Most parents want their children to spend more time outside. In a world of videogames, television, YouTube, and other indoor activities, the outdoors can seem boring. Yet, outdoor playtime is very important for child development. Children who spend more time outdoors have better physical health, coordination, sensory skills, and social knowledge.
The right toys are a great way to entice your child outdoors. Give them fun things to do, and they will love running and playing in the sun.
Six of the Best Outdoor Toys for Kids
There are so many great outdoor toys for kids that it can be hard to pick just a couple. Yet, some toys stand above the rest. Below you will find six of them.
You may be familiar with hoverboards from Back to the Future. Unfortunately, we still don’t have hoverboards that do not touch the ground. Instead, hoverboards are more like a self-balancing scooter. If your kid wants something similar to a skateboard, but cooler, try a hoverboard.
Hoverboards first entered the market in 2015. Today there are several great products available, and all hoverboards have a bigger focus on safety and compliance, as you can read in these hoverboard reviews. You can even ones of different sizes, for various skill levels and ages, and with or without a handle.
Look for safety features like an automatic self-balance in any hoverboard you purchase. You will also need to determine what extras (LED lights, bumpers, etc.) you want with your hoverboard.
Swings sets have been popular for decades. They come in many shapes, sizes, and types. You can choose from a wooden or plastic swing set. Some are quite large, with swings, slides, castes, monkey bars, and much more. You can also opt for a simple single swing and slide set.
Discussing swing sets with your kids can help you determine the features they want. Perhaps they just want swings, or they would prefer a larger castle fort. Figuring out what will keep your kids engaged with the swing set will go a long way towards giving them plenty to do outside.
Tetherball is making a comeback. It is not just a game for kids anymore. Even adults have begun playing tetherball for exercise.
The game was developed in the 19th century. It consists of a pole, rope, and a ball. One end of the rope is tied to the top of the pole, and the other is tied to the ball. The players can use their hands or rackets to bounce the ball around the post.
Tetherball is a great game for the whole family. There are even simpler rules for younger players. You also do not need too much equipment. The biggest issue is the pole, which must be anchored and stable. Plenty of tetherball sets are available for purchase online and in sports stores.
Is there any other classic outdoor toy than a bike? This piece of outdoor equipment has been around for well over one hundred years. As with tetherball, bikes are not just for kids. Family bike rides are very popular and a great way for everyone to get exercise and outdoor time.
Big wheels and tricycles are available for very young children. If you go on a family bike ride with babies or toddlers, you may want a child seat or pull-behind bike trailer. Once your child has enough coordination and balance, you can consider advancing them up to a regular bike, instead of using training wheels or a tricycle. With the right boundaries and safety precautions, a bike can be a great way to keep your kid engaged in the outdoors.
Kids love trampolines. That’s just a given. Although historically trampolines have had a bad reputation, modern products are much safer. They have weight limits, jumping screens, and attach much more firmly to the ground.
All the jumping your kids do on a trampoline is great exercise. Don’t worry if you have a small yard. Trampolines now come in many sizes. You can even purchase a small, solo trampoline for your kids to use.
This final category does not cover a single type of outdoor toy. Instead, water toys come in a wide variety of types. As you look for the water toy that is best for your family, make sure to only consider age-appropriate products. A non-age-appropriate water toy can be extremely dangerous to young children.
Some of the most popular water toys include swimming pools, sprinklers, water bounce houses, slip ‘n slides, and water tables. There are also wading pools, splash pools, and water guns. This is not a complete list. A quick Google search will show you a wide variety of water toys available for you and your children to enjoy a warm summer day.
Safety and outdoor toys
When playing with any of these outdoor toys, your children must stay safe. All outdoor toys can be dangerous if used improperly. Follow these tips and keep your kids safe while they play outdoors.
Supervision is an essential part of outdoor safety for your kids. Older children can play outdoors by themselves. You should still be able to see and hear them, however. Younger kids and toddlers should never play outdoors by themselves.
Supervising your kids’ outdoor playtime ensures that they learn how to keep themselves safe outside. You can reinforce that they should never run into the road or touch a grill, for example. All in all, property outdoor safety starts with parental supervision.
All of the outdoor toys mentioned in this article can be unsafe if the proper safety equipment is not worn. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, and the proper clothing (long sleeves and pants, closed-toe shoes) are not worn.
Trampolines, bounce houses, and water toys should be checked for safety before your children play with them. Ensure that their safety features are not broken or damaged in any way.
Children should have age-appropriate boundaries outdoors. For babies and toddlers, this likely means that they do not leave your yard alone. Boundaries with this age group are easy to enforce, as you will be outdoors with them.
Older kids also need boundaries. Solo bike rides and other outdoor adventures should only take place in a set boundary. Often parents give visual cues for these boundaries. Only allow your child to play in an area that you can see, hear, and get to quickly.