Best Sports Toys for Preschoolers and Toddlers

7 Best First Sports Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

In search of toys to help your young children learn the basics of popular sports? Have a toddler who loves all things balls, sports, and running around and are looking to teach them more about these fun sports? This list of the 7 best sports toys for toddlers and preschoolers is the perfect place to find just what you are looking for.

Below are our favorite votes for awesome toys that help children learn how to play soccer, basketball, baseball, golf, bowling, and more. As a Mom of 3 sports-loving kids as well as an early childhood educator, all of the toys on the list are tried and true favorites and have stood the test of time.

Scroll down to check out features, pros and cons, and more for our favorite sports toys for Toddlers and preschoolers.

This post may contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate as well as a member of other affiliate programs, I may earn a small compensation from qualifying purchases. All opinions and recommendations are my own. 

Best First Sports Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

2 in 1 Kids Basketball and T-Ball Set

Our vote for the number one kid’s sports toy in this awesome 2 in 1 kid’s basketball and t-ball set. The combination of the two sports in one is perfect for the toddler that wants to learn and try out multiple sports.

It converts easily from a toddler sized basketball hoop to a toddler sized t-ball tee. It comes with two balls, a toddler bat, and even a simple kid’s pitching machine. It is super easy to use, changes back and forth between sports, and is made of good quality plastic.

The basketball hoop has a spot for adjustable heights which makes it great for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. It comes in two different fun colors. The bottom base can be filled with sand or water and kept outside but it is also a great size that it can be kept indoors if desired.

My 1 year old got this hoop for Christmas and it has grown with him. He absolutely loves playing basketball with it inside the house. Not only does he love that he can reach to score a basket but he loves to try to throw them from a few feet away (as does my husband).

The downside of this hoop and tee set is that it is definitely geared for younger children. Many of the toddler/children’s basketball hoops extend to be a lot taller than this one. This hoop doesn’t extend to be super tall which makes it best for children ages 1-5.

We love that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in our house and the cute designs make it fun to look at in our living room. We love the versatility of the 2 in 1 hoop and it makes the perfect addition for any little sports lover.


  • Comes with two different sports options.
  • Comes with an additional pitching machine option.
  • Tee and basketball hoop can both be adjusted for different heights.
  • Includes two basketballs, four baseballs, and a bat.
  • Comes in two different colors.
  • Great for ages 1-5.
  • Bottom can be filled with sand or water so it doesn’t tip/blow over.
  • Easily converts between the two sports.
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space.


  • Needs to be put together
  • A few different smaller pieces that you need to keep track of in order to convert it from a basketball hoop to a baseball tee.
  • The bat doesn’t stay extended at times.
  • Hoop/tee height doesn’t extend as high as other options. Not as great of an option for older or taller children.

2 in 1 Basketball T-ball Set

Best first Ball Set: Bedwina Sports Balls Set

This awesome set of 4 ball toys includes a football, basketball, soccer ball, and dodgeballs for toddlers. They are 5″ around and the perfect size for little hands. They are made of rubber and come with a small pump to inflate them.

We were gifted this set of balls for our toddler’s first birthday and they are still a favorite to this day. The three we haven’t lost have lasted years and just need a repump each season.

We love the fact that they are perfect for little hands to grab, throw, and catch. They’re not heavy when blown up and don’t take up a huge amount of space. Because of this, they are great for both indoor and outdoor play. They fit perfect in a toddler sized basketball hoop and work great for kicking as well.

Because of the size of the balls and this set, I would highly recommend them as your child’s first ball set. They’re great for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and offer hours of sports fun.


  • Comes with four different types of balls
  • Includes a pump
  • 5″ size perfect for little hands
  • Made of durable rubber
  • Great for ages 1-6
  • Lightweight
  • Awesome for both indoor and outdoor use


  • Could pop if dogs get a hold of them
  • 5″ size may be a bit small for older children
  • Rubber material is different than what normal balls are made of
  • Lighter weight makes them easier to blow/roll away if left outside

First Balls for Toddlers Set

Best First Soccer Goal: Portable Mini Soccer GOal

This awesome portable mini soccer goal is perfect for the aspiring soccer star. It includes a PVC plastic pipe soccer goal with a net and a bonus traveling case. The pieces easily click into place and it can be put together in minutes.

It is a lightweight, easy to move around goal. It comes with stakes that you just put over the top of the sides and back so it doesn’t tip over when in use if needed.

This soccer goal is smaller than a typical soccer goal but it is portable and easy to use. It makes for a great backyard play item when you have a small yard or not a lot of storage space. While it does say that it is targeted for ages 6+ we purchased this for our 3 year old who had just started soccer lessons and it was a hit.

Little ones will love having a smaller goal to block if playing goalie and the smaller size makes it perfect for practicing soccer independently or with a friend. It comes in a fun bright green and black color and folds up super small to fit in the goal.


  • Small size makes it portable and easy to move around the yard
  • Folds up small and fits in a storage bag for easy storage
  • Unfolds and pieces click into place to set up easily
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy PVC pipe goal
  • Comes with stakes so it doesn’t fall over or fly away.


  • Not as large as a typical soccer goal
  • Age range of the product is listed for older children (although we found it to work great for our toddler as well)
  • Click system may take a few minutes to figure out
  • If not using the stakes it could get knocked over or moved easily
  • Only comes with one goal

Portable Soccer Goal for Toddlers

Best First Baseball Tee: Little Tikes T-Ball Set

If the all in one t-ball set with basketball set isn’t for you but you are looking for a fun way to introduce baseball or t-ball to your little ones then this one is for you. This super sturdy t-ball set comes with a tee, a plastic bat, and anywhere from two to five balls.

It is super compact and can be put together so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. The oversized bat will help your children aim and hit the ball easier and the tee can be adjusted slightly for height depending on the age of your child.

This is the perfect started baseball set as it is easy to use, compact, and available in most stores and online. We purchased ours from Target for a birthday but you can also find it most anywhere else. It does only come in the red and blue colors.

Our 1, 3, and 5 year olds kids love to use this to play outside in the yard. It is a great lightweight toy for them to pull out of the garage and start playing with without needing any assistance. Changing the height on it is difficult for them to do and they do need some help with this part. The height only adjusts by an inch or two tops when you spin the tee in further to the base.

The balls and bat that come with this set are a very hard plastic. This makes them durable but could really hurt if they’re playing and hit the ball where another child is standing (although it will hurt much less than a normal baseball). They’re a much stronger plastic than a wiffle ball but they fly further when hit.

We love this set and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for the perfect starter baseball set for toddlers and preschoolers.


  • Tee can be taken apart and stored easily
  • Comes with 2-5 hard plastic balls depending on where you buy it
  • Comes with a large oversized bat that is easy to hit with
  • Perfect for ages 1-6
  • 22″ Height can be adjusted slightly (about an inch or two tops)
  • Can be found in most stores and online easily


  • Only comes in one color option
  • Balls are pretty hard when hit (needs to be done outside or far away from people)
  • Height is difficult for children to adjust on their own and can only be adjusted about an inch or two

Little Tikes T-Ball Set

Best first Basketball Hoop: Little Tikes Easy Score Basketball SEt

This Little Tikes easy score basketball set is the perfect first basketball set for toddlers and preschoolers. Children from ages 1-5 will love throwing and playing ball with this fun set.

It includes a plastic adjustable basketball base, net, and anywhere from 2-3 balls depending on where you purchase it. The height can be easily adjusted and you can fill the base with water or sand so that it doesn’t blow or tip over when in use.

We’ve played with and seen this basketball hoop all over the place. At local play places, in kid’s daycares, and more. It is the classic go-to hoop for young children and is perfect for little basketball lovers.

The balls that come with it are a soft silicone ball and fit perfectly in the hoop. You can use it at a height where your child can just place the ball in the hoop and dunk or you can adjust it to a super high height so they have to try to throw the balls in.

This hoop comes in two different fun color choices and does take up a pretty large amount of space. However, it is the perfect hoop for outside or in the basement, or a playroom during a cold winter. We loved using this hoop and think it makes the perfect first hoop for little ones.


  • Perfect basketball hoop for ages 1-5
  • Height can be adjusted to lots of different heights
  • Comes with 2-3 silicone balls perfect for little hands
  • Comes in two different color choices
  • Oversized hoop and soft net are perfect for young children
  • Great price point


  • Doesn’t adjust to be tall enough for older children
  • Bottom base has to be filled with sand or water so it doesn’t tip or blow over
  • Large size takes up a lot of space in smaller houses

Best First Bowling Set: Melissa and Doug Kids Bowling Friend Set

Melissa and Doug toys are amazing quality at a good price point and this awesome bowling set is no exception. We love this fun bowling friends set that comes with 6 animal themed bowling pins and a bowling ball. It makes the perfect first bowling set for toddlers and preschoolers.

This bowling set comes with a fun carrying case that fits all six pins and the bowling ball. The bowling ball is hard enough that it knocks the pins down but not too hard that it could damage things in the process. It comes with 6 fun different animal pins made of plastic. Kids will love playing and knocking down the different animals.

You can set up the pins, roll the ball, and knock them down over and over. All of these things combined make it our favorite pick for kid’s first bowling set.

My one year old received this for Christmas this year and he has a blast with it. Not only does he use the pins for bowling with the help of his older sisters but he also loves to carry the fun animal shapes around and play with them as well.

We’ve set it up both outside and inside and the little bowling ball is perfect for little hands to throw and knock the balls down. While it doesn’t have the typical 10 pins like you’d find in the bowling alley it is still great for counting practice and playing bowling.


  • 6 Plastic pins shared like fun animals make it fun for little ones
  • Comes with a plastic ball perfect for knocking down the pins
  • Plastic carrying case fits all of the pins and ball and is great for storage
  • Great price point
  • Durable plastic
  • Pins have a weighted bottom for easy set up and playing
  • Lots of fun colors and designs


  • Only comes with 6 pins instead of the standard 10
  • Can be very loud when pins and ball knock into each other
  • Hard plastic designs can get scraped up easily

Melissa and Doug First Bowling Set

Best Beginning Golf Set: Toddler Golf Set and Putting Mat

This awesome toddler golf set and putting mat comes with all of the fun bells and whistles. It includes three golf clubs, two holes, two flags, six balls, a golf bag carrying case, and a golf putting mat.

Because it comes with so many different golf pieces is a great started golf kit for toddlers. The clubs are the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers and the balls are made of a plastic that is not as hard as your typical golf ball.

Kids can set up the holes with attached flags and use the golf clubs to practice hitting into the holes. The mat works great for practicing putts and works both indoors and outdoors.

The adorable carrying case comes with a strap to hang on your back or arm as well as wheels and a pull handle for carrying behind you just like an adult golf bag. The balls fit perfectly in holes in the front of the bag and are the perfect size for beginner golfers while also being slightly larger so as not to become choking hazards.

While we have not used or owned this golf set we did have a similar one that is no longer being made. It had a lot of the same features such as the fun kid sized golf clubs and balls, tees and flags, and a fun carrying case. This one looks like a great options with a ton of fun features including the putting mat as well which makes it our pick for the best golf toy for toddlers.

My kids had fun hitting the golf balls around the yard with their golf kit but definitely preferred some of the other sports toys to golf. All in all if you have a little golf lover this would be perfect for them.


  • Kid sized golf clubs made at the perfect angle to make hitting the ball easier for little ones
  • Plastic golf balls slightly larger than normal so they’re not a choking hazard
  • Fun carrying case that comes with both a strap and wheels
  • Comes with 6 golf balls
  • Includes two plastic holes and flags
  • Putting mat perfect for indoor play


  • Only comes in one color choice
  • Plastic holes are hard to hit the ball into without hitting the hole/flag over or pushing it away
  • Some say the plastic is slightly flimsy
  • The head of the golf clubs can detach

Overall these 7 awesome items make the best first sports toys for toddlers and preschoolers. Depending on which sport you are looking for and what your child is into pick and choose the best one for you. What works best for us may not work best for you and vice versa.

Our children have tried a version of all 7 of the above toys and found that they love soccer and basketball best. The basketball hoop and soccer net get used the most because that is what they are into. As they’ve gotten older their opinions have changed and we’ve added to our outdoor toys as well.

Our favorite of all of the above listed toys is the two in one basketball and t-ball hoop because it combines two sports and works just right for our little ball lover while the soccer net for our 5 year old soccer star is a close second. If you have more favorite sports toys to share feel free to share them in the comments below.

For more recommendations of our favorite toddler and preschool products be sure to also check out these push cars for toddlers and/or these awesome swing recommendations for babies and toddlers. As a family with three little ones under 5 years old we’ve tried a lot of kid’s products out and love to share our opinions on them!

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