Toddlers love the outdoors. One of my toddler’s first words was “outside,” except she said it more like “side.” Now that it’s wintertime, she’ll say side and jacket. This article is about setting up your outdoor space with the best backyard toys for toddlers under two.
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In New Mexico, we have a relatively mild winter season. We get the occasional snowstorm but they are far and few between. My daughter can play in the backyard year-round with appropriate layers.
We have built our backyard toddler toy collection over time. These toys encourage climbing, gross motor development, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play.
My daughter has a great time outside and can play for hours. Here are the best backyard toys for toddlers under two.
1. Toddler slide
We have the Step 2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse (click image to shop on Amazon). As a mom, I really like this treehouse because it’s close to the ground for toddlers and encourages climbing, exploring, and sliding.
When my daughter was around 18 months, she would climb up and go down the slide constantly. It was one of her favorite things to do outside.
2. Water table
When I was growing up, water tables didn’t really exist, at least not like the ones we see today. A water table is a must for an infant or a toddler, especially during the summer.
We have the Little Tikes 5 Little Ducks Water Table. Honestly, any water table will be fine because the main attraction is water and that’s what kids are really interested in.
My daughter will play with some of the features of our water table but she loves splashing the water around.
3. Radio Flyer wagon
My toddler received the Radio Flyer 1st 2-in-1 Wagon (click image) for Christmas. It’s not the full-sized classic red wagon but a miniature version that is perfect for toddlers under two.
This can be an indoor or outdoor toy but we keep it outside. My daughter will fill it with random toys or rocks and pull them around the backyard.
4. T-Ball set
Every toddler needs a T-ball set. We like the Little Tikes T-Ball Set. It comes with the standard plastic balls, bat, and adjustable tee.
This is great for hand-eye coordination. My daughter is still getting the hang of swinging the bat. She also loves to chase the balls and bring them to us when we hit them off the tee.
5. Yellow dump truck
The yellow dump truck is one of those nostalgic backyard toys for toddlers under two. In fact, any child will probably be interested in this outdoor toy through the elementary years.
My daughter is just starting to learn about different vehicle types, so a bright yellow dump truck is the perfect addition to her mini playground.
Our house came with a sturdy metal swing set, so we didn’t have to invest in a full swing set, which can get pricey. We bought a toddler bucket seat and regular swing attachments from Amazon (click image).
I like the toddler bucket seat because it’s safe and adjustable. Now that our toddler is closing in on two years old, she’s constantly asking to get on the regular non-bucket swing. They grow up so fast!
7. Basketball set
The Little Tikes Basketball Set has been a big hit with our toddler. Her favorite is ‘dunking’ the ball. She is also starting to learn how to throw a small ball and catch on the count of three.
This helps with hand-eye coordination and builds confidence for a toddler.
We recently purchased the Step 2 Neat & Tidy Cottage for our little tike. It is the perfect complement to her Step 2 Lookout Treehouse.
Am I the only mom who wants toys to be aesthetically pleasing and matching?!
Generally, a playhouse is an investment but it will bring fun and playful times for years to come.
9. Outdoor chalk
We have a large concrete area in our backyard, so outdoor chalk was a big hit for my toddler this past summer around 13-18 months old.
She loves to scribble, so this was the perfect activity for her. At a certain age, our toddler started using the chalk on the screen door and the side of the house, so beware!
We didn’t have to buy a sandpit or a sandbox because my toddler started using an old, empty garden bed as a sandpit. Although we didn’t intend to use this area as a sandpit, my daughter loves playing with the dirt and rocks in it.
If you want to invest in a sandpit, it can definitely provide hours of fun for a toddler. Here are some options below from Amazon (click images).
11. Pop up play tent
We received a pop up play tent for my daughter’s first birthday. Pop up play tents were definitely not a thing when I was growing up, so I didn’t know that my toddler would like it.
It turns out that she loves it. They can be used indoors or in your backyard.
Our pop-up play tent folds up in one swoop and has a carrying case. My toddler tends to gather her toys and makes it a play area.
Here are some pop up tent options on Amazon.
12. Outdoor toddler chairs
Outdoor toddler chairs are a must. My toddlers loves to have her own seat outside.
The Summer Pop and Sit Portable Booster is absolutely amazing. We primarily use it for camping but we also use it for outdoor summer dinners. It’s the perfect seat for an older infant and toddler under two.
- Further reading: Summer activities that are fun and exciting for toddlers
Recently, I found the Little Tikes Garden Chair and had to buy one because it matched our red Adirondack chairs. This little plastic chair is super amazing for the price point of $7-$8.
Although it’s plastic, it has been proven to be sturdy and reliable. It’s also light enough for your toddler to move around. This is definitely one of the best backyard toys for toddlers under two.
13. Toddler gardening set
My toddler loves to help, especially at this age. During the summer, I tend to water our plants and trees outside on a daily basis.
I remember using a garden watering can as a kid and watering flowers with my mom. It’s definitely a great memory. So, a gardening set is perfect for toddlers.
14. Ride on toy
When my toddler visits her cousins, she is obsessed with their Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. Honestly, she’s obsessed with any type of ride on toy.
Ride on toys are great backyard toys for toddlers under two.
15. Spinning activity toy
With over 20,000 reviews on Amazon, I thought I would throw this one in here to top off the list.
We don’t have this outdoor toy yet but it’s looking to be a strong contender for my toddler’s 2nd birthday. What little toddler doesn’t like to sit, laugh, and spin themselves silly?
Final thoughts on backyard toys for toddlers under two
In creating an outdoor, backyard setup for my daughter, I’m constantly enthralled by the wonder and amazement of toddlers. They are learning, growing, and developing so fast.
It’s my hope to create a safe, magical, and learning environment for my daughter, both indoors and outdoors. The toys listed above are safe, they promote development, and they are simply fun.
I hope you enjoyed this list of backyard toys for toddlers under two. Comment below and share your wonderful ideas for backyard toys, activities, and play!