9 Best Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds in 2023

Asian one year old baby boy playing sand on the beach.

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  • Outdoor play is important for your toddler’s gross motor movement, engagement with learning, and overall physical well-being.
  • Children who play outside have a lower risk of obesity, spend less time on screens, and develop respect for nature. 
  • There are lots of great outdoor toys for one-year-olds that will last them long into toddlerhood. 

The benefits of outdoor play for little kids have never been more important. With so much of their—and our—attention taken up by screens, outdoor play allows kids to practice their physical skills and gives them space to develop their imaginations and love for nature. 

You don’t have to fill up your backyard with a ton of fun outdoor toys to make the outdoors fun for your one-year-old, though. Just a few well-chosen toys that can be used in various ways are enough to encourage your little one to exercise and enjoy playing outside. 

Look for age-appropriate toys that may grow with your child and have some longevity. We’ve looked into some of the best outdoor toys for one-year-olds in 2023 to help you and your little tike get ready for some outdoor fun! 

Best Choice
Step2 Cascading Cove with Umbrella, Kids Sand and Water Activity Sensory Table, 6 Piece Accessory Kit, Toddler Summer Outdoor Toys, 1.5+ Years Old
Best Creative Outdoor Toy
Chalk City Egg Sidewalk Chalk, 6 Count, Assorted Colors, Non-Toxic, Washable, Art Set, Easter basket stuffers for toddler (Glitter)
Best Classic Outdoor Toy
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table
Regal Games Sidewalk Glitter Egg Chalk
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
$86.30
Price not available
$54.00
Best Choice
Step2 Cascading Cove with Umbrella, Kids Sand and Water Activity Sensory Table, 6 Piece Accessory Kit, Toddler Summer Outdoor Toys, 1.5+ Years Old
Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table
$86.30
Best Creative Outdoor Toy
Chalk City Egg Sidewalk Chalk, 6 Count, Assorted Colors, Non-Toxic, Washable, Art Set, Easter basket stuffers for toddler (Glitter)
Regal Games Sidewalk Glitter Egg Chalk
Price not available
Best Classic Outdoor Toy
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
$54.00

Our Choice: Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Sale
Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table
  • 2-IN-1 DESIGN: Sand and water table separated into two parts, multiple children can play, use water, moon sand, snow, beans, soil, or anything else to construct a mini water park outside, dimensions 42.52 x 24.02 x 22.99 inches
  • INTERACTIVE ACCESSORIES: 6-piece water accessory set, comes with a molded-in roadways lid, providing more room for play
  • EASY TO CLEAN: High-quality materials to ensure durability, removable drain cap, making it easy for parents to maintain indoors and outdoors, elastic tie-downs on the ends of lid to securely cover
  • STEM EDUCATIONAL TOYS: Let the Indoor/Outdoor playset stimulate your child’s interest and encourage them to engage in hands-on activities that boost creativity, problem-solving, and sensory exploration
Pros 
Cons
  • Simple and not overstimulating
  • Cover protects sand and creates another way to play
  • Expensive compared to other sand tables

There are many sand and water tables on the market, but the Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table is a uniquely simple version of this outdoor toy staple. Other sand and water tables have so many bright colors and moving parts that they can overwhelm a one-year-old. 

It’s just the right size for toddlers and is divided into two sections. Use it with water or sand in both parts, or with water in one and sand in the other. It has a convenient plug-hole for easy emptying.

The durable cover protects sand from the elements. In addition, the cover has molded roadways for use as a different toy, on or off the table. The cute umbrella keeps little ones in the shade when they’re playing. 

This toy is excellent for sensory play, practicing motor skills, and learning basic STEM concepts around water. You can use a ton of vocabulary with your little one for practicing language skills about their activities here. 

It’s also a toy that your child will return to play with in a million different ways. So if you only choose one backyard toy for your one-year-old, this sand and water table is a great pick. 

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Regal Games Sidewalk Glitter Egg Chalk: Best Creative Outdoor Toy 

Regal Games Sidewalk Glitter Egg Chalk
  • 6 PIECES: Our 6 set of sidewalk Easter shaped eggs includes 6 different chalk colors and is packaged in a novelty egg carton for easy transport and storage
  • 6 SPARKLY COLORS: Choose from six different glittery chalk colors and allow your creativity to be limitless whether it’s inside the classroom, on the chalkboard, or outside on the sidewalk or driveway
  • EASY TO HOLD: Each piece of easter chalk is shaped like an egg and has a rounded edges for an easy grip for all spring crafts
  • QUALITY: Our Chalk Farm sidewalk chalk is safe, non-toxic, washable and specially formulated to minimize chalk dust so it can be safely used indoors and outdoors
Pros 
Cons
  • Encourages creativity
  • Inexpensive
  • Washable
  • Soft chalk wears down quickl

Sidewalk chalk is an excellent way to let your one-year-old get messy, experiment with color, and start to work on the fine motor skills that lead to writing. 

Regal Games Sidewalk Chalk is washable and non-toxic. It’s also a nice shape for toddler hands and sturdy so it won’t break into a million tiny choking hazard pieces. 

It’s designed to minimize chalk dust, so it’s a fun, safe chalk option for younger toddlers. It comes in variousoptions, from neon to tie-dye.

Always supervise your toddler when they’re using chalk. 

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Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike: Best Baby Balance Bike 

Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike
  • BEGINNER BABY BIKE: Retrospec Cricket is designed for toddlers ages 12-24 months of age to develop the motor skills needed to walk and eventually ride. Great first birthday gift for boys and girls!
  • SAFE & DURABLE: Sturdy, comfortable, and safe. Cricket’s design ensures your child’s feet are always touching the ground, so they stay in control of their speed, stopping, and movement. Teaches advanced motor skills at a young age!
  • SCRATCH RESISTANT WHEELS: Its non-slip, no-scratch wheels prevent scratched floors and provide a secure grip both indoors and outdoors. Keep them safe while improving their balance and motor skills.
  • EASY TO CONTROL: Soft handlebars, a cushy seat, and a steering limit keep your child safe, comfortable, and in control the entire time. The first step in learning how to ride a bike!
Pros 
Cons 
  • Feet stay on the ground for good control
  • Four wheels to prevent side tipping
  • Great price
  • Can only be used up to about age two

The Retrospec Cricket Baby Walker Balance Bike is the perfect first birthday gift for the one-year-old in your life. This adorable four-wheel bike is a great first ride-on toy designed specifically for toddlers from 12 to 24 months old. 

Your baby’s feet will always be on the ground so that they can control their speed and direction. It has a comfortable cushioned seat with rubber handle grips and non-slip wheels. 

It’s an excellent first bike and a super fun way for your baby to work on those big gross motor movements. 

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Little Tikes Cozy Coupe: Best Classic Outdoor Toy 

Sale
Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
  • GROWS AS KIDS DO. The removable floorboard makes this ride-on transition easily between parent-controlled and kid-powered modes
  • KIDS TAKE THE WHEEL. Take the removable floorboard out and kids can roll themselves around using their feet
  • Includes: working doors, steering wheel with working horn, moving, clicking ignition switch, gas cap open and closes, rugged, durable tires, front wheels spin 360 degrees
  • KEEPS KIDS ACTIVE & ENGAGED. Kids love playing with the steering wheel, key, horn, & cup holders. TONS OF CONVENIENT STORAGE. Kids can access easy storage in the trunk. V15WORKS INDOORS OR OUTDOORS. This ride-on has durable tires that are designed for indoor and outdoor use
Pros 
Cons 
  • Removable floor board adjusts with your growing toddler
  • Can use up to age 5
  • Wheels struggle on uneven surfaces

The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe has been beloved by generations of toddlers.  Kids adore this classic toy, suitable for little kids 18 months up. 

Although you can find it in pink and dinosaur themed, the red and yellow coupe you probably had as a toddler is still very popular today. It’s the perfect toy for pretend play and role-playing while getting kids to use their muscles to power the car by foot. 

For use indoors or outdoors, it’s no wonder this toy has been around for decades. 

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Simplay3 Young Explorers Activity Climber: Best First Outdoor Climbing Toy 

Simplay3 Young Explorers Activity Climber
  • INDOOR & OUTDOOR PLAYSET: This kid’s indoor playground with climber and slide is great for adventurous toddlers and children, and even fits through a standard doorframe to go inside or out
  • VERSATILE PLAY FEATURES: Two levels of play with crawl-through spaces, a climbing wall, and an extra-wide slide help build gross motor skills, coordination, and imagination during hours of fun.
  • ALL-WEATHER ACTIVE PLAY: Build physical, cognitive, creative and social skills and improve overall happiness through active play regardless of the weather with this indoor and outdoor playground
  • DURABLE & RECYCLABLE PLAYGROUND: Double wall plastic construction on this playset has rounded, child-friendly edges, is weather and UV resistant and will stand up to the toughest of play to last for years
Pros 
Cons
  • Good size for young toddlers
  • Part of a modular system
  • Expensive for a small piece of equipment

Climbing toys encourage your child to spend time outdoors. However, it can be hard to find one that’s suitable for a one-year-old who’s still unsteady on their feet or just starting to walk. 

The Simplay3 Young Explorers Activity Climber is an excellent first climbing outdoor climbing toy with a sturdy slide, easy-to-use climbing wall, and mini ladder. These features are great for using those muscles and working on hand-eye coordination

This climber can be used up to age 6, so it’s also got quite a few years of fun in store for your child. 

Use it with Simplay3’s other outdoor toys as a modular system for loads more fun outside!  

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Dazmers 3-in-1 Kids Sports Center: Best Toy for Longevity of Use 

Dazmers 3-in-1 Kids Sports Center
  • 3-in-1 KID ACTIVITY CENTER: give your toddler a secure area in which to play, this kids sport center can be for playing basketball, soccer and ring toss games. The playset comes with 1 basketball,1 soccer ball, 4 rings, and 1 inflator.
  • EASY TO SETUP AND STORE: assembling is super easy, you don’t need to use any extra tool to put it up together. The set includes an air pump to inflate balls.
  • ADJUSTABLE BASKETBALL HOOP: this little basketball hoop for toddlers is adjustable between 34 inches and 4 feet in height.
  • OUTDOOR AND INDOOR PLAY: super portable, you can take this activity center everywhere to play outdoor and indoor, solo, or with other kids. Take it to the park, beach, play in the yard, or just stay at home with it!
Pros 
Cons 
  • Adjustable so will grow with your toddler for several years
  • Multi-tasking toy can be played with in multiple ways
  • Assembly instructions are tricky

The Dazmers 3-in-1 Kids Sports Center is a clever toy your baby will love for years. 

This mini sports center features a soccer goal, a height-adjustable basketball hoop, and a ring toss, with balls and rings included. 

Suitable for little kids from 18 months, they can start by rolling the ball into the goal, placing the rings, and pushing the basketball through the hoop. Before you know it, they’ll graduate to kicking, tossing, and slam-dunking! 

This is an excellent toy for practicing a multitude of physical skills. Since the hoop is adjustable up to four feet, your child can use it for several years.

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Step2 Play and Shade Pool for Toddlers: Best Multi-Tasking Kiddie Pool

Step2 Play and Shade Pool for Toddlers
  • OUTDOOR FUN: Kids water play, two molded-in seats in the shade, textured sea creature bottom to prevent slipping, max weight per seat 50lbs
  • SPLASH POOL: Backyard water play set, boost creativity, problem-solving, and sensory exploration
  • WATER TOYS: 7-piece accessory set, funnel cups, water wheel, ands 40-inch detachable umbrella for sun protection
  • MULTI-USE: Pool holds up to 12 gallons (45.4 L) of water or 165 pounds (74.8 kg) of sand, allows children for imaginative play
Pros 
Cons 
  • Can be used year round in different ways
  • Umbrella for shade
  • Water toys included
  • Small, so may be outgrown as a pool quickly

A kiddie pool for your one-year-old is a must in summertime. Water play is great for learning about nature and physics, having a fun sensory experience, and developing social and language skills. 

The Step2 Play and Shade Pool for Toddlers can be used in so many more ways than your average kiddie pool. 

Use as a pool for cooling off in summer, with two molded seats and cups on the umbrella stand for water play. Use it as a sandbox in springtime. Or, fill it up with balls, and you’ve got a ball pit

Many parents buy an inflatable kiddie pool every summer because they get punctured or moldy when not in use. The Step2 pool is made of molded plastic, so you only have to buy it once—smart! 

Never leave a child of any age unattended in water. 

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Kiddey Kids Play Tunnel for Toddlers: Best Indoor Outdoor Crawling Tunnel 

Sale
Kiddey Kids Play Tunnel for Toddlers
  • CREATIVITY UNLEASHED: Turn playtime into a realm of boundless creativity with the Kiddey kids tunnel. Crafted from premium polyester, this baby tunnel with the dimensions of (18 x 72 inches) provides a vibrant canvas for endless adventures. Watch as their creativity blooms while they embark on exciting journeys through this colorful baby play tunnel.
  • INSTANT POP UP FUN & EFFORTLESS SETUP: The Kiddey pop up tunnel is designed for quick enjoyment. Whether indoors or outdoors, playtime is just a release and an extension away with our play tunnels for babies.
  • PORTABLE PLAYMATE, ANYWHERE: The dog tunnel for small dogs has a fold-flat design and zipper carry bag makes storage and transportation a breeze. Whether it’s a day at the park, a visit to daycare, these tunnels for kids to crawl through bring the fun wherever your child’s imagination takes them.
  • COMFORT AND SAFETY COMBINED: With a versatile design and space, our pop up play tunnel provides kids to easily crawl while the breathable mesh side ensures optimal airflow, keeping the baby crawling tunnel fresh and inviting even during extended play sessions.
Pros 
Cons 
  • Breathable mesh sides
  • Simple colors that aren’t overstimulating
  • Can be used outside, but must be brought in for storage

The Kiddey Kids Play Tunnel for Toddlers is an excellent choice for a crawling tunnel for a one-year-old because of its breathable mesh sides. Little ones can have fun exploring in the tunnel, but you can also see them easily. 

So many tunnels are overwhelmingly colorful. This tunnel lets your child focus on moving and crawling instead of getting distracted by too much visual stimuli. 

Great for use indoors or out, as soon as you’re done, just fold it up and put it away in its included storage bag. Your little one will love using this tunnel for years! 

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Green Toys Wagon: Best Eco-Friendly Outdoor Toy 

Green Toys Wagon
  • Package Dimensions: 40.106 H x 14.503 L x 24.307 W (centimeters)
  • Package Weight: 0.839 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : United States
Pros 
Cons 
  • Recycled and made in the USA
  • Simple concept
  • Multiple ways to play with it
  • Expensive for a small toy

As soon as your one-year-old is walking, they will want to start pulling something. This Green Toys Wagon is the perfect toy for indoor or outdoor play. 

This wagon is so simple in its concept, making it the perfect toy for young toddlers. It’s also small so that your baby can manage it. They’ll love filling it up with toys, rocks, and leaves, and taking those treasures from all around your backyard. 

This toy is excellent for pretend play, engaging with nature, and encouraging your child to walk and practice their motor skills. It will become a lasting favorite.  

In addition, this cute wagon is made in the USA of 100% recycled plastic so you can feel good about your purchase.  

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Why Playing Outdoors is Good for Toddlers

Playing outside in the fresh air has many benefits for children. Children learn through play. Play encourages physical development and helps with problem-solving skills and engagement with learning.  

Exercise 

Climbing, running, jumping, and swinging outside are key activities for developing gross motor skills. They also help your child gain physical strength and confidence in their body.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also reports that outdoor play leads to lower obesity rates and a lower risk of myopia or nearsightedness. 

Time in Nature 

Outdoor play in nature encourages your child to engage with the natural world and develops their innate curiosity. There is no better way for children to learn about animals, plants, and the world than to spend time outdoors in the woods, on the beach, or just in the backyard.  

According to Harvard Medical School, exposure to Vitamin D from the sun daily is also important for developing a robust immune system, better sleep, and better mood. 

Critical Thinking and Creativity 

Play and exploration outside encourages critical thinking skills, creativity and problem-solving. Kids engage with the environment and each other differently when they’re outside. Time outdoors inspires socialization, games, and imaginative play in ways that you don’t get indoors. 

It also gets your kids away from the tablet, phone, TV, or any other screens and gets them to use their brains in a different way. 

Messiness Allowed! 

Doing messy activities outside, like finger painting, chalk drawing, bubble chasing, water games, and even playing with mud, is much easier to clean up and much more fun. 

Outdoor playtime gives your toddler more freedom to make a mess which is an integral part of their learning and growth. 

Choosing the Best Outdoor Toys for Your One-Year-Old 

Check out this list of features to look for when choosing outside toys for a one-year-old. 

Feature 
Why It’s Important 
Encourages gross motor movement 
  • Crawling tunnels, balance bikes, climbing toys, and balls encourage your toddler to practice walking, running, crawling, and climbing to strengthen gross motor skills.
Simple, intuitive features
  • A good outdoor toy shouldn’t have too many pieces.
  • It should be simple for your toddler to understand and to use.
  • It should not have small pieces that could be a choking hazard.
Encourages engagement with nature 
  • A water table, sand box, or mud kitchen encourages your child to use elements of nature as part of their games.
Inspires imaginative play 
  • A crawling tunnel, mud kitchen, and play tent will all encourage pretend play.
Longevity 
  • If it’s a toy your child will be interested in for at least a few years, it’s probably worth buying.
  • Toys your child is likely to outgrow quickly are not a great investment, and fill up your back yard and garage pretty quickly.
Made for outdoor use 
  • Make sure the toy is built to last in the outdoors and withstand the weather in your area.
  • If it has to be brought inside every day because it’s too delicate, it’s likely to be forgotten or not used very much and won’t last long.
Safety for a one-year-old 
  • Check manufacturers’ instructions for age minimum for toys.
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges, small pieces, or that easily splinter.
  • Always supervise your one-year-old when they’re playing outside.

FAQ

How do you clean outdoor toys?

Outdoor toys often get neglected when it comes to cleaning, but it’s just as important to clean them as the things your child plays with indoors. They’re constantly exposed to the elements, animals, and dirt. 

For larger equipment like playhouses, water tables, climbers, and any toy that lives outside, a power washer should do the trick to get rid of dirt and grime.

If you don’t have a power washer, use a non-toxic cleaning solution, either store-bought or homemade. All you need is a hose or bucket and a sponge. There are many recipes online for homemade cleaners made with vinegar to disinfect outdoor toys without dousing them in harmful bleach.

Best Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds


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