The Top Summer Toys in Our Yard


Summer has arrived, or technically, I guess it will arrive this Friday. But in our house, preschool is out for the year and it’s summer, for all intents and purposes. I think my kids would gladly live in the backyard 24/7 if I didn’t force them to come in for horrible tasks like, you know, eating, baths, and sleeping. Mean Mommy.

My boys happen to be the first grandchildren on both sides of the family, which translates to mean…they have a lot of toys. However, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. Why? Well, let me introduce you to their favorite summertime toys:

The 30 year old ride-on-ducky
The 30-year-old ride-on ducky

This is a toy my brother and I had as kids and rode until we were way too large for it. My parents gave ours to the neighbor kids years ago, and they bought this one for the boys at a yard sale. I think it was $2. They fight over this one daily.

Faded pretend mower that no longer makes noises
Faded pretend mower that no longer makes noises

This gem was a toy-swap score (free) from a playgroup mom’s night out. It used to be lime green, and it used to have batteries inside and make a cool sound. Neither of these things is true anymore, yet the kids still spend hours “mowing the lawn” with it. I should add that my 4 and a half year old has to bend down to use this…but that doesn’t stop him.

This is one of the only toys my child has actually begged for in a store.
This is one of the only toys my child has actually begged for–and gotten– in a store.

I never give in to whining at the store. My kids know there’s no point in asking me for things because my response is always “You should save your money for that toy if you want to buy it!” in a cheery tone. This wheelbarrow, however, caused my then three-year-old to sob for a whole trip home from Home Depot. He won, because he tearfully told me “If I had my own wheelbarrow (sniff, sniff), I could (sniff, sniff), help you and Daddy in the yaaaaard!!!” He ultimately won. We went back a few days later and bought it, only after discussing how it was actually a “tool” and not a toy, so I agreed it would be helpful. He works his tiny bum off with this, hauling veggie tops and leftovers to the compost pile almost daily.

The hose. Every child's favorite toy ever.
The hose. Every child’s favorite toy ever.

This “toy” is probably the favorite of all the toys. They use it to fill the kiddie pool, water the garden, water the pumpkins, water each other, hose down the swing set…every chance they get, they spray things with the hose. Fortunately, we have a deep well and no water bill, haha. 🙂

Work gloves are a necessity around here. Both kids have a pair. Whenever they want to do something like a serious adult, such as, dig up a weed and plant it in a pot, they don a pair of work gloves. The plastic trowel is also an oft-fought over toy.

The one toy that is worth its cost...perhaps even worth double its cost.
The one toy that is worth its cost…perhaps even worth double its cost.

When our second child was coming along, the grandparents and my husband and I went in on a wooden swing set for the boys. I swore up and down that it was a waste of money, and that they didn’t need something so big. I thought a swing on a tree branch would get the job done. I take it all back. Swing sets rule. They spend hours…and hours…and hours swinging, playing in the sandbox, climbing the rock wall, and going down the slide.

So there you have it. Summer, at our house anyway, means dirt, water, and old toys…and, of course, the swing set. 🙂 Happy summer, everyone! Enjoy the gorgeous weather!


7 comments on “The Top Summer Toys in Our Yard”

  1. My kids are ALL ABOUT the water table, too! But like you, my girl loves to climb up and sit in it despite also having a little kiddie pool.

  2. such great ideas! and how can you beat a hose?! easily a fan favorite in our house. or at the grandparent’s! we have been toying with the idea of getting a wooden play set installed next summer. I’ll have to talk to you about this one!! One item that we may splurge on this summer is a Water Table- he loves playing with it at daycare, and it’s cheaper than a pool!

    1. DO IT! You’ll never regret the playset! I will email you our recommendation. And the water table is a lot of fun, but Josh has started climbing INTO it and sitting criss-cross-applesauce right there in the water….so yea. I have to go full beachwear when we take that out hahahaha…

  3. The favorite toy in our yard right now is the mud puddle the rain leaves at the bottom of the slide. Perhaps you saw the pictures of Kitten enjoying it? I’d say the swing set and the hose are in a tie for second.

    1. HA! Yes, I did see that picture, and I loved it!! Mud puddles are huge here, too. I try so hard to not say “WAIT! You’ll be a mess!” but sometimes that does slip out. Oops. During this past week of rain we had a giant one under the swing and Nate was outside alone while I made dinner and watched him from the window, and he fell into it. Twice. COVERED. Neck to ankles. UGH. haha

  4. Another great post! I love all if this! So far this season Lills is all about her water table. I have a feeling it will keep her occupied and happy for many, many hours during the summer!

    1. Thanks!! Water tables are great! We have one, but had to put it away because Josh was climbing INTO it. Yep…my life. hahahahahah

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