10 Easy to Carry Toys for Outdoor Play

Wherever we go, it's nice to have a few toys in my daypack that the kids can use to run around outdoors. That way we can have fun even when we cannot find a playground. I always go for things that are lightweight, cheap to replace, and work well when you want to play with kids you just met in a piazza or playground. Here are some of my favorites:

Kicking a Gertie Ball in Istanbul
Kicking a Gertie Ball in Istanbul
  1. We carry a Gertie Ball wherever we go. It's compact, easy to inflate, and tough enough to withstand the rigors of my kids.

  2. Water balloons are lots of fun if you are in an area with lots of taps (like Rome)
  3. Regular balloons work great just about everywhere else!
  4. Sidewalk Chalk works well on even the smallest scrap of urban sidewalk
  5. Birdseed (or some scraps of bread from breakfast) provides instant entertainment
  6. Paper for making paper airplanes, boats, or coloring in a restaraunt
  7. Bubble solution (yes, you can even put it in a ziplock and carry it through airport security). I've successfully refilled the containers on the road with a mixture of hotel shampoo, water, and a little sugar.
  8. Glow Stick Bracelets are super fun on the beach at night. Don't ask me why. They're inexpensive, and it's nice to bring along extras to share.
  9. A Pocket Kite works well if you think you'll find a wide open park.
  10. Blue Painter's Tape can be used to mark out tracks or starting lines for just about any game you might dream up.
Reader Question: What's in Your Daypack When You're on a Warm-Weather Vacation
Related Links:
Favorite Travel Toys

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  1. Family Friendly Holidays on May 23, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing these 10 Easy to Carry Toys for Outdoor Play.. this will really helpful for me, my baby will happy with this surprise on outdoor weekends.

  2. Bluegreen Kirk on May 23, 2011 at 8:01 a.m.

    My favorite is a ball and street chalk makes for hours of fun. Never even heard of a pocket kite I will have to try one of those.

  3. Ben Simon on May 23, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.

    Great tips, thanks. I've been meaning to pick up both gertie ball and sidewalk chalk.

    I've also found glowsticks to be a real winner. These cheap ones from Amazon (http://amzn.to/jeJ85q) don't stay bright for very long. But, they are still fun, and always make for good counting and color practice for our toddler.

    To keep in our diaper bag, I've made a pocket-sized kit (http://bit.ly/kkysrg) which has served us well, too. Though, I like the goal of having instant-community tools at hand, too.

  4. Amy on May 26, 2011 at 2:41 a.m.

    We've kept a number of these, too. Sparklers are also great for a quick distraction in the evening depending on where you are. An ipod with nursery rhymes or some of the children's stories off Audible or librivox are good if everyone needs some quiet time.

  5. riitaa on May 30, 2011 at 12:40 a.m.

    ITs really nice great tips thank u for sharing.

  6. James on May 31, 2011 at 10:20 p.m.

    What a great idea for travelling with the kids. Light and easy. Anyone got any tips on how to keep the toys and stuff that kids drag into your car? I'm always threating them leave it in the car and the it goes to charity or on the street your choice!