25 toys for indoor and outdoor play
If you’re looking for something to make the next snow day memorable or want to bring an extra special toy along on your spring break vacation, we’ve compiled some of our favourites for both indoor and outdoor play. Make the most of snow days by bundling up in your winter coat, your most waterproof mittens, then getting outside to enjoy some cold-weather activities. Or, for those days when it’s just too cold to venture outdoors, enjoy some quiet time with a puzzle or book. There’s something here for kids of all different interests.
Fish N Splash Bath Boat Set
(Ages 12 months +, $34.99)
Bath time can be at any time of the day. Kids bored in the afternoon? Stick them in the water with some bubbles and this adorable and easy-to-clean boat for some splish-splashing fun. A favourite of both my kids, I loved the durable design and interactive play. You can also use them for sink play or even outside in the snow!
Shop online at The Bay thebay.com
Hape: Walk along Snail
(Ages 1-4 years, $49.89)
Through the kitchen and down the hall, toddlers will love pulling along this happy little critter with his googly eyes as they practice their first steps. The shell shape sorter separates and can be played with on its own. Portable to bring along on day trips or overnight excursions.
Find it at Castello Jeu castellojeu.com
VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox
(Ages 2-5 years, $34.99)
Toddlers will be occupied for hours as they putter around the house fixing everything you’ve been meaning to get to. Once done, they can pack their hammer, wrench, plastic nails and screws, and their working toy drill into the toolbox for another day. Press the three tool buttons on the toolbox to hear wrench, hammer and drill sounds and songs and to learn about how the tools are used.
Shop online or in-store: ojeux.ca
Tree Fort Toys Animal Movement Discs
(Ages 3+, $39.95)
Each cotton drawstring bag contains 30 wooden discs that have been lazer engraved with 30 different animals and actions. Children can pull out a disc and hop around the room like a rabbit, or strrrrrrrretch like a cat. Make a game of it and challenge friends and parents to see who can do the best moves. Made by a mom in Victoria, B.C.
You can find this and more simple wooden toys at Tree Fort Toys
Stockmar Modelling Beeswax
(Ages 3+, $38.00)
Unlike traditional Playdoh, this sweetly scented modelling beeswax won’t dry out and can be reshaped again and again. 12 colours are included in this set and will have young artists (and I’m sure parents won’t be able to resist) creating flowers, dragons, and more.
You can find the set at La Grande Ourse boutiquelagrandeourse.ca
Playmobil Wiltopia – Family Tree House
(Ages 4+, $139.99)
Ever since watching the Swiss Family Robinson movie I’ve dreamt of living in a treehouse. Live out your childhood fantasy with this fun set from Playmobil that is complete with a solar-powered treehouse, animals, and accessories.
You can find this and more toys of all kinds at La Ribouldingue ribouldingue.ca
Fat Brain Toys Door Pong
(Ages 6+, $36.99)
When the kids are stuck inside and zinging with energy, just attach the indoor ping pong game to a doorframe and they can swing and whack all they want. Play solo, or with a sibling or friend. Includes clamp with a tethered ball and two paddles.
Find it at mindsalive.ca
Fender Seaside Soprano Ukulele Pack
(Ages 6+, 149.99)
Perfect for beginners and those with smaller hands, this pack comes complete with a padded gig bag, ukulele strings, and a clip-on tuner—so you can start playing right away. Also included is a free 3-month subscription to Fender Play®—the easiest way to learn ukulele.
Find it at musiquediplomate.com
Throw Throw Burrito
(Ages 7+, $34.99)
Among one of the more ridiculous games, Throw Throw Burrito is like a card game and dodgeball game rolled into one…fantastic burrito. Challenge your friends and family to an active games night! Also available is
Buy this and tons more games at divertioz.com
Diamond Dotz – NHL Canadiens
(Ages 8+, $34.99)
Young hockey fans can create their own artwork with this diamond facet art kit. It’s the perfect activity to do over the holidays and when it’s just too cold to head outdoors.
Pick it up online or in-store at divertioz.com
Monopoly Deal Card Game
(Ages 8+, $8.99)
We played this almost every evening during last summer’s 2-week camping trip. Quick, portable, and easy to play, this makes it an ideal game to bring along to the cottage or on a mid-winter break vacation.
Find it at staples.ca
Minecraft: The Island: An Official Minecraft Novel
(Ages 9+, $13.58)
My 9-year-old devoured this book in just a few days and was his first foray into reading “big” books. He’s now working his way through the second novel in the series by the same author and is just as enthralled. If you have a Minecraft lover who’s not so into reading, try out this series.
Find it at Indigo chapters.indigo.ca
Ravensburger Solar System Puzzle
(Ages 9+, $19.98)
Puzzle and space enthusiasts will be out-of-this-world excited when they fit together the 300 large-size pieces of the solar system.
Find it and more at well.ca
Wonder by R J Palacio
(Ages 8-12, $23.99)
A truly wonderful book that spreads the message of empathy and kindness. My son read this on his own three times when he was about 11, and we read it together another two times. If you’ve already read Wonder, try the follow-up novel Auggie and Me.
Order it and more at store.librairieclio.ca
Pelican baby sled deluxe
(Ages 6 months-2 years, $99.99)
A favourite of many parents, this sled will offers a steady ride on snowy paths and sidewalks. With its ergonomic seat, high backrest, harness, and weather shield, they’ll have a comfortable and safe ride.
Find this new version of the old favourite at Pelican pelicansport
Wedze Kids’ Ski Helmet
(kids’ sizes, $45)
Ok, so this might not actually be a toy per se. But, keep your kids’ noggins safe on the ski and toboggan hills with this helmet that’s available in two colours. Lightweight, warm, and with a machine-washable liner, there’s really no reason for them to not wear a helmet.
Find it at Decathlon decathlon.ca
Neon Sno-Brick Maker
(Ages 3+, $5.99)
We have this snow brick maker and it works amazingly well. All you need is some sticky snow to create uniform blocks to make outdoor forts and castles.
Pick up one (or two) at canadiantire.ca
Snow Sector Make A Snow Man
(Ages 3+, $22.98)
Wait for some perfect sticky snow, and then gather this kit for some awesome decorating complete with snow markers.
Find it at well.ca
Snow Stompers Kids’ Toy Dinosaur Or Bear Footprint Snowshoes
(Ages 3+, $21.99)
With adjustable bindings to fit even tiny boots, these snowshoes will delight youngsters as they putter about on top of the snow, leaving dinosaur or bear footprints behind them.
Find them at canadiantire.ca
Mastermind Toys Rainbow Delta Kite
(Ages 4+, $19.99)
Not just for summer, kites can be flown year-round! This simple kite makes it easy for little ones to fly, and will get them running around in the snow. Totally packable, you can also bring it on vacation if you’re heading somewhere warm for March break.
Find this style and more at mastermindtoys.com
Bauer Pro Style – Hockey Mini Goal
(Ages 5+, $69.99)
This 36 inch-wide hockey net is small enough that you can carry it to the nearest parking lot or schoolyard, but big enough for your little player to practice their shots. Heavy gauge 1.25″ diametre steel tubing and quality netting make it ideal for all-season use.
Pick one up at Sports Experts sportsexperts.ca
LED Ski Skooter
(Ages 6+, $69.99)
This ski scooter is great for kids learning to snowboard. The foldable handle makes it easy to balance and steer even as you pick up speed. Bonus: it can be used on flat surfaces and even on carpet and grass.
Find it on amazon.ca
Create a Castle Deluxe Tower Kit
(Ages 6+, $59.99)
Use this fun kit with snow or sand. The pieces can be stacked on top of one another to create multi-level castles. The durable plastic split mould system works by latching two halves together, packing with wet sand or sticky snow, and then unlatching to reveal a perfect castle tower.
Find the kit at mastermindtoys.com
Snow Tube – Unicorn
(Ages 8+, $30)
Kids will love ripping down the sledding hills on this 5-foot long cushy unicorn. Ultra-durable heavy gauge PVC vinyl construction will make sure it lasts the season, and when winter’s over just deflate it for storage.
Find it at swaggals.com
(Ages 13+, $114.99)
This snowskate gives riders an experience like skateboarding, but on the snow. Your teen may be too “cool” to go sledding, but they’ll look awesome zipping down the hill on a snowskate, a cross between a snowboard and a skateboard.
You can find this model and more at PRFO Sports prfo.com