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9 best outdoor toys for summer family fun

By Elizabeth Werner, Toy Expert for TODAYMoms.com

Summer is just about here and it's time to get outside and play with our kids. Check out some of the great items for family fun this summer.

1. Sportcraft Soft Tip Sky Dart
Suggested retail: $19.99
Age recommendation: 12+ years

These great Sky Darts replace Lawn Darts, a toy I played with when I was young but were no longer sold after 1988 because the design was found to be dangerous. These new -- and vastly improved -- Lawn Darts are safe and made for both indoor and outdoor use.

2. Bean Bag Toss
Suggested retail: $44.99
Age recommendation: 6+ years

Some call it baggo, some call it bags and others call it corn hole -- but whatever you call it, it’s one of the hottest trends at BBQs, tailgating and at summer parties. This fun game has two target boards that are at a slight incline with one hole at the near end of the board. Players stand far away and toss bean bags through the air and into the hole. You score if you land on the board and if you make it in the hole. You can also knock your opponent’s bags off the board so they don’t score points.

3. Rockboard Scooter
Suggested retail: $199.99
Age recommendation: 8+ years

On any given sunny day you will find my entire family riding the Rockboard Scooter all over the neighborhood. This is by far the best scooter we have ever ridden. The Rockboard Scooter is two scooters in one -- you can pump the motion pedal and enjoy the scooter in “Rockboarding” mode or easily transform it into a kick scooter. The great suspension provides a fantastically smooth ride even on bumpy pavement.

4. Go Baby Go! Stride to Ride Dino and Lion
Suggested retail: $40
Age recommendation: 9-36 months

The Go Baby Go! Stride to Ride Dino has helped my baby niece learn to walk and ride around! The adorable and fun Dino has a chunky handle, music and fun sound effects, lights and a wide wheel base which made it ideal for my niece to get the help and desire she needed to get up walk. My brother loved that he was able to easily convert the walker into a ride-on by locking the two rear legs together. My niece hopped right on the Dino in ride-on mode and started scooting herself all over the living room giggling and squealing the entire time. This is a great toy that grows with your child.

5. Play Up Adjustable Sand & Water Table
Suggested retail: $69.99
Age recommendation: 2+ years

The Play Up Adjustable Sand and Water Table allows us to set up one outdoor area where our young ones can play with sand and water all at once. This table has loads of great features, including adjustable legs so the table grows with your little one. It also has a plug for easy draining and includes a plastic cover to keep the sand clean and dry. The table holds 10 pounds of sand and 3 gallons of water.

6. Kids Only Kiddie Pools
Suggested retail: $9.99 to $14.99
Age recommendation: 2+ years

The Kids Only Kiddie Pool is one of the old fashioned kiddie pools that we all remember taking a dip in as a child. I love that the Kids Only versions have our kids' favorite characters splashed on the inside to add to the summer fun. Since "Toy Story 3" launches June 18, the pool with these characters may be your best bet!

7. Rocky Mountain River Race
Suggested retail: $499
Age recommendation: 5-10 years

The Rocky Mountain River Race inflatable water slide is the ultimate summer toy -- it will provide your children and all of their friends with enjoyment for this summer and years to come. Pull the River Race out on any sunny day like we do and listen to all of the neighborhood kids scream and laugh with delight. I love watching the kids climb on its massive sides and then race down the two water slides into the splash pool. Better yet -- the inflatable is designed so that all of the features face in one direction so as a mom I can safely monitor all of the kids without worrying.

8. Nerf Super Soaker: Soaker Wars Shot Blast
Suggested retail: $19.99
Age recommendation: 6+ years

My kids and their friends love their Soaker Wars blasters because they can saturate their buddies from up to 25 feet away. One pump and your opponents will be soaked. My kids love to ambush me with their Super Soakers when I come home from work, and on a hot day I can’t think of a better welcoming!

9. The Typhoon Ultimate Bubble Machine
Suggested retail: $24.99
Age recommendation: 3+ years

We love bubbles at my house. This year we fell in love with the Typhoon Ultimate Bubble Machine that blows 5,000 bubbles per minute. Fill it up, turn it on and you will instantly have a great backdrop for your summer party -- your kids and pets will scamper to pop all of the bubbles.

What are some of your favorite summer toys for the outdoors? Tell us in the comments below!