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:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Best Toddler Bicycles in 2016

Top 3 Picks - Bikes for Toddlers This Year

Bicycles and childhood are as expected and appreciated as peanut butter and grape jellies. We have all seen the feel-good television scenarios where parents are holding the back of their kiddo’s bike, letting go when the youngster finds their stride and pedals off down the neighborhood.

Truth be told, if those movies are comedies, the kids might wind up in a bush or two before getting the hang of it—but I digress.

The best toddler bicycles are modern and handcrafted with 2016 in mind. While some are built for balance, others are classic, but both are heaps of childhood learning and fun.

The following three toddler bikes are top-notch, running the gamut between beginner and adventure-ready.


RoyalBaby BMX Freestyle Kids Bike

Parents and kids alike love this bike for different reasons. Parents like it because it arrives 95% assembled, and the remainder is simple to assemble.

Kiddos love this bike because it allows them to be adventurous, leaping from beginner to pint-size BMX superstar.

There are optional training wheels and the pedals adjust to grow with toddlers, meaning this bike will last a while.

The brakes are pump-powered, controlled from the handlebars, and there is a water bottle beneath the saddle seat.


Radio Flyer Glide & Go Balance Bike

Best known for their wagons and classic bikes, Radio Flyer has added balance bikes to their repertoire.  The shining red is signature for this brand, and this bike is no exception.

While there are no pedals, toddlers can use the push-off method with their feet on the ground to get moving. Hence the name Glide and Go.

The wheels are rugged with perfect traction for optimum safety and grip.

This little bike comes with a classy, old-fashioned bell on the handlebars.


YBIKE Balance Bike

Toddlers are in love with this balance bike! It is chunky, safe, and loads of fun—plus, it comes in a couple cool colors, like ocean blue.

YBike is an award-winning brand, and this balance bike is handcrafted to teach toddlers how to maintain their balance and composure when rolling forward.

Kids can push off with their feet to get moving a few inches at a time, and the treads are great for neighborhood sidewalks, or even grassy backyards.

These bikes are low-sitting for stability.

Toddlers who master this bike might also love the Extreme version that mimics a beginner BMX bike—sans pedals.


If you want to check out more toddler balance and pedal bikes, here are some more picks - spring and summer 2016 video: