The Best Backyard Playsets for Toddlers

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Little ones love outdoor play and getting outside, and this list of the best backyard playsets for toddlers is full of fantastic options for helping them develop their motor skills, stimulate their imaginations and create hours of fun at the same time.

Sometimes it can feel like our young children are bouncing off the walls with energy! Toddlers and preschoolers require a lot of stimulation both mentally and physically. Backyard playsets are a wonderful way for your toddlers to not only have a blast, but also get their brains and bodies working.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given as toddler mom was to get my kids outside as much as possible. Not only is it important for our growing children to have fresh air, but playing outside allows them to be much more active and get plenty of physical activity! Outdoor toys (especially outdoor playsets) are a great way to help them have even more fun outside.

From climbing challenging rock walls to navigating slides, using their imagination to slay dragons in a castle and even opportunities for water play, this collection of the best backyard playsets for toddlers are sure to delight your littles day after day.

Another bonus is that when you have an age-appropriate backyard playset at home, you don’t need to stress about spending hours searching for an open (and safe!) park for them to run around in!

With so many backyard playsets for toddlers on the market these days, how can you pick the best one for your own children?

We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive list of the best backyard playsets for toddlers! From jungle gyms to mountain climbers, water tables and playhouses, we’ve gathered the best options here for you!

young child on plastic play set

Note: Some links may be affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you use my links to purchase, at no extra added cost to you! I only recommend products that I personally love and believe in. Full disclaimer here.

The Best Outdoor Playsets for Young Toddlers

When it comes to outdoor play, older babies and young toddlers have different needs. Below are a few of the best options for them that will also continue to grow with your kids as they become older toddlers!

Little Tikes Activity Garden Playset

The Little Tikes Activity Garden Playset is a perfect option for children as young as six months and up. It incorporates fun textures, shapes and colors to help develop motor skills and enhance your little’s cognitive ability.

It also easily transforms into a two-sided open play area! Very young toddlers will love the piano, clicking caterpillar and spinning butterfly.

Recommended Ages: 6 Months to 3 Years

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber

kids playset

This plastic climber comes with a climbing “rock wall” and tunnel to crawl through. The Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber is just the right size for preschoolers and is a great way to work on balance and hand-eye coordination. 

This cute toddler swing is also perfect for a small backyard or indoor space.

Recommended Ages: 12 Months to 4 Years

Little Tikes Wheels on the Bus Climber

Any Little Baby Bum Bum fans? They’ll love this backyard playset! Kids can actually climb into the bus and take it on an imaginary spin. It has a musical dashboard and working gear shift and horn!

The entire Little Tikes’ Wheels on the Bus Climber has a water-resistant design, which is a huge plus if this will be exposed to the elements.

Recommended Ages: 12 Months to 4 Years

Step2 Panda Climber

panda climber

If you’re looking for a more all-in-one activity gym, you’ve found it! This climber features options for crawling, climbing, hiding and sliding!

There’s also a deck where littles can stand and play! With a toddler-sized slide, The Step2 Panda Climber is also supposed to be easy to assemble and made of plastic that is easy to wipe down and clean.

Recommended Ages: 18 Months to 4 Years

Simplay3 Young Explorers Adventure Climber

best outdoor playsets for toddlers

The Simplay3 Young Explores Adventure Climber is such a cool playset with so much to do. Winner of the 2019 Parents’ Choice Award, this playset is made in the USA and features a super durable, double-wall construction that is weather and UV resistant, providing lasting value over the years.

With an extra wide slide that features easy grip siderails, a cool ladder with handles to make climbing extra easy and large open doors and wheels that create tunnels to climb through, your kids will love this!

Recommended Ages: 18 Months to 5 Years

The Best Backyard Playsets for Older Toddlers

The following are some of the best outdoor playsets for older toddlers. These are recommended for children ages 2 and older. While younger kids can absolutely still use them with supervision, they aren’t as young toddler friendly as the ones above.

Little Tikes Rock Climber and Slide

little tikes climber for kids

If you’re searching for a great adventurous outdoor playset that can grow with your children, check out the Little Tikes Rock Climber and Slide! With two sets of climbing holes that are made for both older and younger kids and an adjustable slide, there’s plenty of room for growth.

It also has three crawl-through tunnels, a play telescope and a steering wheel for even more imaginative ways to play. This is also a great option for small yards and small spaces! We actually owned this very same outdoor play set, and my boys loved the foot holes and telescope!

Recommended Age: 2 Years and Up

Step2 All-Star Sports Climber & Slide

The Step2 All Star Sports Climber comes with so many options for toddlers to play! With a climbing ladder, slide, retractable basketball hoops, soccer goal AND football toss, it’s got pretty much everything your little one needs to have fun outside.

Plus, according to reviews it’s easy to assemble as there are only a few large pieces that connect together easily without needing any power tools. It’s also big enough to accommodate your children as they grow.

Recommended Ages: 2 – 6 years

Related Post: The 10 Best Montessori Toys on Amazon

Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber II

This playset is one you should absolutely check out if you are looking for one that can accommodate more than 2 children at a time. With a weight limit of 240 lbs, the Step2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber II is strong enough to safely support up to 4 children at once!

This thing is amazing. With a ladder, wall slide and TWO climbing walls, this outdoor playset also has 2 wheels and an optional sandbox area underneath! This means there are plenty of place for each child to play without having to wait for another sibling or friend to finish their turn first.

Like many Step2 products, this playset is also reported to be pretty easy to set-up too.

Recommended Ages: 2 and up

Step2 Woodland Adventure Playhouse and Slide

This adorable playset with slide uses both wood and plastic for a unique look compared to many of the other options on the market.

The Step2 Woodland Adventure Playhouse has a unique cooktop play area with a kitchen, climbing ramp and even a cool top platform (like a crow’s nest!) to survey your backyard kingdom before you adventure down the 5-foot slide. There’s also a sandbox that can double as a toy storage drawer!

Recommended Age: 3 Years and Up

Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set

plastic swing set for toddlers

The Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set is a durable playset shaped like a tree with a cute, climbable canopy. With two swings and an easy to maneuver set of stairs that lead to a slide, it can easily withstand 3-4 kids playing at once.

It also has hand and footholds molded into the climbable canopy, giving bigger kids a fun challenge. It’s also perfectly sized to be one of the best swing sets for toddlers, too, with toddler-sized swing seats.

Compared to some of the comparable models, the Little Tikes Tree House Swing Set surprisingly costs way less and is also easy to put together.

It’s important to note that this playset is on the taller side, so you’ll need to spend a little time anchoring it securely to the ground for safety. This also means this outdoor playset isn’t one that can be easily moved around.

Recommended Ages: 3 – 10 years

The Best Backyard Extras for Toddlers

While we’ve covered plenty of traditional backyard playsets for toddlers, sometimes you might want to add a few extra accessories to their outdoor play. The items on this list are perfect for extra fun!

Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

This traditional Little Tikes playhouse is a great secondary backyard playset! It features working doors, windows, shutters and even a built-in mail slot and a spot to hold a flag.

Outdoor playhouses provide a great space for hours of pretend fun, and is also easy to customize, too! We actually have this exact playhouse in our own backyard, but an upcycled verions. If you’re curious, be sure to read Create a Plastic Playhouse Makeover! for the full scoop.

Recommended Age: 2 Years and Up

Step2 Spill and Splash Table

toddler water table

If you haven’t discovered the magic of a water table yet, get ready for a treat. This awesome two-sided water and sand table gives your little ones a safe place to play relatively independently while making a mess!

We actually have the Step2 Spill and Splash Water Table and love it! My oldest got it as a first birthday gift, and it’s been a wonderful play area to have in our backyard since then. My toddlers love to build a sandcastle on one side while experimenting with pouring and splashing on the other. With so many fun features, this is perfect to have in your yard for sunny day play.

It even comes with a little umbrella to help keep their skin shaded while they play and is made of UV-resistant plastic! Like any toy involving water, be sure you supervise your children the entire time they are using it.

Recommended Age: 2 Years and Up

Step2 All Around Playtime Patio with Canopy

toddler patio playset

This playset is amazing, especially if your backyard has a ton of direct sunlight. Featuring a removable canopy, a patio grill set and snack table, plus an additional water and sand play area, this playset is one of my favorites on this list.

It’s accessible from both sides, which means there’s tons of room to play with older siblings or friends who come over. It’s also lightweight at only 40 pounds, which makes it easy to move around or even break down and store.

Recommended Ages: 2 – 8 years

The Ultimate Backyard Playsets for Toddlers

If you’re looking to really make your kids (and the neighbors) go WHOOOAAAA, you’ll want to check out the sets on this list. I’ve rounded up some of the most impressive play structures I could find!

Step2 Skyward Summit Playground

Anyone else remember the Nickelodeon kids series “GUTS”?? The Step2 Skyward Summit Climber reminds me so much of it! This backyard playset is perfect for kids who love being active.

This set features four unique climbing wall surfaces and two cargo nets with junior hand grips that help them reach the top while staying safe. It also has a climber platform and an open-air climber peak, which allows your kids to have a space to enjoy reaching the top!

The Step2 Skyward Summit Playground is available in traditional gray (like a mountain) but also can be purchased in a very cool bright multi-colored model, too.

Unlike some of the other outdoor playsets on this list, this one will take some extra time to assemble, but according to reviews is WELL worth it. If you’re looking for a unique backyard play set that your older kids will want to play with down the road, be sure to check this one out!

Recommended Ages: 3 – 8 years

Plum Discovery Nature Play Hideaway

This backyard hideaway is stunning. With a beautiful curved roof design that can easily be decorated with artificial (or even real!) grass, The Plum Discovery Nature Play Hideaway gives me big The Hobbit vibes!

Designed to allow your little one to connect with nature while also giving them plenty of options for imaginative outdoor play, this outdoor playhouse has a prep station, built-in mailbox, a working gutter, wood chimes and so many more extras that your children are sure to love.

Recommended Age: 3 Years and Up

Climbing Triangle Activity Center

If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you won’t want to miss this beautiful Climbing Triangle Activity Center that’s handmade by a small shop called Wooden Workshop UA.

This is the only Montessori-inspired outdoor playset on this list, and it’s worth taking a bigger peek at! With a structure that can safely accommodate up to 5 children, it provides endless possibilities for fun.

This giant climbing activity center includes a large pikler triangle, a medium-sized triangle and a small triangle, plus 3 double-sided ramps, a ladder and an optional balance board!

It is handmade out of beech wood, pine wood, screws, plywood, white glue, alder and pear wood. As a Montessori-inspired climbing structure, it also can be used with supervision by children as young as 7 months!

Recommended Ages: 7 months to 7 years

Little Tikes 8-in-1 Adjustable Playground

If you’re looking for a truly incredible playset, this 8-in-1 Adjustable Playground is so cool!

Like the name suggests, this backyard playground can be set up eight different ways. Available in multiple colors, the Little Tikes 8-in-1 Adjustable Playground features two open-topped towers (4.5 feet and 5.5 feet) that are connected by a 2-foot long crawl-through tunnel.

It also has ladders, slides, an easy-opening door and all sorts of extra spots for your children to spend hours exploring and playing. Plus, up to 6 kids can play safely on it at the same time, with a maximum weight limit per kid of 100 pounds!

Recommended Ages: 2 – 8 years

Things to Consider When Purchasing an Outdoor Playset

The most important factor to keep in mind when purchasing a playset for your children is safety. Be sure whatever one you choose is age-appropriate for your child and made of kid-safe and high-quality materials.

It’s important to remember that manufactures include a recommended age for exactly this reason. Small children have different safety needs than older children. As such, some playsets could have a risk of falls, or possibly include pieces that could be a potential choking hazard for babies and younger toddlers.

Also, it’s important to know the recommended age so that you don’t make the investment in a backyard playset that your toddler will outgrow in a few months!

Here are a few safety notes about playset sizes to keep in mind:

  • 2–5-year-olds should not play on sets that are over 60 inches tall
  • 5–12-year-olds should not play on sets that are over 84 inches tall

For more information about playground equipment safety, click here to check out the Outdoor Home Playground Safety Handbook developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It highlights the most important safety information you need to know about planning your own backyard play areas.

It can be incredibly dangerous to purchase a playset that isn’t designed for your child’s age, so please please don’t pull the trigger on one that you think “your child will grow into.” It’s a better idea to start small and make an investment in a bigger one when they are the right size for it.

Always supervise your toddlers while they are playing with any of the playsets on this list. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye even on age-appropriate playsets, and watching your children while they are playing is the best way to help make sure they don’t get hurt.

toddlers playing on slide

Final Thoughts on Outdoor Playsets for Kids

I chose the items on this list as a mom myself, but they only represent a small fraction of the options out there!

Remember, no matter what backyard playset for toddlers you choose, be sure to take into consideration your child’s age and the safety of each set.

There are play sets available out there for every budget and interest! Let me know in the comments if I missed one of your family’s favorites, and if you loved this list please share it to help us reach even more parents!

best outdoor play sets for toddlers

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