Some of my favorite memories as a child involve harassing fire flies on summer nights. There was just something about growing up in the country. The long hot days would give way to star filled nights. Crickets would start to sing, and fire flies would come out and start to blink and light up the night. I always liked to imagine they were fairies hurrying home from a long day of magical play. I was an imaginative kid. I think back to those days and don’t remember tons of fancy toys, video games, or other distractions. My favorite summer toys were always the ones that let me use my imagination.
Side Walk Chalk
You can get as complicated or as simple as you like with side walk chalk. I loved making my own masterpieces on our front walk. My mother didn’t always care for that! I would spend huge chunks of time making hopscotch boards, drawing rainbows, or just doodling anything that came to mind. The great thing about side walk chalk is that it washes off of just about any surface (brick is another matter!) and doesn’t damage your drive way. Get creative, pose for photos, play tick tack toe, or just doodle your name.
To this day I love to chase bubbles and pop them. I have been trying to teach my four year old the art of catching them on his bubble wand, but he seems to like to pop them more than catch them. Typical boy. Summer days just are not the same without some outdoor time. A new favorite in the bubble category are bubble gloves. You slip them over your hands and create a TON of bubbles all around you. It could be the set of the Lawrence Welk show! The perfect time to get great photos of your kids playing with bubbles outdoors is just before sunset. The “golden hour”, that last hour before the sun sets, in the shade make for some stunning summer photos.
I loved as super soaker as much as anyone when I was a kid. That being said, I don’t generally let the kids play with guns – toy or not. There are some great water squirters at the Dollar Tree of all places, that are simple tubes with a pull out handle that forces the water through a small opening in a remarkably long range shot. You can really get your self into trouble if you are not paying attention to where you are aiming these guys – they shoot further than you think! I have linked to some similar ones here.
We love our Micro Mini Deluxe Scooter. This three wheeled scooter helps the smallest of riders maintain their balance while giving them some freedom of movement. The handle bars are adjustable and grow with your little one. I have seen parents take these to malls and use them so that their kids can get around easier on vacation. Little legs have to move quickly to keep up with adults, so these can be a life saver on the go. We have one in blue and I love watching Tiny scoot up and down the street. Be sure to wear a helmet and pads to keep little ones safe!
My new favorite yard toy is a product by Stomp Rocket. We were given a free sample in return for our review, but all opinions are my own. We selected the dual rocket racers and the kids have had a blast running and jumping on the “launch pad” to blast their rockets into the sky. These things really fly! I couldn’t get over just how far they flew! The kids spend a good hour running and jumping in the yard, trying to get their rocket to go further and further. No electronics, no screens, just time outside, playing. What is better than that? We have used ours constantly since we got it, and have absolutely loved it. I think I have enjoyed watching them more than they have enjoyed playing with them!
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