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Top 10 Toys for Rough and Tumble Play

By Editorial Staff

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble playContributed by Tim Brugger, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

While some parents may view rough and tumble play as kids being overly aggressive, most view it for what it is; kids being kids.

If a child outgrows a pair of jeans before tearing a hole in at least one of the knees, chances are she simply isn’t trying hard enough. Not certain what toys will promote safe, but still rough and tumble play? Here are the Top 10 Rough and Tumble toys for kids.


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10. Wobble deck

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

Staying on your edge of this crazy toy takes a great deal of balance and coordination, perfect for the developing child. There’s also the valuable lesson of getting back up after you fall, because that’s a virtual certainty with this Top 10 item.

9. Trucks and tractors

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

As any 6-year old will attest, playing with trucks, tractors and outdoor toys in the sand, yard or park takes a lot of endurance. When the rough and tumble play really begins is when the truck is transformed into a riding toy, reaching speeds approaching Mach 1.

8. Squirt guns

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

Even though a good shot of water in the face on a hot, summer day feels like heaven, these are to be avoided at all costs when participating in the neighborhood squirt gun fight. Coming away unscathed, while blasting your opponents to water-drenched kingdom come, takes guile, strategy and a warrior mentality.

7. Nerf guns

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys


Not unlike squirt guns, a good Nerf gun fight will leave even the most energy-laden kid gasping for air. Setting up blockades and running from adversaries at break-neck speed will take a lot out of kid; until round two anyway.

6. Silly string

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

Unlike some chase and shoot games, there’s no denying when you get nailed with Top 10 rough and tumble play toy #6. It drapes you in fluorescent-colored stringy goo that’s impossible to miss. Silly String is also great for sneaking up on parents and dousing them while they lay napping; though, you didn’t hear that here.

5. Hopper ball

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

Best used in wide open, grassy areas, the Hopper Ball is the only way to travel. Many ride on toys use the same bounce-jump technique, which is key to burning energy here. Sure, at some point the rider will end up flat on his back gasping for air, but that’s what rough and tumble play is all about. Things really get hairy when there are multiple Hopper Balls in the same general vicinity. Now, Hopper Ball becomes more like Bumper Ball, and all bets are off.

4. Slip-N-Slide

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

One of the true rough and tumble toy classics, kids (and venturesome adults) have been flying down Slip-N-Slides since 1961. Though it is clearly explained by parents prior to all Slip-N-Slide events, seems there is always one (usually more) child making their way back up the hill, just a little too close to slide. The result is inevitable: being taken out by an out-of-control slider.

3. Trampoline

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

These are one of the more enjoyable toys on the planet; there’s just something about getting that kind of air-time that appeals to kids everywhere. And, at long last, trampolines now come with netting around the outside. While not foolproof, this reduces the chance of a child flying headlong into the open kitchen window; a common mishap prior to this innovation.

2. Socker boppers

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

An argument could easily be made that this toy incites rough and tumble play like no other, placing it at #1 on our Top 10 list. Sliding on these over-sized instruments of destruction is an invitation to rough play. While it is possible to see a few stars, Socker Boppers do a pretty good job of preventing serious injury; physically that is. Mentally, getting whooped with a Socker Bopper left to head can require years of therapy.

1. A football

A list of the top ten toys for rough and tumble toys

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Nothing extravagant, no fancy set-up or color schemes here. Just a group of kids, divided evenly (at least in principle), charged with preventing each other from taking the football across the line, by whatever means necessary. Unlike the pansies in the NFL, what rules there are in backyard football games pretty much go out the window by halftime.

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