7 Fun Filled Outdoor Play Toys For Toddlers That Will Promote Learning

Toddler toys for outdoor learning

These 7 outdoor play toys for toddlers are not only fun but they will also help with vocabulary development, sentence building, following directions, problem solving and social skills!

Continue reading to find out why these toys have been selected and how they can help your child.

7 Outdoor Toys For Toddlers To Enhance Learning

Little Tikes Garden Table

This table comes with 4 flower pots, 2 soil discs, a shovel, a rake, watering can (that can actually pour water), 2 flowers, a tray and a sifter.

The Legs and cover can be removed so a young child could also sit in it and pretend it’s a car or bathtub!  The Little Tikes Garden Table can also be turned into a sand or water table, or sensory bin!

Skill Building

– Flower, flower pot, shovel, soil, watering can, seeds, plant, dig, pour, pull, etc.
Cause and Effect
– Put seeds into the soil, water it and a plant will grow
Hand Eye Coordination
– Practice hanging shovel and rake on rack
Try to get the flower into the hole of the soil disc
Fine Motor Skills
– Grasping the stem of the flower and getting it into the hole in the soil disc

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Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Set

This basketball set is height adjustable (between 2-4 feet) and comes with 3 junior sized basketballs.

Skill Building

Social Skills
– Practice taking turns with siblings or friends
♦ Sentence Building
– Work on expanding sentences. For example “my turn”, “your turn”, “I (want to) throw (the ball)”
♦ Gross Motor Skills and Coordination
– Running, throwing, catching, balancing, jumping

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Green Toys Vehicles

The Green Toys vehicles are all made out of 100% recycled milk jugs.  They are free of phthalates and BPA and are made in the USA!   All inks are soy based.

These toys are all very sturdy and can be played with indoors or out!  They all have many features that will add to your child’s learning.

The following vehicles are available: Flatbed truck and race car, scooper vehicle, recycling truck, fire truck, train, tractor, dump truck, ferry boat, school bus and plane.

Skill Building (Recycle Truck as an example)

♦ Vocabulary
– Door, truck bed, tilt, wheels, recycle, chute, drive, fast, slow,etc.
Pretend Play
– Drive vehicles around and go on various adventures – this will depend on the kinds of vehicles you have.
♦ Fine Motor Skills
– Practice putting papers with pictures of recyclables (there are some that can be cut out from the packaging) into each compartment on the truck.

Outdoor play toys for toddlers - green toys vehicles

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17 tips to help toddler with speech delay


ECR4Kids Buccaneer Boat with Pirate Flag

This pirate ship is a fun twist on a traditional playhouse! It’s not very large so it could also be used indoors (dimensions are 54.3 x 30.7 x 56.7).

Skill Building

– Pirate, ship, flag, sail, steer, top, bottom, jump, swim, mast
♦ Social Skills
– Turn taking, sharing
♦ Pretend Play
– Sail to new places or pretend the boat is now a car!
♦ Gross Motor Skills
– Climbing and jumping

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Little Tikes Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ

This kids outdoor BBQ grill has made the list because it is very similar to a kids play kitchen which is my #1 recommended toy for language development and learning.  I won’t go into any of the language building opportunities here because you can head to either of these articles for that information

The 5 Best Kids Play Kitchens: They Will All Encourage Language and Learning!

Kids Toy Kitchens: 10 Reasons Why Every Child Should Have One!

This BBQ can be used outdoors, but if you live in a place where winters get cold and snowy I would suggest you bring it inside, or cover it well for the winter months.

The Little Tikes Cook ‘n’ Play Outdoor BBQ comes with clicking knobs, hooks to hang utensils and pans, and oven door that opens as well as a sink.

It comes with 1 hamburger, 1 hot dog & 1 bottle of ketchup.

There is also the option to purchase this BBQ with an accessory pack containing more food, plates, utensils.get best price button


benefits of outdoor play for preschoolers


Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Play Table

If you have pirate fans in your house, then this is another must have. There are so many water tables to choose from and they would all be a wonderful learning toy for a toddler.

In fact, there is so much learning that can happen simply by playing in the water that I have written an entire article about it.  Here is is for those of you interested in some language development and learning tips specific to sand/water tables.

This pirate ship water table will keep your child entertained for hours!  Water can be poured into the crows nest which activates the gears that in turn cause a current in the water.  So if your child has placed any items in the water, he can learn all about cause and effect as the toys will start moving!

There is also a pump that can be pushed to cause a current in the water.

Some other cool features include an anchor that can be raised and lowered by cranking the handle and a cannon that shoots water.

This set comes with a scooper, bucket, strainer, squirting shark, 2 pirates, a life preserver (similar size to the pirates) and a bucket!

The one drawback is that it doesn’t come with a cover.   However, this BBQ cover is the perfect fit and can be ordered separately.

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Water Table

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Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber

This thing is tough and sturdy and made of rust and UV resistant steel.  And it can hold up to 1000lbs!  It is recommended for children ages 3-9.  It doesn’t anchor into the ground so you can move it around to get the grass cut underneath it!

Skill Building

♦ Pretend Play
– Cover the dome in a sheet and now you have a tent perfect for a pretend camping adventure! *indoor camping. Or it can be a huge mountain to climb. Or pretend it’s a futuristic car. As your child gets older the pretend play ideas will get more and more creative!
♦ Gross Motor Development
– Climbing, balance, limb strength, agility, etc.
♦ Social Skills
– Interacting with siblings or peers, taking turns, etc.
♦ Problem solving
– Where is the best place to put feet and hands so not to fall

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Now It’s Time To Time To Get Outside

There are so many great outdoor play toys for toddlers to choose from.

I have narrowed it down to the ones which are great quality and will promote language development and learning.

But no matter what toys you have the important thing is getting your child outside.

Playing outside has so many benefits that exist even without toys!
children playing outside with text overlay

Find out why these 7 outdoor play toys for toddlers are perfect for skill development and learning through play!


  1. Phil

    Hi there,

    Well done on taking this great initiative. This is a very important step for kids and it’s wonderful that you are encouraging them to get outdoors. I always made sure my kids had plenty of time outside!

    The really big issue today is getting children away from digital screens and TVs.

    Imagine the health and learning benefits that kids will gain by being out and about in the fresh air.

    Their development will only be enhanced by embracing this type of environment and having some fun toys will only encourage them to stay outsideone again on a great review.

    Cheers Phil Browne

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I love hearing others in agreement that making sure kids get plenty of time outside is necessary for their development!

  2. Mike Solar

    I find this post absolutely educational. As a parent, I can honestly say that kids these days need more time to play non-electronic toys to develop their imagination and motor skills, which is very important in their later life. Some kids develop attitude problems because they are into electronic gadgets. I’m confident that parents who read your post will not hesitate to purchase these toys for their kids.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Mike. I agree with you. Being outside is very important for children of all ages. Having a few good toys around helps get the kids outside.

  3. IllusiozTan

    Hi, thanks for writing this article about toddler toys that not only bring them fun, but also improve their vocabulary learning. I like the Little Tikes Cook ‘n’ Play Outdoor BBQ set and I believe my little nephew will like it too, as he likes cooking. Out of all the toys he has, the time he spent playing with the cooking set he has is the longest. The realistic look of the Little Tikes BBQ set should certainly keep his attention.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I also love the Little Tikes Outdoor BBQ set. Kids love playing with anything that resembles what their parents have. The nice thing about this BBQ playset is that toddlers, preschoolers and even school aged children will enjoy playing with it!

  4. theceoinslippers

    I love the little garden table. My wife and I don’t have a green thumb but we get into the back yard on occasion and try to plant vegetables with our daughter. It would be so cute to have a table like that for her. She is 3 so she is fine without the table but I think it would be a nice addition for our gardening efforts.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Sounds like the Little Tikes Garden Table would fit perfectly in your backyard. Perhaps your daughter will end up being the one with the green thumb! I love how versatile this toy is. If it’s no longer fun as a gardening center, turn it into a water table or sensory bin! The possibilities are endless!

  5. Katie

    I love this post as I am always looking for great educational toys for my kids. Thank you for breaking down each skill that each toy develops. I’m thankful we already have a few of these at home, but this list gives me some more great ideas, especially as summer approaches!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Katie. There are learning opportunities with pretty much every toy out there (some better than others).

      I prefer simple toys over flashy, techie, electronic toys because children interact and learn more when playing with more traditional toys.


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