Let’s face it, kids love to play outside and the backyard is an ideal place to let your children run free.
Whether you play with them or get some free time while they have fun, you likely have a lot of toys they enjoy outside. That makes outdoor toy storage a must, to prevent your yard from looking like a theme park.
Kids of every age collect bikes, balls and games, so kids outdoor toy storage may change as they grow up and their interests change. Storage may also vary depending on your yard, or how many children you have. Maybe you’re storing toys for the grandkids, so they aren’t used every day but they still need to be accessible when the kids come for a visit.
And don’t forget about your four-legged children too. You may need outdoor dog toy storage as well.
So let’s explore 25 outdoor toy storage ideas to suit every yard, age, budget and taste.
First take a quick glance at our shortlist before we go into the article!
- Outdoor Toys Storage Box
- Toy Storage Bench
- Outdoor Toy Storage Bins
- Under Deck Toy Storage
- Under Deck Storage Drawers
- Under Seat Storage
- Ball Storage
- Pegboard Toy Storage
- Hooks for Hanging Toys
- And much more!
Outdoor Toys Storage Box
The simplest of outdoor toy storage ideas is a box that can hold any type of toy or outside game. Boxes can be purchased in many different sizes, or if you’re handy, you can make a DIY outdoor toy storage box. This type of storage is also easy to move, if that’s a consideration, and can be placed in a garage, a shed, on the deck or in a corner of the yard. If you suffer from cold winters, you might be wondering where do you store summer toys? In that case, a portable idea like a box is perfect since it can be moved into the garage, shed or basement in the autumn.
Toy Storage Bench
Similar to a storage box but more multi-purpose is a toy storage bench. By building or buying a bench that opens, it can be used to stash toys and then the kids can sit on it when they have their afternoon snack. A storage bench also serves as extra seating when you have guests. If you buy more than one, each of your children can have their own bench, and you can teach them to put their toys away at the end of the day.
Outdoor Toy Storage Bins
Another simple storage idea is a set of bins, which can be labeled and organized for different types of toys. Buy them with a rack to hold them, and place balls in one, frisbees in another, and so on. Another idea is to use metal pails to store items like sidewalk chalk, water toys, or cars and trucks. These can be as simple as you like, or you can design them to match your deck decor. Bins are great, particularly when you wonder How do you store small kids' toys? Make the shelf that holds them close to the ground, and it will be easy for little ones to take out the toys and - hopefully - put them away when they’re done.
Under Deck Toy Storage
When you’re asking: How do I store big toys? The answer could be your deck. There’s plenty of unused space under a deck, and that can be used for kids outdoor toy storage, particularly large items like bikes, toy cars and wagons. If you want your deck enclosed, make one portion able to open with a “gate” built into the fencing under the deck. The toys can be covered with a lattice or other type of fencing, or in a small area, even a curtain can be sewn to cover up the “toy garage.”
Under Deck Storage Drawers
The area under your deck can be built into more secure storage with a bit of extra work. You can actually add shelving under your deck, or purchase and build in drawers, including those that lock. Then you can secure items that are more valuable, if you’re worried about vandals getting in the yard. You can also lock up those items you don’t want the kids playing with if you’re not around to supervise. Remember that drawers can be a danger for younger children, however, who sometimes catch their fingers in the rolling mechanism.
Under Seat Storage
A storage bench can be built right into deck seating, adding outdoor toy storage without taking up extra space in the yard or on the deck. Build benches along the deck that open up for storage, or create open space under the deck seating to stash toys. Open storage may hold bulkier toys than a bench that opens, but it also may result in toys sticking out onto the deck. Remember the pros and cons when you choose which type of under-seat storage to add to the deck.
Kids love balls of every type - beach balls to basketballs - and the same is true of four-legged kids. Balls are a real pain to store and are also dangerous to leave laying around. Finding a good solution for outdoor toy storage has to include a ball storage bin. There are a few options, such as having one big bin dedicated to balls. You can also opt for DIY outdoor toy storage by building a crib-like structure with wood and wire, then getting the kids to throw the balls in the crib at the end of the day. In the garage, install two shelves with bungee cords strung between them to hold the balls in place. A basket may be big enough for dog ball storage.
Pegboard Toy Storage
In a garage or shed, a pegboard can serve as toy storage. Think of your tool area and how you can hang all your tools in a neatly arranged square. The same is true of those toys that can be hung. Make a spot especially for toys, and you can add hanging baskets or crates to the pegboard, where kids can throw in toys that don’t hang, like balls.
Hooks for Hanging Toys
Supplement your pegboards with hooks. Larger items like bicycles, tricycles and scooters can be hung in the garage or shed on hooks. Hooks can also be used on the fence or on the side of the deck, adding to the space on the lawn by keeping the toys up off the ground and out of the way.
Rolling Toy Storage
If you want to be able to move the toys around, then a rolling storage bin is an excellent idea. Buy one or build one yourself, and include different compartments, bins and even hooks on the outside. You can then roll the bin around the yard, or out of the garage and onto the patio, so the kids can enjoy all their toys and then put them away and roll them back into storage in the evening.
Sandbox Toy Storage
Younger children love a sandbox, which results in an explosion of sand toys. It doesn’t take long for these small toys to be scattered around the backyard. One easy idea is to hang baskets on the outside walls of the sandbox, where kids can easily throw their shovels and pails. A larger box or basket may be necessary for trucks and cars. A plastic bucket with a lid is another simple solution, as kids can carry it to the sandbox, or use the toys elsewhere in the yard too.
Built-in Sandbox Storage
If you don’t yet have a sandbox in the yard, then build or buy one that includes storage. Build a lid with hinges, and kids can store the toys right next to the sandbox. Most of the box can be filled with sand, with a separate compartment for toys. Let the kids help build and paint the sandbox to give them some ownership.
Fence Toy Storage
Depending on the style of your fence, you can use it to store toys. Hang crates from the fence to hold bulky items like baseball gloves and bats, soccer balls, or water guns. You can also use hooks on the fence if you need to hang larger items like a baseball tee or tricycles. A netting bag hanging on hooks can hold lighter items like beach balls, sand toys, or water guns.
Outdoor Stuffed Animal Storage
Some children love their “stuffies,” and want to play with them indoors and out. It’s important they learn how to treat them, as a stuffed animal left on the lawn in the rain may never be the same. So make sure the kids learn to pick them up and put them ideally in a covered storage container. And when wondering, What is the best way to store stuffed animals long term? The answer is a plastic bin with a lid, or plastic storage bags, that will keep them dry and safe.
Outdoor Toy Storage Shed
Can you store toys in a shed? Absolutely, especially if you have a lot of kids, or a lot of toys! In fact, you may need a full outdoor toy storage shed to handle everything. That might mean purchasing a shed at a hardware store or buying a kit to assemble a shed. Those comfortable with DIY projects can build a toy shed. Make it a bit bigger than you think you will need. After all, the kids will grow up and the toys will get bigger. Combine the shed with our other organizational ideas for the perfect outdoor toy storage. Or, style the shed like a playhouse, and the kids can have it for play and for storage.
Outdoor Pool Toys Storage
Pools create their own special messiness, along with the danger of tripping on the toys, so organization around the pool deck is a must. Consider installing hooks to hang towels, kids life preservers and other items to dry. You can also hang baskets on the hooks and use them for storing pool toys, snorkel masks and other small items. Even a coat rack will work. A bench or storage box is better for large pool toys, keeping them out from under foot and away from the damage caused by the sun.
DIY Pool Storage
A unique idea for storage around the pool is a homemade drying rack made with PVC pipes. Build one to hold towels and another for hanging water wings and pool floaties. PVC is light and easy to move, so you can put them away, or even take them apart to store in the offseason. While you’re buying PVC pipe, why not get enough to make the kids a ladderball game. It means another game to store, but we’ve got you covered with enough outdoor toy ideas. Note: You can also buy PVC-like pool storage if you don’t want to make your own.
Pallet Pool Toy Storage
Speaking of DIY projects, we all know pallets can be used for almost anything, and that includes pool toy storage. Use pallets to build a holder that’s easy to store pool noodles and floaties. Add hooks on the outside for towels and other smaller items. Just remember to sand the wood so it doesn’t pop the floaties.
Bikes are a favorite of many children, but inevitably end up all over the driveway and lawn. Creating a simple storage solution will save a lot of hassle. Besides hanging them in the garage, which isn’t convenient for the kids, or storing them in a shed, there are other options for bike storage. A DIY bike rack can be made easily with a wooden pallet, and placed in a corner of the yard. Kids can wheel the front wheel of the bike into the pallet, and easily store the bikes in a nice line each night. You can park your bike there, too.
Bats and Sticks Storage
Some outdoor toys are more difficult to store than others. Items like baseball bats, croquet mallets and outdoor hockey sticks are awkward to store. Here are a few ideas. A garbage can is great for holding sticks and bats, and can even hold skateboards, roller blades and other bulky toys. A DIY outdoor toy storage idea is to build a bin with old pallets, which can stand against the wall in the garage or even be built into the fence. Make it tall enough to stand sticks and bats, but still low enough for kids to reach into and grab the toys. When the kids are grown, you can use it for garden tools, like in this photo.
Garbage Can Storage
Garbage cans are ideal for other types of toys, too. Metal garbage cans are sturdy enough to handle a lot of toys, and if you want to make them look nice, add a coat of paint. Use different colors for different toys. Plastic recycling bins are perfect for balls of every size, as well as bats and sticks, bocce sets and more. Get some smaller metal cans for smaller toys, and consider a shelf to hold those small cans. This community in Canada even created special cans just for hockey sticks.
Winter Toys Storage
Playing outside is not limited to the summer months. Those kids who get the pleasure of snow in the winter will have outdoor toys for every season. Skis, snowshoes, and skates are all easy to hang in a garage or basement. They can also be stored on shelves, or using garbage cans. Many kids have sleds that can either hang on hooks, lean against the shed, or be stored on a shelf. Even kids shovels can go into a garbage can or on a hook.
Storage Above the Garage Door
If you have a remote garage door and you do change toys for the season, consider adding shelving in that unused space above your garage door. Then you can store the sleds up there in the summer, and move the buckets of sand toys into the space in the winter months. By rotating the toys, you won’t have unused items lying around. In this way, you will increase the space in your garage, shed and yard.
Hanging Toys Storage
Another idea for putting away the toys when the season is done is to hang them out of the way. For instance, when the snow flies, bikes won’t be needed anymore, so install hooks in the garage ceiling to get them out of the way for the winter months. Skis and winter toboggans can hang on the garage ceiling in the summer, saving floor space for the warm months when they aren’t in use.
Outdoor Dog Toy Storage
Any one of these ideas will work for storing dog toys too. You likely won’t need a shed for dog toys, but you may need a bin for balls and other toys. A storage bench, under-deck storage, or storage bins in the shed or garage will all serve to keep Fido’s toys tucked away until he’s ready to play again.
Sum and Substance
Kids (and for that matter dogs) love backyards as much as adults, so why not make it easy for them to enjoy their time outside. Toys, games, and activities like biking are part of the outdoor summer memories for children, and in the winter they enjoy sledding and skating.
But all that fun means a lot of toys lying around, so finding a way to organize and store your children’s toys will make life easier for everyone.
With our 25 outdoor toy storage ideas, you’ll find a way to maximize the yard and keep your sanity, with options for every child, yard and budget.
About The Author
Ardith Stephanson has a journalism degree and spent years having fun as a sports writer for a national newspaper. She has also worked in communications and marketing, ran a successful communications business, and is a national award-winner. These days, she prefers to focus solely on writing, and to spend a lot of time in her backyard, where her garden, the firepit, local birds and her bee barn keep her busy and entertained. She writes about her adventures at theardizan.com