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Outdoor toys can help 4-year-olds develop motor skills and muscle strength while they engage in imaginative play, according to Amanda Gummer, neuropsychologist and founder of Good Play Guide. We researched the top outdoor toys for 4-year-old girls and boys to evaluate durability, value, range of activities, and safety features.
Our top pick was the GobiDex 7-in-1 Kids Activity Table, which features multifunctional play surfaces, adjustable height table legs, and detachable storage bins for building blocks and other small toys.
Here are the best outdoor toys for 4-year-olds.
GobiDex 7-in-1 Multi Kids Activity Table Set With 2 Chairs
Easy to switch between tables
Included storage space
No assembly instructions
The GobiDex 7-in-1 Multi Kids Activity Table stands out for its versatility. The sturdy, plastic design is water-resistant, rust-proof, and easy to clean so that you can use it outdoors without worry.
The double-sided tabletop features a flat surface perfect for arts and crafts, beginner science experiments, or snack time, and a textured play board for use with the included building blocks. Remove the top and the table transforms into a sandbox or water table, complete with a drain plug.
Reviewers found the activity table easy to assemble, convert, and customize. While it's the perfect size for toddlers, the table height is adjustable so that it can grow with your kids. Though not adjustable, the included chairs are designed to promote good posture and fit snugly under the table when not in use.
While parents will love that the playset has four storage bins to contain small toys and accessories, some reviewers noted that the lightweight design is susceptible to tipping during windy days or spirited play sessions.
iPlay, iLearn Golf Toys Set
Two different golf club heads
Easy to put together
Soft materials so kids are less likely to get injured
Some older kids may be too tall to use the clubs
For active kids who never seem to stop, consider sports equipment, like this golf set. It comes with everything your child needs to learn how to play the game—a base unit, a golf club, two club heads, a tee stand, and 15 golf balls. Through play, your child will gradually improve both hand-eye coordination and motor skills, all while having so much fun that it’ll never feel like learning. That said, beginners may need a little help and encouragement.
Advanced Play Fairy Garden Kit
Suitable for various ages
Not all users saw success with their seeds growing
This adorable little house-shaped, two-tiered planter gives kids the opportunity to plant and grow their own magical garden. The kit includes everything you need, including soil and seeds, as well as a shovel, trowel, rake, and watering can. As the garden grows, you can teach your kids important STEM concepts, like photosynthesis. There are plenty of interactive elements on the toy to keep them busy, too, including moving doors, two street lights, a pink umbrella table with two pink chairs, and a toadstool. It even lights up and plays songs.
Costzon Ride-On Motorcycle
Built-in music, horn, and headlights
Easy to ride
Instructions are difficult to follow
Four-year-olds will appreciate a step up from your standard power wheel. This motorcycle-shaped option makes them feel extra cool and grown up, but has the safety of three wheels. (The third is tucked in the back, so they’ll feel like they’re really riding on two.) The battery-powered ride-on toy runs at an appropriate 1.8 miles per hour, so parents can rest easy knowing kids won’t be kicking up dust just yet. They can simply go backward or forward using the convenient controls. Other real, working features that add to the fun include a built-in music and horn button and working headlights. What’s more, the back storage compartment can be opened and closed to stash small toys.
Best Choice Products Wooden Outdoor Sandbox with Foldable Bench Seats
Fits many children
Instructions are difficult to follow
Though the footprint is relatively small, this sandbox has an ingenious design complete with two fully-backed benches, so kids don’t have to perch in the sand. (A win for parents everywhere, since they’ll stay a little cleaner during playtime!). As if that’s not clever enough, the benches fold down into the adorable sandbox to act as a cover when not in use.
Swimline UFO Squirter Pool Inflatable Lounge Float
Easy to inflate
Suitable for multiple ages
Perfect for pools
Water squirter can be weak
Though you can definitely use this one-person raft for lounging, the inflatable will appeal to kids as an interactive toy, thanks to a built-in squirt gun that delivers a constant stream of water. While individual kids will surely get a kick out of the pool toy, it’s worth stocking multiple, since it’s a great option for sibling pairs or playdates. There’s no doubt kids will love to engage in water fights! Don’t worry about all that playtime: The tube is durable enough to hold up to heavy use.
Lifetime 10-Foot Metal Deluxe Swing Set
Accommodates multiple children
Long assembly process
This basic swing set includes two belt swings and a trapeze bar. Kids are bound to have a blast, but parents will love how high-quality this sturdy set is and how fun the bright, primary colors make the metal bars. The chains on the swings and trapeze bars have high plastic covers to prevent pinched fingers during playtime. The entire swing set is just 178 pounds, so it's easy enough for two adults to set up and put in place, but still heavy enough for multiple kids to use at once.
WisToyz Bubble Machine Dog Bubble Blower
Lightweight and portable
Will need to buy more bubble solution
A bubble machine is a simple and budget-friendly way to keep young kids entertained outside. This bestselling dog-shaped machine has eight spinning wands to pump out hundreds of bubbles per minute. Simply pour the bubble solution (the box includes one 4-ounce bottle) into the leak-proof cavity of the dog’s mouth and turn on the battery-powered device.
Crayola Washable Sidewalk Chalk
Large color selection
Chalk may break easily
Sidewalk chalk is an easy and affordable activity that you can bring anywhere for some artistic fun. Let kids of any age explore their imagination on sidewalks or driveways with 48 different colors included in this pack, much more than other bundles. The chalk has the high-quality promise of other Crayola products and washes away with the rain so kids can start all over again.
Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Outdoor Convertible Wood Activity Sand & Water Picnic Table With Umbrella and Play Boxes
Doubles as a picnic table
Included umbrella and benches
Easy to put together
Wood needs to be sealed or it can be affected by rain
Cool off during warm months with this water table that has two built-in bins for sand, water, or a combination of the two. On either side of the table are built-in benches for comfortable play for kids and adults. The best part of this water table is the included umbrella, so you don't have to worry about sunburns. Also, you can simply add the extra wood beams to transform your space into a picnic or crafts table.
National Geographic Backyard Safari Kit
Sturdy stitching and durable zipper
Comprehensive field guide educate during adventure
Vest may be large for some users
Explore the world around you and practice STEM concepts with this educational kit from National Geographic. The machine-washable vest holds all of the items your little explorer needs to identify plants and wildlife around them. With the included magnifying glass, compass, whistle, and binoculars, they can check off items in their field guide until they have explored everything.
Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. My First Telescope
Designed for kids
Comfortable eye and nose piece
Not made for adult eyes
Outdoor fun doesn't have to end when the sun sets. Gift your 4-year-old their first telescope, designed specifically for young kids. The focus-free telescope magnifies objects to nine times their size, and the extra large eyepiece has a nose cutout for comfortable viewing of celestial objects. Adults keep in mind, this is for a child's eyes only, so you may have to sit this one out.
Colorations Double Sided Indoor/Outdoor Adjustable Acrylic Panel Easel
Included storage bins
Easy to clean and store
Can be a bit wobbly
Take creativity outside with this indoor and outdoor kids easel from Colorations. Two artists can create together on the double-sided acrylic panels, making this perfect for twins or siblings. Little artists can use paint or markers on the smooth surface then rinse it off with water to start fresh. It also includes two trays to hold supplies and a clip to hold up paper.
4Fun ChangeUp Portable Bean Bag Toss Multi-Game Set
Good for indoor and outdoor play
Built-in internal storage keeps games organized and readily accessible
Some games may be more challenging for younger players
Introduce your 4-year-old to classic lawn games like corn hole and even iconic arcade games like skee ball in this all-encompassing set, perfect for kids. This kit includes all of the components to play Corn Hole, Tic Tac Toe, Poker Pass, Football Frenzy, Skee Ball, and ShuffleBoard. The material is water-resistant so you won't have to worry about precipitation. It is also portable enough to bring to the beach or your next backyard BBQ.
Springfree Large Square Trampoline
Smaller footprint with more jumping area
Impressive 10-year warranty on all components
Spring-less design means no risk of being pinched
Individual jumper weight capacity listed as 220 pounds
More expensive than other models
An outdoor trampoline is a great way for kids to expend energy and get outside. Instead of tradition springs, the Springfree Trampoline relies on flexible composite rods—which shouldn't pinch fingers or toes, making it safe for little ones. Additionally, SoftEdge padding eliminates hard edges of the jumping mat. It also includes a safety net enclosure and has an individual weight limit of 220 pounds so multiple children (or adults) can use it at once. Even better, all of the parts are backed by a 10-year warranty.
Little Tikes Jump 'n Slide Bouncer
Spacious jumping area
May need frequent patching
Bounce houses no longer have to be just for birthday parties or special occasions. This bouncer from Little Tikes has a generous jumping area for multiple little ones to play together and a mesh enclosure for safety measures. Plus, it comes with a repair kit, a storage bag, and a high-pressure blower for quick inflation, so even if tears happen, they can be easily remedied.
Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike
High seat back provides support that new riders need to learn to pedal
Grows with child
Steering handle allows adults to assist children
Covered rear storage bin for toys and accessories
No breaks, meaning your child has to use their feet to stop
Loud, even on smooth pavement or concrete
As your 4-year-old starts to learn how to ride a bike, find a pick that can grow with them. This classic Radio Flyer kids bike has different settings depending on your child's skill level. The adult steering attachment comes off to reveal a tricycle when your child is ready, and the seat is adjustable to accommodate all children.
KidKraft Modern Outdoor Playhouse
Picnics tables and benches attached
Full size door
Playhouses are great because they create a space for kids that's completely dedicated to playing, and they often foster imaginative and creative play for kids of all ages. This wooden playhouse from KidKraft is beautiful and modern with an attached picnic table and benches and a full-sized door so adults can peek in as well. It also includes a full kitchen play set so 4-year-olds can pretend and play for hours outdoors while shielded from the sun.
gofindit Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Card Game
Great bonding activity
Suitable for various ages
Young kids may need added help
Get the whole family together for an outdoor scavenger hunt to explore your own neighborhood. The portable game can take anywhere from two minutes to the whole day and is small enough to bring on a camping trip or beach getaway. Each card has different descriptors that you have to then find in nature, leading to endless adventures and possibilities for learning and bonding.
SINGARE Set of 2 Large Octopus Kites
Easy to store
No poles to set up
Only usable on windy days
Kites are the perfect beach toy, but they can be enjoyed anywhere with a wide open space. Head to your nearest park for hours of fun watching these adorable octopus kites soar through the sky. Available in three fun colors, each comes with 200 feet of line and a convenient carrying case. There are no poles to set up so these can be used right out of the bag and easily stored.
Fat Brain Toys 2-in-1 Musical Jump ‘n Toss
Perfect for expending energy
Two games in one
Ring toss may be difficult for some users
Other than being adorable, this ladybug outdoor toy transforms into two different games. For solo play, connect the poles, set the spinning speed of the ladybug, and try to jump over them as they spin. Then, invite friends over for a ring toss as you try to toss rings on the spokes you arrange on the ladybug's back. This is ideal for practicing hand-eye coordination alone or with friends and siblings.
Little Tikes 2 in 1 Splash Hit Tennis
Perfect for solo play
Great way to expend energy
The water pressure may be difficult to control
Budding tennis players can practice their skills with this sports toy from Little Tikes. There are two ways to play, plus a water element is included for additional outdoor excitement. Simply press the pedal to launch balls into the air to whack with the included tennis racket, or connect a hose to watch the water hold the balls in the air perfect for little ones to hit. There is a funnel attachment to catch the three included balls so your kids don't have to, making this a perfect option for solo play that expends energy.
Blippi Ball Pit Mystery Adventure
Multiple toys included
Can reuse the inflatable pool
May be difficult to inflate pool
A ball pit is a fun sensory experience for kids of all ages to enjoy both indoors and outdoors. But, the Blippi brand elevates this experience by adding in a mystery element. Inside your new ball pit are 10 mystery surprise balls with Blippi toys inside. Your 4-year-old will love sifting through the inflatable ball pit to find their new toys and surprises. After they find them all, you can still enjoy your ball pit or fill it with water to create an inflatable mini pool.
Fat Brain Toys Octopus Splash Pad
Easy to store
May be too small some children
Beat the heat with this adorable splash pad featuring a red octopus that is much more entertaining than running through a sprinkler. Kids can run through the spraying water or dip their feet in the shallow pool for hours of fun. At the end of the season, this splash pad is easy to deflate and store, and the high-quality materials ensure it will be useful for summers to come.
ESSENSON Outdoor Explorer Kit & Bug Catcher Kit
Some users found the pieces to be lower quality
If your little one is curious about crawling creatures, give them everything they need to catch and examine the creatures in your backyard. This explorer and bug catching kit is the perfect educational tool for 4-year-olds interested in creepy crawlers. With a binocular and magnifying glass, kids can find all kinds of bugs and then use the included cases to catch them and examine them further. Just be sure to let them go free after!
Waterline Toys Skim n Score
Individual or group play
Can be used in pools or lakes during the summer
Younger children may struggle to manipulate the disc
Outdoor fun should not be limited to the warm months. Luckily, this Skim n' Score disc game is a perfect snow toy. The innovative toy skips, skims, slides, and jumps, and can be used on lakes and pools during the summer. This is great for individual or group play and can be played for hours and hours.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Balance Stepping Stones
Durable yet soft
Can be used indoors or outdoors
Suitable for various ages
Some users found the stones smaller than expected
Create your own obstacle course in your backyard with these stepping stones from National Geographic. They are gentle, easy to carry, and durable so the configuration possibilities are endless. Kids can challenge their coordination and critical thinking as they try to navigate through new courses on their own or with friends.
GoSports Splash Hoop
Durable and long lasting
Does not flip over easily
Comes with pump and balls
Expensive compared to competitors
Bring the classic game of basketball into the water with this awesome pool toy from GoSports. This inflatable basketball hoop floats on the surface of your pool as you try to shoot basketballs into the moving target and score points. This is great for target practice or team play. Away from the pool, it works as a low hoop, perfect for young ones.
Can be difficult to fold to fit back into the bag
Parachutes are a traditional activity for elementary school gym classes, but now you can bring that same excitement home. This large colorful parachute has handles all around the sides so the whole family can join in. You can wave the parachute around, hide under it, or use it for multiple different cooperative games. When not in play, use it as a picnic blanket or trampoline cover.
Brain Fat Toys Sky Nook
Sheltered from the sun
Easy to install
Suitable for various ages
May be difficult to find a place to hang
After a full day of outdoor activities, your 4-year-old may need a safe space to relax and unwind. The Fat Brain Toys Sky Nook is the perfect shaded spot for your little one to spend their days when not running around. The pillow seat and fabric sides are super comfy, while its reinforced stitching and 200-pound weight limit make it safe and sturdy. Just attach to a thick tree brand where your kid can swing, read, or nap for hours.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Toy for 4-Year-Olds
To keep kids as safe as can be, make sure to check for age appropriateness. Even if it seems like a toy your child can handle, it’s best to heed manufacturer recommendations. Also, remember: No matter how safe a toy seems to be, playtime should always be supervised—especially when it takes place outdoors.
Look for toys that encourage movement or stimulate the imagination in order to keep kids content for longer. Many outdoor toys are perfect for expending energy and designed to get young bodies moving. Some even test coordination, balance, and hand-eye coordination for an added benefit.
Backyard toys should be able to hold up to the elements. Look for plastic, rubber, metal, or wooden toys specifically made for outdoor use. Wooden or metal toys, like swing sets, do require some regular maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. And toys like water tables, sandboxes, and ride-ons should ideally be stored away in a shed or garage or covered when not in use.
What do 4-year-olds like to play with outside?
Kids at this age have a lot of energy and are still developing fine motor skills, so they love to play with interactive toys that keep them moving and thinking. Consider swing sets, play vehicles, and building toys.
What are the easiest outdoor toys to clean?
Plastic outdoor toys are easiest to clean because they don't rust like metal or warp like wood. Most outdoor plastic toys can be hosed off or wiped down with a mild cleanser.
How do you store outdoor toys?
Be mindful of the climate in your area when figuring out how to store your outdoor toys, as some may be affected by rain or snow. This is especially important for wood structures like playgrounds and playhouses. These should be protected or sealed with a wood sealant or stored in a dry, cool place in the off-season. Covers are also useful to protect against dust and debris. In general, it is best to store all outdoor toys inside when not in use, so they are ready for the next season!
How do I clean plastic outdoor toys?
For some outdoor plastic toys, a simple rinse with a hose will be enough. You can also use a store-bought cleaning solution or create your own using dish detergent or vinegar. For stubborn dirt and grime, you can scrub using magic erasers or a homemade baking soda paste.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields, a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more. Additional reporting was done by Jenna Stregowski, who has contributed to The Spruce for over 10 years.