Trying to spend more time outdoors but feeling like your yard is bare? Outdoor toys can be a fun addition to keep kids busy but it’s hard once you’ve outgrown the little slides and climber gyms! We love loose parts with all the sticks and rocks but tend to mix in other things as well too. This list is especially handy if you have family members asking for gift ideas, if they’re disinclined to shipping you tree stumps and leaf piles! If you’re trying to brainstorm cheap outdoor toys for kids, I have a list of 10 DIY ideas in addition to those that you can buy online.
I made this list with my kids and family in mind; so about ages 4-10! Lots of these are fun for adults too, it’s always good to get your adult body moving like a kid. Also it’s not a toy, but one of our favorite outdoor activities is geocaching, for all ages, see how to start geocaching in this post!
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Outdoor toys for big kids
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Toys to buy
You might not see it as a toy but my kids sure do! This gorilla cart is super fun, it unlatches and dumps like a dump truck or pulls like a regular wagon. My kids put each other in it, fill it with grass, lug around pieces of wood, and more. It's great for "heavywork" and just plain fun. We got ours at Ace Hardware but Amazon carries them too.
I'd love to install a climbing rope soon, my kids love the fireperson pole at the playground and I think this would be super fun. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
We have an actual bow for shooting at a target but this one looks like fun for slightly less supervised play, but a step up from the "pretend play" versions.
We haven't tried one of these big ones (we have smaller versions in each of their rooms) but my kids love hidey holes so it seems like it would be a big hit for summer - these hanging kid forts look like a good time. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
We own this! It's called a Snipe Hunt and you use it for hide and seek. Once you hide them, they make noise the longer you take. It's a great way for my 4 & 6 year old to play together, they hide one color and look for the other!
This is a classic outdoor toy for big kids, the Geometric Dome Climber! A big hit with my climbing kids, it gets plenty of love during all four seasons. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
Another classic toy, the stomp rocket. Be forewarned you may be fishing the darts out from bushes and roofs but this always gets laughs when it gets pulled out of the outdoor toy box. Shop it on Amazon or on Hearthsong - we just ordered a glow in the dark version to try!
My husband keeps suggesting this but I'm not sure I'm ready for a DIY Zip Line for Kids, does it come with helmets! Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
Swings are for all ages and my kids love all of them. This Platform Tree Swing is nice and big, perfect for bigger kids. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
If you're not ready or comfortable with a big trampoline that multiple kids can get on, try one of these smaller inflatable ones built for big kids.
Ride-On Hop 'n Go Unicorns
My friend has these and my kids have loved them at apple orchards, they're so fun!
Traditional croquet feels a little stuffy; I want to try something like this with my kids!
Big kids crave that back & forth rocking motion just like little ones, so we found a secondhand metal seesaw just like this one. It's great for burning energy quickly. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
I don't have a picture yet but we have this set up in our trees! A slackline is good for balance and old fashioned playing, although sometimes it looks like American Gladiator. Shop on Amazon or on Hearthsong -- or consider adding a 'ninja warrior' set to mix it up; also on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
I'd love a tree fort with this leading up to, maybe next summer! Shop it on Amazon or on Hearthsong.
Turn your backyard into a playground with this fun tetherball set!
Bouncy Pogo Stilts
Upgrade from the little kid pogo stick and try these on for balance practice!
DIY outdoor toys
If you are looking for a family project or to save some cash, check out these DIY ideas for outdoor toys for big kids!
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How to make yard dice from Love and Renovations, what a great game to play with a big group or friends over.
DIY backyard chalkboard from Love and Renovations, we’ve been working on writing more while standing vertical and this would be super fun. And the chalk dust wouldn’t come in my house!
Tire teeter totter from Sugar Bee Crafts, a fun DIY option (and an upcycle!) instead of the metal seesaw I linked above.
DIY giant Jenga blocks from Creative Green Living, we have played something like this at a food festival and it was super fun.
Clever paver hopscotch DIY from Happiness is Homemade, I love how colorful this is.
Simple ball toss target DIY from Cherished Bliss, we aren’t big into sports but even my kids love chucking balls at targets.
DIY wood riding toy tutorial from Cherished Bliss, this looks like it would hold up way better than plastic riding toys!
Outdoor climbing wall from Impatiently Crafty, another fun climbing idea, we would love to have this.
Outdoor sand box from Ana White – my kids love sand still, we just have a sand “corner” but I’d love this set instead.
DIY climbing tire tower from Blessings Overflowing – hoping this gets made for spring, it looks so fun!
Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
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