Baby &Kids · Sports & Outdoors

6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy at Your Next Cookout

Cooking out is a highlight of summer. But when you’ve got young kids, it gets a lot more challenging. You want them outside with you, but that grill is H-O-T. Safety is a concern, so you have to keep them occupied.

We’ve put together a list of six outdoor toys that will keeps your kids active while they’re outdoors—but also away from the grill and raw meat. Added bonus? They’re all under $40 when you purchase from Walmart—and that’s before the promo codes.

Turtle Sandbox

PRICE: $39.97

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Little Tikes’ Turtle Sandbox has been pleasing generations of children for decades now. Add a couple of buckets, sieves and shovels and your child’s imagination will have them playing for hours. You may even have a hard time getting them out!

Folding Slide

PRICE: $19.97

It’s amazing how much fun little kids can have with a simple slide. This one from American Plastic Toys is perfect for apartment dwellers or those with a smaller yard as it fold up for easy and compact storage when you’re not using it.

Teeter Totter

PRICE: $29.97

Just like the teeter totter of your youth, the Flexible Flyer Teeter Twirl is a ton of fun for young children. It is much smaller than the metal models of days past, so it’s primarily ideal for the littlest of little ones. However, because it’s so much smaller and plastic instead of metal, it’s also a good bit safer.

Whirlpool Water Table


PRICE: $39.99

We’re still amazed at how much the prices of toys have come down since we were children. In our youth, a water table like this one from Step2 would have run way more than $39.99. Your children will be able to pour water into the funnel and as it spins gears before spilling into the “pond” full of fish, turtles, and an octopus. This can keep them occupied for literally hours.

Banzai Aqua Drench 3-in-1 Splash Park

PRICE: $39.97

This is the waterslide of your youth—if it had been taking steroids over the past twenty to thirty years. A Walmart best-seller, it comes with a curved waterslide hooked up to a “sprinkler pod”—AKA water sprinkler—and includes a slide-in pool. Hours upon hours of fun again. Keep in mind that this particular toy is best used on flat land.

ZURU Bunch O Balloons Water Balloons

PRICE: $7.88

These things are amazing. Water balloons are fun, but they’ve traditionally been a pain in the neck to prep. You have to fill them, tie them off, and then try not to pop them as you transfer them out into the yard.

ZURU has changed that. Now you just hook up the Bunch O Balloons to your hose, let dozens of balloons fill at once, remove, and slide them off. They claim you can fill 100 balloons in 60 seconds. That doesn’t just mean you’ll have the job done quicker—it also means you’ll be able to provide more balloons to your children. That will keep them occupied much longer.