The 3-IN-1 Compass Tool is conveniently attached to a self-winding retractable carabiner clip, so it's always within reach yet quickly out of the way. Push-button releases spring-loaded compass lid. Flip-out magnifying glass stays neatly hidden when not in use. High-visibility LED signal light lets kids flash secret Morse code messages across any field. Awards: National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Spring 2011
This shelter features lots of mesh pockets for storage, waterproof tenting, and a window. This shelter is designed to get kids excited about the outdoors and exploration. The set comes with a mini-lantern to illuminate it on dark nights. Perfect for pretend play or backyard games.
This full-view periscope allows stealth viewing around corners and over boulders, high bushes and backyard fences. Three rugged, lightweight sections telescope for a reach of over 4'. Kids can flip the Mega View Periscope upside down and a full 16" is submersible for under-water viewing.
The Super View Mega Magnifier is a clear, super-sized lens in a rugged frame. Its sure-grip hand-holds allow for a wider-than-wide view at any angle, and it floats. When dropped onto any water surface, this mega lens gives an up-close look at creeks, streams, lakes or tidal pools.
These binoculars are adjustable, rugged, and waterproof. The 5x30 power crystal clear optics bring nature up close in crisp detail. — Chris Lowe, owner of Beanhead Toys in Sandy Springs, Ga., told TDmonthly in a late Summer 2012 survey that these binoculars are one of their best selling Science & Nature toys.
This full-view periscope allows stealth viewing over boulders, high brushes, backyard fences, and around corners. Three rugged, light-weight sections telescope for a reach over 4 feet high to let you see all those out-of-reach views. Flip the Mega View Periscope upside down and a full 16 inches is submersible for underwater viewing – on docks, poolside, lakes or beaches.
The Smart Bank sorts, counts, dispenses, deducts and always knows the balance. A patented "Balance Guard"™ feature locks and remembers the balance even when batteries wear out or when changing batteries. Launch date: 2000.
This product is designed so that realistic flashes attract real fireflies, which can fly in but can't fly out. It allows kids to see fireflies up close and could serve as a house for nocturnal insects. It offers five light modes for five firefly species. The Firefly Attractor "safely attracts fireflies and captures them without anyone touching or harming them," a representative of Summit Products told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2009.
This combo garden and playset gives girls the opportunity to grow a Lilly Bloom and Jasmine Fern while also utilizing the main flower as an enchanting doll house. The set comes with two dolls, two seed packets and 20 accessories.
Developed with the help of entomologists, this product can identify more than 70 different insects. The Bug ID asks eight "yes" and "no" questions to help determine what bug has been found. A warning alerts the user when a bug is dangerous, and the product includes fun bug facts and trivia. Bug ID, which includes a field guide and a large magnifier, lets kids become experts on bugs. Launch date: 2007.
The Zillionz Deluxe ATM Machine works just like a real ATM and gives kids all of their up-to-date account information. It features incredible sounds and a large screen, and even knows their name. Plus, it can only be accessed with a secret PIN that they choose. The electronic bill feeder and coin recognition works with real money. Kids can insert the ATM credit card to get the exact balance. Launch date: 2007.
This habitat provides a lifelike environment and works great with frogs or insects. The large water area allows for healthy tadpole development. The capture core lets one easily transfer tadpoles into the habitat. The Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum (sold separately) can be used to safely capture and view insects in this two-in-one habitat. Launch date: 2007.
Backyard Safari Bug Podz is a unique habitat for bugs. With over 30 pieces, the habitat can be changed again and again. Clear tubes and domes reveal the bugs as they grow, eat and interact with each other. Add dirt, grass and leaves to create a home bugs will love. The large pods give bugs lots of living space. The tubes allow bugs to travel from pod to pod. The cool corner pieces connect the tubes and pods. Kids become the architects and create great designs their insect friends will want to call home.
This bird feeder with a cool tiki hut design includes a motion sensor that alerts the Tikiman transmitter and kids when birds are feeding. The one-way glass lets kids see the birds without the birds seeing them. The feeding totem pole and water bowls are easy to fill, and suction cups simply attach the feeder to any window.
This cool habitat provides a place for kids to observe the insects they have caught on their outside adventure. The habitat includes a waterfall, vegetation and a play hut so bugs can “hang out.” Also included is a small hill for bugs to race up and down. The removable magnifier allows kids to get up close for details. The entire clear plastic dome opens completely for easy cleaning.
This pretend play gadget is just like the real thing! It has a big screen giving up-to-date account information and even knows a person’s name. It has a realistic camera, incredible sounds, and requires a secret PIN number to access. It has an electronic bill feeder and coin recognition. Great for teaching children money management skills, perhaps the best feature is that withdrawals can only be made if the cash is available. - Vanessa VanderZanden
Children discover the adventure just outside their door with the Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum! This cool, interactive toy captures insects by battery operated vacuum suction power without harm, into a plastic capsule. The live bugs can then be viewed and studied through the magnifier in the capsule. Children can either release the bug back into the outdoors or transfer the bug into a habitat. — “The bug vacuum — those guys sell really well,” said Pat Cooley, owner of Cooleykatz Toys in Livermore, Calif., in August 2008. — Forty percent of 64 retailers across the nation, from Alaska to Florida, said that bug observation and collecting items headlined their summer sales in 2008. ― As of 9.23.2010, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 10 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 5 in best-selling science and nature toys. PROS: Durable, interactive, engaging and educational.