If you’ve been following along for a little while, you’ll know outdoor play is close to my heart! In fact, my husband Kurtis and I always knew we wanted our children to grow up surrounded by nature, just like we both did growing up on acreage as kids! I have very fond memories of playtime in our sandpit where my mum added an old microwave and we created all kinds of mud pie treats. I remember playing in the garden with my barbies and my baby doll named Maggie. And I remember spending so much time outside with my siblings – we even had a pet cow named Milo who lived in a cubby house in our backyard!
In 2020 when we decided to buy our first home, we didn’t even bother visiting homes that didn’t have a big yard with lots of trees and shade. We are so lucky to have found the perfect home for our family where we created an outdoor sanctuary for our little people! You can read more about our backyard in this blog.
Our kids LOVE outdoor play and are out in the yard playing more often than they aren’t! I receive lots of questions about outdoor toys for kids, so today I’d love to share some of our favourite outdoor toys for kids! I’ve linked to a few different places you can purchase them from as well, whether you’re in Australia like me or somewhere else in the world! Want ideas fast? Download our FREE gift guide right here!
We have had our Tuff Tray for many many years! They are such a great addition to your sensory play toolkit and perfect for outdoor play. It’s large enough for all three kids to gather around and play together. We use it for messy play, small-world invitations and sensory play. When Audrey was a toddler, we’d often just fill the tray with water and throw in a few Ocean Animals for her to explore.
These sets are fantastic for developing gross motor skills through play! Your little learners can use them to create obstacle courses or other exciting games to play collaboratively. Our kids love using beanbags for throwing games and the cones are great for creating starting points for all kinds of fun games!
Where to buy: Natural Wood Gifts & Resources
I stumbled across these beautiful nature play boards on Facebook Marketplace just before Audrey’s third birthday! Being the third child, it’s sometimes really tricky to find exciting and unique gifts – so we knew this would be perfect for her! Both girls love creating potions in our mud kitchen so this kind of gift is perfect for them and has been such a wonderful addition to our outside playtime.
Go Find It Scavenger Hunt
This game is an absolute must-have for adventurous families! We often pack our Scavenger Hunt cards when we go on holidays – it’s especially fun for camping trips and any other outdoor adventures. But the best part? They’re just as fun to use in your own backyard or at the park.
Where to buy: Vuly*
When I stumbled across the Vuly Monkey Bars*, I knew they would be PERFECT for our family! Monkey bars and trampolines help to develop hand-eye coordination, bi-lateral coordination and gross motor skills! They’re also incredible for emotional regulation and sensory input. Monkey bars in particular are great for strengthening the muscles in your child’s hands which are so important as they learn to hold a pencil and write. Their hand-eye coordination is strengthened as they swing from bar to bar.
This kind of backyard play equipment is also wonderful if you have more than one child because they’re able to negotiate rules and take turns, developing their social skills and problem solving skills. I love that there are so many fun accessories you can add to the monkey bars so they’re a big favourite in our home!
Balance Beams and Obstacle Course toys
We have a bunch of obstacle course toys and equipment from Hart Sports. The kids love creating obstacle courses and I often look out the kitchen window to see all kinds of exciting creations and courses! Obstacle courses are a great way to develop gross motor skills but they’re also great for getting all of those wriggles out at the end of a big day at school or Kindy.
Sprinkler Pad and Water Toys
Water play is always a huge hit here! Need to reset some crazy kid moods? Just add water! Over the years, we’ve had some awesome water slides, sprinkler pads and even just your standard blow up pools. Our kids love water play so these have all been wonderful additions to our outdoor play!
If you would like even more ideas for of our favourite toys for your little learners, our FREE Gift Guide is full of incredible toys and ideas perfect for Christmas gifts, birthday present ideas and special occasions. I’ve sorted the ideas by different categories including baby play, sensory play, imaginative play, outdoor play and more! You can download our FREE Gift Guide here!
*This blog post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). All of the products I link to are things we have personally used and loved!