Toys for active toddlers. Active toddlers? Isn’t that redundant? Every toddler I’ve ever known was active. They spend their days exploring, moving, destroying, and rebuilding, while learning everything they can about their world. Sometimes it seems like they are a never-ending bundle of energy!
That’s why you need to see these toys for active toddlers. They will keep your little ones moving all day, focused on positive things, and hopefully keep them out of trouble. These toys are great for developing coordination, balance, and gross motor skills while helping little ones burn that excess energy they all have.
When our boys were little, we had all the active toys we could fit in the house! So much energy with four boys six years apart, if we didn’t keep them moving in productive ways, things would quickly fall apart.
Whew! This post turned out to be much longer than I had planned! Apparently when it comes to toys for active toddlers, there are plenty of options to keep your little ones moving. I hope you find some new ideas here that you can use. As I say with all my gift guides, the toys are placed according to the manufacturer’s recommended age. Those listed for younger toddlers will usually be appropriate for older ones as well, and those listed for older toddlers may be fine for littler ones. You know your toddler best, so use your judgement when choosing a toy.
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Toys for Active Toddlers Age 1 and Older
This classic car has been around for 30 years! These super fun cars come in a variety of styles—the Classic, Dino, Truck, and Fairy, to name a few. With their sturdy construction, they will last as long as your kids are small enough to fit in them. Great for indoors, if you have the space, and of course outdoors. Assembly seems to be the only complaint with parents, though we recently bought one of these and honestly, I don’t remember the assembly being a big problem.
Fisher Price Grow to Pro Junior Basketball
This fun basketball hoop is a classic from way back! We had one of these when my boys were little, and we have one in our playroom now for the girls (though I think their teenage brothers have more fun with it!). Now it includes an optional sure score rim so the ball won’t bounce off the rim without going in. The adjustable height will grow with your child. Can be used indoors or outdoors. Place sand or water in the base to make it more sturdy for outdoor use.
Little Tikes First Slide
This slide is a great way for little ones to safely learn to climb a ladder and go down a slide. It is a perfect size for younger toddlers. Folds up for storage.
Little Tikes Rocking Horse
This simple, classic rocking horse will be enjoyed by little ones for years. It is perfect for ages 1-3, with a max weight limit of 50 pounds. I love that it is close enough to the ground for littlest toddlers to climb on and off by themselves.
I love how this toy grows with your child! With plenty to do for even the littlest ones while sitting on the floor, it’s like many toys in one! It contains: a “book” to read, buttons to push that make sounds or play songs, blocks with letters to store in the bottom of the wagon, a phone, and gears to spin. It also has plenty of opportunities for learning numbers, counting, and alphabet.
When little ones begin to stand, they can push the train and walk behind it, pull the wagon using the flip-up seat as a handle, and ride on the wagon to push the train around.
3 in 1 Pop up Playhouse
This fun playhouse contains a tent, tunnel, and ball pit with basketball hoop. Lots of space for little ones to crawl and explore! It is quite large, so consider the size and make sure you have the space for it, either inside or outside. Don’t forget to buy the balls too! You’ll probably want to start with a minimum of 400 to fill the bottom of the ball pit. (Yes, it’s that big!)
My boys had something similar to this when they were little, and they loved it! They took turns riding the train around and around the track in our living room. It goes only one or two miles per hour, so it’s safe even for the littlest toddlers. The train can be ridden on or off the track, but if you want to use the track, you may want to get extra track pieces for a longer ride.
Remember the old Sit ’n Spin toys we had as kids? They were always a hit, and are a wonderful option for those active toddlers in your life! This one is perfect for toddlers even as young as one, because it is smaller and more lightweight than the older models. (In other words, great for little ones, not so great for bigger kids!)
Toys for Active Toddlers Age 2 and Older
This toy is a huge hit with both kids and parents. Little ones can climb the steps and get onto the car, then ride down the track. One person even kept the box as a tunnel for the child to ride into. Fun! There is also a Thomas the Train version for Thomas fans.
Many say it is like three toys in one, super fun to play with as is, but can also be enjoyed separately. Toddlers can ride the car around with foot power, walk up and down the track, or roll cars and balls down the track.
Step 2 All-Star Sports Climber
What a fun way for little ones to practice basketball, football, soccer, and climbing all in one toy! I am a big fan of all in one toys anytime you can get them.
Though this is recommended for age two, I’m sure that little ones as young as one could learn to climb up and slide down. It might be a bit small for a three year old, though they’d probably enjoy it too.
This is a great set that is enjoyed by kids, but the biggest complaint seems to be that assembly can be quite difficult. So make sure you plan ahead for that!
Little Partners Learning Tower Kids Step Stool
This is a great product I just learned about recently. Though it’s not a “toy for active toddlers”, it is a wonderful product for them. This is a much safer version of the traditional step stool, allowing little ones to stand at the kitchen counter or anywhere they want to play or see what’s going on.
Do you have a very active little one? Maybe try having them stand at the counter to eat, rather than strapping them into a booster/high chair or nagging them to sit still at the table.
Or would your little one like to help out or see what’s going on while you work in the kitchen? This is a wonderful way to let them safely be where you are. Like the days when you could strap them into their high chair to play while you worked, you can place their toys at the counter to play while they watch you.
This stool is also great for little ones who love to play in the sink! No worries about a chair sliding back or having them fall off a stool.
Leap Frog Learn and Groove Musical Mat
Kids can learn music, rhythm, and numbers while moving with this toy. It teaches instrument names and sounds, plays songs, or allows little ones to make up their own music. I love that the manufacturer says it was designed specifically for active toddlers!
Toys for Active Toddlers Age 3 and Older
We have had this tunnel for 3-1/2 years, and I can tell you that it will withstand a lot of abuse! It has been loved, used, and abused by big and little kids alike, and still looks like new. When I say “big kids”, I’m talking about everyone from elementary age to man-sized teenage boys. Those who can fit into it, will stand up with the tunnel wrapped around themselves and jump around. Yes, it has withstood some abuse for sure!
We don’t use the caterpillar faces that cover the ends as doors. We do use them, however, as frisbees with the little ones at the park! They seem to like to throw them around, so we’ve made them an outside toy.
The manufacturer recommends this for age three, though I have no idea why. We got it for our little crawler for her first birthday, and it was great for her. I love that this is so easy to fold up and store.
One caution: apparently there is some concern from parents about a trace of PVC, but the company assures that test reports show there is no harm.
Kids Mini Trampoline
A mini trampoline is a wonderful way for little ones to burn off energy! We have one on hand at all times. I like those that have a handle for little ones to hold while they jump.
Fisher Price Think & Learn Smart Cycle
If there’s a toy here that will really keep your little one moving, it’s this one. They literally have to pedal the bike to play games. You connect interactive racing and learning games to the bike through bluetooth and a tablet. (Games cost extra.)
This is one of the highest rated ride-on toys out there. Wow, how my John Deere fan would have loved this when he was little! This Made in the USA tractor has two speeds, but parents can lock out 2nd gear if they don’t want their little ones to go too fast. It even has a real working FM radio. The detachable trailer allows toddlers to load up all their treasures and drive them around the yard. The biggest complaint seems to be that the trailer isn’t as strong as people would like.
To get this car moving, all you have to do is turn the steering wheel. These cute cars are fun for all ages, and they come in a variety of colors. My kids have played with these at various places we’ve been, and they’re always a hit. They can be used indoors or out, but are not recommended for wood floors.
Flybar Foam Pogo Jumper
Have you seen these foam pogo jumpers? Apparently they’re all the rage now. What a fun, safe way for little ones to learn without having to navigate the old pogo sticks. It squeaks with each hop, though it seems the squeaker tends to go out rather quickly…to the disappointment of kids but the delight of parents! Kids and even grown ups of all ages can have fun with this one! It supports up to 250 pounds, though perhaps it’s best for use with just kids, as some parents said it broke when they tried it. Oops! Comes in a variety of colors, and even a Hello Kitty version.
Toysmith Monster Feet Walking Toy
These monster feet remind me of some I played with when I was little. Fun way to learn balance and coordination! They may be difficult for 3 year olds, but for this price, it’s worth a try! Best for textured surface such as grass or carpet at first, as they can be slippery on smooth floors.
Gymnic Rody Horse
These inflatable horses are a fun take on the traditional bouncy ball. The horses have four feet to keep your little one balanced and perhaps a little bit safer than the round balls. They come in two sizes: the Rody horse is perfect for 1-3 year olds, and the Rody max is great for 3 and older. And here’s something I love–you can purchase a rocker base to make it a rocking horse or a “speedy base” with wheels so your little one can ride it like a bike!
Does your little one wear you out with requests to play catch? When you need a break, let Joey Jump take over. Place a bean bag on one end of the board, then stomp on the other end and catch the bean bag as it flies through the air. What a fun way to practice eye-hand coordination!
These six stepping stone buckets provide a wonderful opportunity for active toddlers to move while learning balance and coordination! The bright colored, non-skid buckets can be placed closer together or farther apart, depending on the size and skill of your little one. They can also be turned upside down to play games such as throwing a ball into a bucket.
Do your kids love to balance on every curb or log they find? I know mine do! These would be a great indoor activity, especially for little ones who can’t get out much during the winter. They do slip on smooth surfaces, so best to use on carpet when playing indoors.
These stepping stones are another great way for little ones to learn balance and coordination. The varying heights provide a challenge for little ones as they step from stone to stone. Works best on non-smooth surfaces.
Here’s a great idea: using the buckets, balance beams, and stepping stones listed above, create an obstacle course for your toddlers. Wouldn’t they love it? Best of all, they could learn to create their own obstacle courses, keeping themselves entertained for hours.
What are your favorite toys for active toddlers? Whether they are on this list or others that weren’t mentioned, my readers and I would love to hear about them!
Do you want more ideas for toddler gifts? This is part of a whole series of toddler gift guides. Check out some of the others below.
Start here with the ultimate guide: How to Choose the Best Gifts for Toddlers