Monday, July 21, 2014

Safe, Secure, and Super-Fun Playhouses in 2014

The top selling and most highly rated kids' playhouses in 2014 are the ones that are safe and secure – giving kiddos a super-fun way to spend their summers and providing parents their peace of mind. Plus – these are great for getting youngsters to play outside for a while – away from the overwhelming technological advancements of the iPad age.

I have hand-selected a trio of amazing playhouses that give kids the opportunity to nurture and simply have their own little homes. These houses rely on imagination to make them super-fun – and kiddos can use household items from their real homes to furnish and arrange their play-home properly.

Those aforementioned 3 hand-picked among the best kids' playhouses this year are:


Little Tikes Picnic on the Patio Playhouse

What makes summertime complete? Picnics! And this playhouse has a custom little nook for picnics in the great outdoors. The cottage is adorable and kid-sized to fit 2-4 toddlers between the ages of 1-4 (or perhaps 5). It depends on what the parent feels is an appropriate age – to be honest.

But I digress.

This cottage also features a window alongside the small kitchenette – complete with burners – an oven – a little fireplace – and a pantry. Which all comes to life with a pinch of imagination!


Step2 Naturally Playful Storybook Cottage

Out of this awesome trio – this little cottage is my absolute favorite! It looks like something straight from a fairytale – and it could really be anything. Kiddos can imagine a witch’s hut – or a small hutch for the woodland nymphs – or perhaps a stony home for a valiant knight.

With a bit of imaginative and creative ingenuity, this playhouse becomes so much more than plastic and a few beams. It becomes a stone-style house with a thatch roof, forest-green shutter, and a bright-red door with windows to announce the arrival of esteemed guest.


Little Tikes Secret Magical Playhouse

I imagine this is where a genie would live. Or perhaps a cluster of fairies with their magical creatures. Direct from a storybook – this playhouse is another one of my favorites because of the whimsical designs. Instead of a real fence, the side of the house is molded with bells, flowers, and beautiful fencing – each more detailed and realistic than the next.

There is also a miniature red door that is chunky and easy-grasp for little hands. As well as a trio of sloped windows and colorful decals so kiddies can decorate their new homes however they want.


Here is a "cute little ditty" video to go along with this theme - the top selling playhouses for kids this summer:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Super-Cool Balance Bikes for Little Boys & Girls in 2014

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We have all heard the old saying – “as easy as riding a bike” - but you would be surprised how many people have never ridden a bicycle. Or how many people wouldn’t know where to begin if presented with the opportunity to ride a bicycle. But those who have learned owe the majority of their biking skills to learning how to keep their bicycle and themselves balanced as children.

And with this in mind – I have comprised a short list featuring 3 of the best bikes for kids in 2014. Each of the bikes in this selection are perfect for little girls and boys who are just learning to keep their balance. No pedals. No chains. Just simple balancing to teach kiddos the essentials of beginning to ride their future bike.


Strider ST-4 No-Pedal Balance Bike

Adorable in pink, but available in other colors, the Strider is a no-pedal balancer that starts rolling through kick-offs.

Kiddos can plant their feet firmly on the ground, find their balance, and kick off gently to get the wheels moving. This gives them a chance to practice their riding balance with their feet drawn up. But they’re still at a safe distance away from the ground that their feet can stop them from toppling should they lose their balance. And each of these bikes has a handlebar grip for easy grasping by smaller hands.


Kazam Balance Bike

KAZAM!  What an awesome word. I think it perfectly describes the feeling of intense elation and excitement when kiddos finally get the hang of balancing on a bicycle.

Even more-so when balancing becomes peddling. And then peddling becomes full-out riding, racing, and attempting daring tricks.

But I digress.

This bike features an adjustable seat with a foot platform that allows youngsters to kick off from the ground and start rolling to practice their mobile balance.


Schwinn Boys’ 12-Inch Grit Bike

Okay – so this bike is not strictly for balancing, but it definitely is for toddlers who are learning the ins and outs of bike riding.

A handlebar on the back allows parents, caregivers, or older siblings keep ahold of kiddos when they’re attempting to balance. And if that balancing act becomes too much, adults can grab the handlebar to steady their kids again.

In addition, the training wheels help with learning to pedal – but they can be detached when you feel the time is right.


Here is a cute little vid - the top 5 (by popularity + reviews) bikes for toddlers in 2014:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Awesome Water Toys - Just in Time for Summer 2014

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 Top 3 Water Toys for Kids Summer 2014

What did summer mean to you when you were a youngster? Personally – summertime revolved around no school, plenty of friends, and tons of water.

We would have massive backyard battles with water-balloons – the “we” being me and my best neighborhood buddies, whose parents were conveniently friends with mine.

And now – decades later, and with my own kiddos – the summertime expectations I had are almost the exact same for them. Which is why I have chosen 3 of the best water toys in 2014 – each more exciting and soaking than the last.

Presenting the awesome summery trio:


Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Sprinkler

I simply love the look of the Sunny Patch Sprinkler. It resembles a gardening patch that is dotted with neon-pink and light-pink flowers on stems that wave in the breeze. Only these stems wave when there is water pushed through by the power of an attached watering hose (that you provide, of course).

The blossoms send sprays of water in all directions, encouraging kiddos to run around and through the spritzes. And I am sure they will be screaming and giggling with delight for every step they take.

An awesome way to cool down when those summertime heat-waves make an appearance.


Prime Time Toys Splash Bombs Paddle Set

A watery game that is kind-of like tennis – the fun begins when splish-splash balls are whacked to release the pent-up water within.

These balls are absolutely soaked beforehand in a swimming pool or very-large bathtub – and then 2 players smack the balls back and forth to get completely spritzed themselves.

Kiddos can keep score, make up their own rules, or create an entirely new game. And the super-absorbent fabric is lightweight, ultra-soft, and even perfect for seashore playtime.


NERF Super Soaker Switch Shot Blaster

A classic tried-and-true option for summertime fun – this Super Soaker has been around since the early 90’s. And it has never been more awesome with better features!

From the bigger, better NERF, this blaster fires a stream of cooling water toward opponents at over 25-feet away. There is a 20-ounce capacity for water – which can be refilled extremely fast for continuous backyard battling.

In addition – these are reasonably inexpensive, and I highly encourage parents to pick one up for every member of the family. It is the ultimate bonding tool for families and friends who enjoy cooling down while kicking butt.

Here is a nifty vid - the "top 5" water toys for kiddos for this summer, based on both sales and review rankings: