As the weather heats up and snow melts, families are thinking more and more about playing together outside! Read the Smart-Toys list of cool new Spring and Summer toys for ideas for getting out and playing in nature!
According to the Toy Industry Association and NPD Group, the outdoor toy and sporting goods category grew over 10% in 2016, largely due to an overall trend in recognizing the importance of health and wellness. Parents are encouraging their kids to put down the tablet, peel themselves away from the television screen, and get moving outside.
Classic outdoor toys have had new life breathed into them, meaning millennial parents are likely to see some new spins on familiar toys. As an example, look at the Kite-A-Pult by Tucker Toys, a combination of a kite and glider that is launched like a projectile from a hand-held device.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that all the popular outdoor toys of 2017 are low-tech, however. A number of innovative outdoor play companies have come up with tech-integrated active play toys that encourage kids to keep moving in new ways.
Toys that combine digital and physical play:
Think & Learn Teach ‘n Tag Movi
This learning toy actually uses integrated tech to help preschoolers work on their gross motor skills, direction following, and listening skills.
See more awesome tech toys
If it’s water fights you’re looking for, your best bet is to stock up on some awesome water blasters to help give yourself the upper hand! Be the ultimate water fighting machine with the Nerf Super Soaker Floodfire Blaster , which can target your enemies from up to 40 feet away. Don’t forget to have a backup arsenal of fast-filling water balloons, courtesy of Bunch-o-Balloons .
Read more about the best Super Soakers
Combine some artistic play with the great outdoors with chalk! Walkie Chalk is an adjustable, extendable stick that keeps a tight grip on your chalk, letting your kids draw while standing. It’s not only more comfortable and allows for the possibility of much larger creations, it also means no more chalky clothes!
See more arts and crafts toys
For the kids who need something more physically challenging, check out slacklining, a sport popularized by American Ninja Warrior which involves balancing on a slack cable strung between two trees. Slackerz 50 ft Slackline set is a great way to get started: the sturdy nylon webbing won’t damage your tree trunks, is easy to setup, and is great for balance, core strength, and overall cardiovascular fitness.
See more active play suggestions for kids
Remember, it’s important to stay safe when playing outside. These safety tips for outdoor play will make sure your kids stay out of harm’s way:
-Make sure that all young children are supervised by a responsible adult when playing outside (especially when playing near a pool or other body of water!)
-Keep toys away from the water and far from streets and driveways so kids aren’t tempted to approach them
-Properly store toys when not in use, so they can’t be tripped over or fall on top of anybody. Designate safe spots in the garage or storage area for bikes and other large items, particularly those with wheels
-Always ensure your kids are wearing proper gear for the activity of the day, especially helmets and knee pads for biking, roller blading, and other ride-on toys.
Read more toy safety tips.
Thanks for reading!