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Top Outdoor Toys for Active Play

Keep kids busy (almost) all year long with these active outdoor toys.


Updated December 06, 2012

Encourage kids to get out and get active with these top outdoor toys for school-age kids, tweens, and teens (and hey, parents too; join the fun!). Find some new twists on classics like catch and archery, and kids' favorite brands luring them outdoors too.

1. Diggin Active GoGo Pogo

Diggin Active GoGo Pogo
Diggin Active
This souped-up pogo bouncer includes electronic games, plus music for kids to jump along to. It's suitable for ages 5 and up and can help reinforce learning concepts like rhyming, counting, and memory. The soft rubber base allows for indoor use, too (if you have a large, safe space for bouncing).
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2. Geomate Jr. Geocaching GPS for Kids

Geomate Jr. Geocaching GPS for Kids

Kids love the hide-and-seek fun of geocaching, and this child-friendly, handheld GPS unit is designed especially for hunting geocaches. It has more than 250,000 geocache locations programmed in, so you're ready to start your geocache adventure right away.

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3. Franklin Sports Super Star 4 in 1 Pitching Machine

Franklin Sports Super Star Batter and Fielder 4 in 1 Pitching Machine
Franklin Sports
Help kids practice batting, grabbing grounders, shagging flies, and fielding line drives, easily and safely right in the backyard. Or take your pitching machine to a park; it's easy to transport.

4. Wild Planet Dodge Discs

Wild Planet Dodge Discs
Wild Planet

Kids will really have to run as they battle each other with a launcher and set of flying foam discs (package includes two launchers and 20 discs; you can also buy a refill pack of 40 discs). The goal: Bombard your opponent with discs, and block the ones flying your way too.

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5. Backyard Safari Cargo Vest

Summit Backyard Safari cargo vest
Summit Products

Encourage young explorers with their very own cargo vest. This one comes with six D-Rings and two shoulder epaulets, a large zipper pocket, a clear-view chest pocket, and (on the back) an adjustable strap and two extra mesh pockets for storing extra gear and the treasures found on a hike.

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6. Nerf N-Force Sword

Nerf N-Force sword
En garde! Let kids battle it out with these realistic-looking, yet safe swords from Nerf. While not every family is in favor of weapons play, boys love it, and it can be a necessary outlet for strong or aggressive feelings. Make it safer, and encourage activity, with foam swords like these.
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7. Green Toys Ecosaucer

Green Toys Ecosaucer
Green Toys

Not your average flying disc, Green Toys’ Ecosaucer is made in the USA from recycled plastic milk containers. What better way to appreciate and enjoy outdoor play than with an Earth-friendly toy! Try Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, or a simple game of catch. Green Toys also makes sweet jump ropes (compare prices) and sand toys (compare prices).

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8. Marshmallow Fun Marshmallow Archery Set

Marshmallow Fun Bow and Mallow archery set
Marshmallow Fun Company
No arrows here: This bow fires only soft, squishy marshmallows. Its range is an amazing 30 feet and it can hold up to 25 marshmallows for non-stop action. Great for campouts—but bring an extra bag of marshmallows for the s'mores.
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9. Ogosport Copter Darts

Ogosport Copter Darts outdoor toy
Unlike those terrifying lawn darts of yesteryear, these foam darts are safe enough for young children to use. Plus, their winged design creates a spinning motion that slows the dart's descent and guarantees that it'll land in an upright position. Whether it lands in the target is up to the player! (Fun fact: The "ogo" in this company's name stands for "oh go outside.")
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10. Djubi Catching Game

Djubi catch game
Djubi (pronounced joo-bee) features unique racquets and a distinctive ball called the djubi. To play, place the ball's rubber loop over the launch hook in the racquet, pull back and aim. The djubi will fly through the air at varying degrees of speed, distance, and height, depending on the launch trajectory. Use the racquet's deep pocket to catch the ball, then fling it again (and again, and again).
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11. Step2 Skyward Summit Climber

Step2 Skyward Summit climber outdoor toy
Bring the mountain to your backyard with this clever climber that looks like a real rock wall. The Skyward Summit is 80 inches tall and its four surfaces (each with a different challenge) give your children over 100 square feet of climbing area.
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12. Xtreme Sky Slasherz

Xtreme Sky Slasherz boomerang toy
Little Kids, Inc.
When is a boomerang not a boomerang? Sky Slasherz are pocket-sized boomerangs without the distinctive V-shape of traditional boomerangs. Kids (ages 6 and up) can throw them solo or play catch with a friend. Sky Slasherz can go around, over, and under all kinds of obstacles for a fun twist on tossing a ball around.
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