With kids so focused on screens, it can be hard to convince them to get outside and play.
Over the years we have tried many different types of equipment for the garden and after 14 years we’ve developed a list of our favourite pieces that are played with time after time.
Some of them have been worn through repeatedly, after so much use that when we tried to replace them with something different the kids cracked up.
So we had to replace the exact item!
Having a garden full of equipment helped me get them get out, and have fun while making sure they were getting enough exercise and active.
The little kids just go crazy and the older kids tend to hand out on the swings or trampoline
It also helps them learn about the world around them and how to make sensible choices.
Outdoor play is also so important for building muscle and flexibility, stretching big muscles and small, improve balance and coordination.
Why is outdoor play important?
Play is fun, and it gives children a way of learning about the world and their bodies.
It gives kids the freedom to explore, allowing them to take risks and make decision for themselves as well as experiencing the sensory side of the outdoors, making a connection that will last forever..
This list contains affiliate links for our favourite products to help you find them faster. If you buy through these links we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
So, What are the best outdoor garden toys?
The toys on our list make a great gifts too and can make a world of difference to everyone’s mood.
Outdoor Digger !
Our kids love their digger! They’ve used it for digging in autumn leaves, sand at the beach, soil at out vegetable plot and even for digging in piles of grass. It’s on wheels to the options are endless. It’s been used over and over and it’s going strong.
From the moment our kids sat down in the driver’s seat of this digger, they’ll feel a rush excitement.
The thick, rubber wheels roll smoothly and easily over all kinds of terrain as they push their way toward the dig site.
Then, once they grab a hold of the two levers – There’s no stopping the fun
One lever scoops, the other lifts – And once kids start using them together, there’s no mountain too big. It’s so easy to scoop just about anything up and haul it away!
Perfect for sand, snow, dirt, or any other scoopable material you can find, the Big Dig and Roll is just what your young engineer needs to get the job done right.
Galaxy Dome Tent with Glow in the Dark Stars is a perfect outdoor garden toy.
Our kids LOVE this tent. Either for playing all sorts of games or just chilling out with their friends. It’s not huge but it is mighty.
High quality polyester play tent featuring a vibrant star and planet pattern plus glow-in-the-dark stars
- Encourages imaginative play, creativity, role-play, adventure
- The perfect environment for space-bound imaginations!
- Great for indoor/outdoor use – Waterproof floor, sturdy polyester material
- Ultra Mesh keeps critters out, promotes air circulation
- Roll up flaps with simple Velcro-like tabs
- Fast and easy assembly with color-coated poles and pockets
- Reinforced pole pockets for added durability
- Includes one tent with tent poles, travel bag
- Double-stitched seams along stress points for reinforcement
- High quality materials and construction – Lasting durability, exceptional pretend-play experience
My kids love monkey bars but we could never have one in the garden. When we found this ninja set they were so excited. We could add it to what we already had and they loved it. This is a brilliant piece of equipment. You don’t need to go to the gym or park with this in your garden. This gives the kids a challenge and is so much fun.
The kids challenge each other with each part. The little kids use a step to start, and spend all day trying different ways to beat the course. Their only complaint is that their hands get sore so maybe grab some gloves.
- Storage bag for easy portability
- 36-foot x 2-inches Slackline (ninja line) webbing with steel ratchet and rubberized grips
- 10 Polyester webbing slings
- 2.5 inch textured poly resin ball
- 2 textured poly resin pipes (8 x 1.25 inches each)
- 3 Monkey fists (large rope knots)
- 2 Monkey bar holds
- 2 Gymnastics rings
- 10 Delta safety clips
A Fabulous Mud Kitchen Is A Fantastic Outdoor Garden Toy.
Muddy Mud Kitchen
Outdoor kitchen set designed for playing with mud although we have used it for playing with a lot of different items such as lentils and rice, water beads, sand and even grass clippings.
- Encourages imaginative play, role play, outdoor play, creativity
- Removable sink makes it easy to gather dirt, twigs, and other ingredients
- Suspended bucket features spout for easily mixing the perfect amount of water
- Big cupboard acts as a pretend oven
- Side prep table slides over sink for easy storage
- Features shelving above and below for storing stainless steel pots and pans
- List your menu on the backboard with chalk
- Includes kitchen set, stainless steel cooking tools (small pot, large pot with lid, pan, whisk)
- Chalk not included
- Made from high-quality FSC pressure treated wood
- Pre-drilled holes ad shelf slots for easy assembly
- Mortice & Tennon connections for increased frame rigidity
- Exceptionally sturdy construction – Lasting durability
A Climbing frame makes a great outdoor toy for your garden.
A climbing frame is a great way to exercise kids muscles they can climb and practise risk in a safer environment. Ours has also been a real part of role play. A rocket to the moon, a place to picnic and even a wrestling ring.
Ah my old friend Rody.
Rody Bouncer is hands down the toy for little kids. In the 10 years we have had him he’s never let us down. The kids have bounced him for miles and still he stands tall.
Bug Hunt Explorer set
Bug hunting is my go to activity in the garden woods or even at the park. Kids of all ages LOVE bug hunting even if it’s just for the joy of squealing when a bug is found. We keep this kit in the car so it’s ready wherever we go.
A Spooner Board
This spooner board is great for all ages. Our little kids love to practise as the watch the older ones on skateboards. So much fun and encourages them to use their imaginations.
Our little kids love to rock on it and chill out and the older kids love to practise balancing, spinning and so much more on it.
Spooner Board – Pro 25.5 Inch
- Larger curved board for riding, sliding, and doing tricks
- Encourages gross motor skills, exercise, coordination, balance
- Kids love the fun of riding a board without the worry of falling
- Designed to be great for taller kids
- Great for indoor or outdoor use – tough material – even use on cement
- Improves core strength, stability, leg strength, balance, coordination
- Perfect tool for learning skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing techniques
- Great for kids young and old
- Available in 7 colors – black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, yellow
Garden Digging Set
Well we had to have some gardening tools in this list of garden toys didn’t we?
Small hand tools for kids allows them to explore and dig, whether that is in sand, the soil or in a pot. Digging for worms is one of my earliest memories and I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love to dig dig dig.
Now these Stompers don’t look like much, but the are powerful. As soon as kids get the hang of it, they stomp around for hours.
At to use for most ages.
A set of chalk can keep kids entertained for hours drawing on paths, sheds and walls. We made a simple chalkboard from a sheet of wood and chalkboard paint.
One tip though, give them old clothes to wear as they will get covered in chalk dust but not to worry as it all washed off.
Slimeball Dodgetag – Active Play for Ages 7 to 11 – Fat Brain Toys
This is a fab way to get the kids running around and interacting together.
Throwing, dodging, jumping. The aim is to try and get one of your slimeballs stuck to your opponent’s vest. If you get hit, that’s one point for your opponent. This is a great way for big kids and littler ones to find something to do together and it get our grumpy teenagers to get off their phones and have a little fun.
This is a must for any play space these days.
Ours has been used as a rocket to the moon, bouncing balloons during a party. We’ve made dens underneath it and played Tig around it. It’s so versatile, even the teenagers we have end up chilling out on it.
The kids were heart broken when one of the supports broke and we almost got rid of it but then we discovered https://trampolinepartsandsupply.com/ who literally saved us a fortune! Replaced our faulty party’s and we were good to go.
They have great customer service and so many trampolines and parts to choose from as well as a lot of other bits to explore so I’d highly recommend them for your next trampoline or if your just looking for a freshen up.
Need more garden inspiration? Check out our Garden Activity Ebook for plenty of ideas for your next garden activity.