Summer is right around the corner and if you plan on allowing your kids to play outside as much as possible, you’re not alone. I have such great memories of hanging out with my sisters and neighbors outside during the summer months. You can give your children some great memories to look back on with cheap outdoor toys.
While kids can be super creative when it comes to making their own fun, you may still want to buy some toys and other items to keep them entertained outside and safe.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg when it comes to finding cheap outdoor toys for kids. Below are some of my favorite places to source the best items for all-day outdoor fun.
1. Thrift Stores
Before you start thinking you have to go to the nearest retail store or order things online like a huge playhouse or water table, stop by a local thrift store first. People donate more than just clothes to thrift stores and if you can an eye out, you may find lots of outdoor toys still in good condition.
Everything from lawn games to sports equipment or perhaps even larger items are all fair game at resale stores and this is the perfect time to start scoping things out.
2. Side of the Road
Realize that you may not even have to actually pay for your outdoor toys. Your neighbors may be getting rid of stuff that your kids would actually enjoy so it’s best to keep an eye out around garbage day.
I’ll never forget when my husband and I found a ton of sleds in good condition that a neighbor had put on the curb. We cleaned them off and still use them to this day. The key is to act fast when you see something that you think your kids will like.
Recently, my family and I were driving to church and we saw a neighbor on the other stress had placed a water table and some other outdoor items on the curb. The car was full and we were running late so I told my husband to pick those items up on the way home.
Well, after just an hour or two we returned home and someone had already grabbed the items. We missed out that time, but it was a good reminder to grab what we like right when we see it because they’re no telling who else might come and get the free item instead.
3. Five Below
Another one of my favorite places to find cheap outdoor toys for kids is Five Below. Five Below is like an upgraded dollar store and they offer a ton of great deals on items by most things for $5 or less.
This is a great place to find sports equipment, lawn games, and even water toys for kids to enjoy outside. I’d recommend setting a clear budget before you visit the store. They have tons of stuff and it’s really tempting to go overboard and spend $100 even though most of the items cost around $5 each.
You can also browse the website and use one of Coupon Chief’s coupons to get a discount on an online order.
Target is another great place to find cheap outdoor toys. For starters, they have an app and website where you can browse through items and compare prices. If you choose to shop in the store, you don’t want to miss their discount section which is usually located by the checkout.
You can find all kinds of household trinkets and kids’ toys ranging from $3 to $5 each. Another thing I like about Target is the store’s weekly ad highlighting all the limited-time deals along with the Circle App.
With Target Circle, you can opt-in to additional offers and apply coupons to your purchases to save even more money. It’s free to use Target Circle and it’s not a credit card so you don’t need to sign up or commit to anything. Just add the app to your phone and browse it to check out the latest deals.
5. Garage Sales
Garage sales will always be one of the top places to find nearly anything for an affordable price. Check to see if there are any garage sale ads in your area or mark your calendar for an upcoming community garage sale. You’re bound to find lots of toys and items your kids would enjoy to play with over the summer.
If you’re going garage sale hunting, try to get out early in the day when hosts are still setting up and getting ready for shoppers. That way, you can stop by multiple sales and see the best of the haul before other shoppers get to it.
Odds are, if it’s a nice outdoor toy or playset, other people will want to buy it as well and you could miss out if you wait too long to visit the garage sale. Bring enough cash and don’t be afraid to negotiate or haggle just a little bit to make sure you get the best price.
6. Local Resale Groups
If you’re not the best at hunting for garage sales, join some local resale groups online or on Facebook so you can connect with people who have something valuable to trade. If you’re on Facebook, there are lots of buy, sell, and trade groups for most towns and cities. Just be sure to read the rules carefully when you apply to join.
You can also check out the Facebook Marketplace to see what people are selling and make an offer on an item you like. With the Marketplace, you’ll want to inquire about items quickly if you see they’ve just been posted and schedule a prompt pick-up time.
Some local sellers will hold the item for you but many will not so it will be first-come-first-served. The Facebook Marketplace now allows sellers to ship items to buyers and while this may come with an extra fee, it’s also convenient if you don’t have the time to pick up something or the space to haul it in your car.
Summary: Cheap Outdoor Toys For Kids Are Not Hard to Find
As you gear up for a fun summer season with your family, don’t feel that you need to spend a ton of money on things to entertain your kids outside. The costs of landscaping, outdoor furniture, etc. can already add up enough. Utilize gently-used items, freebies you find, and coupons from stores in your area to help you get more bang for your buck.