The Best Outside Toys for Toddlers And Their Dads – Great Toys To Enjoy Together

Best Outside Toys for Toddlers And Their Dads

We are an outdoorsy family. From grilling out to just running around the backyard and chasing Benni with the water hose, my wife and I cannot wait for summer to get here. While the ‘Easter Bunny’ did his job with stocking my son up with some of the basics for summer, we are always on the lookout for something that will keep Benni entertained (and out of trouble) while we are outside together. In this blog post, I want to share with you my top 5 list of the best outside toys for toddlers.

What Makes These Outdoor Toddler Toys Great?

Summertime is playtime in our house. It’s usually warm enough most nights so that I can come home from work and still have enough light (and warmth) to spend some quality time with Benni outdoors. Not only do we have a great time bonding, it wears him out, so bedtime is a lot easier.

Best Outside Toys for Toddlers

Here’s my top 5 list of outdoor toys that I recommend to moms and dads to get for their children. As always, I look at them from a perspective of a dad who wants to get toys for his kids that he can enjoy TOGETHER with them. Benni and I play a lot, and I want to get toys for him that do not overburden him, but that don’t bore me either!

Most of the toys recommended here are toys that we already own and they are just too good to pass up. One of the toys I have included in this list is one that I have my eye on for the upcoming summer (if I can convince my wife) and I have included this one, too.

#1 – Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Age Recommendation: 2 Years and Up

Manufacturer: Step 2

Current Price: Click here to check

Though we do have the River Rhine nearby, the river current makes it quite dangerous for a toddler most days. We bought this sand and water table to bring a little of the beach to our backyard. That, and it was a great choice for a water toy that is super fun when we want to play together, but one that Benni can also safely enjoy by himself without us having to look after him all the time.


The drain plug is nice on this because you don’t want to leave the water in it or it may become stagnant. There is a roadway that separates the two sides and on top of the cover is a second ‘road map’ which my son loves to drive his cars all over once he is bored with the sand and water.

Something I appreciated with this model that you do not see with all of them was the elastic tie downs that are on the ends of the cover. This makes sure that it does not blow away on windy nights—keeping the sand inside and the neighborhood cats out.

#2 – Eezy Peezy Monkey Bars Climbing Tower

Age Recommendation: 3 Years and Up

Manufacturer: Eezy Peezy

Current Price: Click here to check

We haven’t yet added this to our outdoor collection—but I think it will be a great choice for Benni. It’s all the fun of a dome-like climbing set like you’d see at the playground, but with lightweight rods with spring-interlocking connectors.

It has great reviews as an outdoor toy and is even advertised as being suitable for children between ages 3 and 10. I think Benni could enjoy it for years to come and it might satisfy his desire to climb up things—in a much safer way than when he usually climbs.

When looking at this recommendation from “That Toy Dad’s” perspective, it is obvious that I cannot climb together with Benni. The fun part for dads, however, is certainly fiddling around with the rods and connectors and build something cool together with your kids they can then conquer! This toy is awesome!!! Guess I’ll have to send my wife a link to this blog post later 🙂

#3 – Dolphin Bubble Machine

Age Recommendation: 1 1/2 Year and Up

Manufacturer: Kidzlane

Current Price: Click here to check

The Bubble machine seems like a simple ‘outdoor toy,’ but they are usually affordable and really nice. Benni has spent an hour or longer chasing bubbles. The machine doesn’t burn through batteries too quickly, which is good because my son really loves it.

The great thing about this dolphin bubble blower is its rounded shape. It has taken more than a few tumbles in Benni’s excitement, especially when he reached out to try to touch the bubbles when he was younger.

Sometimes, I would need to adjust the machine, so it was not pointing against the wind, especially on particularly windy days. Moving it around the yard also really helped once we found shelter from the wind. The best part about windy days, though, was watching my son chase the bubbles around the yard as they moved in unpredictable directions.

#4 – Animal Ring Toss

Age Recommendation: 3 Years and Up

Manufacturer: Toddle Toy

Current Price: Click here to check

With Benni growing older, we’ve definitely emphasized toys that help with learning. When you can have fun with your child and encourage a child to learn a new skill or idea at the same time, it really is a treasure. This ring toss has friendly animal shapes with 4-different numbered pegs. The rings are rope-like, with a wooden piece on each to make them a little heavier (so they move through the air more surely. When I am trying to challenge Benni (or myself), we call out a number and try to ring it. After all, it is great practice for the carnival season that is coming up.

Something else that I really like about this toy is that it is made by the Toddle Toy Company. The wood is high quality and sustainably sourced and it’s been well-rounded, so I’ve never had to worry about my son grabbing one of the pegs and getting a splinter. The paint has also made it through one season so far, without any peeling or flaking.

Another reason I love this set is that of its fun gameplay that lets Benni and I bond. The joy that shoots across his face when he rings one is priceless and, honestly, I have as much fun as he does.

#5 – Little Tikes Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ

Age Recommendation: 2 Years and Up

Manufacturer: Little Tikes

Current Price: Click here to check

When I’m grilling our dinner and can’t keep as close an eye on Benni as I want to, I set him up next to me (at a safe distance, of course) so he can grill. This little BBQ grill has taught him that he can cook just like Daddy and he loves bringing my wife and I the ‘food’ he has made for us to pretend to eat.

His grill is just like mine, with two levels for him to cook on and a cooktop on the side. His also comes with an opening oven and fridge, pegs that let his pans and utensils hang without cluttering up his play area, and it even includes a sink. Benni also gets a lot more prep area than I do—there is an extended counter and a back counter!


There you have my personal top 5 list of the best outside toys for toddlers. How did you like it? Do you already own any of the toys suggested? What are your experiences? Did I miss an outside toy that YOUR toddler loves and that you would like me to try out and add to the list?

If you have anything to add to this story, please leave a comment below and I will respond as well (Pinky Promise 🙂 ). You can also reach out to me via the „Contact Me“ page on my blog or via email at!

Looking forward to your feedback! Stay safe and enjoy playing with your kids!!!



  1. These are great ideas for parents looking for outside toys! As a mother of four boys, I know my kids would love any of these. Especially the bubble machine. I got one a while back for my older boys but it drained the batteries way faster than I felt like it should have. We’ll have to try this one to see how it compares!

    1. Hi J,

      I’m super excited you made it here. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it! Hey, if you really manage to do a comparison between the two bubble machines, would you mind and let me know? Maybe you can write a blog about it an publish it here as a guest writer or so? Let me know via mail, will you?


  2. Hi Chris
    We have the grandchildren at our house quite a bit and i have been trying to find bits for them to do with there dad and grandad as they all love playing together which is great to see:) there is only so many times you can play hide and seek lol.
    The dolphin bubble machine looks fun and could be played with for hours as they love bubbles, the animal ring toss also looks pretty cool and would also teach them about concentration and also they could get a treat for every one they ring:)
    Wow thanks for the info.

    1. Hi Sharon and thank you sooo much for stopping by! I’m glad you took the time to comment. How great to interact with you guys 🙂 I’m really happy I could provide some helpful advice and ideas! Please let me know how your grandchildren like the toys in case you decide to follow some of my recommendation and get em for them. You can always reach out in the comments, via email or social media!

      Thanks again and all the best to you and your family,

  3. I’m so happy I came across your site! We have a 4 month old grandson and already we are thinking of great toys for him as he grows. These are some great ideas and I especially like the jungle gym.
    I’m bookmarking your site as I’ll be back often and I’m going to check your archives to see if you’ve covered great toys for babies.

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you so much for your kind comment and bookmark. I’m already looking forward to welcoming you back. I’m glad you liked my article and found some inspiration.

      All the best to you and your family,

  4. Well, I am fro far to be a father yet but I can relay to doing activities together, creating really good memorable moments will establish a way stronger son and father connection. Of course, I will consider this in a close future I want the best for my son and you gave some pretty good ideas on for outside playing.

    1. Hey Eric, thanks for taking the time to read my article and leave a comment. I appreciate it. I can only encourage you to have kids and become a Dad! It’s the greatest thing on earth!!! 🙂

      All the best to you and your future family 🙂


  5. Great article. I don’t have any kids, but maybe I’ll have to look into these for any nephews or nieces that come my way.

    I also like the fact that these toys are things that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen playing with any of my younger relatives. They’re toys that I wished came in adults sizes, if you know what I mean.

    1. Hey Cyrus,

      thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I can only repeat what I said Erick above: I wish you all the best and I hope you’ll be lucky enough to have kids some time in the future as well 🙂 It’s really great to be a Dad, and I bet you’ll enjoy playing with your future kids just as I enjoy playing with my son 🙂

      All the best to you and your loved ones,

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