25 best outdoor toys and games for kids of all ages

Make the most of the weather (while it lasts) with the best outdoor toys that will help liven up some garden play

Selection of the best outdoor toys for kids on a purple background
(Image credit: Future)

Have you got an outdoor adventurer on your hands? If so, now is the time to make the most of the weather before it turns with the best outdoor toys for kids.

Summer might be coming to a close, but with autumn just around the corner there's no time like the present to get outside and enjoy the weather while temperatures are still mild. 

Garden games are a fantastic way to keep your kids entertained outside and run off some steam at the end of a long day of being inside or in a classroom. The best outdoor toys are also a great way to keep them busy, entertained and engaged on days off. 

We all know that plenty of fresh air makes for a good night's sleep — so investing in the best outdoor games is a winning formula. As well as stocking up on the best outdoor toys, you could also take a look at the top things to do with kids in the next school half term or to help while away the weekends. Whether that's easy crafts to keep them crafty or days out with the National Trust that you can all enjoy. Once armed with the best garden games and ideas to keep them busy, you'll never have to hear the dreaded cries of 'Muuum, I'm bored' ever again. 

Best outdoor toys 2023

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From trampolines to water balloons and moon shoes to giant chalks, we've compiled a list of the best outdoor toys with pocket-friendly prices starting from £5.

1. Gel Blaster Surge

The Gel Blaster Surge, one of this summer's best outdoor toys

(Image credit: Gel Blaster)

Suitable for ages: 14+

There are water guns, there are Nerf guns and then there's the Gel Blaster Surge - hands down one of the best outdoor toys we've ever put to the test. This battle blaster takes outdoor play to a whole new level of fun. 

Yes, it's expensive and the premise seems a little complicated at first – the blaster is rechargeable and it shoots water-based 'gellets' which need to be soaked in water for 2 hours before use – but it comes fully charged and loaded with a hopper full of hydrated gellets so it's ready to use straight out of the box.

It's kind of a cross between a water pistol and a paintball gun but there's absolutely no mess to clear up – the gellets are eco-friendly and non-toxic plus they burst on contact. We love that spare gellets are included so you don't have to worry about the fun being short-lived, and the safety goggles are a reassuring extra. 


2. Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons

Bunch O Balloons 265+ Rapid-Filling Self-Sealing Water Balloons

Credit: Argos
(Image credit: Bunch O Balloons)

Suitable for ages: 3+

It's hard to convey just how much fun can be had with these cleverly designed water balloons. 

Forget the mess and chaos you associate with water balloons - these are genuinely quick and easy to fill. You just attach the stem to a hose and they're ready in seconds. Best of all, you don't have to tie them. 

The stems and caps are made from recycled plastic and the balloons themselves are made from plant-based natural rubber.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.50, now £17.99

3. X-Shot Skins Dread Dart Blaster

The X-Shot Skins Dread Dart Blaster, one of this summer's best outdoor toys

(Image credit: X-Shot)

Suitable for ages: 3+

The snazzy Sonic the Hedgehog 'skin' on this dart blaster made this an instant hit with our testers, who love the iconic video game character almost as much as they like shooting each other in the garden with foam darts. 

I can't lie, we've had hours of fun with this and the whole family has joined in. It comes with 12 darts and the double-rotating barrel is brilliant for keeping the fun going as there's much less time wasted on waiting for playmates to reload — you just switch to the second barrel. 

But there's only one problem. We shot so many darts into the bushes that we're going to be finding them for years to come. 


4. Turbo Swingball

Swingball Classic set, one of our best outdoor toys

Credit: Amazon

Suitable for ages: 3+

What's more fun than Swingball? Even small gardens and tots as young as three years old can handle one of these all-surface beginner Swingball sets. With a foam ball and lighter bats, this is the best outdoor game for developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills. 

But forget the Swingball set of your youth -  this one comes with an all-surface bas that you simply fill with sand or water so you can literally play anywhere, any time. It even has an in-built carry handle so it's brilliant for taking to the park or the beach. 

We reviewed this Swingball set and I can tell you that this is one outdoor game that kids just never seem to tire of. It's now a permanent fixture in our garden all year round and even the teenagers can't resist getting involved whenever they hear the peals of laughter and competitive shouting that signals the start of an impromptu garden Swingball tournament.

And yes, we've actually taken it to the beach with us where it kept the kids occupied long enough for me to sip a cold beer and read almost a whole chapter of a bestseller!

VIEW AT AMAZON  | £24.99, now £22.99

5. Learning Resources Geosafari Seascope

GeoSafari Seascope

(Image credit: GeoSafari)

Suitable for: 8+

This underwater telescope is such a cool gadget — definitely one of the best outdoor toys for curious kids who love rock pooling and exploring the natural world. 

It's suitable for use on both land and underwater, without anyone needing to get wet. (Although obviously, someone will...).

It's easy to view creatures, even in poor light, thanks to the extendable body and 5x magnification plus a built-in LED flashlight. So whether you take this to the park or you have a pond (or puddle) in your own garden, this is a well-worthy investment for any water baby. 

VIEW AT AMAZON | £38.95 £34.99

6. AquaPlay LockBox

AquaPlay LockBox one of the best outdoor toys

(Image credit: AquaPlay)

Suitable for: 3+

Hours of outdoor fun are guaranteed with the Aquaplay Lock Box from Smoby. 

It's designed to educate children about locks and canal systems in a fun way, so they can steer the little transport boat through the canals and watch the water cause it to rise. There's even a crane to move the containers between the boat and the car.

All kids love water play — especially in a heatwave — and this is an easy way to keep your splashy fun contained if you're short on outdoor space. And best of all, it's really quick and easy to pack away when playtime is over and it's time to tidy up.


7. Smart Ball

Smart Ball

Credit: Argos
(Image credit: Smart Ball)

Suitable for ages: 5+

Smart Ball is one of those outdoor toys that I thought might be a bit gimmicky before we tried it out. The kind of toy that kids see advertised and then pester you to buy, only to find that it doesn't live up to their expectations. 

As a mum of three, I've bought way too many things like that over the years. Happily, Smart Ball doesn't fall into that category. Not only is it a clever idea - you use your feet, legs, knees, chest, and shoulders to prevent the ball from hitting the ground and it counts every time you make contact — but it's also well executed. 

I lost track of how long my football-mad daughter spent outside trying to rack up 100 touches. It's a brilliant toy to encourage some independent outdoor play but it's also fun to challenge your friends.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £22.95, now £16.50

8. Plum Play Wave Spring Trampoline and Enclosure with Mist

Plum Play Trampoline

Credit: Plum Play

(Image credit: Plum Play)

Suitable for ages: 3+

What do you get if you cross a trampoline with a blast of the garden sprinkler? This amazing outdoor toy! 

Simply hook up your hose pipe to create a bouncy world of water play - kids can bounce away beneath the cooling gentle mist on even the hottest of days. 

Youngsters are kept safe from the springs and frame parts thanks to a 2G Springsafe enclosure and the steel frame is galvanised and powder coated to keep it rust-free. 

VIEW AT PLUM PLAY | £329.99 169.99

9. No Fear Spirit Skates

No Fear kids roller skates, one of the best outdoor toys for sale

Credit: Sports Direct

Suitable for ages: N/A - shoe size one and over

Who doesn't love a pair of skates? 

An enduring trend, these inline skates are a sure-fire way to liven up a weekend or round the garden in the afternoon. 

They come up high on our list of the best outdoor toys for kids for good reason. Hours of fun can be had in these, simply strap them on their feet and let them maneuver like never before. 

These skates are available in sizes 1 to 3.5 or 4 to 6.5 so as your little ones grow, the skates will grow with them.


10. Moon Shoes

Moon Shoes, high on our list of best outdoor toys

Credit: Argos

Suitable for ages: 7+

Defy gravity with these incredible mini-trampolines which attach to their feet. 

These unique shoes are made of quality, high-density plastic with adjustable Velcro closure straps. This means your little outdoor adventurer can play outside safely. 

So once they've popped these on they'll be ready for plenty of bouncing around the garden.

VIEW AT VERY | £34.99 £25.99

11. Bestway Lava Lagoon Water park

Lava Lagoon Water park

Credit: Argos
(Image credit: B&Q)

Suitable for ages: 2+

Suitable for everything from a low-key birthday to a Sunday afternoon in the sun, this Lava Lagoon Water park has inflatable guardrails and mesh walls to keep little jumpers safely contained. 

It comes with a heavy-duty repair patch too, just in case the bouncing gets a little boisterous.

VIEW AT B&Q | £52

12. Pogo stick

Pogo stick, one of our best outdoor toys for kids this summer

Credit: Amazon

Suitable for ages: 7+

Who remembers the humble pogo stick? 

Take a trip round the garden on this pogo stick, which has had a 21st-century update. Available from Amazon in a wide variety of colours, it's suitable for kids and offers hours of fun, as the stick comes with an attached ball rather than the classic pole. This makes it easier for littler ones to get involved too.


13. Giant Chalks

Giant chalks

Credit: Amazon

Suitable for ages: 3+

Get creative with your kids and these amazing giant chalks from Amazon. Create a giant snakes and ladders board or a hopscotch grid on your garden pavement. And don't worry, the chalk can be easily washed away with some warm soapy water.


14. My Living World Safari-Nature Explorer Bug Catcher Set

My Living World Safari-Nature Explorer Bug Catcher Set

Credit: Amazon

Wannabe nature experts will love this easy-use bug safari kit. 

Included in the set is everything they need to catch, study and identify common garden creatures. 

They can take it out to the beach or the local park too, as there's a full colour booklet to help them use the equipment in different spaces as well as charts to help them figure out what they've caught.

Suitable for ages: 5+


15. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Credit: Argos

Suitable for ages: 18+ months

Calling all racers! We couldn't miss out this classic outdoor toy off the best outdoor toys list, as it's been serving up hours of fun for little ones for decades now. It comes with a working horn and a contained storage area (perfect for taking toys on the road) as well, so there will be smiles all round.

VIEW AT VERY | £69.99 £59.99

16. Sunnylife Mega 4 in a row

Sunnylife Mega 4 in a row

Credit: Sunnylife

(Image credit: Sunnylife)

Suitable for ages: 3+

Fun for all the family and great for entertaining large groups of children, this Connect 4-style four-in-a-row game was dreamt up on the beaches of Sydney. 

It's hand-painted in natural wood, stands 48cm tall, and includes 42 blue and green chips. That should keep all ages occupied outdoors for a while!

VIEW AT KIDLY | £90 £45

17. Wicked Mega Jump Double Children's Skipping Rope

Wicked Unisex-youth Mega Jump Double Children's Skipping Rope

Suitable for ages: 3+

Kids can learn to jump faster and master more tricks with Wicked’s Mega Jump. The specially designed rope release mechanism makes it easy to adjust the length of the rope, meaning it's a great outdoor toy for kids of all ages and suitable for both beginners and advanced jump ropers.  

There’s also a longer-length version for multiple skippers and Double Dutch play so the whole family can get involved.


19. Smoby Nature Playhouse with Kitchen

Smoby Nature Playhouse with Kitchen

Credit: Argos

Suitable for ages: 2+

This playhouse is one of the best toys in our selection because it comes with everything little ones will need for a whole day out in the garden.

Along with the house and adjoining plastic sink, it comes with two glasses, two plates and cutlery. You'll have trouble getting them back inside with this one!

VIEW AT AMAZON | £149.99 £140

20. Twister

Twister set

Credit: Amazon

Suitable for ages: 6+

Go retro and relive your own childhood with this classic game of Twister — perfect to play in the sunshine. 

With challenging balance positions and unpredictable changes in the game, Twister is a brilliant game to take to the beach or the park, or even just into the garden.

VIEW AT AMAZON | £11.99, now £13.99

21. John Lewis Bubble Mower

Chad Valley Bubble Lawn Mower, one of the best outdoor toys for sale now

Credit: Argos

Suitable for ages: 3+

Kids won't be able to resist this bubble blower. Your little one will be able to 'mow the lawn' and create a whole load of bubbles in the process.

Our favourite thing about this toy is that as you push it around the garden, more and more bubbles are created - so the faster they go, the better!


22. Wooden Animal Multi-coloured Skittles

Wooden Animal Multi-coloured Skittles

Credit: Amazon
(Image credit: deAO)

Suitable for ages: 4+

A traditional bowling pin set is a real garden essential for the summer. Colourful and bright, you won't miss these animal creations in the grass!

VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £15, now £7.50 

23. Kinetic Sand Ice Cream Treats Playset

Kinetic Sand Scents, one of the best outdoor toys

Credit: Amazon
(Image credit: Kinetic Sand)

Suitable for ages: 3+

Kinetic Sand is my go-to outdoor toy when the kids start claiming they're bored. And this ice cream-themed set is just perfect for a sunny day. You get three different colours of scented sand (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate, of course) along with an assortment of different tools, moulds and topping accessories, so you can create your own sundaes, waffles, cookie sandwiches and ice cream cones - with minimal mess! Kinetic Sand is non-toxic, hypoallergenic and made from natural sand.

VIEW AT ARGOS | £16, now £12 Argos

24. Discovery Soft Archery Target Boss

Discovery Soft Archery Target Boss

(Image credit: Decathlon)

Suitable for ages: 8+

A fabulous outdoor toy that has stayed in rotation in our summer games arsenal for years. 

The plastic target with suction cup arrows is safe for even the youngest family members to have a go at developing their archery skills. (For use only under adult supervision.)


25. Throw Throw Burrito Extreme Outdoor Edition

Exploding Kittens Throw Burrito Ed. for Outdoors - Spanish Card Game

(Image credit: Amazon)

Suitable for: 7+

This hilarious game is great for the outdoors and guaranteed to get the whole family giggling. 'If you're browsing for the best outdoor toys this summer but still can't decide what to pop in your basket, I've got the answer. 

You need Throw Throw Burrito Extreme Outdoor Edition in your life. All you really need to know is that this wacky outdoor game involves giant inflatable burritos which you get to throw at your competitors. Told you it was brilliant.

It's dodgeball meets a game of cards. The object of the game is to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents - whilst throwing giant inflatable burritos at each other and trying not to get hit!

VIEW AT AMAZON | £38.77, now £32.99

While you're shopping for the best outdoor toys for kids, you might also be interested in our guide to choosing the best kids' wellies to keep them protected outside when the weather turns. We've also got guides on choosing the best toys in 2023 and the top Christmas toys to buy if you're getting ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.

With contributions from