40+ Exciting Backyard Activities for Toddlers

by Ivy B
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Who says toddler entertainment has to be difficult?  Though parenting toddlers isn’t an easy job, break up the monotony with these fabulous backyard activities for toddlers.

It has been said that  the most important years in a child’s life are the first 3 years.  These early years, especially the first five, are when your baby’s brain develops most rapidly.  As the parent of a toddler, this means you’re going to want to instill good habit early on.  The habits you’re likely to want your toddler to learn are likely healthy eating, visiting the library and reading, and instilling a love for the outdoors.

Playing outdoors isn’t solely about having fun, but teaching your children to stay active, healthy and fit.  For that reason, you may want to encourage your child to play outdoors if you’re not already doing so.

If you want to increase your toddler’s appreciation for the outdoors (and do more than simply taking a walk), check out these popular backyard activities for toddlers.  You’ll find you have nearly unlimited options at your disposal to keep you and your toddler from being tired of playing outside (unless you’re in Florida, when it’s often too hot to play outside).   This is mainly because toddlers are easy to please (unless they’re in one of their moods).  This means that whatever backyard activity you organize, your toddler will likely enjoy it.

Keep in mind, though, toddlers aren’t unlike adults and older children.  They can get bored with the same activities.  To prevent this from happening, arm yourself with a wide range of different backyard activities your toddler can try.

Toddler with bubbles - great outdoor activity for toddlers

Backyard Activities for Toddlers

Outdoor activities for toddlers are some of my favorite activities.  We should all be spending more time outdoors anyway, right?  So why not start your little ones learning to entertain outside in their own backyards?

Swing Sets

What toddler doesn't love swinging in the backyard? | www.sahmplus.com

I don’t know many toddlers who don’t enjoy swinging!  Both of my kids thoroughly enjoyed being pushed in a swing for way longer than I liked standing in one place.

Swing sets come in all different sizes and styles. Most swing sets don’t usually just come with swings.  Many come with slides, monkey bars, and more, which makes purchasing a play set the perfect investment in regular backyard activities for toddlers and beyond! Because of the variety of sizes or styles, you can get something on a budget or spend lots of money on something elaborate.

Related: Small to Big Backyard Swing Sets

Swimming

What toddler doesn’t like splashing in a pool?  Okay, maybe there’s a few, but I bet most love a good splash or swim in the pool.  That’s not to say you even have to have a full-sized pool in your backyard.  Swimming and splashing in a kiddie pool is a great choice in backyard activities for toddlers, plus it’s generally safe under supervision.

Aside from swimming and splashing, add some bonus pool accessories like swim rings, beach balls, or small floating toys to encourage gross and fine motor activities in your toddler.

Sandboxes

Digging in the sandbox is a great backyard activity for toddlers

I bet your toddler loves playing in the sand!  This is something I generally can’t keep either of my kids away from for any length of time.

Playing in sand is not only a wonderful sensory experience for toddlers, but it’s great to help them develop other skills, like cause and effect.  The great part about sandboxes is that they can be relatively inexpensive (as well as the sand to put in them).

As with anything else, sandboxes can also be more elaborate and expensive.

Plus, you can purchase a variety of sandbox toys to mix up the play every time.

Other Backyard Activities for Toddlers

Painting With Ice Activity for Toddlers via Mommy’s Bundle

Recycled Chalk Paint for Outdoor Art via Rhythms of Play

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk via Crystal & Co.

Build a Dinosaur Garden via Megan Zeni

Water Pistol Painting via Messy Little Mosnter

Painting with Flowers via 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Easiest Plants for Kids to Grow via Little Sprouts Learning

Dinosaur Dig Excavation Activity via Fun Learning for Kids

Painting Clouds Sensory Activity via Sugar Spice and Glitter

DIY Wooden Roads and Ramps for Toy Cars via Buggy and Buddy

How to Make Foam for Toddlers & Sensory Play via Crafts on Sea

Climb a Tree via Rhythms of Play

Pond Sensory Bin via In Our Pond

Loose Parts Play Activity and Printables via Ruffles & Rainboots

A Rainbow Walk via Creating Creatives

Painting Fun Bubble Art via Chic ‘N Savvy

Sidewalk Puffy Paint via Fun Learning for Kids

Kiddie Pool Sensory Play Ideas via Parenting From The Heart

Rock Balancing Stone Stacking via Rhythms of Play

Homemade Bubble Recipe via Crystal & Co.

Painting Sticks via Creating Creatives

Build a Mud Kitchen via Megan Zeni

Wishing Bottles via Ruffles & Rainboots

DIY Colorful Moon Sand via Look We’re Learning

Bubble Activities for Toddlers via Red Ted Art

12 Walk Ideas for Toddlers via Bambini Travel

The Creative Water Table via Creating Creatives

Let’s Go on a Listening Walk via Creative Family Fun

Flower Suncatcher via Messy Little Monster

Frozen Flowers Sensory Ice Play via Crafts on Sea

Make a Mud Pie via Rhythms of Play

Super Soaker Sponge Balls via Natural Beach Living

Grow Sunflowers with Kids via Little Sprouts Learning

Drawing Outside with Spring Colored Sand via Buggy and Buddy

Chalk Gross Motor Toddler Activity via Teach Me Mommy

How to Make Homemade Chalk via 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Bubble Snake Blower via Messy Little Monster

Sand and Water Ocean Sensory Bin via Fun Learning for Kids

DIY Outdoor Chalkboard for Backyards and Patios via Rhythms of Play

Flower Crowns & Flower Play via Red Ted Art

Color Golf Gross Motor Game via School Time Snippets

Simple Bug Hotel for Kids via Red Ted Art

Make Way for Ducklings ABC Activity via Growing Book by Book

Paint Rolling on a Slide via Messy Little Monster

Mud Ice Creamery via Mother Natured

Don’t forget to make local friends and set up group play dates with other toddlers.  As much as your toddler may have fun playing with you, it helps to give them opportunities to play with other children as well.  Set up a group play date and incorporate one of these backyard activities for toddlers to help your toddler hone in on his social skills as well.

If you are looking for additional toddler-friendly outdoor activities or supplies, you may be able to find what you need online or at one of your local retail stores. For an affordable price, you should be able to find bubbles, water balloons, kites, balls, and t-ball equipment. These items may help to create a fun, but memorable backyard experience for your toddler.

Do you have any other backyard activities for toddlers?

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Fantastic backyard activities for toddlers - ideas and outdoor toys for toddler play and learning experiences outdoors

This post originally appeared on this site June 2018 and has been updated for accuracy.

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22 comments

Jennifer Tammy June 14, 2018 - 10:45 am

What an amazing resource to help keep kids happy and healthy outside! Thank you for including our cloud painting activity, it’s always a favorite around here. Pinning 🙂

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Ivy B June 15, 2018 - 4:31 pm

Aww, thanks 😀 Thanks for sharing your cloud painting activity with us to be included.

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Echo June 14, 2018 - 11:59 am

These are great ideas and could even be altered to include older kids! Thanks!
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Ivy B June 15, 2018 - 4:29 pm

absolutely! My almost 7 year old would love these too

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Suzie June 15, 2018 - 4:22 pm

What a great list! I’ll be saving this!

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Ivy B June 15, 2018 - 4:26 pm

Aww thank you!

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daycare furniture Australia June 20, 2018 - 5:14 am

Kids love activities like this. It promotes creativity that nourishes their talents.

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[email protected] July 1, 2018 - 6:44 pm

So many options! I am loving ice activities with my kiddos. It’s so hot we love playing with something cold!

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Ivy B July 2, 2018 - 9:24 am

Yes! Florida has been so hot already, ice activities are great

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childcare centre Karana July 4, 2018 - 6:10 am

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Mark August 22, 2018 - 6:59 pm

Thanks a lot for this great list of activities. Sometimes it can be so hard to come up with something to do when my little guy gets bored. In my experience it’s always a good idea to have a few activities already planned. That way you can enjoy your day without having to come up with ideas on the fly that sometimes don’t pan out.
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Babyish care October 25, 2018 - 1:09 am

I love the water and sand wall, I am going to make it for my son this this summer 🙂 thanks for the post, some great ideas!
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Abby December 26, 2018 - 8:03 pm

This was a great compilation. I was looking for something that I can do with my niece on the coming weekend. And, I was looking to get her outside of the house and away from all those screens. And, I landed upon this article. Will try to knock off at least of a couple of them. Thank you for sharing!
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Sara Fraser January 27, 2019 - 9:01 pm

Your list definitely gave me some inspiration for when the spring weather finally arrives. The one thing I really can’t wait to do is get back outside in the garden. My little guy is just starting to get old enough to help me out while I tend to the vegetables, and the flowers.
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malik March 19, 2019 - 4:39 am

These are great ideas and could even be altered to include older kids! Thanks!

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malik March 19, 2019 - 4:41 am

These are great ideas and could even be altered to include older kids! https://bestunders.com/best-portable-monitors/ every one to read this

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addy July 4, 2019 - 5:01 am

Awesome Ideas!! I have two boys and they love outdoor fun a lot. I will borrow some of these ideas!!
Good work, thank you for sharing with us!!
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Steve July 4, 2019 - 5:07 am

Great compilation resource with great ideas. I have liked the cloud painting and sand wall and we shall introduce these new ideas to them.
Kudos!
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Edward brown August 5, 2020 - 12:58 am

These are some really useful tips, I just know a person who would love some of these 🙂

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Jane August 19, 2020 - 9:11 pm

Thank you for all the activities to do in the backyard! I’ll be sure to share some of these with my cousins who have kids of their own.
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Johnsov Stev September 7, 2020 - 2:08 am

Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with approximately all significant infos.
I would like to see more posts like this.

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Jason September 8, 2020 - 9:25 am

Hi my name is Jason. Thank you for sharing those wonderful activities. We can relate to it as our family always strike a balance between homeschooling and outside activities. My kids love to plant flowers. I will definitely check out some activities on the list you provided.
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