Monday, May 26, 2014

3 Awesome Electric Cars for Kids in 2014

I have met hundreds of youngsters who have cited afternoon cartoons as their number-one activity. Or tons of video games. And while I believe technology is an awesome leisure tool in moderation, one of the reasons I make these lists is to encourage kiddos to play outside.

And there are thousands of super-cool toys – such as the best kids’ electric cars in 2014 – that help children seek their childhood memories outdoors.

For your convenience, I have compiled a short-list of 3 awesome electric cars that are absolutely perfect for kids. Each one is designed for all-terrain use, and requires minimum charging time for maximum riding:


Power Wheels Dora the Explorer Lil’ Quad

This ride-on is oh-so-cute, and ideal for adventurous little ladies seeking their next backyard expedition. Dora and her friends are exploring their new surroundings from the front of a too-cool ATV – powered by your toddling tyke.

A large push-button starter allows new drivers to get accommodated to starting their ride-on, and the maximum speed reaches a thrilling, yet safe, 2mph. Also included is a nifty cargo rack for taking other toys on scenic drives around the garage.


Power Wheels Harley Davidson Rocker Ride-On Motorcycle

Truth be told, motorcycles and those who ride them have gotten a bad reputation in the past, but this Power Wheels Harley is 100% safe and secure. Your kiddo can look exactly like Mom or Dad while riding in style across all-terrain conditions. While the bike would work best on smooth pavement, the thick tires ensure an equally sleek, yet slightly slower, ride in grassy areas.

There are 6-volts of power within a rechargeable battery, launching the motorcycle to an exhilarating speed of 2.5mph. Plus, the push-button starter lets tiny toddlers learn how to “make it go” on their own.


Power Wheels Dune Racer

The coolest of this list (in my opinion), the Dune Racer can reach a top-speed of 5mph on any terrain. However, I most envision this beauty cruising along a clear seashore with a giggling youngster behind the wheel and family watching from a couple of steps behind.

And one of the great things about this ride-on is parental locks that give newbie drivers more control, while offering those aforementioned parents their peace of mind. The locks make 5mph an obsolete option, allowing new kiddos to get accustomed to driving at 2mph instead.

This one is a versatile trainer – perfect for all levels of little drivers.


Video - top 5 electric ride-on cars for kids:


Monday, May 12, 2014

Beautiful Wooden Swing Sets from Backyard Discovery in 2014

Not only are this year’s best picks in wooden swing sets FROM Backyard Discovery, they are designed specifically FOR backyard discovery. See what I did there? Ha!

These swing sets are absolutely beautiful – some with stained glaze for a rustic appearance, and others with natural woodwork to keep things simple. And all of Backyard Discovery playgrounds seem to have the same superior qualities that make them tower above their competition.

With this in mind, I have picked the top 3 among the best wooden swing sets 2014 that are definitely tops in the B.D. collection for this year.

And those are:


Backyard Discovery Tucson Cedar Wooden Swing Set

I have always been a huge fanatic of cedar because of the fresh woodsy scent, natural beauty, and honey-hued color. And this one is a favorite because, made entirely from cedar, this playground is gorgeous and resistant to the average wear-and-tear that you would expect.

Toddlers and older kiddos can play for hours at a time on a daily basis, and the playground will look as pristine a year from now as it did the day you assembled it. How come? It’s all in the resilient cedar!


Backyard Discovery Atlantis Wooden Swing Set

Comprised of beautiful, well-treated (non-toxic) wood, this playground is on my list of favorites because of the name. Atlantis. If your youngster knows the story about the lost, underwater city, there are guaranteed to be amazing, imaginative scenarios on this swing set. Dozens of mythical scenes are bound to unfold, and up to 7 kids will be making history by reenacting history. Very cool!

Included here are a curvy green and yellow slide, a gliding teeter-totter, 2 swings, a climbing wall, and an above-ground hideaway house. Beneath that there is also a small nook that could be turned into a sandbox or picnic area.


Backyard Discovery Dayton Cedar Wooden Swing Set

One of the best because it was designed for toddlers, this playground has an 8-foot slide that would be hard to resist. There are also double-belt safety swings, a too-cool trapeze bar, and a miniature treehouse with a canopy to hide-away from the sunshine. And the mini rock-wall provides somewhat of a challenge to get there!

Additionally, beneath the canopied deck, there is a squared-off nook that would make a great sandbox. And you can surround the playground with mulch to make soft landing spots for climbing, sliding, swinging youngsters.


Video - check out the top 5 among the best wooden swing set kits in 2014:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Backyard Fun: Sand & Water Tables for 2014

We have all been there – washing dishes or finishing chores in the house while kiddos play outside. When suddenly, we realize there is way too much silence going on, and we rush out the door. Only to find our youngsters covered in water and mud from head-to-toe with shameless grins plastered on their faces. And all over the new clothes you just finished washing. What an exasperating moment!

Not to fret though – the best sand and water tables in 2014 can satisfy your tyke’s need to get dirty. The combination of sand and water takes place in a designated bowl – and both elements are separated for playing until youngsters decide to mix them.

3 of those aforementioned bests are:


Step2 Shady Oasis Sand & Water Table (shown in photo top-left)

I am a huge fanatic of the Shady Oasis because of the attachable umbrella. The summertime can get incredibly hot with blaring sunshine that could scorch your youngster’s sensitive skin. The umbrella here is the width of the table, allowing kiddos to pile underneath to avoid the heat and UV rays of summertime sunshine.

The compartments are also much bigger than the average sand and water table – capacity for the sand area is 40-pounds and the water area is 3 gallons. That is a whopping amount of amusement for hours!


Jonti-Craft Sensory Sand and Water Table

Perfect for toddlers – this sand and water table was dubbed Sensory because of the unique thought that kids are more stimulated by things that engage their senses.

With this one, they can feel the grains of sand flitting through their fingers, play in cool splashes of separated water, and combine the 2 to make something new. The table is designed with a single length divided in sections for sand, water, and toys to play in both.


ECR4Kids Play Island Table

For some reason, the mere mention of the ECR4Kids Play Island makes me want to adopt a Jamaican accent to explain this one. In short – it is awesome, mon! Perfect for smaller backyards, the table can be quickly assembled in minutes with divided compartments for sand, water, and a mixture of the 2.

From there, kiddos can play and combine with shovels, miniature sailboats, and sand molds. A nifty cover keeps both water and sand clean for days of fun, but on a side note, parents should switch out the water every few days – just to be cautious.


To find all the best of this year's sand and water tables for toddlers and young children, visit this page:  Best Sand and Water Tables 2014 


Just for fun - here is a cool slideshow with the top 5 picks in spring and summer sand and water tables: