April showers are behind us turning thoughts to the sunny days of Summer! Before Memorial Day weekend sneaks up on us, stock up on the latest and greatest toys to encourage tots to head outdoors. With new toys at the ready, kids will be begging to enjoy the fresh air. Check out these 10 new toys for outdoor fun.
Run like the wind. Any mama who's visited a park in the past two years knows the balance bike craze is showing no signs of slowing down. The bikes, long a teaching tool for lil ones overseas, have reshaped the way American tykes have learned to ride a two-wheeler.
The latest to join the lineup on the bike rack is YBike ($80), a plastic version of the bike that is designed for the younger tots. With a unique motorcycle-like design, including an extended front fork angle, and available in four bright colors, the bike is sure to catch kids' eyes. The company sent over a fun orange version for us to test. Keep reading to see what I thought.
Who is this product designed for? Though the instructions that came with the bike state that it is designed for tots ages 2-5, it seems better suited for younger ones, probably 2-4 that are ready to move beyond the tricycle.
What sets it apart? The lightweight, injection molded plastic makes for a light bike that can easily be transported to various locations. With two closely aligned rear wheels, the bike is more stable than traditional walking bikes, and it can stand independently, a real plus for teaching lil ones to turn and stop. It can also be used both in and outdoors, making it great for enthusiastic kids who insist on riding their bikes at all times.
What could be better? We found the steering column, and wheels, to be a bit stiff, slowing the biking experience. While this is great for a new rider, more experienced ones may find it discouraging. The plastic wheels also make for a louder, less smooth ride than their rubber, pressurized cousins.
How long did my child ride it? Though my son is used to a metal bike at school, he was very comfortable on the YBike and rode it for a half hour straight.
Would I buy it? If I were buying a gift for a 2-year-old, I would buy this bike in a second! For older tots, who are closer to riding a two-wheel bike, I would seek out a balance bike with rubber tires and only two wheels for an easier transition to a pedal bike.
Keeping active in Winter requires a lot more effort than warmer months. Elka Karl shared these adorable pictures of her tot braving the cold for a little outdoor recreation over the holidays in our Sugarbabies group.
This holiday season we traveled to northern Wisconsin to visit with my family. My little one also got to see his cousin Soren again, who's five months younger than him. One way we avoided cabin fever was by spending a lot of time on outdoor treks. Here's how we hung out in the great outdoors with the babes (and with the 8-year-old auntie and uncle).
Let it snow! Much of the Midwest and East Coast are ending the year under more than a foot of fluffy, white snow, after a Boxing Day blizzard that blanketed much of the country. For lil ones experiencing their first snow it is thrilling. For mamas looking for yet another activity for their snowbound families, it is getting old – fast! We've got all the tips you need to make the most of Winter's natural wonder before it turns over to slush!
Forecasters are predicting a white Christmas for much of the nation, so many parents are searching out the best snow toys. From the fastest sleds (including a gas-powered one!) to the most accurate snowball-throwing machine, these products will give families a snow day to remember!
Lots of moms like to think out loud, and Tiffany Carboni is one of them. In a post on her OnSugar blog, Mother Tongue & Other Sharp Objects, she explores what kids do when mom won't turn the boob tube on.
Hey moms, ever have a day like this?
It is such a beautiful day outside, kids. Go out and play.
No, you may not watch TV today. Out you go. Explore the yard. Use your imagination and have fun. I love you.
How can you be done exploring? Have you turned over every rock and fondled every bug? Have you touched, sniffed, and appreciated the details of every flower from my beloved garden? No? Then you haven't accomplished anything. Now go have fun while I do my chores.
I didn't really mean pick all my flowers, including the roses, the gardenias, and every single blueberry. But I'm happy you enjoyed yourselves. Why don't you play with a puzzle? Don't even think of turning on the boob tube. I'm watching you.
Apparently I'm not watching close enough. I didn't know it was possible to ruin a puzzle like that. Boy, you two are nothing if not methodical. Now, why don't you draw Mommy some pictures.
Wow, you drew some pictures, didn't you? All over the hardwood floor. I'm not sure how to get that indelible ink off without refinishing the entire floor. Your father is going to have some choice words tonight. Go into your room and think about what you've done.
Want to see more? Read the rest of No TV Today, Kids, or start following Tiffany Carboni's blog Mother Tongue & Other Sharp Objects. Have some thoughts you'd like to share with the world? Start your own OnSugar blog — it's easy, and free! We just might feature your content here on LilSugar!
If we don't build it, kids will come! Most playgrounds are filled with standard equipment: slides, monkey bars, swings, and a jungle gym. The stationary objects can lead to hours of fun, but don't do much to inspire creativity. David Rockwell, the architect and designer behind trendy restaurants and the Oscar's set design, is changing the way children play with a new playground set to open in New York City later this month.
The Imagination Playground looks like a work in progress with a mess of loose, blue foam blocks (all biodegradable and antimicrobial) and wheels laying around. But once a group of kids get their hands on the pieces, they work together to create their own creations. The park is staffed by trained associates who don't direct play, but ensure that the environment is safe. Through a partnership with KaBOOM!, Imagination Playgrounds might pop up in more American communities. Rockwell's "playground in a box" is filled with select pieces from the permanent NYC park to encourage sand and water play in smaller areas.
We had the opportunity to see a traveling version of the playground last weekend and witnessed a group of enthusiastic tots build a virtual water park complete with a towering waterfall, spinning wheels, and a sand pit.
Everybody in the pool! With the long weekend, community water holes, as well as backyard swimming pools are open for business and kids are grabbing their goggles and getting ready to dive in. As part of your Summer pool prep, stock up on some new pool-friendly toys and games that will entertain tots long after their marathon cannonball contest.
Toss Across Splash ($40) brings tic-tac-toe into the water with a floating game board filled with Xs and Os. Players toss beanbags at the board to turn over the targets and reveal the Xs and Os. The first one to get three across, wins. The game, designed for kids 8 years old and above, involves strategy, skill, and physical activity as the players dive after the beanbags. Tic-tac-toe has never been so wet, or so much fun! For more pool-worthy picks, check out the items below.
This weekend marks the unofficial start of Summer and with that, playdates and lazy afternoons move outside to take advantage of the warm weather. While there are tons of toys to keep tots occupied throughout the season, traditional outdoor group games will get lil ones up off their bums and rolling with laughter. Check out these 10 games to get the party started.
Summer's in our sights as we head into Memorial Day weekend. With thoughts turning to the beach and backyard barbecues it's time to get lil ones off the couch and out into the fresh air. With new outdoor toys, tots will be hard-pressed to find a reason to spend any time indoors during the warm weather months. Here are 10 toys to kick off the Summer season.