Basic gear for active play! This adjustable hoop (from 4 to 6feet) makes this a great choice for preschoolers and early school aged kids interested in learning how to shoot some hoops! Light enough to make this a choice for inside or outside play.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013.
A fun way to gain flexibility, strength, and improve posture while introducing kids to Yoga poses. Game can be played solo or with others. Players take turns hitting the spinner and choose a card of the same color shown on the spinner. Now, try to hold the pose for 10 seconds without laughing or falling down! The object is to be first to collect one card of each color. Perfect for sleepover, playdates, or family fun. Our test family Mom wrote that her whole family enjoyed this one...."We were laughing and having fun and the boys said the stretching felt good after soccer. I appreciate that the game doesn't assume you know yoga poses and the illustrations are quite clear (although it does help to be familiar with the poses to help the kids do them). The graphics are clean and very cute and you know I always like a game that is self contained (the cards are stored in the spinner itself) - always good for keeping up with all of the cards and for using in different rooms or places. I like that it is very active and teaches everyone something new as well. We give it a thumbs up! I can also see a big use for this in more of a classroom or group setting (such as a break from fine motor skills - at our school the kids take 'brain breaks' and do something more physical.)"
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
For those who love Bop It and Tetris -- this is a dream come true. Unlike the Tetris game you may play on a screen, this puts Tetris in a new and bigger format. You have to slide, spin or slam to get the shapes to fall where you want them to. You can play solo or play it by passing it around with friends. 3 "AA" batteries required. 8 & up.
Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A multi-generational game for family fun. With younger players use a soft beach ball that is easier to hit. Use it at the beach or in the backyard. This is mid-priced volleyball set that includes poles, spikes, net, a hand pump, and a soft spike ball. Stores in a convenient carrying case that is easy to take along. Available at Target. All ages.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Three fabric covered balls to learn to juggle with. It comes with a poster that starts you out with juggling one ball, then two and finally, lot of luck--three! A fun choice for active play that challenges dexterity and eye hand in a BIG-G-G way!
8 & up
Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013.
Three fabric covered balls to learn to juggle with. It comes with a poster that starts you out with juggling one ball, then two and finally, lot of luck-- try three! A fun choice for active play that challenges dexterity and eye hand in a BIG-G-G way!
Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013.
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.
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