun gardening set for your little helper! This would be a great Easter gift to kick off Spring and teach your young gardener about where their fruits and vegetables come from. The utensils and wheel barrel are made from durable plastic to hold up to wear and tear.
This outdoor game is an amazing way to get your children outside to explore their surroundings. What better way to do that than having a scavenger hunt? Add a magnifying glass and they’ll be on the hunt to look for clues in nature. You can collect what you find and bring it back to your mud kitchen to create a special potion.
Shop The Best Outdoor Toys For Kids Under 5 Years Old
- Kidkraft Playhouse
- Water Tball
- Gardening Set
- Bubble Machine
- Veer Wagon
- Balance Bikes
- Bubble Lawn Mower
- 1000 Hours Outside (Pre-Order)
- Butterfly Wings
- Roller Coaster
- Mud Kitchen
- Outdoor Art Canvas
- Splash Pad
- Little Tikes Bounce House
- Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
- Water Table
- Glow in Dark Sensory Ball
Best Outdoor Gifts For Kids Age Range 5-12
As your toddlers grow into full-blown kids, their love for water doesn’t stop. Check out some of these great water features to help keep them cool all summer long.
We have really enjoyed using these reusable water balloons all summer long. I wasn’t sure how they would hold up or do, but our crew has spent hours playing with them. Have a water balloon fight and avoid the mess afterwards. Undoubtedly, these are a good option if you happen to have a dog that tries to eat the leftover balloon parts too.
If you don’t mind the water balloon mess at the end and want to take it up a notch, check out this water slide. This slip and slide has 2 lanes for racing and will have you end up in a water balloon pit. It comes with over 165 self-sealing water balloons that you can throw at your opponent. Obviously, if we had a large hill in our backyard, this would be a must have item.
Add to your water balloon fight this fast filling water gun. It fills in just 1 second and can shoot up to 30 feet. Don’t blame me if your kids hide in the bushes and get you while you are on your way to your car.
Sure, my kids love to ride their bicycles and scooters. However, for this next category, I thought I’d focus on some outdoor toys that are a little unconventional to help get your older kids engaged and staying active.
Call me old school, but this is what I spent my childhood doing whenever we had enough kids in the neighborhood to play a game. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, this is a one way to include multiple neighbors and get competitive among friends.
If you live anywhere with lots of trees, this tree climbing holds kit is a must have for older kids. They can practice their rock climbing skills with this simple kit. It easily can be placed around the tree’s stump and secured with the proper attachments.
This ninja obstacle course would also go perfectly with that tree holds kit. With the obstacle course kit, you have swings, bars, a slackline, and ropes to climb. This is another kit that would heat up the competition among friends.
Smaller Games & Toys
If you are limited on space or just need an easy Christmas gift, these smaller items are perfect for outdoor fun. I tried to make sure you had a good assortment of toys that can be played with both as an individual and with other friends.
These stomp rockets are a great solo game that can be played during the day or evening. At night, the rockets light up. Simply jump on the pedal and the rockets can soar up to 100 feet in the air. This would keep my boys entertained for hours.
This is a game that I could see Jack and Walker playing for hours. I’d have a hard time getting them to come inside once they realized they could pretend to be real ninjas. The game can be played with 2 to 4 people. The good news is that these are foam swords that don’t hurt if contact is made. If you have boys, you’ll know that the first question will be “are they real swords?”
This simple game of tic tac toe gets an upgrade by glowing in the dark. This is a fairly easy game that almost all kids know. When you add LED lights, it takes it up a notch and becomes more than just a board game.
The Flybar Pogo Trick board is a pogo stick, balance board, and jump ball all in one. It can easily be used both indoors or outdoors. Help improve balance and coordination with this 80s throwback toy that has been reinvented.
These next games are perfect to play with the entire family. You can include younger kids without it going over their heads while older kids won’t think that it is too babyish. The best outdoor gifts for kids include the whole family.
The original capture the flag game has been redesigned to include glow in the dark game lights. 4 to 8 players can play at a time. If you end up loving it, they do have extension packs that can accommodate up to 32 people! I love seeing these old school games that I played as a kid reimagined.
If you ever need a great gift idea for multiple kids, this glow in the dark fort building set would be perfect. I can see bringing this out this fall when the temperatures are cooler and snuggling in with lots of blankets and pillows to tell ghost stories.
Shop the Best Outdoor Toys For Kids 5-12 Years Old
- Reusable Water Balloons
- Water Guns
- Tree Climbing Holds
- Flybar Pogo Board
- Ninja Glow Battle
- Slip and Slide
- Capture the Flag Glow in the Dark
- Tic Tac Toe Glow
- Stomp Rocket Stunt Planes
- Ninja Obstacle Course
- Street Hockey Set
- Glowing Fort Set
Great Outdoor Gifts For 13 & Up
Just because you have older teens doesn’t mean that there aren’t any fun activities for them to do outside. Honestly, I love this next category because I can see myself playing with most of these items. Have them put down their video games and cell phones and step outside to enjoy some fresh air.
Grab a group of friends and compete against each other in these games that you can take along almost anywhere!
Cornhole is a classic game that you see played every summer. You can bring it inside or continue to play it outside in the cooler months. Set up a bonfire and you’ve got yourself a fun party.
Bulzibucket is a game set up similarly to cornhole. There are 3 tiers that allow you to score. It is best described as a cross between cornhole and skeeball. Who doesn’t love skeeball? Surprisingly, the game collapses and sets up super easily, which is a bonus since cornhole is super bulky and hard to transport. For an additional challenge, you can float these in water to play in the pool.
I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve never played Spikeball, but I keep hearing how much fun it is once you learn how to play. I first heard about Spikeball when I saw a group of teens playing it on the beach during our last trip to Florida. The game has rules that are similar to volleyball and can be just as intense.
Ultimate Outdoor Party
I’m always trying to think of fun family activities that we can do now and continue to incorporate as the kids get older. We have been doing Friday movie nights and our family has loved spending the time together watching movies that I watched as a child. In honor of our Friday movie nights, these next items will help you have the ultimate set up for a night at the movies in your own backyard .
I can’t say enough wonderful things about our Solo Stove. We have had ours for a few years and use it year round. There are multiple sizes that can help keep you comfortable or really warm you up with the Yukon large size. Unquestionably, the best part is you don’t have that smoke smell at the end of the night.
To showcase your movies, this projector and screen can be set up in your backyard. With bluetooth capability, broadcasting your movie is a cinch. While I love my Solo Stove, this may be one of the best outdoor gifts for kids and adults too!
Sure you can use the inflatable pool to swim in, but I have another proposition for you. Instead of filling the pool with water, grab some pillows and blankets, and create your own nest. You can watch your outdoor movie from the comfort of your very own cozy pool. Plus, the bottom is quilted and looks like it would be much more comfortable than other inflatable pools. But, you’ll want to make sure it is a good distance from your Solo Stove.
Remember how I mentioned the Solo Stove previously? Not only can you have s’mores for your movies, but you can also make movie theater popcorn with this campfire popcorn maker.
Bring along your Solo Stove, campfire popcorn maker, Bulzibucket, Cornhole, and Spikeball game for your next camping trip. You’ll want to grab a few more items to make sure you have your basics covered, but you’re already well on your way for a weekend under the stars and a night filled with memories.
It should come as no surprise to you that I am not the most outdoorsy person. I generally think of camping as a hotel that doesn’t have room service. However, I do have lots of friends who love to sleep outdoors. My kids have been wanting to do a real campout, and I know I can only hold off for so long before we venture out into the wilderness that is our backyard. While I can’t say I’ll be excited, I know that with this tent I’ll be comfortable. Specifically, this tent is windproof, waterproof, and has an easy set up design.
Instead of using a standard sleeping bag you’ll want to check out this one straightaway. With double lined comfort and waterproofing, this sleeping bag will keep you nice and toasty. Additionally, it is big enough to fit both adults and has tons of room for kids. Lastly, it is lightweight and can easily be packed in a backpack.
Shop the Best Outdoor Toys for Kids 13+
- Cornhole Toss
- Solo Stove
- TV Projector & Screen
- Spikeball Game
- Inflatable Pools
- Sleeping bag
- Campfire Popcorn Maker
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Pin This Photo Below For Later
Hopefully, this post gave you some great insight into the best outdoor gifts for kids. Spending time outdoors can change your entire day around. With these outdoor gift ideas you and your family can start spending more time disconnecting from devices and enjoying your natural surroundings. Whatever your budget or age, there are tons of options to fit your interest and lifestyle. If you need helpful tips on how to organize all your new outdoor gear, check out how I organize my garage on a budget. Be sure to pin the photo below for later, and if you don’t already – follow me on Instagram (@arinsolange) and Tik Tok (@arinsolange) for more helpful hints. If you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you!