Are you looking for a great way to entertain your toddler in your own backyard? Whether you have a small backyard or plenty of space to run, you need to know a few backyard activities for toddlers to keep your children entertained.
I always look for easy outdoor activities for my kids. We play with dump trucks, toy cars, and plenty of water play. Kids need to spend as much time as possible outside to develop their gross motor skills and connect with nature.
Kids learn so much while in nature!
If you’re looking for a few different ways to keep your child entertained outside, try these backyard activities for toddlers.
Related: Outdoor Activities for One-Year-Olds
25 Backyard Activities for Toddlers
1. Digging in the Sandbox
Little toddlers enjoy digging in their sandbox, but yes, they may take a bite of the sand to see what it’s all about – not delicious. However, play sand is far from toxic, and typically, all it takes is one or two tastes for your child to decide it’s not worth it.
Grab some sandbox toys to go with it, like shovels and buckets for sandcastle digging.
2. Splashing in a Water Table
A water table is must-have outdoor toy for toddlers; it will keep your child entertained for hours. Toddlers love to splash and play in the water.
3. Toss Water Balloons
Another one of the backyard activities for toddlers they will love is tossing water balloons at you or other siblings. It ends up a super fun game on a hot summer day.
4. Splash in a Baby Pool
Get a shallow kiddie pool and fill it with water and other water toys. Some of my kids’ favorite toys are measuring cups and spoons – simple and easy.
Whether you have a swingset or a tree to tie a bucket swing, toddlers love to spend time swinging on nice summer days. All little toddlers need an outdoor swing.
6. Take a Walk
On nice evenings, take a long walk with your toddler. My toddlers enjoy sitting in their strollers or wagons, watching their neighborhood pass by.
If you have time, consider finding a local nature trail to walk with your toddler. This is an activity you can enjoy with older children, spending time together in nature and investigating bugs and plants.
7. Practice with a Balance Bike
Balance bikes are great for toddlers; they help your child learn how to balance themselves before learning how to use a real bicycle.
First, they sit on the bike and walk it along. Before long, your child will be picking up their feet and riding in straight lines. That’s when it’s time for your child to get a bike with training wheels.
Related Post: How to Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike Using a Balance Bike
8. Jump on a Mini Trampoline
It’s not a good idea to place toddlers on large trampolines because they have an increased risk of injury. However, a small trampoline with nets give your child a place to jump around and fulfill their sensory needs.
9. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk is a must-have outdoor toy, so if you’re looking for backyard activities for toddlers, drawing on your driveway is an easy way to pass an afternoon.
Toddlers will probably just scribble around, but teach them how to make simple drawings like a rainbow or sun, or even to draw shapes and letters.
10. Paint with Sidewalk Paint
My kids also enjoy painting with sidewalk paint. It is still chalk, but you use paint brushes to create shapes and letters. Holding paint brushes works on your toddler’s fine motor skills.
If you have a wooden fence, sidewalk paint works as on wood as well, but it will run off in the rain.
11. Color Ice Cubes
This activity is fun and best done outside. Instead of using watercolor to paint on paper, paint on ice cubes, and then watch them melt outside.
12. Blow Bubbles
All little kids love to play with bubble. My kids could dance in the bubbles for hours, but let’s be honest – blowing them is not equally fun for you. I highly suggest investing in a bubble machine.
13. Make DIY Bubbles
If you want to have a bit of DIY fun with your toddler, try making some DIY bubbles. It’s definitely a fun outdoor activity, and if it flops, then that’s totally ok.
14. Wash Their Bike
Grab your toddler’s bicycle, a bucket of warm water with some soap, and sponges. Let your child scrub their bike or any other outdoor toys. Not only is it helpful, but this simple activity keeps my little toddlers entertained for so long.
15. Set Up an Obstacle Course
If you’re looking for backyard activities for toddlers, consider making an obstacle course of things for your child to enjoy. It can be simple things like playing hopscotch, running around traffic cones, jumping in and out of hula hoops, and whatever else you want to include.
16. Go on a Simple Scavenger Hunt
Toddlers are capable of scavenger hunts, as long as they aren’t too complicated. Look for leaves, rocks, bugs, birds, flowers, and all sorts of other things!
17. Work in the Garden
If you’re working in the garden planting vegetables and flowers or pulling weeds, one of the best backyard activities for toddlers is to allow your child to help you. Toddlers, with plenty of direction, can help you plant seeds or pull weeds. It’s a great educational outdoor activity.
18. Painting with Flowers
Grab some flowers in your backyard and let your child dip them into paint. Then, paint on a canvas or a white sheet to create a beautiful masterpiece.
19. Have a Picnic Together
Go to the park and bring a picnic, enjoying a meal together in the beautiful weather. Pick flowers and have family time together.
20. Catch Bugs
Some toddlers have an aversion to bugs, but others find them utterly fascinating. Dig in the dirt and find different bugs together. I have a bug catching kit to store the bugs we find together, and we also like this quick-release bug catching magnifier.
21. Watch Clouds Together
Lay down on a blanket and watch the clouds in the sky. See if you notice any familiar shapes, or simply enjoy the time together.
22. Bird Watch Together
Put out a bird feed or two in your backyard and enjoy watching all the different bird species that visit. Little kids love to watch animals, and it’s an easy way to pass time together.
23. Play I-Spy
When you’re outside with your toddler, something easy to do together is play I-Spy. Toddlers get a kick out of this, and it’s an easy way to practice color recognition without too much pressure.
24. Make a Mud Kitchen
Who doesn’t love making mud pies or mud soap? Your toddler surely does, and you can grab some cheap materials at the dollar tree to make this for your toddler.
See if any of your friends have an old used play kitchen to put outside, or you can put out buckets on shelves with materials in their mud kitchen. Get some measuring cups, spoons, bowls, plates, and cups; their imagination can run wild!
You can gather in containers some materials for this messy play like leaves, sticks, pine cones, and rocks. Every good mud pie needs some spice!
25. Collect Rocks
Toddlers love to collect rocks without any encouragement from you, but if you’re looking for easy backyard activities for toddlers, go search for some rocks to keep. If you want to add to the activity, bring out some paint and paint rocks together.
26. Paint Rocks
The great thing about painting rocks is that you really can’t mess it up and that’s why it’s a perfect outside activity for toddlers. Sure they can make a mess, but if you’re outside it shouldn’t be an issue!
Hand them a large paintbrush and let them create! They’ll love the independence it gives them and you don’t have to worry about paint getting all over the walls in your house.
Then, set the rocks out on your landscaping or even by the street for neighbors and other children to see.
Enjoy the weather and try all of these backyard activities with your toddlers. The more time you spend outside in nature, the better it is for your child. You’ll never regret all of these hours outside.