Friday, June 12, 2009 Play Outside?

With balls, bats, bubbles, and even croquet sets, we sure are! With schools almost out and the sun shining for hours on end (or so I remember it did once...), it's about time for a summer fun round-up. Who would want to be caught unprepared when the clouds finally clear??
Be sure to pop over to the previous vacation boredom vaccination for more games and gizmos, tunes and tales for playing in the car or in the backyard.

It's not summer without organized bedlam...I mean, sports. If you're looking to entertain a pair or more of active ones, try out these fun past-times.

Lacrosse Set from Mutual Sales: This pair of lightweight lacrosse sticks and ball is great for both confident players and those just learning to throw.

Melissa and Doug's Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Croquet Set: The whole family can enjoy this classic game redone with colorful, bug-adorned wickets and lighter, safer balls. Pairs nicely with iced lemonade with curly straws.

Junk Ball and Bat from Little Kids, Inc.: Baseball aficionados can practice their "junk" pitches with this special wiffle ball. Check out the Junk Ball website for different game ideas.

GreenToys EcoSaucer and Schylling's Flying Ring: These two toys put a spin (harr harr) on the park favorite, frisbee. The EcoSaucer is a seriously green disc: it's made from recycled milk jugs! The Flying Ring is just that: a 20'' ring that snaps open and, as far as I've seen in the chapter book room, can really soar.

Premier Kites and Schylling's Stunt Kites: I mentioned our wide selection of kites earlier in spring, and now we have even more with the addition of stunt kites, which are just as amazing to watch as to fly. Stunt kites come in such cool styles as a pirate ship, jet star, and an eagle.

Hello Kitty Outdoor Toys: Sanrio is everywhere -- even in your backyard! For Hello Kitty fans of toddler and elementary school ages, try our Hello Kitty Bowling Set, with light plastic pins and balls, or the Hello Kitty Pop-up Toss Baseball Set, because it's never to early to start learning the great American game.

Battat Golf Play Set: This set is perfect for beginners with three golf balls, three clubs, and a handy shoulder bag. Caddy and groundhogs not included.

Still have some energy to burn after junk-flying-croquet (reminds me of the Super Hoop tournament in the Thursday Next novels)? Here some great outdoor games.

Boochie from Gamewright Games takes the ancient game of bocce - participants aim to toss their ball closest to the "jack" main ball - and takes it to a new, sillier level, with bean bags, hoops, and fancy throwing techniques (tossing between your legs with your eyes closed sounds pretty fancy to me!).

Rubber Horse Shoes: Almost does count in this child-safe version of the classic game from Schylling.

Balsa Wood Gliders, Stomp Rockets and Squeeze Rockets or Planes: I, for one, have entertained my three nephews for hours with these simple but fun toys. Squeeze Rockets/Planes are ideal for groups (especially those with trouble sharing, ahem) because of the large quantity of rockets and launch bulbs in each package.

Bella Butterfly Hopscotch from Melissa & Doug's Sunny Patch: Don't have a sidewalk or driveway for hopscotch? Kids can have a "hoppin good time" anywhere with this colorful game with interlocking foam pieces and ladybug tokens.

Water Works
If those days with temps in the 80s ever return to us, you and yours can cool down with these fun waterworks.

Sunny Patch Grub Scouts Sprinkler: If the name of this sprinkler doesn't catch you, then the adorable/hilarious/super safe rubber "grub" nozzles with cub scout caps will.

Tootin' Turtle or Mollie Ladybug Sprinkler
: Also from Melissa & Doug's Sunny Patch line, these creature sprinklers are as endearing as they are enduring.

Bunny or Chameleon Watering Cans: Whether its the plants or the little ones who need the soaking, these colorful critter cans can do the job with style.

Everyday we get more summer goodies, so check in from time to time to see what else we have! A little birdie (also known as our merchandise buyer) told me that pool toys will soon be here. For now, the favorite almost-summer-toy among staff and customers alike is the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, which makes tasty cold desserts from mere cubes of ice and your favorite juice or soda.

No matter what kind of fun you get up to this summer, don't forget the sunblock and the sunglasses! We carry sunglasses in sizes for infants through elementary schoolers, with a variety of styles, from flames to rhinestones. Sun safety is uber stylish. That's what my mama taught me and I'm sticking with it.

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