1. An ice cream chalk set by Melissa & Doug — if you want your kids drawing on the sidewalk instead of all over your walls this summer, you're gonna want this chalk lickety-split!
Promising review: "What a awesome gift for a kid! I bought this for my 3-year-old daughter's Easter basket. We were out of chalk and looking for something fun. All three of my daughters (ages 3, 5, 11) loved these and played 'ice cream shop' outside for almost three hours. And then off and on the next few days. Some broke after being dropped but that didn’t bug my kids, they ground them up and made chalk paint. We will be buying again to give as gifts to friends for birthdays." —Reil07
Get it from Amazon for $17.90.
2. A mud kitchen, the current hit trend in open-ended play, for little chefs who would happily spend *hours* preparing literal mud pies for those lucky enough to spend time at their exclusive restaurant.
3. A 12-pack of acrylic paint pens sure to add a little spice to your "go outside and gather rocks'' idea when your kids tell you they're bored for the...457th time.
4. Flickin' Chicken might be the next big thing in Olympic competitions, and certainly the biggest hit in your own backyard! This ridiculously silly game is safe for all ages and may even make grandpa laugh! That is, if he's not to ~chicken~ to play.
This game includes four rubber chickens, a tracking sheet, and a disc. To play, toss the disc and then see who can get their chicken closest to it. Players are also encouraged to break off from the rules and create their own!
Promising review: "Our grandkids and family have had lots of fun with this game." —Joe Mama
Get it from Amazon for $19.68.
5. A glow-in-the-dark capture the flag so you and your kids can safely have fun outside on perfectly cool summer nights. This game can accommodate two teams of five and is great for all ages, so go ahead...get the neighbors in on the fun!
This set includes 10 premium team bracelets (5 RED, 5 BLUE), three amber color territory markers, two flag cubes, two jail markers, and one premium storage bucket.
Promising review: "I bought this for our kids to enjoy with their friends...well we adults have had a blast playing with them. The kids love it! The adults love it! This adds another layer of fun to the old fashioned favorite! My kids are begging me to buy another set so they can have all their friends over for a massive neighborhood game of capture the flag." —MMcB
Get it from Amazon for $39.99.
6. A jumbo four-to-score game for encouraging your kids to play outside for half a second, even if they aren't the sporty sort. Giant strategy games FTW!
Promising review: "This is equally loved by kids and adults. Playing the table top version is boring (to me) but I love this oversized version! If you have the space for it buy it! When computer time is over this is the first thing my kids want to play. I was a reluctant buyer because I wasn't sure it would keep their interest and was afraid it would take up too much space. But we are still playing it over a month later and it easily slides out of the way. Looking forward to when we can again use it during back yard barbecues with friends." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $161.21+ (available in 12 color combos).
7. A croquet set that'll be loved by folks who *love* classic yard games. If your kids watch Alice and Wonderland on repeat, get them a real life croquet set and you can all play outside after screen time is over!
This set includes six 28" Burlywood hardwood handles, six 8" hardwood mallets with caps for added protection, two 18" hardwood ending stakes, six 2.8" weather-resistant molded balls, nine steel wickets with vinyl coating, and a nice bag to carry it all in.
Promising review: "This croquet set is artfully made and really such a steal for the money you will pay! The sticks and mallets are all made out of durable hard wood and the mallets have a rubber sleeve that goes on each end to help protect the mallet from damage overtime. The balls are on the heavier side, as they should be. They are resistant to weather, so no need to pick them up if you didn't finish your game, same with the wickets. All of this comes in a nice carrying case that can actually handle the weight of the set itself! The colors are vibrant so there will be no question which ball is yours and genuinely I do not feel like they will fade or lose their quality. I would absolutely buy this again!" —Dido
Get it from Amazon for $44.99+ (available in two colors).
8. A water slide (with a bodyboard!) sure to be a ton of fun to throw out at the hight of heat season. ~Water~ you waiting for?! Get it before it's gone. It's sure to be a splash hit!
Promising review: "We played slip and slide kick ball with a group of teenagers by using four of these. The expectation was that they may get popped or damaged, but they looked nearly new even after our wild game. They were long enough to make a great in-field and the red monsters on the end made clear bases." —M Mac
Get it from Amazon for $19.99.
9. A kids' bow and arrow for families who love the idea of shooting arrows...so long as they are as soft as a pillow fight.
10. A WowWee Nerf Super Soaker RoboBlaster that'll take any water battle to the next level. That'll count as their shower for the day, right?
Promising review: "This water blaster connects to your garden hose — and then it's so much fun for the kids. We've had some recent hot days, and my son and his friends have entertained themselves for hours outside with this SuperSoaker blaster. It comes with some targets to aim at — but the kids like spraying each other." —Kevinbeijing
Promising review: "Summer fun game changer. My son and his cousins absolutely love this! They had so much fun when we set this up! It was easy to set up and brought so many smiles to their faces!! If you don’t have this, I highly recommend you order it for summer fun!!" —Mary Kate Matthews
Get it from Amazon for $29.99+ (available in two styles).
11. A toss and catch ball set sure to bring back memories of playing with a similar set as a child. Now you can pass on the fun (and the ball) to your kids!
The set includes two Velcro paddles, two balls, and a storage bag.
Promising review: "My 5-year-old granddaughter loves playing catch with me. She is able to easily develop great eye-hand coordination with this toy. Great for indoors or outdoors." —Barbara Smith
Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in 10 colors).
12. Twister Splash for fun-loving families who are more than happy to slip, slide, and laugh their way through a super-sprinkler version of this classic game.
The game comes with an inflatable splash mat, hose connector, waterproof spinner, and gameplay instructions.
Promising review: "Fun for all ages. Such a fun twist on an already loved game! This kept my 4- and 7-year-olds' attention for a while! Each spot you put your hand on sprays water, whoever stays up the longest wins! Even the adults had to try it out. I was a little nervous with the quality of the plastic, but it withheld adults and kids moving all round it without any holes." —Deborah Gaffney
Get it from Amazon for $13.98+ (available in two sizes).
13. A mini golf set to make your very own mini golf course as hard or easy as you'd like! Change up the positions to keep things interesting far longer than you're children's attention span usually lasts.
Set comes with nine holes, four golf balls, and a dry erase scorecard. To play at night like the reviewers above, grab some light up golf balls. And don't forget clubs!
Promising review: "We tried to set it up in the grass, and that's not really ideal but on a patio or down a hall — it's so much better. The silicone molding is so light-weight and the little flag centers are marvelous to make you feel like you are more than a new learner! The set is complete with four foam balls and a score board that you use a dry-erase marker on. GREAT to use only a few of the pieces for a short game for kiddos or the entire set for a more competitive experience." —Momakookie
Get it from Amazon for $29.74.
14. Banzai Bump N' Bounce Body Bumpers for kids who like playing rough and parents who would like them covered in bubble wrap 24/7.
I'm gonna go ahead and recommend wearing helmets too — gotta watch out for those noggins!
Promising review: "Absolutely hilarious to watch! I got these for my kids (7 & 8) because I thought it would be a perfect way to blow off steam and get out some energy... It was great! They ran at each other pretty hard, but it didn't pop and no one got hurt! If your kids do a lot of bickering like mine do, get these!" —Sky Moran
Get it from Amazon for $19.99.
15. A giant bubble kit with a two-handle wand that'll help your kids make eye-bogglingly big bubbles!
The kit comes with the giant bubble wand, two pouches of bubble concentrate, and a booklet to help you become a skilled bubble creator!
Promising review: "Love this!! Easy for kids to use — my six-year-old son figured it out pretty quick — and fun for adults as well (my husband and I might have played with it as much as our son did...) Makes amazing bubbles. The bubble mix it comes with is fantastic." —Thomas Durant
Get it from Amazon for $15.95+ (available in six styles).