Outdoor Toys

Outdoor toys: The most popular toys for fresh air fun

As today's digital age creeps inside our homes, hooking kids onto the big screen, it's only natural for parents to be concerned. As indoor play time has become the norm, it's clear that our children are not often seeking collective fun with neighboring children and the good old-fashioned exercise that promotes their health. Here are some outdoor toys and activities you can charm your kids with to lure them back to the greener, fresher world.

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Sidewalk Chalk

Bring your kids back to a time when a day of outdoor play meant classic games such as hopscotch and tic-tac-toe. Pick up a box of sidewalk chalk in a variety of colors and encourage your kids to go to town by drawing their own creations on the front porch or driveway. Not only is there no cleanup involved, but it's a great "draw" for the kids next door as well!

Water Play Table

This activity center gets your kids out and cooled off as they splash and navigate their toys round and round. Moms, pick up a bag of sailboats and colorful plastic cups at the local dollar store and watch your little ones circle around their favorite watering hole as they create their own adventure.

For some extra water playtime, set up a toy sprinkler in the backyard - the kind that jumps around as water pressure builds. This is a sure-to-please attraction for those kids looking for some unpredictable splish-splashing fun.

Jump Rope, Hula Hoop, Frisbee - Oh My!

Look no further than any of these exercise magnets for your child's outdoor pleasure. Parents: we need to acquaint our kids with the untiring pastimes we grew up with. They are fun, and they promote kids' fitness.

Let's Play Hoops

You only need one basketball hoop on the street to draw the kids out and get them stretching their muscles again! Most have adjustable heights, which allow for all ages to get their best shots in while playing a traditional neighborhood game of hoops!

Story-time Picnic

Grab a blanket, lay it out in the yard or a nearby park, toss a handful of your kids' favorite books in a bag and make it a family reading day. This is an excellent fun-for-all outdoor idea; it not only allows parents to catch up on some of their own reading but also encourages kids to hit the books. Best of all, it creates some memorable kick-back family time. Pssst: don't forget the crayons and paper!

Classic Red Wagon

Kids still love to be chauffeured around in this little red buggy. If you're a parent who is looking for a little exercise or are in need of a brisk walk, plunk your little people inside their favorite red wagon, along with some toys and a juice box, and have them sit back and enjoy the free ride. This ride also makes a great means of transportation for any day trip to the beach, the park or an outdoor event.

If all else fails, pack it up moms and dads - you're off to fly a kite!

By Marisa Santoro