Research shows that toddlers benefit a lot from playing outdoors, which is why outdoor toys are a good investment for parents. The best outdoor toy for 1-year-olds will help you keep your kid away from phones and tablets and also reduce their screen time. From an interactive toy that keeps your munchkin engaged and encourages them to explore to a water game that promotes fun and lets them enjoy the fresh air, the options are plenty.
Whether you decide to invest in a bike, swing set, or slide, ensure they suit your child’s age and size. Playing outdoors with these toys can teach kids a lot. It can also become an excellent opportunity for you to teach them new skills and strengthen parent-child relationships. Moreover, playing outdoors can help your one-year-olds move around, interact with different objects, and learn new skills. To help you choose the perfect toy, we have reviewed some of the best-selling ones suitable for 1-year-olds.
11 Best Outdoor Toys For One-Year-Olds In 2024
1. Best Engaging: Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center
The two-in-one kids’ basketball hoop sports center allows your toddler to score baskets and goals. It plays 50+ songs, sounds, and phrases to keep your child engaged while improving their attention span and curiosity. A purple-colored side lever restarts the scoreboard count, and different shaped buttons introduce shapes, numbers, and sounds.
This tried-and-tested toy is ideal for babies aged between one and three years and includes a basketball for shooting hoops and a soccer ball for scoring goals to help develop your child’s motor skills. It’s made of plastic and runs on 3 AA batteries. For more information, check out the review of the product.
- Comes with an animated LED display
- Promotes exploration
- Anti-skid base
- Easy-to-grip ball
- May not be heavy enough
- May be smaller than you expect
2. Best BPA-Free: SplashEZ Educational Pool
Make learning fun for your munchkin with this educational kiddie pool. It comes with several benefits for children and offers loads of fun. It has a learning mat as the base, so your toddler soaks up some knowledge while playing. The durable outdoor toy is suitable for children aged one year and above. Made with the highest quality material, this wading pool and water sprinkler is durable and free of BPA and phthalates. It creates a miniature water park for your child, with a learning mat of the planets, creating endless fun for your children.
Measuring 60in in diameter, this child-friendly pool is spacious, ideal to place in your backyard or any safe outdoor space, and you can safely take a dip in the pool together with your children. By learning through play, this toy helps improve cognitive skills and social-emotional skills. If you want to know more about the benefits of this product, check out this product testing video.
- Promotes early-childhood learning
- Creates confidence
- Inspires creativity
- Boosts communication
- Easy to assemble
- Quality of the hose connector could have been better
- May not be easy to fold
3. Best Stability: Little Tikes Rocking Horse – Blue
Little Tikes rocking horse comes in bright blue and has a child-safe design with smoothed corners and edges so your child doesn’t get hurt. It teaches them balance and coordination while being a lot of fun. This rocking horse also features a high seat and easy-grip handles for a fun and safe experience. It has a durable construction and low saddle designed for stability and is the perfect size for indoor and outdoor use.
The outdoor toddler toy comes fully assembled and is durable enough to withstand rough use. It’s ideal for babies aged up to three years and can take a maximum weight of 50lb. Here’s an honest review video where the user talks about her testing experience with the product.
- Burr-free, child-friendly edges
- Offers hours of fun
- Easy to clean
- Sturdy design
- Seat is not be padded
- May not be scratch-resistant
4. Best Entertaining: Zen Laboratory Splash Pad
Bring home this 68-inch inflatable splash pad and water sprinkler toy, which makes a great alternative to your traditional float baby pool and a fantastic summer outdoor toy for toddlers. Just hook it up to the hose, and your child is ready for a great learning experience and some quality bonding time.
Suitable for birthday parties and fun summer activities, it combines the best parts of a kiddie pool, a water slide, and water toys to make the most entertaining fountain spray pad for children. The age-appropriate product is made of child-safe and high-quality materials and is BPA- and phthalate-free.
- Easy installation
- Adjustable spray height
- Wear- and tear-resistant
- Easy to fold
- May be a bit slippery
- Seams may not withstand rough use
5. Best Sturdy Base: Fisher-Price Bounce And Spin Puppy
This product features a sturdy base, easy-grip handles, comfy saddle, interactive buttons, and multicolor lights. As your toddler spins and bounces up and down, this ride-on dog plays songs, sounds, and educational phrases to introduce the alphabet, numbers, colors, and more. Climbing up on the puppy and bouncing up and down helps strengthen your baby’s balance and coordination skills and allows them to gain a sense of independence, making an excellent skill-building toy.
The talking and singing puppy lights up at the press of a button and has two settings —one for learning and one for music—so your toddler can bounce and spin to their heart’s content. It’s ideal for toddlers aged one year and above and can take a weight of up to 55lb.
- Encourages self-expression
- Improves listening skills
- Non-skid base
- Easy-to-operate switches
- Sound may be low for some
- Battery may run out pretty quickly
6. Best Motion Sensor: Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn – Pull & Play Learning Wagon
Your toddler can load up on both learning and hands-on fun with this interactive and innovative red wagon that features various fun activities. They can bat, press, rattle, flip, and use light-up buttons and xylophone keys. A press of a button activates songs, sounds, and phrases. As your baby grows, you can advance the learning content through Smart Stages technology. This outdoor toddler toy is also equipped with a motion sensor that rewards your toddler as they walk and pull the wagon along.
The time-tested pull toy encourages your toddler to grasp, flip, and press, which helps strengthen your baby’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination. It also enhances your baby’s gross motor skills as they sit, walk, and pull the wagon along.
- Has smooth wheels for easy swivel
- Encourages shape recognition
- Develops problem-solving skills
- Boosts critical thinking skills
- May be smaller than you expect
- Handle may not withstand rough use
7. Best Indoor-Outdoor: Gait Nursery Trampoline
The fun, smiley-faced, green tortoise trampoline is a great way to develop a toddler’s confidence and encourage coordination and balance. It comes with a sturdy and durable tubular steel frame, a padded cover, an easy-grip handle, and rubber feet. The handle and legs detach for easy storage, and it’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
It’s the ideal first trampoline for toddlers, as it has a diameter of 70cm and height of 60cm. The toy is suitable for one-year-olds, and its sturdy and durable frame can take a maximum weight of 44lb.
- Weatherproof mat
- Improves fitness
- Encourages active play
- Easy to assemble
- Durable velcro
- May not be easy to assemble
- May not be highly sturdy
8. Best Inflatable: Swim School Splash Play Mat
Introduce your toddler to water with this canopied splash mat. The built-in backrest ensures that your baby can sit comfortably while splashing and playing with the three stacking rings. These stackable play rings build your child’s dexterity and eye-hand coordination. The extra-wide removable canopy offers shade from the sun’s harmful rays and can be removed easily.
This aqua green pool float with multicolored, whimsical sea creatures is easily inflatable, making it highly portable and easy to store. It measures 28in in diameter and is recommended for children aged between six months and two years.
- Multiposition plastic hinge
- Extra-wide design
- Encourages color recognition
- Introduces early numbers
- May not hold a good quantity of water
- May not be easy to inflate
9. Best Lightweight: Lol-Fun Baby Balance Bike – Pink
A baby balance bike is one of the best toys for developing a one-year-old’s confidence, agility, and sense of balance. This baby balance bike helps teach your baby to control the bike’s movement with their body weight and steering. Due to its low height, it is highly safe. There are no pedals, and its fully widened closed wheel prevents injury to their feet. Its 135° turning limit prevents your precious baby from toppling over.
The bicycle wheels are non-slip, wear-resistant, and don’t damage the floor, so your baby can ride indoors or outdoors. The comfortable seat and sponge handles also contribute to a better riding experience. It’s lightweight, durable, compact, and BPA-free with bright and pleasant non-toxic paint.
- Teaches independence
- Strengthen the legs
- Improves balancing skills
- Available in a wide range of colors
- Assembly may be time consuming
- Seat isn’t height-adjustable
10. Best For Crawling: Hide-N-Side Five-Piece Ball Pit Set
The Hide-N-Side ball pit tents and tunnels are perfect for keeping your little one entertained for hours. Made of 190T soft polyester fabric and supported by thick steel wiring, this playset is designed for long-lasting use. The tents are easy to open thanks to their simple pop-up style, and the kit includes a storage case for conveniently storing the tents and tunnels in an organized and space-efficient manner.
This playset not only provides hours of entertainment but also promotes overall physical development and boosts their fine motor skills. This outdoor toddler toy is suitable for playschools, backyards, nurseries or any outdoor space.
- Encourages crawling
- Suitable for creative play
- Features see-through mesh tents
- Bright and attractive color
- Lightweight and portable
- Meets CPSC safety standards
- Does not include balls
- May not be easy to install
11. Best Five-In-One: Top Bright Activity Cube Toy
Boasting its safe yet durable construction, the activity cube is made from natural solid wood with polished, child-friendly edges and non-toxic, water-based paint. This five-in-one activity cube includes a bead maze, learning clock, shape sorter, spinning gears, and zig-zag sliding side.
This wooden baby toy promotes fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, sensory skills, and number counting. It also helps enhance the child’s creativity and thinking abilities. The removable 3D top bead maze can be played separately and is easily storable within the box.
- Encourages shape and color recognition
- Easily portable
- No assembly required
- Suitable for imaginative play
- Compact and sturdy design
- May be smaller than expected
- Top portion might not be securely attached
How To Choose The Right Outdoor Toy For A 1-Year-Old?
If you are planning to invest in 2 or 3 types of outdoor toys for your toddler, make sure you incorporate some variety so that your child is stimulated, doesn’t get bored, and builds new skills as well.
Outdoor toys have to undergo the wear and tear of different climatic conditions. They should be able to withstand seasonal changes as well as rough play. Anything with small, breakable pieces or that tears easily is best avoided. Plastic is usually a good choice for an outdoor toy for a 1-year-old.
Small children are usually much rougher and not as careful with their outdoor toys as their indoor toys. Accidents are bound to happen, and so safety is of utmost importance. Make sure there are no sharp edges and that the height of the toy, especially in the case of a slide, is suitable. It would help if you also were careful whenever water is involved.
- Encourage exploration and problem-solving:
Choose toys that give kids a chance to figure something out on their own and build their logical and critical thinking skills so that they can become problem-solvers. They also help to develop spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills in your toddler. Puzzles, building blocks, nesting blocks, and art and craft supplies like clay, dough, paint, or crayons are ideal for this.
- Toys that nurture cross-generational play:
Some outdoor toys are designed for adult participation. These nurture language and relationship-building skills in your toddler. They also teach children to be gracious winners and losers.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.How do I store outdoor toys?
To extend the life of any outdoor toy, it’s advisable to store it indoors when not in use or at least keep it protected from the elements, in the garage or in a storage shed. For damp toys, ventilation is important, so a bin with slatted sides or open shelving is ideal.
2.How can I get water out of outdoor toys?
You can prevent water from getting into squirting toys by filling the holes using a hot glue gun. For other toys, after cleaning, rinsing, and wiping with a towel, invert it and allow it to dry fully, and if possible in the sun. For a sandpit, you need to rake the area thoroughly, breaking up wet clumps, before allowing it to dry uncovered. Covering a wet toy would encourage the formation of mold and mildew.
3.What do one-year-olds play with outside?
While it differs from toddler to toddler, some may like to play with bouncy and colorful water pools, and those who love to saunter around would prefer mobile toys like pull-and-play wagons and baby bicycles.
4.Why is outdoor play so important in early years?
Outdoor play in early childhood bestows several benefits, such as:
• Facilitating games that require more space and less restrictions
• Building endurance and physical capabilities in children
• Enhancing their balance and agility
• Promoting vitamin D absorption
• Reducing the risk of obesity
5.Can outdoor toys be left outside all the time?
Waterproof and weather-resistant outdoor toys tend to last longer outside. However, constant and prolonged exposure to sunlight could fade the color of some toys.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Priti Bose is a passionate writer with valuable experience reviewing children’s toys and gifts. She does extensive research to recommend age-appropriate toys that are engaging and educational. Here, Priti has listed the best outdoor toys for one-year-olds after researching the benefits of each. Moreover, she has included a buying guide mentioning the crucial factors you should consider when choosing toys for little children.
Playing outdoors offers many benefits to toddlers—it allows them to explore new things around them and helps develop their fine motor skills. Thus, you should invest in the best outdoor toys for 1-year-olds and add extra fun to their outdoor playtime. Outdoor toys for babies of this age are aplenty, and you need to get your hands on the best ones, such as the SplashEZ Educational Pool or the Little Tikes Rocking Horse that can keep them engrossed for hours. Also, ensure they are made of safe materials and are safe to play with. Besides, avoid those with sharp edges and those containing small parts, as that may pose a choking hazard. Lastly, opt for lightweight, durable, and sturdy products like the Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center.
Infographic: Suggestions For Selecting Outdoor Toys For One-Year-Olds
One-year-old babies are super enthusiastic and playful in exploring their surroundings. Therefore, the parents must provide them with appropriate toys to help their development. The following infographic includes a few things you should consider to ensure that you are buying the best outdoor toys for your baby.
- Kenneth R. Ginsburg et al.; (2007); The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds.