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Outdoor Toys Buying Guide

Fireflies and warm evenings spent playing beneath street lights; it’s what being a kid is all about! And outdoor toys can only make the experience all the more special. There are many options when it comes to outdoor recreation for kids, all of which encourage kids to remain outdoors and explore their environments. You can get kids into the fresh air with everything from sand and pool toys to tricycles, gardening activities and sports toys!

Features to Consider

  • Consider the materials. Outdoor toys are typically played with more aggressively than indoor toys, so the materials should be strong. Some kids play harder than others, which should also be taken into consideration.
  • Some outdoor toys require adult supervision. An adult should always be present when a child is playing in a pool or near water. Bicycles and tricycles should be accompanied by safety helmets and adult supervision, depending on the amount of traffic or the skill of the rider. As you shop, be aware of how much adult involvement or supervision will be required for safe play.
  • Sports toys and family games are great fun and good exercise for everyone. But these toys won’t be fun if kids are playing alone. Consider how often playmates are available before investing in sports toys that require teams. There are even some sports machines designed to help kids practice on their own!
  • Be aware that most remote control toys require batteries. Some products include batteries and others include an option to add the proper batteries along with your order for an added cost - and some remote control toys require many batteries!

Some Age Group Suggestions

12 Months to 24 Months
  • Three and four-wheeled ride on toys help kids develop balance and build muscle. Plus they’re really fun!
  • Sand toys and sand tables can be fun at the beach, in the sandbox, or at a lake! When kids build in the sand, they’re engaging in healthy manipulative play and spatial thinking.
  • Kids love riding in wagons and wagons are a fun alternative to strollers at summer festivals.
  • Many Radio Flyer wagons include safety features like raised sides and seat belts. Smaller wagons that kids can pull on their own make exciting driveway and sidewalk toys.
  • Toy cars and trucks that are made for rough outdoor play can make excellent accessories for outdoor staples like mud, dirt and sand.
Outdoor Toys for Girls 3 to 5 Year Olds
  • Chunky sidewalk chalk sets put creativity on a larger scale.
  • Bouncing toys like hop balls and trampolines with safety bars get little kids active and help develop balance as they build muscle.
  • Three-wheeled ride-on toys, balance bikes and scooters give kids some independence and promote balance.
  • Remote control toys designed with simple remote controls can be lots of fun outdoors - especially Morphibians vehicles that can take on land and water!
  • Early learning sports toys like baseball bats, tee ball sets, and bouncing balls help kids practice their coordination and are a great introduction to playing sports.
6 to 8 Year Olds
  • Bug catchers and bug habitats encourage kids to take care of pets and observe the natural world more closely.
  • Team sports sets like hockey and soccer goals are great exercise and they help kids practice their coordination.
  • Bicycles and scooters are fun outdoor toys that promote balance and coordination.
  • Basket ball hoops, hockey toys, badminton, volleyball and many other sports toys are great fun for children this age.
9 Years Old and Up
  • Toys that launch rockets, flying toys, and toy bow and arrows sets get these kids excited.
  • Gardening books and gardening toys teach kids about nurturing plants and the about the benefits of growing your own food.
  • Skill toys like pogo sticks, stilts, yo-yos, juggling sticks and juggling balls help kids develop unique and fun talents!

Play Environment

To get the most use out of your outdoor toys, consider the space near the children’s home. Are there sidewalks nearby for safe riding? If not, do the kids have access to a park? Could you put a sandbox somewhere close to the house or apartment for sand play? And how is the traffic in your area? Would it be safe to play outside without supervision where you live?

There are solutions to any potential problem regarding outdoor play. Some areas may require more adult supervision than others, but that adults shouldn’t let obstacles keep kids indoors. Playing outside is truly one of the most healthy activities for any child!

Top Developmental Benefits

Physical
Playing outdoors is the best way to get the physical benefits of play. Outdoor play is the most conducive to running, climbing and generally being a kid. Outdoor toys make that experience all the better, building endurance and physical skills while encouraging activity!

Outdoor Toys for Boys Spatial
Outdoor toys help kids explore their environment. Outdoor ride-on toys help kids learn about navigation. Insect toys like bug catchers and habitats slow things down so that kids can focus on the rich visual details that nature has to offer. And, playing catch, launching toys, and using remote control toys all build a child's spatial skills as well.

Intrapersonal
Bicycles and other ride-on toys are some of the best outdoor toys with intrapersonal characteristics. These toys foster independence and feed an appetite for adventure. Other outdoor toys with intrapersonal benefits include sand toys, remote control toys, and pitching machines.

Interpersonal
Everyone knows that outdoor play is that much better when you can enjoy it with others! Make use of games and sports to score big interpersonal play benefits outdoors. Socializing through outdoor group play teaches kids about collaboration, teamwork and sharing. When kids compete with one another, they learn to resolve conflicts - not to mention, team play keeps the outdoor, active play going!

Types of Play

Active Play
Active lives begin with active outdoor play. Most outdoor toys contribute to the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of active play per day that kids are meant to have. Everything from gardening to biking, hopping on hop balls and chasing after toy gliders, will build muscles and start kids on the road to a healthy lifestyle.

Manipulative Play
Manipulative play is the basis of many outdoor activities. If you’re looking for outdoor toys with the benefits of manipulative play, then try sand building toys, sidewalk chalk, airplane kits, and gardening activities. Outdoor play is conducive to manipulative play as kids manipulate their environment by digging, building, and collecting little pieces of nature!

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