Toys for Kids Outside

Toys for Kids Outside
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What To Look For
Kids love to play outside in all seasons. While hide-and-seek and tag are always fun, a few outdoor toys can expand your kids' imaginations and make being outdoors even more enjoyable for the entire family.

Easy to Clean: Toys that can be quickly hosed off are best. Avoid intricate pieces that require washing by hand and/or disassembly. Outdoor toys get dirty fast, and your time is better spent playing with your kids than scrubbing mud out of their equipment.

Longevity: Look for outdoor toys that appeal to a wide variety of ages, so a young child can still enjoy them as he ages or a group of siblings or cousins can play together. Instead of a plastic cup set designed for babies, look for plastic shovels and buckets that a baby can bang together and an older child can use to construct a sand castle or mud fort.

Durability: Outdoor toys are rained on, dropped, scraped and kicked on a regular basis. While few toys last forever, spending a few more dollars on a better-constructed piece means your kids can enjoy it for many years to come. For example, kiddie pools made of very thin hard plastic are prone to cracking easily. Avoid toys that appear flimsy or fragile.

Simple, Multi-Use Toys: Instead of complicated outdoor games or equipments, go for the classics and let your kids exercise their imaginations. A hula hoop can double as a circus ring or a goal to throw balls through

Toys That Encourage Exercise: Frisbees, balls and potato sacks (for sack races) teach kids that being active is fun.

Common Pitfalls
A metal shovel left out in the sun can quickly become scorching hot, burning a young child. Avoid metal outdoor toys in the summertime. Remember that in hot weather, even plastic and wooden toys can be dangerous to touch. Check the toys' temperatures before letting children play with them, and hose down too-hot toys with cold water.

Before you buy outdoor toys, make sure you have room to store them when the season ends. A large toy such as a wagon may seem like a great idea, but it quickly loses its appeal when the living room is the only place you have to put it come winter.

Where To Buy
Major retailers like Toys R Us, Amazon.com, Target and Wal-Mart carry a wide selection of toys for kids outside. You can also find gently-used kiddie pools and small outdoor toys at local thrift stores or Goodwill.
Cost
The cost of an outdoor toy depends on what item you choose and its size and quality. Most basic toys, such as hula hoops, wading pools and sandbox shovels, can be found for under $20.

You can reduce the cost of toys for kids outside by comparing notes with neighbors and/or relatives with whom your kids spend time. For example, one neighbor may purchase a sandbox while you set up a kiddie pool, and all your children can share them both.

Resources
reference
12 Super-Fun Outdoor Toys
resource
Best Outdoor Toys for Kids (Consumer Reports)

Image Reference - Toys for Kids Outside