Outdoor Toys For 2 Year Olds {Minimalist & Budget-Friendly}

Choosing outdoor toys for 2 year olds can easily get overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here I will share with you, our favorite outside and backyard toys your 2 year old will truly LOVE and play with all summer long.

These are real world toys or better to say toys, tools and materials that support active outdoor play, nature discovery and exploration, gross motor and fine motor development of young toddlers.

They are NOT one and done toys.

They are NOT consumerism, which means most of them, I consider to be toddler must-haves.

They will serve your little one(s) for years.

In reality, some of them can be even DIY-ed.

Of course, I will also include outdoor toys that are pure fun and not essential but they are awesome to have if you have some extra budget and big outdoor space.

All of these toys we either own, gifted or have on our wish list.

Let’s start by saying that if you’re looking for outdoor toys for your 2 year old or soon-to-be 2-year old I strongly suggest you first check out 16 Best Outdoor Toys For 1 Year Olds to make sure you’re not missing the ‘essentials’ that your toddler will love.

Because ALL of them are going STRONG in our backyard. Probably, my 25 month old is enjoying and playing with them more than last year.

I also see that his older friends are enjoying them too.

best outdoor toys for 2 year olds

Best Outdoor Toys For 2 Year Olds

These outdoor toys are best to be introduced after your child’s second birthdays or just a few months before that and of course your little one will use them for a least a couple of years.

5 Must-Have Outdoor Toys for 2 Year Olds {Minimalist List}


You wouldn’t believe in how many different ways your 2 year old will use it.

Besides transporting stuff and racing with it around (which in and of itself is super fun) a wheel barrow can be turned into a sink filled with water, a tiny mud-kitchen on the wheels, not to mention that your toddler with LOVE being carried around in it.

If you’re familiar with Montessori this is an awesome Practical Life tool to help in the garden and not only in the summer.

Camera Bubble Machine

If I said my son loves his little bubble camera, it would be such an underestimate. He absolutely ADORES it! 

I bought it as a present for his 2-nd birthday and it  was the cheapest, yet most appreciated gift.

It’s very simple but blows so many bubbles! There are other similar versions available with light and sound effects like this one.

We are having such a blast taking pictures (blowing bubbles), chasing them, eaten them (pretending) and of course popping them.
I also appreciate how my 2 year old can play with it independently and quietly for so long.

A.Must. Have. 

Basketball Set

Probably the best budget sports toy you can have in your backyard in summer and during winter time in your hallway.

Kids have an eternal love for balls so when you combine it with a basketball hoop and you’ll have their dreams come true. It’s an amazing toy that sibling share easily PLUS one of few toys dad’s enjoy playing with kids too LOL.

Activity Cones

It might be not the most attractive toy, but trust me, your toddlers and preschoolers with absolutely love it. Along with wheelbarrow it’s a truly open-ended toys you can play with in so many different ways and incorporate learning in play naturally and easily.

There are 2 of each color so you can mix them up, find, and count, build obsticle courses for running, jumping, crawling, even riding a bike through it, balance bike I mean, More about this below.

Being 2 of each color you pair the cones together and count by 2s, set them apart, play hide and seek, “can you find the red cone?”, “how many cones do you have now?”, “ touch the orange one with your right foot”, “touch the yellow with your left hand (pinky, elbow etc), you get the idea. My 2 year old also loves tacking them up and filling them with water 😀

Washable Sidewalk Chalks

Sidewalk chalks is an essential art tool for kids of all ages. No need to go in details many different ways you can use it. Pick a small set of 20 (7 colors) or a 60 count set for a big party.

Get special effects with this Neon Sidewalk Chalk or Glitter Chalk and even Tie Die Chalk!

Outdoor Water Toys For 2 Year Olds & Up

Backyard Water Sprinkler

Backyard is not complete without a nice, easy-to-use fun water sprinkler. This one has a super easy assembly, cute turtle design kids will love and it doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg!

Waterfall Discovery Wall

This double-sided outdoor water play set by Step2 come with 13-piece water accessory set which you can assemble in multiple ways. Then you simple scoop up water from the bottom basin and pour it into the top to start the water maze fun. If your toddler loves water play with will be a huge hit.

I also highly recommend checking 6 Amazing Benefits Of Water Play For Children Of All Ages

3 in 1 Inflatable Splash Pad, Sprinkler Pool

If you want to take a simple water sprinkler to the next level this one gets the highest vote. 

  • Cute elephant design
  • Perfect size – large enough for siblings to play. I also love that it’s deeper than a regular splash pad so it can definitely be used as a kiddie pool!
  • thick, durable non-toxic materials
  • A reasonable price under $30 makes it pretty much unbeatable.

Inflatable Play Center / Backyard Waterpark

For a fancier full-sized water park with kiddie pool, slide, fountain arch, ball roller that won’t break your bank this one couldn’t be better. It’s a great size for sibling play too.

For all water play activities I highly recommend getting Aqua Socks or non-slip water shoes.

Dump Trucks For Outdoors

John Deere 15″ Big Scoop Dump Truck with Sand Tools

Boys will appreciate this big dump truck that they can use outdoors all summer long. It’s perfect for sandbox, playing in the mud and you can take to the beach too.
I’ve also seen someone used it as a serving dish for snacks at construction themed party. Definitely took a note of that 😉

Cat Dump Truck

Classics that is never out of fashion for a very reasonable price.

Balance Beams & Stepping Stones

Step-a-Trail – 6 Piece Obstacle Course for Kids

This an amazing outdoor toy that is PERFECT for gross motor development, balancing and coordination skills. Best part is that 6 pieces are stackable which make them easy to store and you can use this obstacle course even inside during cold seasons!

Interlocking Balance Beams

This one is another alternative to the set above. You’ll appreciate easy storage, indoor and outdoor use, variable piece heights for increased challenge. 

11-Piece Stepping Stones

Another amazing outdoor and indoor gross motor toy. But I also invite you to look at it beyond it’s most obvious use.

Think you can use these stepping stones to build an obstacle course, different balancing activities, counting, color identification, and multi step directions.

Classic Outdoor Toys and Equipment


Little Tikes 2 -in- 1 Snug ‘n Secure Grow With Me Swing

Backyard wouldn’t be complete without these classic outdoor toys.


Little Tikes Toddler Slide


Little Tikes Easy Store 3′ Trampoline

Mud Kitchens

There are so many options available on the market but I find that making your own mud kitchen for kids is best, even if you’re not crafty at all! Check these 12 simple and functional DIY Mud Kitchen Ideas for inspiration.

Nice To Have Extras

Backyard Climb Caterpillar Tunnel (highly recommended!)

This adorable caterpillar backyard tunnel is one of the pricey extras among all the backyard toys, but boy, it’s worth EVERY penny.
What I love about it is that it’s 100% child powered (unlike many other expensive toys in the same price range).

Kids can use it in many different ways to burn their energy and practice gross motor skills like climbing, crawling, sliding, jumping, sitting on top.

It’s made of sturdy, durable plastics but at the same time very easy to assemble and move around. It’s big enough for a group of kids to play on but it’s also compact enough so that after summer is over you can easily move it indoors.

For the outdoor space just make sure it’s placed on level ground.

Kid’s Roller Coaster

This Thomas the Tank Engine Up and Down Roller Coaster is an adorable fun toys kids absolutely adore. You do need some extra space for it in the backyard (or at home) to ensure safety. It’s on a pricey end but a lot of time you can catch it on sale with a good discount.

Cottage & Grill Kids Playhouse

Playhouse is one of the cutest and most played backyard toys. With a few extra accessories like pots and cups and playfood this will guarantee endless pretend & imaginative play all summer long.

More budget-friendly version but also super loved and used by kids of all ages is an outdoor play-tent.

Check also: The Best Open Ended Toys {That Grow With The Child}

Bikes & Scooters

PlasmaCar The Original by PlaSmart

Child-operated, no battery required super fun car for 2 year olds and up. You move it by placing your fit on the foot on the footrests and turning the steering wheel. Young toddlers might still not get the idea of moving it that way but they’ll equally have fun scooting around and pushing off with their feet.

Balance Bike

Balance bike tends to be one of the most popular birthday gifts for 2 year olds and for a good reason. It’s the perfect time for toddlers to start practicing skills before they can hold their balance and padal. This balance bike has adjustable hight seat so it’ll be used for many years, most likely until school. Your toddler will have tons of fun ‘“running” on this bike.

For Radio Flyer fans there’s a little bit more expensive but equally good version of this balance bike called Radio Flyer Air Ride Balance Bike.

Picinc / Activity Tables For Outdoors

If did get a picnic/activity table for outdoors it’s definitely the time to start looking for it.

This 3-in-1 Outdoor Wood Activity/Picnic Table with Umbrella and 2 Play Boxes is an amazing all in one solution. 

I also really like Step2 Naturally Playful Kids Picninc Table with Umbrella which also claims to have UVA and UVB protection (who knows) but it’s certainly very easy to care for outside.

But if you don’t have a big budget a simple plastic $20 MAMMUT activity table from IKEA is an excellent choice. You can get matching chairs for it as well.

Now, when you need ideas for backyard toys for a young toddler in your like you have this most extensive and honest list for the best outdoor toys for 2 year olds.

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