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Ready, Set, Fun! At YoYo.com

Rene Keith
July 17, 2014

YoYo toys Remember your parents telling you, "Go outside and play!" when you were a kid? Though that is still sound advice, kids today have so many other distractions that getting them outside is only half the battle. The other half is getting them to do something while they are out there- something that does not require a screen or headphones.

It is a noble goal to send your children out in the yard and have them create their own games and keep themselves busy for hours, but we know that is rarely achievable. But! We've found some great toys and activities over at Yoyo.com to get the good times started. Yoyo.com has, practically, every toy under the sun, from old-school stalwarts like Fisher-Price to trendy, eco-friendly European brands.

Sometimes kids need a little kick-start to get playing on their own, and you can definitely find some fun and interesting tools for that at Yoyo.com. I've rounded up some great toys and ideas to get that playtime started.

I love toys that involve water play, like a sand and water table. Sand and water- the best parts of playing at the beach, just scaled down and with none of the danger or crowds. Put your kids in their swimsuits and encourage them to really go for it and get messy, and they'll love a post-play hose down just as much. Other great water play options are a simple lawn sprinkler, water balloons, and a shallow baby pool. Toss in a stack of buckets and cups and you've got at least an hour of them hard at play.

Nerf has been around since I was a kid (so, you know, the dark ages), and it is still a top choice among kids. Grab the Nerf Vortex Lumitron Blaster and they will spend hours outside. This updated Nerf blaster shoots glow-in-the-dark discs, perfect for some post-dinner running around. Parents love Nerf products because they can take a beating and still perform, and are soft enough for younger kids. If guns and arrows aren't up your alley, Nerf makes great backyard balls, Frisbees, and stomp rockets, too.

Some of my absolute favorite kids summer toys are what I categorize as "Oldies But Goodies." Think of what you played with as a kid: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, your backyard swing set and your bike. Parents (such as myself) tend to over-complicate things for their kids these days, and if I've learned anything over the years it is: Keep it simple. Don't fuss over the biggest, newest, best toys out there. Keep the perennial low-tech favorites on hand and your kids will love creating new games and doing their own thing. A hit in this house this summer is painting with chalky water on the pavement. That's it. Sometimes simple fun is the best fun, and kids always love being in charge of their own good time.

My last favorite category of great summer toys are nature-centric. Summer is all about being outdoors and getting dirty and discovering the world- and to a kid, your patch of lawn can seem as a big as the world. Pick up a set of kids gardening tools and designate a patch of lawn (or a planter or pot on a balcony) as a children's garden, and let them plant, dig, water, and discover. Bugs are endlessly fascinating to kids, so a giant magnifying glass, some empty peanut butter jars and a net will lead to hunting, examining, and collecting.

The sunshine is calling, so gear up and get those kids outside ASAP. If you play your cards right, this could be the summer where they embrace playing on their own and you can embrace an iced coffee and magazine from a comfortable distance.

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