The Best Outdoor Toys Kids Swear By

If you have kids, life under Covid-19 lockdowns is basically a super long game of “Are we there yet?” And no, kiddos, we’re not. If you and the fam are going stir crazy, consider investing in some new backyard (or nearby park) play gear to give a much-needed burst of fun to them — and yourself. 

VATOS 1/12 RC Truck Off Road Remote Control Car

For children of a certain ilk, there is only one thing better than a monster truck rally—and that’s playing with your own mini “monster truck” by remote control. “My kids love this RC truck and so does my husband!” says Melissa Karvonen. “It runs super fast, can jump up curbs, flip over, and overall amazing turns!” She just has one word of advice:  “It only lasts about 10 minutes, so I would suggest buying another battery.”

American Plastic Toys Inc. Shovel With Long Wooden Handle

Everything from “gardening” (i.e. digging up worms) to sand-castle design is way, waaaaay cooler when you have your own sturdy shovel. “I don’t know about your kids, but my son always wants to build a sandcastle mansion,” says Karla Lint. “We still had those flimsy little shovels that came with sandcastle building kits that would break halfway through a project until I upgraded him with this model.” Bonus: it was made in the U.S., and costs less than four bucks.

Micro Mini Original Kickboard

Reportedly the highest rated scooter for children 2-5, who are apparently extremely discerning, this thrill ride is a must for tots 44 pounds and under. “Well-made and durable, the Micro scooters offer a really smooth ride and are light and convenient to take to the park, playground, restaurants, in the car, upstairs, etc,” says Regina Lawrence. “It’s amazing how fast even the youngest kids take to using the scooter.”

Sun Squad Max Liquidator 2 pack

Among the many perks of this floating de facto water gun? It sprays water up to a whopping 35 feet. Yes, 35 feet. “If you are looking for some water fun with the kids, these are great!” says Karla Lint, who owns two sets. “We have had so many traditional water guns which jam with sand when taken to the beach. The sand does not seem to faze these water blasters!” If your littles are 4 or older, this may provide the ultimate summertime bonanza—especially with most water parks on hiatus this year. 

Haptic Lab Delta Kite White Sun

“Imaginative, sweet and so perfectly old-meets-new, this beautiful kite makes the perfect gift and brings a little joy into my days,” says Tammy Fender of this wood-framed kite, which was screen-printed by hand in Brooklyn because, of course, it was. 

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.