outdoor toys for 1 year olds

10 Outdoor toys for 1-year-olds

One-year-olds are just starting to become mobile and explore the world around them. This is the perfect age to get them interested in outdoor activities, and having great outdoor toys helps with that! Whether you are looking for the perfect toy for your own kiddo or searching for a birthday gift, this list will likely help you choose.

You will find 10 of the best outdoor toys that will keep your child entertained for hours on end in the article below!

Why is outdoor play important?

Outdoor activity is so important for development, and these toys will get your little one started on the right path! From sprinklers to slides, there is something here for every outdoor space. And, since all of these are made for one-year-olds, they are the perfect size and weight for your child.

Playing outside is important for young children because it helps them to develop their physical skills, such as coordination and balance. It also allows them to explore their environment and learn about the world around them while building their creativity and enjoying the fresh air.

But, there are a wide variety of outdoor toys for 1-year-old children, which can make choosing the right ones a daunting task!

So, if you’re looking for outdoor toys for your one-year-old, here are ten great age-appropriate toys for you to consider.

Safety outdoors

When buying outdoor toys for your little one, be sure to double-check that it is safe and choose toys that meet your child’s needs. The best toys are ones that are safe, are painted with non-toxic materials, and are made of high-quality materials that won’t break down when exposed to the outdoor elements.

It’s also important to make sure that your little one has careful adult supervision when playing outside, especially when playing in/near the water.

Water toys

When it’s a hot day, there is no better place to be than near the water. Whether you are heading to the beach or staying at home, these are the right toys to develop new skills and provide sensory exploration while enjoying some active play!

Sprinklers

First up is sprinklers! Sprinklers are a great way to keep your one-year-old cool in the summer months (and entertained for a long time). They are perfect for hot days when your kids just want to run around and enjoy the weather.

There are a variety of sprinklers available, such as those that attach to a hose or those that can be placed in the ground. Many of them are not suited for babies, so be sure to check the ages before you buy! A splash pad like this Splash Pad Sprinkler is a great idea for supervised water play with your little one.

Water table

Keeping with the theme of providing a way to cool down and keep your littles entertained for hours, the next on this list is water tables (sometimes called play tables).

A water table provides lots of fun and has features that improve fine motor skills, sensory development, and imagination. Better yet, with proper care, your child can enjoy these toys when they are toddlers too! I also really like that your child can either enjoy playing with these alone or with friends.

Here are two fun options:

Baby pool with canopy

This is one outdoor toy that both parents and babies can enjoy. The baby pool with canopy provides plenty of shade for your little one, while the built-in sprinklers keep everyone cool.

Pools like this Rainbow Splash Pool also have a canopy that provides shade and protection from the sun. This pool also has a soft bottom that is perfect for little ones!

Another fun thing about these toys is that you can replace the water with ball pit balls, making them a great option whether you’re searching for outdoor or indoor toys.

Beach toys

Heading out for a beach day? We’ve got you covered!

Beach ball

Beach balls are awesome for everywhere from at home to the beach. They’re a great toy because they can be quickly deflated, making transport easy.

When your child is younger, they will enjoy gross motor activities like pushing a ball back and forth with you or trying to pick it up. They may also really enjoy “kicking” it as you walk with them!

As your little one grows, they will be able to explore new movements like throwing, bouncing and catching a ball. These are all great learning opportunities, and the earlier they are introduced, the better.

You can get inflatable beach balls from many local shops as well as larger stores like Walmart. If you’re wondering how to introduce your child to this toy, Scholastic has a wonderful article that you can read by clicking here.

Balls like this rubber kickball by Melissa & Doug are super durable and will last for a long time, making them another great choice for your one-year-old.

Bucket and trowel

You just can’t talk about beach toys without mentioning a bucket and trowel! Any beach day is complete with a fun little set like this one from Amazon (bonus, there are also little critter toys included!).

Your kiddo will have lots of fun building, digging, and searching through the sand for beach treasures using a simple set like this.

Imaginative play

Honestly, most of the toys on this list develop the child’s imagination, but below is one of my favorites.

Outdoor kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are great open-ended toys that kids love to play with. They emphasize pretend play, where your kiddos can cook, wash dishes, and even set the table. I mean, who didn’t love making mud pies growing up?!! If you have a little space outside, these are a great option.

The downside to these toys is that they can be quite pricey. For example, this one by Noble Wooden Toys is absolutely stunning and even has a working sink. But the price tag reflects that at USD $625.

That being said, they last a very long time. So, if you can make the investment, it’s definitely worth it since your child can enjoy their kitchen for many years to come!

A cheaper option is this one from Walmart, which costs much less, but likely won’t last as long.

Or, if you’re feeling crafty, you might consider making your own! Etsy has lots of DIY plans (like this one by Lyla’s Custom Play) to get you started.

Encouraging movement

Being outside is a great opportunity to encourage physical activity while exploring the natural world. Here are some toy ideas perfect for this!

Baby balancers and bikes

Baby balance bikes are super fun and pretty versatile too. Your little one can enjoy them at home or even take them on walks with you, too! They are a great toy to get your kiddos active and moving. Plus, riding a balance bike is just a step away from learning how to ride a “big kid bike” – How exciting!

Here’s a super cute baby balance bike from Amazon as an example. This rocking horse is another fun option for practicing balance and coordination!

Push and pull trucks

Toy trucks are classic toys that help develop hand-eye coordination. Your kids can use them to haul sand, dirt, or rocks (or whatever else they find).

They’re great for playing outdoors because they can get dirty and you don’t have to worry about them getting ruined, too.

Another great thing about these is that they’re pretty easy to find. You can find them at most toy stores and large shopping centers, or online at Amazon.

Trampoline

Most kids adore trampolines regardless of their age, and babies can too! While you can get the fancy netting that goes around a large trampoline, the whole setup requires quite a bit of space.

This nursery trampoline is perfect for a one-year-old. And, because it is so small, it can be used both indoors and outdoors, too!

Climbers and slides

Climbers and slides are two great options that you can find both individually and combined as a set. They let your children practice essential gross motor skills while providing hours of activity, making them some of the best outdoor toys for one-year-olds.

A super fun example of a slide and a climber is this Little Tikes Baby Bum Wheels on the Bus toy.

Little Tikes cozy coupe

I know this article is supposed to be 10 outdoor toys, but here’s an extra! Honestly, Little Tikes has tons of great toys for outdoor playtime. This is definitely one of my favorites, though.

Please note: This toy is recommended for kiddos 18m and older. It’s one of those toys that falls awkwardly between baby and toddler, but since it’s such a landmark toy it felt wrong to leave it off the list.

Cue the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe! This iconic ride-on car has been around for decades, and for good reason. It’s durable, safe, and toddlers love pushing it around.

These are just a few of the best outdoor toys for one-year-olds. We hope you found this list helpful, and that you enjoy your warm-weather fun! If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

Do you also have a toddler at home? Check out these fun activities to try this summer!

Elke Crosson
Elke Crosson

Elke Crosson has her BA in International Relations with a minor in Spanish at UBC (Okanagan). She is currently in her second year of the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with dreams of becoming an elementary-level teacher.