How about a family tournament for your own home grown Olympics? Play badminton or volleyball with this set; a surefire crowd pleaser for backyard summer fun, especially if you have a multi-generational crowd. This set includes the net (poles), 4 racquets, 2 birdies, a volleyball, pump, rules (always good!) and it all zips up into a carrying case. There are pricier sets that may be sturdier, but for a short season of fun, this will probably be quite sufficient. We reviewed this Franklin set from Target. All Ages.
Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012.
Your aspiring athlete can try a hand at a skill that was recently added to the Olympics. All they need is this rainbow colored ribbon that is 6 feet long and attached to a ribbon wrapped wand. In the "olden days" when this reviewer was growing up they were made of crepe paper and sold in the candy store along with penny candy. They never lasted long, but they were as much a part of summer as jump ropes and rollerskates. These are made of fabric and probably will not have a long life, either, but they are good fun. the company does make a larger ribbon that is a foot longer and twice as expensive.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
One of our favorite novelty toys of the year. The axis of the toy has lights that change color when you spin the inner core. You get that motion by pulling (creating different levels of tension) on the two plastic handles. Once you start the center core spinning and you pull on the cords, the light creates different shapes. We do have to admit, that at first we hit ourselves in the face the toy--we're not the most coordinated bunch. But once we got the hang of it, we found this product to be totally cool and addictive!
There are three versions so far to chose from: Blue Angel (blue case) with multi-colored lights as you spin. Our favorite. NytFyr - with a purple case and red and white lights. Cyclone- a green case with green and white lights (not as cool as the Blue Angel in our opinion).
To best see the lights and shapes turn the lights off. We also found that if you hold the toy at an angle, then the person spinning can also see the changing lights and shapes. If you spin head on, then it's much more difficult to see what you're creating.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Our experienced scooter riders were excited to give this new twist on the classic ride-on a try. Rather than just ride on the scooter, riders need to rock back and forth on the mechanism that is on the top of the platform where you'd usually stand flat. We found that kids that already knew how to ride a bike and therefore had that balancing thing done a little bit better, had more ease with this scooter. Those testers really thought the added dimension of this scooter to be great fun. Our testers that still were using training wheels needed help balancing, but still enjoyed it. That said, we'd say this is really for older kids. Our parent tester loved that it had a kickstand--so it did not need to lean like most other scooters. It is heavier--so while it does fold--it is not like the little scooters that many parents end up carrying. (Note: the company offers a new mini version that we have not tried yet with our testers.)
Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
If you want to introduce another generation to sidewalk games you probably played as a kid, this is a good choice. Inside a small box are four pieces of thick sidewalk chalk, a gold token and a small booklet with rules and pictures of how to draw and play a variety of hopscotch games. Once learned, these active games build social skills as well as physical coordination. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2011.
Our test family found this game "Awesome!" It's an all new "twist" on Twister. This is played with a color spinner and instead of a mat, players use colored hoops that connect with varying body parts. There are five different variations of the game. Some involve tossing the hoops and catching them where they belong, others are more direct. However you choose to play, get ready for laughter, action and loads of fun. This is a great outdoor game and can be enjoyed by multi-age groups, including parents. Warning: this is not for kids under three since it contains a small ball, balloons, and other small parts that might be choking hazards. 6 & up.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: .
Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.
Since we first reviewed the Razor Scooter in 2001, it has become the granddaddy of them all. When they first arrived on the scene, it was hard to walk around the streets of our Greenwich Village office without seeing dozens of kids on them (or parents carrying them to their kids for pick up!) They have maintained their apply with kids as one the experiences of childhood. Here in New York City--they have replaced the "first bike" as the main mode of childhood transportation. We are always amazed by the really little kids that have mastered the scooter!
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.
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