If you have the space and budget, I’d definitely splurge on a big wooden playground set. Alas we live in a Brooklyn apartment. But we are very fortunate to have a nice little backyard of our own, and we’re looking forward to spending a lot of time out there with Charlie this summer. This is our guide to some of the best summer toys for outdoor fun!


1) Mushroom Baby Pool – This sweet little pool is small enough for infants. We’ve purchased a number of blow-up pools and have found that it’s best to keep it small so the water isn’t too cold and the pool doesn’t tear easily.

2) Step2 Naturally Playful Sandbox – This sandbox is the perfect size for two toddlers. We use it as a big sensory box and bury our feet and toys in the sand. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of cats like we do, be sure to always put the lid on the sandbox back on. We forgot once, and the neighborhood cats used it as their litterbox.

3) Green Toys Sand Play Set – Every sandbox needs a bucket and shovel. Charlie calls the shovel and rake in this set our “spoons.”

4) Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse – I’ve been patiently stalking my local parenting listserv for one of these to come up for sale.

5) Step2 Waterwheel Activity Table – Every kid loves playing with water tables. Charlie even sits in this one!

6) Little Tikes Snug ‘n Secure Swing – This easy to install swing is great for infants and toddlers alike.

7) Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Sprinkler – Charlie’s favorite part of hanging out in our backyard is the hose. We hook up one of these sprinklers, and Charlie can play for hours. But you don’t need to buy one to enjoy the water fun — you can diy a sprinkler with a 2 liter plastic bottle!

8) Little Tikes T-ball Set – Charlie has been playing with this since we got it for him when he was 18 months old.

9) Little Tikes Basketball – This has three adjustable heights, and Mr. Bee and I play with it all the time as well!

What are some of your LO’s favorite outdoor summer toys?

Summer Essentials part 3 of 8

1. Toddler Beach Essentials by Mrs. Cowgirl
2. Beach Gear by Mrs. Chocolate
3. Summer Toys by Guides
4. Toddler Pooltime Essentials by Mrs. High Heels
5. Beach Baby: My must-haves by mrs. tictactoe
6. The Pen Family's Summer Wishlist by Mrs. Pen
7. Rashguards for Girls by Mrs. Bee
8. Summer Sun Protection and The Safest Sunscreens for Kids by Mrs. Bee