Mother and Baby

The best garden and outdoor toys for babies and toddlers

Children playing with garden toys

With good weather in sight, you might be looking for ways to keep your little ones entertained in the garden while you enjoy the sunshine or do a little gardening. We get that's not always easy to keep them occupied, so we've found the best outdoor toys and activities that your babies and toddlers will love.

However old your child is, there is always fun to be had out in the garden. With a variety of garden toys to play with - whether it be a bubble machine, a swing set, sandpit, or ride-on toy - plus all the sounds and sights to be found in the great outdoors, there's no reason to be bored. 

If it's still nippy outside, then wrap up warm with wellies and a good coat - poor weather is no reason for not having fun in the garden. 


Can outdoor toys be left outside all the time?

This of course depends on the type of toy, but most outdoor toys, particularly playhouses, swing sets and climbers are built with durability in mind. However, with the uncontrollable outdoor elements, constant exposure can lead to colour fading and damage.

Keeping outdoor toys covered or indoors when not in use is for sure the best way to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

Do outdoor toys require maintenance?

Outdoor toys are built with durability and weather resistance in mind, so they require minimum maintenance. Basic maintenance could be oiling swing sets to avoid any squeaking and checking any nuts and bolts from time to time, to ensure the utmost safety for your little one.

Here's our shortlist of the best outdoor toys and garden toys to be enjoyed this year: 

Who doesn't love bubbles? This battery operated machine will save your arms from constantly blowing bubbles, and provides a fun sensory experience for little ones. Your babies will be glued to the bubbles floating around and toddlers will love chasing the bubbles trying to pop them. Just remember to keep stocked up on the bubble mix. 

This fun water table is like a mini water park for your garden. With a scooping ferris wheel, water wheels and squirting character balls, your toddler will have so much fun keeping cool and developing their motor skills. 

Bring soft play home with this national treasure. They’ll still be trying to squeeze into it aged seven.

Babies will love crawling through this play tent or laying in the teepee keeping cool. It's easy to assemble and pop away - you can even use it in your house for indoor fun on those rainy days.

Any little explorer will love this boat-shaped sandpit. Your little one's imagination can run wild, as they sail their boat and build sandcastles, all while they enjoy the fresh air. 

With this outdoor house little ones will love using their imagination. They can also stay sheltered from the sun when they're playing and it's made from sturdy plastic, so it won't blow over in the wind. 

This foam jigsaw mat is ideal for you to lay outside with your little ones as they enjoy tummy time or as a fun activity for toddlers. Help teach them the alphabet by fitting the letters in the correct square, then join the squares up.

If your little one loves mud, then this mud kitchen might just be the perfect thing to keep them entertained. It has a removable splash tub which is ideal for mixing mud, and also a dry area that little ones can cook up a (muddy) storm.

You can't go wrong with a slide for on outdoor toy. Little ones will love climbing the small steps of the slide, then sliding down with their arms in the air.

‘I’m bored of the swings’ – said no toddler, ever. Classic outdoor fun.

This soft play castle block set is ideal for bringing soft play to your house, and on a nice summer's day is perfect to have outside in the garden. Watch your little one build and climb safetly with the soft blocks.

We know that kids love doing whatever their parents are doing, so why not let them give you a hand with the gardening with their very own gardening set? They'll love helping you water the plants, dig up the soil and move things around the garden.

How do you keep outside toys clean?

With summer only so long, the harsh and unpredictable weather conditions we get here in the UK are not the best for outdoor toys to stay outside. Here are some of our top tips to ensure you get the most of your little one’s outdoor toys:

Cover up

The best way to ensure your outdoor toys stay clean when not in use is by covering them up. Garden furniture covers are a great way to ensure your toys are kept clean and dry in even the worst weather conditions.  If you’ve got the space, then of course bringing toys inside or placing them in a shed or garage is perfect until the weather warms up again.

Cleaning solution

Toys already dirty? No problem, baking soda is your best friend – so handy for almost any cleaning task. Baking soda is great for removing grime, dirt and even odour. Creating a paste with baking soda and water, scrub the mixture onto the surface of the outdoor toys and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then, using a clean cloth, wipe the residue and rinse with a hose – as easy as that, and works on the toughest of stains.

Where should kids store outdoor toys?

The perfect place to store outdoor toys when not in use, would be a garden shed or even a kids’ playhouse. If you don’t have space for either then garden furniture covers do a great job, and then if that doesn’t work any indoor shelter or spare room should do the trick.

Read next:

Mermaid party ideas for children

The best toddler wellies for extreme puddle-jumping

The best kids' bodyboards for fun in the sea

  • Author: Samantha Ball Samantha Ball
  • Job Title: Freelance writer

Samantha is a mum of one, in a house full of boys. Her hobbies are long hikes, coffee tasting, and being a bit of an *obsessive* cleaner.

She also runs a blog Student Mum Diaries about what it’s like to be a student mum. 


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