The school year will be ending soon, and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be looking for ways to keep your kids busy during the long, hot days of June, July and August. Make play time fresh with a few new toys perfect for summer. From American Ninja Warrior water play to an adorable garden station, see our editor’s picks for the best products to add to your outdoor play rotation below.
Character Goggles from Daph Daph
Not only do these goggles come in fun characters like a T-Rex, a unicorn and a flamingo, but the patented side bungee band and neoprene fabric front means they’ll stay put. The eye mask has UV protection, and you can have each pair personalized, which will cut down on that pesky lost pool gear problem.
Buy a pair at daph-daph.com, $25.
Elmo's Wagon from Green Toys
We love this new wagon from Green Toys! Perfect for outdoor toddler play, Elmo can be spotted on all the hubcaps and on the sides of the wagon. It’s got a cotton rope handle, which is perfect for small hands, and as always, it’s made in the USA with 100% recycled plastic.
Ages: 18 months & up.
Available at greentoys.com, $24.99.
American Ninja Warrior 4-in-1 Water Obstacles set
Your little ninjas can compete all summer long with this unique water play set that offers four ways to play. Set it up like a sprinkler obstacle course on the lawn, use it in the pool as a diving hoop and more.
Ages: 3 & up
Available at fatbraintoys.com, $36.95.
Greenville Gardening Station from KidKraft
It’s a mud kitchen out of every kid’s dream! This new gardening station from KidKraft comes with accessories like a spade, mini-rake and planters that’ll introduce the wonders of gardening and working with plants to the youngest green thumbs in your family. There's also a sink and two levels of shelving below for storing treasures.
Ages 3 & up.
Available at target.com, $149.99.
Mason’s Planets Sidewalk Chalk from Twee Made
Your kids will stand out of the street chalk crows this summer. Made with eco-friendly glitter, the set of nine chalk shaped like the planets in our solar system is unique and colorful. Plus, $2 of every set sold goes to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to support Autism research.
Available at etsy.com/tweemade, $39.
Double Juggle Game from Yulu
With its bounce technology, this new game from Yulu will be a fun addition to your picnic or beach bag. Kids can practice tricks, or play with a friend for more fun. The double-sided paddle can be disconnected to create two separate paddles and comes with a soft ball.
Ages: 6 & up.
Available at dickssportinggoods.com, $14.99.
Candi Girl Lucy Skates by Roller Derby
Get the vintage vibe of classic roller skates with the modern tech of adjustable sizing. These new skates from Roller Derby can be adjusted to fit kids for up to four sizes (Small 12J to 2 or Medium 3 to 6. Fully lined, with good ankle support, your roller star will be comfy when she hits the pavement this summer. And, if you need headgear to match, Nut Case offers helmets in fun prints like watermelon, buggy and berry sweet.
Available at amazon.com, $49.99 & up.
Toy Story Dive Toys
Just in time for Toy Story 4 to hit the theaters are these fun dive toys. Kids can take Buzz, Woody and Bo Peep to the pool and let the fun continue at home during pretend play time.
Available at target.com, $9.99.
Ice Cream Shop Sand Bucket
This adorable sand bucket from Playmobil can cart sand from one spot to another, or become an ice cream shop for the figurines that come with the set. It also comes with a scoop, a waffle cone mold, an ice cream mold and a sieve. For easy storage, all the pieces can be stashed in the bucket when play time is over.
Ages: 2 & up.
Available at amazon.com, $20.99.
Whirly Water Toy from Edushape
For your tiniest pool-goers, this summer is the new water spinner from Edushape. Little hands can scoop water over and over again to watch the spinner and spiral move about. Perfect for hand-eye coordination, small motor skills development, you can even transfer this one to the tub when summer is over!
Ages: 12 months & up.
Available at amazon.com, $9.99.
Pink Elephant Sprinkler
This inflatable pink elephant stands over seven feet tall, so it creates a shower-like sprinkler for kids, perfect for backyards. Plus, it’s easy to set up because it connects to regular water hoses. Just hook it up and turn the water on. Don’t want an elephant? You can also choose from a unicorn, dinosaur or monster.
Order one at amazon.com, $46.99.
50th Anniversary Butterfly Farm from Insect Lore
In honor of its 50th Anniversary, Insect Lore has released a re-designed Butterfly Farm. The kit comes with a pop-up habitat that makes it easy for kids to watch the caterpillar's transformation, an easy-to-read guide on the four stages of metamorphosis and voucher for a five-pack of live caterpillars. A perfect way to keep the kids outside this summer.
Ages: 4 & up.
Available at insectlore.com, $34.99.
OceanBound Tide Pool Set
Keep plastic out of our oceans, while bringing play time to little explorers. This tide pool set from Green toys comes with seven pieces, including a starfish, abalone, jellyfish, scallop and more. You can use at the beach, in the backyard or even in the bath when summer is over. And, the best part? The pieces are made with 100% recycled OceanBound Plastic, material that is upcycled instead of being at risk of ending up along coastlines across the globe.
Ages: 6 months & up.
Available at amazon.com, $18.95.
Light-Up Ice Hoop
Not only does the unique shape of this hoop makes it easier for kids to use, but the LED lights mean that you’ll be in for a summer full of light shows.
Ages: 5 & up.
Available nationwide at Party City, $9.99
Glove a Bubbles
This one-of-a-kind bubble wand is perfect for summer afternoons. Choose between a bunny, a lion, dinosaur, elephant and several other animals. Simply pour one of two packets of bubble solution into the pouch, then dip the glove and wave away. The pouch is re-fillable and re-sealable.
Ages: 3 & up.
Available at mastermindtoys.com, $3.99 each.
Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag
The classic summer outdoor game with an added twist! Star Lux Games has added a twist to the classic summer game. This new kit comes with 25 light-up game pieces for up to 10 players (for the traditional version of the game), plus, the instructions for 12 other ways to play, which includes four to 20 players.
Ages 8 & up.
Available at amazon.com, $59.90.
— Gabby Cullen
All images courtesy retailers.
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, all items were available for purchase.