Graphic collage of three summer toys and a photo of kids running outside
Credit: Getty Images, Amazon

The Best Summer Toys for Kids of All Ages

published Apr 29, 2023
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The second the weather starts to turn, my family and I spend as much time outside as possible. The great outdoors is like one giant (and free) toy, but add in a few fun summer toys and you’ve got endless entertainment that won’t leave a mess in your house. 

Whether you have little ones toddling around outside or older kids who need to be convinced to spend some time in the backyard, there are toys and games available that will help elevate the summer fun. 

Here are some of my favorite summer toys for kids of all ages, including tried-and-true favorites and some new toys that just hit the market. 

Toys for Babies and Toddlers

1 / 5

Little ones will enjoy splashing around in the shallow water in this splash pad. You can adjust the height of the water to make it milder for younger kids or more fun and adventurous for older kids.

2 / 5

This water table is full of accessories, including a water cannon, buckets, and a boat. Water play is an excellent sensory experience for babies and toddlers, and this water table makes setup easy.

3 / 5

I’ve had this push car for years, and we’re now using it on our third kid. It’s a fun way to take a walk around the neighborhood or to just sit in and play pretend.

4 / 5

This large inflatable bat is easy for little ones to handle, and the large inflatable ball provides an easy target which can reduce frustration. If you just can’t wait to get the youngest members of the family out on the field, this is the ideal first set.

5 / 5

Toddlers love to imitate what they see in the world around them, which is why push lawn mower toys are such a hit. They’ll leave a flurry of bubbles in their wake as they push this lawn mower.

Toys for Little Kids

1 / 7

If you’ll be spending time at the pool this summer, your kids will enjoy these floating figures. They’re available as your kids’ favorite characters and franchises, including Paw Patrol, superheroes, and The Little Mermaid.

2 / 7

Take tag to the next level with these armbands that help keep track of the game. You can use them to play up to 20 active games, including tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag.

3 / 7
Melissa & Doug

Set to hit the market in May 2023, these two new wooden play sets from Melissa and Doug have been the most fought-over toys in my home recently. Each set comes with food accessories and interactive elements, such as a working timer and a magnetic payment tablet.

4 / 7

Summer is the perfect time to get paint projects outside and off your dining room table. This 48-inch inflatable easel includes four paint cups and four paint brushes, and it has built-in spots to keep the art supplies.

5 / 7

Adventurous kids will enjoy whipping around on this ride-on toy. It has a top speed of 4 or 6.5 MPH, depending on the option you choose. The toy also includes an accelerator and a brake so they can be in control of their ride.

6 / 7

My daughter received these bubbles for her birthday, and they were a hit with both her and the birthday party guests. Once you get the hang of creating the bubbles, it’s fun to see just how big you can make them.

7 / 7

If you’re looking for the ultimate backyard summer toy, this inflatable waterslide is it. The inflatable features include a rock wall that kids climb to get to the top of the slide and a shallow pool to splash in at the bottom.

Toys for Big Kids

1 / 6

While simple, balls are some of the best toys. These sonic bounce balls are designed to bounce super high. Older kids might enjoy using them to recreate trick shots they see on social media.

2 / 6

In this fast-paced outdoor game, kids (and adults) need to shout out answers to prompts as they avoid getting tagged. Play it before bed as a way to burn off some physical and mental energy.

3 / 6

Grab a big backyard or an open space in the park for this one; these discs can soar up to 100 feet. Make a fun competition by guessing who can launch theirs the farthest, or even bring it inside for some fun on a rainy day.

4 / 6

In this KiwiCo kit, they’ll learn how to grow their own suction-cup window garden. The clear planters allow kids to see the roots as their plants grow, and in the end, they’ll end up with some yummy food if they’re successful.

5 / 6

Traditional water balloons aren’t great for the environment, but water balloon battles are so fun! The solution: these reusable water balloons that use magnets to stay together … that is, until they pop on your target!

6 / 6

Strike 7 encourages physical activity as kids rush to build their tower before they get tagged with the ball. While it’s an outdoor game, this is another one you can easily bring inside if you need to burn off some extra energy.

Toys for Tweens and Teens

1 / 5

Giant outdoor yard games are a fun way to make an old game exciting again. This Jenga-like game has 56 pieces and stacks over four feet tall.

2 / 5

In this badminton starter set, you’ll find everything you need to get a game going, whether it’s in the backyard, at the park, or at the beach.

3 / 5

Childhood classic Twister is even more challenging when every spot sprays water. Players need to keep their hands and feet in the correct spot even if it means getting a face full of water.

4 / 5

If your child is into art, they’ll enjoy making beautiful sidewalk chalk designs using these stencils. They can even use some spray chalk to get in the smaller areas.

5 / 5

Bring the ultimate backyard game to life at night when you use these glow-in-the-dark flags, bracelets, and boundary markers. The kit also includes directions for 12 different game options.