Whether you’re indoors or out, these great active play toys get kids moving and keep kids active, all year round and in all weather.
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Kids need to move! Naturally energetic kids need toys that encourage them to move in non-destructive ways. Naturally quiet kids need toys that encourage them to build critical gross motor skills. The products featured in this post appeal to both types of children. This post contains affiliate links. Learn more.
These Great Active Play Toys Get Kids Moving
Indoor Active Toys for Kids
Quadro Construction Kit
I bought a quadro construction kit for my kids when my third child was born. My 1-year-old son was a climber, and he was climbing EVERYTHING! My mom suggested getting something that he was allowed to climb, and we picked this since it works indoors and can be reconfigured again and again. Over 8 years later, it has endured hours of play. We’ve moved it across the country and built, taken down, and built again and again.
Know before you buy: This toy takes quite a bit of time to build and take apart, so you need someone in the family who will enjoy that process. Once built, it is incredibly solid. I bought a lot of platforms and the cloths that come with the kits, but my kids mostly use the kit without platforms, and they use the included fabric panels even more rarely.
The Gorilla Gym was my sanity saver during our four years of condo living. California has great weather, but sometimes I need to cook dinner, and the kids were too young to go to the park on their own. This brilliant toy attaches to an ordinary doorway, although we find it easier to use if you take the door off first.
Over-Door Basketball Hoop
This over-door basketball hoop inspired hours of play in our house! It’s super easy to install; you simply hook it over the top of a standard door.
Outdoor Active Toys
This basketball hoop was one of our very first purchases when we moved into our new home! It’s already booked at least one hundred hours of use during our first two months in this house. Basketball is a great sport that can be played in smaller spaces. Try the Little Tikes TotSports Hoop for younger kids.
A child-friendly sprinkler is my favorite way to get the kids moving on a hot day.
You need a bit more space for wiffle ball, but it’s lightweight and easy to carry. The big balls make this game a great introduction to ball playing for kids.
We bought four of these jump ropes, and they see near-daily use from my kids and other neighborhood children. Jump roping also helps children develop a nice sense of rhythm.
I love that hula hoops allow children to develop core muscles while occupying a relatively small space. My kids also use ours for pretend play – delineating a town, for example.
Our current yard is too small for a swing set, but we loved the Lifetime Swing Set we put up in our yard in Massachusetts. Sturdily built, it held up well through winter weather and was (as far as swing sets are concerned) relatively easy to put together (you will need at least two, possibly three people).
Don’t Forget Parks!
While I’ve focused on active play at home, many towns are home to wonderful playgrounds that kids can love. We love a good spray park in the summertime, and never underestimate the beauty of a wide open field.
Climbing trees and hiking are some of the best gross motor activities out there for kids.