11 Best Toys for Helping Imaginations Run Wild (PHOTOS)

11 Best Toys for Helping Imaginations Run Wild (PHOTOS)

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Summer is a great time for letting your kids run around and get some fresh air. But without the right playthings, you might find yourself hearing, "Mom, I'm bored," faster than it takes an ice cream cone to melt. Check out this slideshow of 11 outdoor toys that will unleash your child's imagination for a summer full of fun in the sunshine. 

The best toys don't always need batteries. These simple outdoor toys will unlock your child's imagination for endless hours of fun. 

What's your favorite outdoor toy for kids?

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Image © Pressmaster/shutterstock and © Cristian M/Shutterstock

  • Wagon, Ho!

    1

    Image © H. Tuller/Shutterstock

    Whether your child pulls their wagon as a cart to hold their treasures or hops in it to create their own personal chariot, this tried-and-true toy is a must for outdoor fun.

    More from The Stir: 30 Summer Memories Every Kid Should Have 

  • Bubbling Over With Excitement

    2

    Image © Mila Supinskaya/Shutterstock

    Small as a coin or as big as your child's head, bubbles let your child explore all their senses at once. They can pretend to have an underwater adventure or just try to pop them before they float away.

  • The Box Is the Best Part

    3

    Image © bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

    A leftover cardboard box is one of the least expensive and yet greatest ways to give your kids the gift of play. A box can be anything -- from a giant canvas on which to sketch out their dreams to a rocketship about to blast off.

  • Sand Toys

    4

    Image © Darya Prokapalo/Shutterstock

    A bucket and pail are must-have toys for playing in the sand. They're the tools to build an entire fortress and then can become a helmet and sword to defend the kingdom. 

    More from The Stir50 Awesome Summer Activities for Bored Kids (No Parents Required) 

  • Magnifying Glass

    5

    Image © altanaka/Shutterstock

    A magnifying glass isn't just for playing detective. Even the smallest patch of grass can become an entire jungle for your child to explore. 

  • Let's Go Fly a Kite!

    6

    Image © EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock

    Every child dreams about what it would feel like to fly. Seeing a kite soar high into the air will help them envision being among the clouds themselves.

  • Have a Ball!

    7

    Image © Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

    An ordinary rubber ball becomes extraordinary when a child uses their imagination. Not only can you throw it, kick it, or chase it, your child can pretend a ball is anything from a giant boulder about to crush them to a precious treasure they must keep safe!

  • What's the Secret Password?

    8

    Image © BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock

    Drag out your camping gear or use some old bed linens to create a fort where your child can play house or just hide away and daydream.

    More from The Stir20 Wonders of Summer That Will Make Your Kid's Childhood Complete

  • Draw Me a Picture

    9

    Image © Halfpoint/Shutterstock

    Sidewalk chalk can be used in so many ways. Your child can add to the garden with a mural of colorful flowers, create a game of hopscotch, draw a life-sized self-portrait, or practice writing out the alphabet all with this one amazing toy. 

  • Do the Hula!

    10

    Image © Carlos Horta/Shutterstock

    A Hula-Hoop becomes so much more than a great way to get some exercise when you use your imagination. It can be a target, home base in tag, or even used as a clever jump rope.

  • What's That I See?

    11

    Image © Hatchapong Palurtchaivong/Shutterstock

    Binoculars bring the entire world to the tip of your child's nose. They can pretend they're on safari, or imagine a conversation between those two squirrels up in a tree.

    More from The Stir: 25 Things Every Kid Should Do Before Kindergarten 

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