Outdoor Play Toys for Toddlers: Enhance Your Child’s Development

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 Play Toys For Toddlers To Enhance Learning Through Play

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

Outdoor play toys for toddlers - Little Tikes Garden Tableget best price button

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

Outdoor play toys for toddlers - Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball Setget best price button

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 vehicles 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

get best price button

17 tips to help toddler with speech delay

Honey Joy Pirate Boat Wood Sandbox

This pirate ship is a fun twist on a traditional sandbox!

It can be used for imaginative play as well as a sandbox.

Kids can dig for pirate treasure right in the pirate ship!

Skill Building


Pirate, ship, flag, sail, steer, top, bottom, jump, swim, mast, dig

♦ Social Skills

Turn taking, sharing

♦ Pretend Play

Sail to new places or pretend the boat is now a car!

Or maybe the pirate ship has sunk to the bottom of the ocean and it’s time to dig out the buried treasure!

♦ Gross Motor Skills

Climbing and jumping

get best price button

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

get best price button

Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climber

This climber 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!

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

Figure out where the best place to put feet and hands so not to fall

outdoor play toys for toddlers - Easy Outdoor Space Dome Climberget best price button

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!

Save this article by pinning an image below to your favorite Pinterest Boards!


  1. Sandeep

    Some really good ideas here. As parents of 3 children we truly understand the value such toys can bring to children during their early years. I have seen little kids sat in restaurants glued to an ipad watching some thing on screen while parents are also on their phones – which makes me sad. It is heartening to see articles such as this pointing us in the right direction.


    1. Tanya (Post author)

      I love it when other parents notice the things I do – like children glued to their devices at a restaurant.  This is not good for so many reasons.  Children need to learn by doing.  And that starts with play in the toddler years.

  2. David

    Babies are born ready to learn, and their brains develop through use. So children need a stimulating environment with lots of different ways to play and learn. They also need plenty of chances to practise what they’re learning.

    Toys such as the ones you described are one very nice way to learn for toddlers and it’s great for kids to be outside. I have bought some of these for my kids and it’s really great to see how much fun they have playing with them.  It’s even better now that you have shared how they are actually learning while playing.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Yes they are David!  Kids are like sponges in their first few years of life.  Everything is new to them so they are constantly learning.  The things adults take for granted are often wonderful learning opportunities for children which is why play is often brushed to the side and thought of as something to fill the time.

  3. Benny

    These are some great toys!  I love that you provide information for how they can help with a child’s learning and development.  I know that I take toys for granted and see them as something to occupy my kids time.  Kids do need to get outside and these toys will make it easier to drag them away from the TV/tablet.  I always struggle with this with my kids and thanks to the coronavirus outbreak my kids seem to be spending more and more time in front of the TV.  Luckily the weather is warming up outside so now I won’t let them just sit in the house!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Benny!  Maybe try setting some screen time rules for your kids.  During this time of social distancing with more time being spent indoors (and parents working from home) it is tough limiting the screens.  I have told my kids they can have one hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon.  Video chatting with friends and relatives does not count towards this time.  Perhaps you could try that.

  4. Faheem

    My kids would love the outdoor space dome climber the most. To me it’s the most unique one, with so many different options for playing and learning just like you described.  Now thanks to COVID-19 we are all cooped up inside and the kids are already going a bit stir crazy.  We are lucky enough to have a backyard.  And it is warming up outside, so I want to be sure to have a few great toys back there for our kids.  Thanks again for this wonderful article!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Yes, that dome climber is definitely a great backyard toy! Thanks for your comment.  Good luck with the social distancing!

  5. Tony

    I just love this! I am so glad that there are still great options for kids to be able to play outdoors these days since there are so many kids that are just completely stuck to electronic devices these days. I personally have that space dome in my backyard and the kids love climbing around on it!

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Tony!  Glad to hear your kids love the dome.  Now that we are all stuck at home for an indefinite amount of time , some outdoor toys for kids will be great for those that have a backyard.  It is still so important for kids (and adults) to get a lot of time outside (and away from screens).

  6. Bobbi

    Outdoor play toys for toddlers, perfect for my 3 grandchildren and if they can learn while playing, this is what I look for every birthday and Christmas for gifts. I am so glad that I ran across your website while looking for my youngest’s grandchild’s birthday gift coming in a month. The Cook and Play Outdoor Bar-B-Q is perfect, I will be purchasing this item for sure, when I get paid. I am also interested in the space dome climber, I was wondering how big it is? I didn’t see that on your description. I love all, but looking for something for a 5 year old girl, who loves to play and cook, and usually outdoors with her mother or father. Great article and I will save this to my favorites and be back in a week.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Glad you enjoyed the article Bobbi.  The cook and play bbq would be perfect for your 5 year old granddaughter.  Now that we are all stuck at home, thanks to COVID-19, having some outdoor toys for the kids should help keep them occupied and learning through play at home!  As for the dome, I am not sure of the exact measurements.  Click on the link and you will find more information about it!

  7. Ferra

    Hi Tanya,

    Thank you for the recommendation of green toys for toddlers. I have a daughter who is almost 2 years old. She loves playing with my neighbor’s kid’s kitchen set toy outside. So, I am looking for a good recommendation to get her one for her 2nd birthday.

    I am also interested with your content about language development in kids. My baby’s language development is a kind of slow. Maybe it’s because we speak two languages in the house (English and Indonesian). I would like to learn more on how to help my baby to be able to speak faster but without neglecting either one of the language we often use in the house. I will surely keep visiting your site. It’s so informative and useful for me and my husband as new parents.



    1. Tanya (Post author)

      You’re welcome Ferra!  As for the speech and language concerns you are having, speaking 2 languages will not cause a language delay.  It can slow down the development of one or both languages, but not by much.  If a language delay is there it would be present in both languages.  In the meantime, take a look at some of the suggestions I offer here and here for helping your toddler’s language development.

  8. Mike Cummings

    I have a 4 year old and a 5 year old and I absolutely loved this post. Very informative and shows some of the great outdoor toys on offer that promote thinking and learning. We have an outdoor kitchen and sand pit, and I think the outdoor BBQ and the Pirate Ship Water Table would be perfect replacements for them. I am bookmarking this website to come back and use. Well done on the great work.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Mike!  I bet your kids would love a pirate themed back yard!  I’m sure most kids would.

  9. Danijel

    Hello Tanya, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. My wife and I have 2 toddlers and it is great I stumbled upon your article. You presented some very useful outdoor toys we can use with our little ones. What I like the most is that most of them are affordable yet the quality still seems good.

    1. Tanya (Post author)

      Thanks Danijel!  Happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!