The 10 Best outdoor toys

Here are the 10 best buys for kids who want to switch off the TV and get outside to have some fun in the sun while it lasts

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The Independent Online

{1} Roller Inflatable Wheel

Children of all ages will be giggling their way across the garden on this surprisingly robust, giant inflatable wheel. If you don’t have a garden, simply take it to the local park, although be warned that everyone you come across is likely to want to have a go.



{2} Lakeland Water Cannon

Mount this fun water cannon on its tripod, attach it to your garden hose and enjoy some serious water fights, with water jets shooting up to 30m. Suitable for children aged three and over, the only downside may be your increased water bill.


{3} Little Tikes Cosy Coupe

The classic Cozy Coupe – now in production for more than 30 years – is hands down the best outdoor toy ever invented for young children. There lots of variations – a police car, car with trailer and girly pink ones among them – but this is as good as any and is robust enough to last years.


{4} Plum Bonobo Wooden Play Centre

Plum’s wooden play centres are remarkably strong and sturdy, lasting years, if not decades. This one might be hard on the purse strings, but you get a sandpit, swings, slide and climbing tower all in one – everything littl’uns could need for garden fun.


{5} Little Tikes Classic Castle

With realistic stone walls, a secret crawl-through door behind the fireplace, and a lookout tower with a platform and hidden slide, this is as good as it gets for wannabe knights and princesses who want to vanquish dragons and create new kingdoms.


{6} Step 2 Sand and Water Table

Set up your very own and accessible tropical island. With an open play area for lots of splashing fun, you can pump the geyser to watch the water flow, spin the water wheel carousel and send the little people down the slide or off the diving board. It comes with lots of  accessories, too.


{7} GLTC Carnival Playhouse

Easy to erect and move around, this gingham tent looks a bit like a big top at the circus. Unlike many of its counterparts, it’s really spacious, with room for all the gang, and it’s all top-notch quality, too.


{8} Plum Stardust Trampoline

If you’ve got a huge garden, large trampolines are great. But for those with more limited space, this junior trampoline and enclosure is ideal, encouraging young children to gain confidence quickly. It’s far more durable than others on the market and doesn’t take long to set up.


{9} ELC Splash Tunnel

Grab the inflatable kickboard and dive on in into the tunnel to splash into the inflatable padding pool. You’ll need a garden hose pipe to make the water spray through it, but the result is a great way to cool off on a warm day.


{10} Smoby U Turn Slide

This ergonomic and stable spiral slide is as good as anything you’ll find in your local playground. Better still, it’s easy to assemble, with a sturdy anchor kit supplied. For kids three years and older, it’s the business.


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