Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Best Themed LEGO Sets for Boys in 2016

I love the creative LEGO boxes. You know, those medium-sized boxes of nothing but colorful LEGO building bricks; perfect for creative construction of almost anything. No instructions—just pure imagination.

However, after a bit of research coupled with personal experience, I have discovered that the best LEGO sets, a.k.a. the most popular sets, have themes. Pirates, Star Wars, chaotic LEGO cities…you name it and it has probably been a LEGO set.

With this in mind, I set off on a research journey to gather 3 of what has been deemed the best of the best themed LEGO sets for boys. There were heaps of different answers and reviews, both positive and not-so-positive, but I came to a general consensus of 3 awesome, well-received LEGO sets that little boys love the most.

And those awesome LEGO sets are:


LEGO Minecraft The Cave (21113)

Epic, no doubt. Minecraft is one of those games that started out online, and no one really thought it would go anywhere. However, after only a few months, it BOOMED into something bigger, better, and more popular than anyone expected.

Then LEGO jumped on the wagon…and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Cave is one of the most popular areas in Minecraft. It is dark, dank, and covered in crystals. Plus there are a few zombies lurking around the corners.

This one is buildable, with all of the elements that make this Minecraft cave awesome. Steve is included, of course.


LEGO DUPLO Jake and the Neverland Pirates – Peter Pan’s Visit (10526)

Peter Pan stopped in for a visit on his travels through Neverland.

Ideal for toddlers, this LEGO set features bigger, chunkier, easier-to-grasp bricks.

Jake and Peter are going to have lots-a great adventures that include a treasure hunt for gold doubloons and storytelling in the Neverland Pirates’ hideout.

Whoops! It looks like the Tick Tock Croc makes an appearance, too.


LEGO Creator Red Creatures (31032)

I love the vivid, vibrant red of these building blocks. The entire set is enchanting in the way that kids can construct 3 creatures with the same set of 221 LEGO bricks.

Each animal is fully articulated and decked out with their signature, natural weaponry, like talons, fire breath, fangs, and stingers.

The three animals kiddos can recreate include: a scorpion, a dragon, and a snake. Lovin’ the bright green eyes and black accent blocks.


Here is a video - with a "top 5" list of the best LEGO sets for boys (overall) during the spring and summer of this year:

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Best Scooters for Toddlers This Year

2016's Best-Selling and Top Reviewed Toddler Scooters

Independence is the name of the game in the toddler years. Kiddos are on the go, now more than ever, which means “get-around” toys are at the height of popularity. 

With this in mind, I have compiled a small list of 3 of the top toddler boys' and girls' scooters for 2016. These scooters are decked out with the best, latest safety features, and designs that kids can customize to match their unique personality. 

What I love about the following among the best scooters for toddlers is their durability and adjust-ability. I handpicked a trio that would last for a while, well into a toddler’s childhood. Little ladies and gents will go absolutely gaga for these get-around toys that are all their own. 


The 3 in 1 is an original, innovative design that literally transforms as your kiddo grows. 

With a few switches, slides, and snaps, the scooter goes from cute ride-on, to first-time scooter, to first-ever balance bike. 

Almost every component is adjustable, including the seat, handlebars, and wheels.  Balance, coordination, and concentration are encouraged through each phase. 

I also love that the seat is detachable and adjustable for the sake of comfort and safety. 

Right now, this scooter is available in pink, blue, and green, but the sleek structure is customizable if your youngster has reusable stickers or decals. 


Razor is an amazing brand known for their tremendous scooter-making skills. The Lil Kick is one of theirs, but for toddlers. 

This means better balance and superior stability to help little ones learn how to “scoot” anywhere they want to go. 

Now available in blue or pink, this scooter has a three-wheeled design with a low, stable deck, and a foam-padded T-bar. 

The handlebar is adjustable, the deck is slip-resistant, and the “grow with me” design ensures a couple good years of customizable scooting fun.  


This scooter is beautiful in light blue, but it also comes in pink and green (as of now). 

Dubbed the Learn to Turn, there are two centered front wheel and a single back wheel for optimum stability. 

The smooth, precise positioning of each wheel encourages better balance for controlled steering around challenging corners. The handlebars feature gripping foam and a quick release for convenient fold-away storage and tote-anywhere capability. 

Call this scooter one of my favorites because the lean-to-steer elements prevent more injuries. 


Here is a video short-list (top 5) of the best scooters for toddlers this spring and summer:

3 of the Coolest Sand and Water Tables for Toddlers in 2016

I believe that the toddler years are some of the best for creativity because kids are curious, with an innocence that comes with easy smiles and bright eyes. We lose that somewhere, so it is important for us, as parents, to encourage little imaginations.

The following 3 among this year's top sand and water tables for toddlers are designed to jog kiddos’ imaginations, leading to a more fulfilling, creative childhood overall. In short, these are the coolest of the cool sand and water tables.

When I was a youngin’ (yep, my southern roots showing through with the slang), I would mix sand from my sandbox with water from our duck pond. True, it wasn’t the most sanitary mash-up, and I got in trouble A LOT for doing it. Sand and water tables would have saved me a few timeouts and “muddy” dresses. Ha ha.

Without further ado:


Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Cascading Cove. Sounds like a paradise to me. This sand and water table is decked out in gorgeous, vivid green and blue, with an umbrella for summertime fun.

Several kiddos can play at once.

There are two sides to the table—one for 3 gallons of water and one for 10 gallons sand, but you can converge and mold both together for sandcastles in the middle.

The table lid also doubles as a racing maze for your youngster’s own supply of miniature cars.


Little Tikes Treasure Hunt Sand and Water Table

I love the idea of a treasure hunt in your own backyard.

This sand and water table is a bit unique because the table itself is set-up for sand, while the lid flips to double as a basin for water.

Kiddos can mix the two, or float boats and splish-splash in the water while they bury sandy treasures.

The bright colors are vivid and out-of-this-world bold. Includes a sand shovel and bucket.


Step2 Big Bubble Splash Water Table

I am diggin’ this sand and water table because it has an extra bubble-blower feature. Powered with 4 AAA batteries, this is a two-person station where imaginations flourish BIG TIME.

If kiddos want to forgo the water, or ixnay the sand, they can. Or, they can do the traditional sand and water meet-up in the middle, with the bubbler switched to ON for party-style fun.

There are also flat basins for bubble-making liquid, and a few bubble wands for manual bubble-blowing excitement.


Additional resource - video top 5 list of 2016's sand and water tables:

The Best Kids’ 2016 RC Cars with the Coolest Features

When it comes down to the "best of" remote control cars for kids, cool features are going to win out because there are so many RC cars on the market. The ones with the coolest features are usually the most popular choices for RC-loving kiddos, and most of them are themed, making these RC cars even cooler.

With a few must-have features in mind, like all-terrain wheels and a tough, sturdy design, I scoured the inter-webs and retail stores to find the absolute best of the best kids’ RC cars. From a huge list, I handpicked three that have the best reviews and the biggest youngster following. The pros and cons were weighed extensively, and these RC cars came out on top.


Air Hogs Batmobile R/C Vehicle

Cloaked in black, this Batmobile is an RC replica of the Batmobile original from the awesome Batman movies and television shows. The caped crusader would totally approve.

This particular one is built with the features from the new movie, Batman vs. Superman—a film that received mixed reviews, but everybody loved the Batmobile.

There are brushed metal details along the back and sides for a bulletproof, sleek look, and the front features 4 LEDS and a sharp-shooting turret.

The controller is emblazoned with the signature Batman logo.


Maisto R/C Rock Crawler

The Rock Crawler is a personal favorite of mine because it looks like a big, mean monster truck.

The rough-and-tumble wheels are big on traction, giving kids an edge over less-than-pleasant terrain and inclement weather.

There are two motors within this RC must-have, one in low gear, for quick shifts to amp up the speed.

The truck frame sits on big wheels, but the structure is solid and balanced, which keeps it from toppling over.

Good news for hardcore RC drivers.


Kid Galaxy Mega Morphibians RC Turtle

Dear 90s kids, do you remember Animorphs? Those cool kids who could transform into animals? The Mega Morphibians RC car is kind-of the same concept, only with a more vehicle and animal combination.

This one resembles a turtle…a ferocious one that would be best left in the pond. Ha!

Decked out in blue with slit, yellow eyes and a mottled yellow shell, this RC favorite features rugged tires that function on both land and in water.

The controller is simple with a strong signal that leads this fierce tortoise through muck, mud, and rocky terrains.


Here is an additional resource - a video list to take a look at this spring and summer's top 5 picks in R/C cars for kids:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Most Creative LEGO Sets for Kids Age 6 and Up

LEGO is all about creativity. You take a bunch of colorful building blocks and construct something from nothing. This is an especially amazing feat when youngsters are the ones doing the creating.

For this reason, I handpicked the most creative LEGO sets for kids age 6 and up. There are three creative sets in the upcoming list, and each one is themed to appeal to things that kids love to do or watch, like superheroes, cupcake shops, and boxes of bricks for free imaginative reign.

If these LEGO sets don’t strike your fancy, they are likely to inspire you to find the perfect theme for your kiddo. From the LEGO City collections, to basic brick boxes that require nothing but time and imagination, there are thousands of sets that your 6 year old would love.


LEGO Super Heroes Superman Vs. Power Armor Lex (6862)

In early 2016, the new movie Superman vs. Batman was met with mixed reviews. However, kids loves the dynamics of superheroes battling it out.

This LEGO set pits enemies Superman and Lex Luthor against one another. Wonder Woman is there to help Superman take down Lex, but Luthor is decked out in an armored, robotic Power Suit. Scary! The armor is constructed from kryptonite—Superman’s only weakness.

There are well over 100 bricks here, and each one goes into building a moveable structure with signature Superman and Wonder Woman weaponry from the DC Comics series.


LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box (10696)

Sure, there are bunches of themed LEGO sets, but this one has a simple, basic approach.

There are over 450 building bricks in this box, in a variety of vivid colors. Other components include wheel rims, window frames, green (grass-colored) baseplates, and googley eyes.

These boxes are the best, and my favorites, because kids have to use their imaginations and inner creativity to come up with amazing things to build.


LEGO Friends Heartlake Cupcake Café (41119)

I looove cupcakes, especially chocolate ones. Or, ones with rainbow sprinkles. …or, ones with strawberry filling. Or, really, any cupcake is an awesome cupcake, usually.

Kids who feel the same as I do about these delicious treats will love imagining and “making” their own cupcake concoctions. Then selling those miniature cupcakes in a cupcake shop, with Stephanie and Naomi as bakery assistants.

There are over 400 bricks, all used to build a custom cupcake café with lots-a interior and exterior décor.


Here is another list to get ideas from - top LEGO sets for kids during the spring and summer of 2016:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Three Funky Outdoor Playhouses with Tons of Features for Kids

Spring/Summer 2016 - Outdoor Playhouses for Kids

When I was a little girlie, Internet, tablets, and tech-savviness had not been invented yet. Therefore, we relied on outdoor activities, like jungle gyms and playgrounds, for our summertime fun. Which means, we wanted funky, feature-rich outdoor playhouses for kids—ones that we could spend all day playing with, and never get bored.

The coolest kid was automatically the one in the neighborhood with the coolest playhouse. And the coolest playhouse was the one with heaps of awesome features to inspire our imaginations.

For your viewing, reminiscing, and shopping pleasure, I have handpicked three funky outdoor playhouses for kids. In this context, funky is a good thing.

These playhouses are packed with inspiration to get your kiddo’s imagination running.


KidKraft Outdoor Playhouse

I dig this funky playhouse because it reminds me of a log cabin. The craftsmanship is WOW, constructed with weather-resistant wood in a light contrast to the bright red roof and trim, and lush, nut-brown door, shutters, and letterbox.

Great for a couple of kiddos at once, the playhouse is lovely.

The structure and appearance give little ones more to incorporate into their imaginative playtimes—at least that is what I take from this playhouse.

Also, the construction is sturdy, but lightweight, meaning parents can easily move this little cabin from one grassy backyard destination to another without breaking too much of a sweat.


Step2 Naturally Playful Storybook Cottage

I love how this playhouse is named the Storybook Cottage. Like direct from a fairytale about three bears, a little girl with golden curls, and bowls of steamy porridge. Or, maybe another tale about a hungry witch in a gingerbread cottage, luring a young pair of siblings to their doom with the promise of candies and confections.

When I see this playhouse, my imagination runs absolutely wild, coming up with fun, pretend-play scenarios from my favorite childhood stories.

Looks-wise, the cottage comes with an interior table, cut into a cute, leafy shape—plus a small kitchenette.


Step2 Neighborhood Fun Center Playhouse

The most decked out feature-wise, this outdoor playhouse from Step2 is a fun center that accommodates multiple youngsters at once.

Snack-loving tykes will love the picnic area, complete with an open-faced serving area.  Perfect for playing restaurant.

This little area has two bar stool seats and a snack tray, complete with a crawl-through portal for eccentric little ones who would rather not use the door.

Also includes a curvy, bright red slide.


Here is a short-list video - more outdoor playhouses to check out for spring and summer 2016:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

3 of the Best Toys for 7 Year Old Boys in 2016

What do you think of when you ask yourself, “what are some great toys for boys age 7?” As a writer with a knack for this kind of stuff, I am flooded with mental images of toy dinosaurs, video games, anything Star Wars related, footballs, Hot Wheels cars, and superhero everything.

So, with those possible bests in mind, I handpicked three of the most highly rated and popular toys for seven year old lads.

These toys are spunky and cool, perfect for youngsters with great imaginations. The awesome fact about this small selection is they all fit into multiple categories. Instead of a single toy being for adventure-seekers, that same toy could be for creative, adventurous, courageous kiddos with a passion for storytelling, building, and imagining.

Without further ado, these three among the best toys for 7 year old boys are the coolest.


Zoomer Dino Indominus Rex

The must-see of 2015, Jurassic World was a smash-hit worldwide. Chris Pratt played a starring role, but true dinosaur lovers came for the Indominus Rex. This big girl was a mutant creation, crossed between other dinosaurs, like the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Velociraptor, and smaller animals, like Cuttle Fish and Chameleons. This made her a fierce, highly intelligent predator that movie-goers either loved or loved to hate.

This Indominus Rex is much tamer and sweeter. She is interactive with a roar that comes from the Jurassic World movie.

Remote-controlled and ready for stomping action, she stalks with the confidence of a true dinosaur, not an electronic toy.


Nintendo 3DS XL New Version

Tech-savviness is the new forte of modern kiddos.

Where we frolicked in treehouses, kids today are all about screens, social connection via interwebs, and selfies.

The new Nintendo 3DS XL boasts a few bigger, better customizations, like fast-tracked 3D effects, smoother controlled movements during gameplay, and enhanced controls. It is also accommodating to all 3DS games.


Star Wars Furbacca (Furby)

One of the most adorable and coolest Furbies ever combines the hairiness and throaty growls of Chewbacca with the chirpy cuteness of a classic Furby.

The Furbacca is a blue-eyed cutie with brown hair everywhere, a tweet beak, and wiggling ears. He growls like Chewbacca, but he talks nonsense in a sweet voice like the original Furby.

Sure, they call him a Furbacca, but I have the urge to nickname him Churby. Ha!

This is the perfect toy for Star Wars fans and interactive toy appreciators alike.


Find more great picks in toys for boys age 7:

The Best NERF Guns for Battling Zombies & Ghouls

If your little ladies and gents are like everyone else in the modern world, they are all about zombies right now. Zombies have it all—the creepy, crawly, scary, gross-out elements that make a good horror movie monster.

These reanimated shamblers are everywhere—kids shows and Halloween movie specials, and lots-a young adult books.

As a matter of fact, your youngster is probably playing zombies vs. humans right now with their neighborhood friends. Maybe. If the weather is warm and the ghoulish mood is right.

With big, zombie-loving imaginations in mind, I concocted a short list of three of the best NERF guns 2016. From the Zombie Strike collection, these blasters are must-haves for engaging in imaginative backyard battles with the walking dead. Plus, for kids who know their horror movie monsters, these blasters are work well on ghouls, goblins, and ghosts too. Wink!


NERF Zombie Strike Doominator Blaster

Holy firepower, Rick Grimes! Thanks to The Walking Dead series, zombies have made a ferocious comeback.

The Doominator ensures those shamblers stay down the second time around.

Kiddos can use their imaginations to chase down ghoulish flesh-eaters, making their mark with 24 foam darts, launched in rapid succession from 4 flip-over barrels.

On a side note, I am lovin’ the details of this blaster. And the name is super cool, combining doom and dominate to make a new word that describes the NERF’s awesome action.


NERF Super Soaker Zombie Strike Dreadshot Blaster

If zombie movies have taught us anything, it is that those undead fiends are relentless.

Dreadshot is a super soaker blaster, which means it pumps 24 ounces of chilly water from double barrels at creeping ghouls.

It only takes a single pump, and the water reserve is easy-peasy to refill.

Even zombies can be taken down with enough H2O firepower! Keep a water hose handy for refills.


NERF Zombie Strike FlipFury Blaster

One of my favorites, the FlipFury is detailed to look old and slightly makeshift—like maybe it broke once or twice, then someone fixed it with duct tape and string.

Thumbs up! Very apocalypse worthy.

This blaster comes with 12 foam darts, separated into two flip-away barrels with a firepower of over 40 feet. Wowwie! Run zombies, run.

The trigger packs a wallop of fast action, making it easier to center, whack, and obliterate undead targets. Yep, those pesky monsters never stood a chance.


Find the 2016 video short-top-5 list of NERF guns - spring and summer:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Best New Bicycles for Girls in 2016

Many bicycles for girls this year, aka 2016, are diverse. All are new, but some are classics with revamped features to make them A-OK for kiddos of today.

Finding the perfect one takes time and relies on personal preference. Favorite color fits into the decision as much as safety features.

Of course, your little girl will have the final say when it comes to her perfect bike, but I have handpicked a few of the new and best bicycles for girls that you can pick from.

What I love most about these bikes are that their features are customizable and/or adjustable in some way, accommodating your kiddos to exact specifications.


Huffy Disney Frozen 12 Inch Bike

Admittedly, I know every single Frozen song by heart. Many parents nowadays do—due to the fact that every kiddo in the world seemed to be singing those songs on a regular basis after the movie came out.

Frozen is still going strong, as evidenced with this themed bike for little girls.

Decked out in shimmery purple and sparkly blue, this bike comes with removable training wheels, a handlebar bag (complete with Anna and Elsa on the front), and silvery, flowy streamers on the handlebar grips.


Diamondback Girls Tess 20 Inch Complete Hard Trail Mountain Bike

With an all-steel frame and overall strong structure, this mountain bike is a BMX dream for adventurous girlies. Thrill seekers unite.

The linear pull-up brakes are stop-on-a-dime effective, while the suspension features epic shock absorption for a smooth, flawless ride, no matter her speed.

There are 7 speed gears, controlled with a pump in the adjustable handlebars.

This would be a great family time bike, especially if the whole family happens to love camping, hiking, mountain biking, and adrenaline-searching in the great outdoors.


KaZAM Classic Balance Bike

When it comes to balance bikes, the KaZAM was one of the first. An all-original with a few revamped features, this balance bike teaches kids how to strengthen their core muscles to better control their center of gravity when on a classic bike later.

Balance is key in bike riding, after all, so these balance bikes are imperative in helping little ladies keep their balance, coordination, and concentration.

There are no pedals, of course, but there is foot rest where pedals would normally be. This allows girlies to push off and roll a bit to practice their balance during movement.


Find more in this video short-list of the best bikes for girls spring and summer 2016:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Best Outdoor Toys that Toddlers Will Love

The toddler years are some of the best because kids are curious about the world around them and they are constantly learning new things. Their big imaginations are made all the more creative with the wonders of nature and lots of summertime sunshine fun.

This year, my short list of toddler toys have a creative theme in common. These toys have a unique focus on interactivity, learning, and building on imaginations and interests.

Toddlers could possibly find passions that carry them through their entire lives, like sports, creating, and other fun outdoor activities.

So, for your perusing pleasure, these are this year’s top 3 best outdoor toys for toddlers—courtesy of me, real reviews, and thorough, firsthand research.


Wild Whirlpool Water Table

With a cute sea creature theme, this water table wins over toddlers with the promise of messy fun.

There is a portion for sand and a segment for water, but it can be both or either one exclusively.

Kids can play with miniature boats, a swirling vortex tower, and fishy floats in splishy-splashy water. Or, they can use scoops to make elaborate sandcastles or sift through the granules in search of missing treasure.

Ideal for kiddos who love using their imaginations!


Little Tikes 3’ Trampoline

I love this cute little trampoline!

For toddlers, this bouncy bit of fun is much safer than regular trampolines, with a scaled-down size that makes it easier for toddlers to jump without fear of falling off or over.

While marketed for indoor use, it is also a great outdoorsy activity—just make sure you take it inside for storage, or throw a tarp over it to keep it clean, reliable, and strong through inclement weather.

There is a removable center guardrail that kids can hold onto for stability, balance, and optimum bounce.


Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse

This playhouse reminds me of a vintage schoolhouse or post office. It is an adorable cottage that comes in several different colors and styles to suit the personal preferences of your little tikes.

It is lightweight for easier, more convenient movement, and it can be played with both indoors and outdoors.

Comprised from plastic, the exterior is molded to resemble bricks, complete with a shingled roof, swing-out half-doors, a flag pole, shuttered windows, and a letterbox. The interior is super spacious, great for when your kiddos need room to let their imaginations roam.


Find more picks among 2016's best toddler toys for the great outdoors:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Three of the Best Bikes for Boys This Year

2016's Best Boys' Bikes Short Hot List

I handpick the best toys for your perusal every year, and every year, I am faced with the fact that kiddos are ever-changing in their interests and dislikes, especially little boys.

Young lads that range from toddler age to their teens are notorious for being challenging to buy for, but I have developed a system that covers all types of kids.

For example, the following three among the best bikes for boys are of course some of what is popular this year, but each one has a unique feature that would be the drawing point for little boys with varying interests—adventurous, extra-safe, and adrenalizing are the three types of bikes represented below.

You will also find that each of these bikes are decked out with awesome safety features, as well as adjustable almost-everything to grow with your tyke.


Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike

Remember when I said one of the aforementioned best bikes was extra-safe? The Strider would be it. This bike is specifically designed to help little lads develop their coordination, concentration, balance, and overall bike-riding abilities.

There are no pedals—simply an adjustable seat, easier-turn handlebars, and two rugged tread wheels. Kids can either stay steady to practice their sit-alone balance. Or, they can push off with their feet to practice balancing while moving. This balance bike is best ridden on smooth surfaces—no downhills, of course. There are lots of colors available, too.


Kent Super 20 Inch Boys Bike

To continue taking from the descriptions above, the Kent Super bike is adrenalizing, which means it will give your kiddos a kick of adrenaline with a BMX frame, quick-release brakes, and a smooth-ride, twist-grip handlebar. In other words, this bike was built for stunts, and your energetic tyke will love every minute of it. The 7-speed gear shift is smooth and effortless, shifting to faster speeds in seconds. Be sure to equip youngsters with the usual helmet and pads for maximum safety.


Dynacraft Magna Gravel Blaster 12 Inch Boy’s Bike

Lastly, we have the Gravel Blaster for adventurous little boys. I love the green and black combo, especially in neon—reminds me of slime and cool monster movies. Anyways, this bike is a grow-with-me ride-on with an adjustable seat, removable training wheels, and coaster brakes. The wheels are prepped for small stunts when kiddos are ready to shed their trainers. Plus, the high-gloss finish ties the look together.


Still on the lookout for a great boys' bike?  Here is a video that might give you some more ideas:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Best Bikes for Kids – 3 Classics and Sportsters

From beginners to advanced riders, from classics to sportsters, there is a wide range of kids' bicycles.

However, thanks to heaps of great research, good reviews, and personal experience, I hand-picked 3 of (what I would consider) the best of the best bikes for kids.

These bikes are available in cool colors, with tons of awesome features for kids who love nothing more than hopping atop a bike on a summer afternoon.

I would have loved to have had one of the following bikes when I was a kid. Alas, these bikes are modern and equipped with top-notch everything—plus, all three come with training wheels, adjustable seats, and easier-grip handlebars.


Huffy Boys Rock It Bike

For little adventure seekers, this rockin’, Rock It bike is great for curb-riding, adrenaline-charging, quick-pedaling riders. The all-steel frame is built to be more durable and stronger than the average bicycle, making it neat-o, top-notch for performance and stunt rides.

The quick-release padded seat adjusts subtly to match the natural contours of a kiddo’s rear, which might sound strange, but it is actually super comfortable and convenient because, let’s face it, most bike seats are unpleasant.

Of course there are training wheels, a safety kickstand, and padding between the handlebars.


Diamondback Clarity Girls’ Bike

This bike is one to grow with.

For beginners, there are training wheels and a simple-to-handle steer and pedal mechanism for smooth rides and easier navigation. However, when beginners feel they have mastered the art of bike riding, they can opt for the advanced rider features. This includes taking off the training wheels, getting familiar with the race-prepped handlebars, and learning how to shift the bike in 7 speeds.

The linear pull-up brakes are stop-on-a-dime awesome, and the entire bike is lightweight and sleek for convenient toting and storage.


RoyalBaby BMX Freestyle Kids Bike

Great for outdoorsy youngsters.

This bike has a BMX theme that makes it a smash hit with little tricksters-to-be. It is sporty, but classic with a BMX performance twist.

Most of the features are adjustable to grow with kids as they get bigger and better as bike riders. There are three height options, as well as detachable training wheels, pump-powered brakes on the handlebars, and a water bottle beneath the seat.

The tread on the wheels is a-okay for all-terrain riding, and while there are five colors available, I am partial to cool orange and black.


Here are a few more tips on 2016's best kids' bikes:

Monday, February 29, 2016

The 3 Best Wooden Playhouses for Kids & Their Friends

2016's Top Picks in Wooden Playhouses

Looking back now, my childhood was packed full of imagination and afternoons of pretend-play. The internet was not a household device yet, and all my sister and I had were each other, our cousins, and a few neighborhood friends.

Life without technology might sound horrific to today’s kids, but it was actually awesome.

Of course, I had a little playhouse, but mine was cottage-style and constructed from hard plastic. These days, imaginative little girls and boys have the option of wooden playhouses with more feature and tons of room for them and their friends.

So, without further ado, the following list of three are the best wooden playhouses for backyard fun, especially in the summertime.


Big Backyard Summit Bancroft Playhouse

The natural cedar of this wooden playhouse means it smells absolutely fresh and amazing on the interior. The color is stained to resemble redwood, and the cedar slats and shingled roof are weather-treated for long-lasting fun for lots of summers to come.

The interior of the playhouse has awesome features that make it look like a small café.

For instance, a little coffee table and chalkboard are nestled in the corner and on the wall. The exterior comes with flower boxes, real-working shutters, and a real-working doorway.

The dark green and white trim make beautiful accents!


Axi Wooden Emma Playhouse

Funky and cute, this little wooden playhouse has quirky trim around the doors, railings, windows, making the house look slightly tilted like a funhouse.

There is a single reclined ladder on one side for easier up-and-down, and there is a curvy, short slide on the other side for fun slip-offs.

This is what I envision a fairytale playhouse to look like.

So cute!  =)


Outdoor Living Today Cozy Cabin Cedar Playhouse

I am head over heels in love with the Cozy Cabin playhouse. It looks like it should be in an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Or, perhaps the backdrop for a vintage horror movie. Not for the kiddos, of course, but a full-sized replica would be awesome in the latest paranormal flick. Wink!

Seriously though, this playhouse is decked out in gorgeous cedar slats with a front porch, shingled roof, and four flower boxes beneath real-working windows. Sort-of rustic, but luxurious for an outdoorsy kid-at-heart like me. Like-minded youngsters would probably love to watch the rain from the covered porch.


Find more picks in the video below - some strong contenders among the "best wooden playhouses" this year: