Summer has arrived! And this year is unique in that it has forced families to slow down, stay home and find more creative ways to play in our own backyard.
We put together a list of some of the best outdoor toys - according to the experts (parents & kids!), to help your family explore, move and learn through play this summer and beyond!
Why parents like it: "Durable, safe, encourages them to explore!"
What the kids love about it: "The case is cool because it can connect to my pants, and I like having something to help me see far just like my Dad!"
Why parents like it: "It keeps them busy for longer than 10 minutes, it's durable and a great price!"
What the kids love about it: "It does tricks, it's fun and it's something I can do on my own!"
Why parents like it: "This sand toy is so unique! This one helps them learn trial and error, encourages creativity and won't break (or break the bank!)"
What the kids love about it: "Who wouldn't want to be able to write messages in the sand!"
Why parents like it: "Finally, something my kids can use to catch bugs besides my household Tupperware or mason jars!"
What the kids love about it: "The magnifying glass makes the bugs look SO BIG!"
Why parents like it: "Durable, telescoping handle. Helps them explore without getting too dirty!"
What the kids love about it: "This thing helps us catch the COOLEST insects AND also reach things in the water!"
Why parents like it: Versatile, durable, easy to store
What the kids love about it: Fun for digging, sifting and transporting sand and water on the beach for sand castle building!
Why parents like it: "Keeps my kids busy, this project was a great way to get them off their screens and excited to play in nature!"
What the kids love about it: "We got to make our very own boat that REALLY floats and that's SO cool!"
Age: 18 months+
Why parents like it: "Strong, this thing won't break, and the bright red makes it easy to spot on the beach when it's time to clean up!"
What the kids love about it: "The big scoop helps me dig SOOO much sand!"
Why parents like it: "What's not to love about a dino skull that attaches to your hand? My kids love this thing - it's hands down the most popular toy in the sand box!"
What the kids love about it: "Burying this and then digging it up over and over is SO cool! I also like to make it talk!"
Why parents like it: "These are toys you can also actually use in the kitchen for real food. Because of this I know they're safe. Plus they can be easily washed in dishwasher"
What the kids love about it: "We love using this set for our pretend ice cream stand. Sometime Mom even lets us use real ice cream in them!"
Why parents like it: "It's such a basic mechanism that can teach kids so much! It's often the most plain-looking toys that kids find the most entertainment in. This set is the absolute most accurate definition of learning through play!"
What the kids love about it: "We love hooking it up to our treehouse and using the pulley to bring things up and down. It's cool to have our own rope and clips to do whatever we want with too!"
Why parents like it: "We've never seen any kind of toy like this - it's so open-ended and creative! I do need to assist my kids quite a bit with this, but I'm impressed with their creativity and ingenuity with this set. Plus it has made our nature hikes a lot more interesting (and productive!)
What the kids love about it: "We love being able to make robots and stuff out of sticks and wood using this set! My Mom and Dad helped me make the COOLEST invention! I can't wait to make more! We love going into the woods and finding things to use. It's fun to think all we have to do is go outside for the piece I need instead of having to buy more materials!"