Timeless Toys for Backyard Play


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I’m a millennial mom in DFW. I love my community and the abundant opportunities for learning and fun across the metroplex. Buuuuut, I also love being at home in my leggings watching my son play, while I drink coffee and read a book.

Dallas tends to have a “full speed ahead” energy that cramps my homebody vibe, and makes me feel like I’m not doing enough. Enough of what? Who knows! I counter this feeling by reminding myself to be more like a 90s mom — aka, chill.

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The fact is that my son simply loves being outside, especially during spring. When the temperature is perfect, he can play for hours with little effort on my part.

Some weeks, I plan a play date at a splash pad or a family outing to a local attraction. But, many weeks I plan nothing and go-with-the-flow, especially during spring. I’ve slowly built a list of simple, fun, timeless toys that get kids outside to enjoy the spring weather, all from home — and you don’t have to change out of those leggings.

A baby to toddler aged boy crawls in a yard with water and pool toys in the background.

These are my top twelve purchases of timeless toys for backyard play this spring.

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1. 90s Style Games

Throw it back with dodge ball, hula-hoop, jump rope, pogo stick, toss & catch, and other games you loved growing up.

2. Blocks

Take them outside and build something big! I love Mega Blocks because they’re waterproof and easy to clean.

3. Chalk

Play hopscotch, draw shapes, practice letters and numbers, draw around someone and color them in, the creativity with chalk is limitless. Bonus: Chalk is less messy than bubbles and paint.

4. Fishing Pole

My son loves to practice casting and is excited go fish with “Pops” this year with his ProFishiency Fishing Pole.

5. Free Play

Okay, not a purchase, but more of an idea: Let their imagination go! I see the most adorable moments of creativity when I let my son roam at home. Free play allows me to observe his true interests, how he approaches situations, who/what he talks about, and more.

6. Gardening

A great activity to learn and be messy. Kids can water the yard, pick out flowers, and dig holes for plants to grow with this kid-size gardening set. Tip: Local nurseries are great resources for gardening newbies, and there’s probably one near you!

7. Monster Trucks and Cars

These are my son’s favorite toys. He builds tracks and jumps, rolls the trucks in dirt, and dunks them in water. Durability and versatility make these winners in our house!

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8. Obstacle Course

Use cones, hoops, stepping stones, balls, slides and more to create an activity that everyone can do. Let your kids design the course to flex their creativity.

9. Ride on Scooters

Both the The Original PlasmaCar and Wiggle Car provide hours — well, at least enough time to drink your coffee while it’s still hot — of fun, problem solving, plus they are safe, lightweight, and great for a range of ages.

10. Sports Equipment

These are portable and fit a range of ages and abilities: Franklin Sports Batting Tee set; and for golf, the two-way putter, adjustable clubs, and foam balls.

11. Tonka Trucks

They’re durable (made of metal) and ignite imaginative play. We take these to the park often: Tonka Steel Classics excavator, dump truck, and bulldozer.

12. Water Table

The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond is used almost daily in the springtime, although it proves to be a year-round favorite. My son loves to add bath toys, mini water guns, bouncy balls, boats, dinosaurs, and more to his water table.

Young girl plays with large dumptruck in the dirt.



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