May 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 5
Summer Lovin’: Outdoor Toys that Fuel Fitness and Creativity
TIA Trend Experts Share 16 Outdoor Toys for Summer
With the unofficial start of summer just a few weeks away, families are gearing up for a long season off from school filled with sun-splashed days, action-packed getaways and weekend barbecues in backyards across the country.
Experts from the Toy Industry Association (TIA) report that toymakers are doing their part to ensure that families have plenty of options when heading outside to play, offering a wide range of active and creative toys for kids of all ages.
“There are so many wonderful products that encourage everyone – from toddlers to adults – to run, jump, bike and bounce their way through the summer months!” said TIA trend expert Adrienne Appell. “In addition to active toys, there is a variety of creative play toys that let imaginations run wild.”
It is essential to pay close attention to age-grading on toy packaging to ensure that children receive age-appropriate playthings, added Appell. “Selecting age-appropriate toys and keeping toys labeled for older kids away from younger children is important year-round,” said Appell. “Children are inquisitive and fast, so active adult supervision during play is crucial.”
Toddlers and tykes who want to be a part of the action will have tons of fun with toys that stimulate their senses and teach them important developmental skills. Some examples include:
Sights ’N Sounds Splash Table (International Playthings) – this splash table is also a floating water park, private island and canal for kids to strain, sail and squirt.As kids get a bit older, they’ll want to engage in more interactive play and showcase their creative talents for the whole neighborhood to see. Here are a few ideas:
Splash Golf Set (Prime Time Toys) – there won’t be a dull – or dry – moment as kids and parents improve their hand-eye coordination by scoring with the added challenge of water-soaked balls.Tweens who have a “need for speed” will love zipping around the park or having races with their friends this summer. Parents will appreciate the active nature of these toys which also keep kids fit and agile. Some hot picks for summer 2012 include:
Ready, Set, Pogo! (Alex Toys) – kids will bounce high, fast and far with this active toy.“Retailers will want to keep safety in mind, and stock their shelves with the appropriate protective gear for some of these outdoor products,” said Appell. “Helmets, knee pads and elbow pads will help to ensure that kids are playing safely.”
These are just some of the fantastic outdoor toys available for kids of all ages. For round-the-clock toy safety and trend information, visit ToyInfo.org.
Learn more about these toys below, and don't forget to check out more outdoor toys in TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Outdoor Toys
No batteries, gears, or pedals - just a fun, encouraging and progressive start to bicycle riding. PlasmaBike’s unique design encourages balance, coordination and motor skill development while offering a fun ride. Children as young as 18 months can enjoy the freedom or riding without the added complication of training wheels or anxiety of having to hold their balance too long, too early. Wide wheels ensure that PlasmaBike doesn't tip over in a stopped or stationary position, giving children added confidence and promoting self-esteem. The wide wheels and limited steering range enhance balancing capabilities and provide a smoother transition to a conventional 2 wheel ride.
Awards: 2012 The Toy Insider – Top Summer Toys, 2012 The National Parenting Centre – Seal of Approval, 2012 Parenting Magazine – Recommended, 2012 Creative Child Awards – Preferred Choice Award, 2011 Parenting Best in Play – New York Toy Fair, 2011 Best Toys Guide
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32268 (added 5/11/2011)
Kids can learn the basics of America's Pastime with this sturdy yet gentle foam batter's set. Launch date: January 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31639 (added 1/26/2011)
Junior explorers can hop on this inflatable space shuttle and blast off for both indoor or outdoor adventures. Ideal as a floating ride-on, this handsome shuttle boasts genuine looking instrument panels, gauges, a built-in portal view of Earth and the red & white stars & stripes of the U. S. of A. Kids will enjoy incorporating into play the clear window view of Earth and the international space station as seen from outer space. After touring the stars and the moon, move the furniture and make way for a shuttle landing that boasts a 45” wingspan and spreads 43” in length. Designed for a weight limit of 90 pounds.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 33439 (added 1/12/2012)
KAOS Nemesis reinvents the traditional water balloon fight by taking it to a whole new dynamic level of “getting soaked.” Kids and adults can kick-up the level of insanity with an extreme water balloon fight. Each KAOS Nemesis launcher is designed to comfortably launch water balloons up to 100ft with a simple flick of the wrist. The KAOS Nemesis has a large scoop top for quick reloads and comes with 25 Balloons.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34178 (added 4/30/2012)
These LEDs mount directly on the spokes of a bike, flashing as the wheels spin to create more than a dozen different images, including a working speedometer.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34177 (added 4/30/2012)
Yet another Razor improvement on the classic three-wheeler of the 1970s, the FlashRider 360 turns and drifts on dual inclined caster wheels but adds a Spark Bar. Now kids can spin and spark. Based on Razor’s awarding winner caster trike, the RipRider 360. The FlashRider 360 features a new spark bar lever that engages the sparks to fly. Uses the same compatible spark cartridge that is also found in the Spark scooters and the eSpark. Other features include a large hi-impact front wheel with flat-free tire for easy pedaling and complete control and to dual inclined caster rear wheels. The casters allow resistance-free drifting and spinning action. MLS Light Up Soccer Goal and Ball Set (Franklin Sports) – this soccer set encourages active play even when the sun goes down. Features a goal with glowing edges and a red light-up soccer ball. For kids up to 160 lbs.
— As of 04/30/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34176 (added 4/30/2012)
Ready, Set, Pogo - Jump high, fast and far. This Pogo Stick has soft grip handles, non-slip footrest and a wide rubber foot for extra stability. It has a padded frame for added comfort, too. Includes an encased metal spring for extra safety. Bounces up to 24 inches. Recommended weight is 44-99 lbs.
— Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, owner of Learning Tree Toys, Games & Books, Inc in Oklahoma City, Okla., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that the pogo sticks were a best-selling outdoor toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34175 (added 4/30/2012)
The new Super Miracle Bubbles Bubble Turbine is guaranteed to provide kids and adults with the seamless ability to create humongous bubbles and a variety of spectacular bubble tricks. Includes Instructional Booklet and Super Miracle Bubbles Premium Plus Solution in 100% recyclable bottle.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34174 (added 4/30/2012)
Kids can create their own outdoor art, then view it in awesome 3D and Kaleidoscope effects. Dual-ended Crayola® 3D Kaleidoscope Giant Chalk makes it a cinch to create fabulous 3D art. Giant chalk lasts a full seven times longer than regular chalk sticks.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34173 (added 4/30/2012)
This outdoor game combines the fun of soccer, kickball, ying discs, and golf. The Kickin' Putt 2 player game is complete with 2 kick around golf balls and the ying scoring disc. Toss the scoring disc to set the hole, and get ready for a game of soccer meets golf. The scoring disc is made in the USA from wheat based plastic and the kick around golf balls are made from natural rubber.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34172 (added 4/30/2012)
Shoot for a Hole-in-One in the pool! Complete golf set for the pool or backyard. Includes One Extendable Splash Golf Club; Three Splash Golf Balls; Floating Splash Target.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34171 (added 4/30/2012)
Black T-Bar Steering Maxi Kick Scooter by KICKBOARD USA LLC
Other products from KICKBOARD USA LLC
The maxi kick Scooter is an award-winning, high performance, 3-wheel scooter for kids ages 6-11. Weight limit 120lbs. The Swiss-designed maxi, like its sibling the mini (for kids ages 3-5), has a lean-and-steer mechanism that makes it unique and fun, giving kids the feeling of surfing the sidewalks as they curve and carve. The maxi has an amazingly smooth, quiet ride, even on urban sidewalks and it's light weight, yet exceptionally durable construction is easy for kids and parents alike to see and appreciate.
Awards: 2009 Oppenheim Portfolio's Gold and Platinum Award Seals; Oppenheim SNAP award seal; Toy Report Best Scooter for Kids ages 6-11; NBC Today Show 'Best Toys for Summer 2009.
— Alexander McPherson, toy supervisor at Little Dickens in Lynchburg, Va., told TDmonthly in a March 2013 survey that Kickboards are their best selling ride on toy, especially during Summer and around the holidays.
— Joe Barardoni Jr., owner of Pun's Toys in Bryn Mawr, Pa., told TDmonthly in a March 2014 survey that Kickboard scooters were best-selling ride-on toys.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34170 (added 4/30/2012)
The large steering wheel and real truck sounds create an exciting ride for kids who can imagine they are working on an important construction site. The CAT 3-in-1 Ride-On allows little construction workers to attach the toolbox to the back of the truck and carry their tools around to any important construction site. It can be transformed into 3 different forms: from a car to ride in, it easily turns into a walker that can be pushed from behind, to a vehicle that can be pulled along with the tools firmly attached. The 3-in-1 Ride-On includes 3 tools and 2 screws.
— As of 04/30/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on Amazon.com.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34169 (added 4/30/2012)
Children's bloks can go anywhere with the pink Build’n Go Wagon. The Mega Bloks Wagon has a bin that loads and dumps blocks anywhere with ease, a secure handle for little hands with a block slide to transport blocks into the wagon, and four sturdy wheels. The wagon also comes with a removable building plate so children can bring their creations anywhere they want.
— As of 04/30/2012 this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 6 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Durable; easy to use.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34168 (added 4/30/2012)
Sights 'N Sounds Splash Table by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
Other products from INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLC
The Sights N Sounds Splash Table is great entertainment for toddlers 18 months and older. Lights, sounds and plenty of action are in store on this light-weight table that lets kids scoop, strain and spin. This kids water table is great for warm summer days, or can be used inside as well.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34167 (added 4/30/2012)
MLS Light Up Soccer Goal and Ball by FRANKLIN SPORTS INC.
Other products from FRANKLIN SPORTS INC.
The MLS Light Up Soccer Goal and Ball Set encourages active play even when the sun goes down. This complete soccer set features a goal with glowing edges, and a red light up soccer ball. Now, kids can play their favorite sport with excitement day or night. Includes stakes to hold the goal securely in the ground, light up goal, light up ball, and 1 3V battery. 6 AAA batteries also required, not included. Goal measures 37.5 inches x 24 inches.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34179 (added 4/30/2012)
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Writer's Bio: Kristin Morency is the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) communications specialist and journalist. She spends her days researching and writing about the latest trends, safety tips and news about toys, play and the youth entertainment marketplace. Her articles can be found at ToyAssociation.org, ToyInfo.org, in various trade publications, and in TIA’s weekly e-newsletter, Toy News Tuesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more articles by this author
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