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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer is here!!!

Well, almost here. I don't know about where you live but here it's been wishy washy. As in one day our wish for summer comes true and the next day the sun is washed out by the rain. Anyway, one of my suggestions was to do a review of summer toys, which I've been meaning to do anyway, so thanks for the suggestion!

Beach or Pool
I love these Mermaid and Pirate Towels by Haba ($27 each) at HearthsongWater Talkies let you have a conversation under water! From Kidsurplus ($9.39)
i-Play Beach Builder Construct a Kingdom ($21.99) from Kidsurplus looks like a really fun way to build a sand castle. Don't forget to bring along some knights to guard the towers and watch them get washed away by the sand and water for added fun and adventure!

Sand Shapers from Spielstabil/Haba from Oompa ($9.99)

Green Toys Sand Play Set from Moolka ($19.99)

Shell Collecting Bag from Kathe Kruse at Oompa($12.99)

Patschnas Water Toys from Haba from Oompa ($25.99)
This set is so cool and multi-functional. It comes with a bucket to carry the sponges in but can also be used to view under-water life in the ocean! The three sponges are unusually shaped, squishy, and totally splash worthy. Great for the pool or beach.

Water Park from Haba, also at Oompa ($29.99)
This looks so fun, I wish I was going to the beach just so I could by it. Your kids can build a water slide in the sand! Make sure to bring a bucket so they can keep the thrills going.

Haba has a line called Terra Kids ($5-$33), available at Oompa, Moolka, and Maukilo for a little bit older kids. They have things like this cool lantern, a harmonica, a wristwatch, and even a pocket knife. Make sure to check out each website, they all carry different stuff from the line.
My son loves his Kompass Tin ($13.95 at Maukilo) from Haba. It really works and is such a cute kid's version of the real thing. They'll enjoy wearing it around on your hike. Consult them when you need to know which way to go and make them feel super important.
Also from Haba is this Magnifying Glass ($10.00) from The Wooden Wagon

These fun sets let kids get in on the action of camping while the adults do the real work.
Top: Let's Pretend Grill and Go Camp Stove ($23.96)
Bottom: Pretend & Play Camp Set (16.49)
both by Educational Insights/Learning Resources and found at Toys Camp


Let kids role play with their very own grill set.
Above- Erzi Barbeque Grill ($50.00) from Willow Tree Toys
Below- Small World Toys Wooden BBQ Grill ($115) from Little Wonderland

20 Sidewalk Chalks by Alex at Urban Kids Play ($8.50)
Writing on the sidewalk with chalk is a classic summer activity. With this bucket you'll never run out of chalk.

For your entrepeneur who is looking to get a little something more out of summer, Alex makes an adorable and fully functional Lemonade Stand from Amazon ($70 right now, on sale).

Break Your Own Geodes from Oriental Trading Co. ($9.95 per dozen)
I remember smashing geodes with my dad when I was little. You can play a game by hiding them in your yard for your kids to find. Once they are all gathered, the kids can smash them with a hammer to find out what's inside. Invite the neighbor kids over and you'll be the coolest parent on the block.

And finally, two classic toys both from Step 2 and available at Target. Above, the Waterwheel Play Table ($35), which my son has had for three summers now and still loves, and below, the Naturally Playful Sand Table ($50). The great thing about the sand table is that if you're limited on space, it's smaller than a sand box. Plus, it's easier to clean and get new sand in than a sand box. Also, they have combined sand/water tables but I say keep them separate! Once the sand gets water in it, it's hard to dry out completely and it's more messy. But, hey! messes are half the fun of playing outside, right?

Make sure to have plenty of bubbles and popsicles around this summer and have fun outdoors with your kids!!!


Jon and Briana said...

Hey Toy Snob! I just was reading and saw that you live around the red balloon and I work there! so I just wanted to let you know that this week 16-21 is a sale and everything is 22% off!

Christine said...

Thanks for the great post! The lemonade stand has my heart. I got Laine the same compass. She loves it. One day, we were following my friend to the aquarium and I explained that ew were following her because she has a GPS and I explained that a GPS is a fancy thing that talks to satellites to tell you how to get somewhere. Laine responded, "Oh, yeah? Well they should be following us! Because I have my compass. And that's way fancier than a GPS!"