10 Best Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds



Dec 18, 2021

I am an outdoor person and I love my kids to be outside as much as possible with me, regardless of the season. To facilitate outdoor play I gathered my 10 top outdoor toys for one year olds.

outdoor one year old in swimming pool
My outdoor loving 1 year old!

These outdoor toys for one year olds got plenty of play with my three kids. The best part is once your child turns two interest doesn't dwindle for the toys. Several got many more years of play beyond one year olds.

But more curious about great 2 year old toys: read Best Outdoor Toys for 2 Year Olds!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mommas.

What are the Best Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds?

One year olds are explores. They are trying to understand the world around them and their place in it. The best toys are ones to help them discover the world more; whether that is through water play or on a wheels.

best simple outdoor toys for one year olds is shovels and buckets
Simple Outdoor Toy: Shovel and Buckets

Pretend play will start to become a bigger part of a 1 year old's play. Toys that enable pretend play will not only be enjoyed by a one year old, but also throughout their toddler stage.

All 10 of my best outdoor toys for one year olds can be suitable for either a boy or girl.

What Can I Do Outside with my 1 year old?

Lots! As long as you dress your one year old appropriately nature will be your best friend. There are several simple backyard activities or you can adventure further.

Some of my favorite activities to do outside with my 1 year old are:

  • Go to a play park
  • Play in the leaves
  • Outdoor kitchen play
  • Go on a walk
  • Explore the garden
  • Swing
  • Visit the local farm/zoo

Rainy wether doesn't mean stay indoors, given the right toddler rain gear rainy days provide lots of excitement and learning opportunities for a 1 year old.

How Much Time Should a One Year Old Spend Outside?

There are no hard and fast rules. In more recent years the 1000 hours outside goal has become popular. An expert suggest children should spend 4-6 hours outside. If that sounds too extreme for you take it as a grain of salt.

toddlers spending time outside
My toddlers enjoying the fresh cold air

Benefits for a child spending time in nature is endless. It is great for their physical and mental development. It helps a child learn to cope with stress in a healthy manner and also a best place for a child's imagination to develop.

My goal with my kids was to spend as much time outside as we can as long as we were enjoying ourselves. The key was great rain gear and snow gear for toddlers.

What To Look For in a Great Outdoor Toy for One Year Olds?

A great outdoor toy is one that your child won't outgrow too soon. The last thing you want is to spend money on a toy and find out in 2 months your child has outgrown in.

Outdoor toys that last are built well and are robust. One year olds don't understand the meaning of gentle and can be found throwing toys or smashing them together.

Toys that are interactive have shorter life spans. There are more ways for the toy to be broken or if left in the rain the batteries fried. Also toys that are interactive normally have less ways to play. A non interactive toy will allow a child to imagine many different ways for the toy to be used as the child grows.

Best Outdoor Climbing Frame for One Year Olds

A one year old's motor development is happening at lightening speed. A great outdoor gift for 1 year old is a simple climbing frame they can navigate.

You can also get a simple slide, but I personally use and recommend the Step2 Naturally Playful Lookout Treehouse.

The treehouse has everything a simple first slide has but also a landing platform. Here your baby can look out and spend time playing before tacking the slide.

1 year old daughter on step2 naturally playful lookout treehouse
My daughter loves to look out!

My 14 month daughter loves to hang out on the landing watching her brothers. Sometimes I think she likes the landing better than the slide!

Best Ride on Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds

Ride on Toys are favorites for one year olds. Getting around can still be challenging and toys that enable movement are favored.

Outdoor Balance Bike

Age Enjoyed: Newly walking till 2 years old

ride on bike for 1 year old outdoor toys

This ride-on balance bike has been the biggest hit at my house. I couldn’t wait to get my children introduced to bikes, since biking has had such a positive impact on my own life.

This has been my kids first bike. I introduce the balance bike once my one year old learns to walk.

My second child used this every day! He took it on our morning walk and had to drag him off of it.

The bike is small enough that if your one year old runs out of stream on a walk you can easily carry it or place it in the bottom of a stroller.

For my full guide on Bikes for toddlers read Best Bikes for Toddlers.

Up and Down Outdoor Roller-coaster

Age Recommended: Young to Older Toddler

best outdoor toy for one year olds: rollercoaster

1 year olds will love this ride-on toy. What can be better than a **mini roller coaste**r that they can ride down? Your little one will learn how to push the coaster back up the ramp and go down again and again!

Once your toddler has his/her fill riding the ride he/she might try walking/running down the coaster track or pushing their trucks down the ramp. My older toddler will ride his balance bike down the track.

When my second son just turned one he loved to use the coaster as an outside walker. He would walk up and down our back yard with it and even try escaping our property!

Plan on having a 1, 2, or 3 year old birthday party? This toy will be a big attraction for the toddlers attending. You just have to teach them to share!

Best Push Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds

Push toys are classic one year old outdoor toys. A one year old can still be unsteady on their feet and a push toy is a great way to improve a toddlers balance and help them get around outside.

Outdoor Push lawn mower

Age Enjoyed: Young toddler

1 year old outdoor toy lawn mower

A push lawn mower is the iconic one year old outdoor toy. Once a baby starts pushing up to stand they can use a push lawn mower to help them walk.

This outdoor toy is another great toy to take on walks around the neighborhood. When not used on walks my kids would use it to walk around the yard!

There are many different types to buy; ones that pop, blow bubbles or are shaped like animals. Bubbles are great, but require refilling often. I prefer a popping lawn mower as it provides entertainment as your toddler pushes it without me rushing to fill it with bubbles all the time.

Large Outdoor Push Trucks

Age Enjoyed: Older Baby to Young Child

Green toy trucks for 1 year old

Green Toy Trucks. are perfect one year old outdoor toys. They are made from 100% recyclable material in the USA. The trucks are durable and strong and come in many different iterations; dump truck, recycling truck, fire truck, flat truck and so many more.

Green Toy Trucks come in different color options, many in girl colors as well! Nothing is better than having a great toy from a company that cares about the environment.

Trucks can be used to push around outside, in sand pits, at the garden or at the beach. My toddlers often will push them down the slide or stack mini cars in the bed of the trucks. Imagination play with these trucks are endless.

We mainly use them outside, but the trucks can be brought inside. I personally them these trucks on all road trips with my toddlers.

Best Water Play Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds

One Year olds are drawn to water. Whether it be in a puddle, bathtub or pool toddler love to play in water. Letting a one year old explore with water outside is brilliant. You don't want puddles inside.

Outdoor Water Table For One year Olds

Age Enjoyed: Young Toddler to Older Toddler

outdoor water table for 1 year old

Water tables are great. What 1 year old isn’t fascinated by water? On a nice summer day fill up a water table and sit back and watch your toddler explore it.

Water tables come with different features, a water slide, rainfall, or maybe different cogs for the water to flow through. Ducks are a common play item to pair with water tables as are toddler water cups.

When the weather changes and water is not appropriate you can store the water table till next summer or convert to a sand table/dirt table. One year olds love to get messy and experience different textures, just be prepared that after a good play a bath might be in order.  

Outdoor Toddler Pool

Age Recommended: Young Toddler to Child

outdoor inflatable pool for 1 year old
My 1 and 3 year old in their outdoor pool

Summer is not complete without some pool time. Toddlers can often be afraid of large bodies of water such as a large community pool, but might find an inflatable pool in the backyard a great introduction.

Even if you go to a large community pool a small pool in the backyard could be smart. Getting toddlers out the door is not always an easy task and some one year olds scared of big pools.

The key to inflatable outdoor pools is to have a goo****d pump to make set up fast and easy. Fill the pool to your 1 year old’s comfort. At the beginning your toddler might only feel comfortable with a tiny bit of water and over time adjust to a deeper pool.

Inflatable pools cost more than most of the above outdoor toys, however can last many years and occupy many toddlers at once. 

During the off season you can convert the pool to a ball pit or store again till next year.

Best Simple Outdoor Toys for One Year Olds:

Toys don't have to cost a lot to be enjoyed. A One Year Old doesn't understand money and there are plenty of simple outdoor toys a one year old will love.


Age Recommended: Baby to Kid

Bubbles excite everyone! Imagine being a young toddler and standing outside and watching bubbles drift right by you, you are going to be curious what they are.

Toddlers love chasing bubbles and trying to make them pop. My toddlers will shriek in delight at bubbles and often clap and dance as we play.

Bubbles are cheap and a great thing for a mom of a 1 year old to have. I would suggest playing some music outside and blowing some bubbles with your little one. Don’t be surprised if your neighbor's kids drop by!

If you are hosting a party or really love bubbles you can think about a bubble machine. A bubble machine can entertain many children at once!

Bucket and Shovel

Age Enjoyed: Young toddler to older child

best outdoor toys for one year old bucket and shovel
Bucket and Shovels make great beach toys

Buckets and Shovels are a tried and tested toy. It can be used for many different purposes, digging in the garden, playing in the sand, transportation of toys or scooping water.

Toys do not have to be fancy for toddlers to enjoy, simple toys are often the best; it allows them to use their imagination to find new ways to play.

Bucket and Shovel are very important beach toys, but can be utilized all year long. My boys love to bring their buckets and shovels and help in the garden, collect rainwater, or walk around and collect rocks. 

I personally like the larger shovels with a wooden handle. The construction means it will last longer and can also be used by me, momma, to help them make sand castles!

Outdoor Chalk

Age Enjoyed: Young Toddler and Up

chalk outdoor toy for 1 year olds

Chalk is a classic toddler toy that I remember playing with as a kid. Your toddler will love it just as you did! The cost is minimal and unleashes your toddler's imagination. When my toddlers aren't drawing they often like to rearrange chalk in buckets or sort the chalk.

The only thing required is a driveway or quiet street to draw on. When your toddler is young, closer to 1, you should show him/her how the chalk works and see what they do.

I recommend buying chalk in a plastic container with a lid and handle. Cardboard is great, but a toddler can easily destroy the structure of the cardboard box making it difficult to put the chalk back in. Plastic container will last longer with toddlers.

Best Pretend Outdoor Toy for One Year Olds

Outdoor Play Kitchen

Age Recommended: Young Toddler to Child

outdoor play kitchen for 1 year old

A young toddler's job is to discover the world. They often learn through imitation and every child spend time watching their parents cook in the kitchen.

An outdoor kitchen is the perfect pretend outdoor toy.  There are lots of different products to buy, or like me you could build your own from wood or old cabinets. I suggest a kitchen with a storage area for food, a sink and an oven.

To accompany the play kitchen buy some play food and plates. All the different food will increase your toddlers vocabulary.

As your toddler gets older play will turn more into imaginative play and the kitchen will be a great asset. You can add features like a serving hatch or a telephone and sit back and watch your toddler play. Or sit down and be their customer.

I personally like having the play kitchen as an outside toy rather than an inside toy. I want to encourage my kids to spend more time outside and feel the allure of the kitchen outside allows for longer play sections outdoors.

Hope you found my post helpful on the top 10 outdoor toys for one year olds!