By: K. Pearson Brown
Get kids outdoors this year with some great gifts that will keep them going all year round.
A long winter break means lots of time for play this holiday season, so give on-the-go kids holiday gifts that will keep them busy and having fun ‘til next year, and beyond.
You never forget the sound of a Big Wheel rumbling down the sidewalk, and now kids can make their own fond memories on the updated version of this 40-year-old iconic ride-on toy. The oversized trike for big kids is back in several new styles by Kids Only, including the 9″ My First Big Wheel, the 11″ Big Wheel Sidewalk Screamer and the 16″ Big Wheel Spin Out Racer. $49.99 at toy retailers nationwide.
Kick It Good
Not all soccer balls are created equally. Senda soccer balls are made with fair trade labor, so your own child can play with pride, and you can feel good about supporting the craftspeople who made them. The hand-stitched ball features a high-quality, water resistant synthetic leather cover over a cotton-polyester liner for optimal bounce, durability, and shape retention. Senda’s premiere competitive balls are available with latex bladders for better touch and flight. For kids, the Valor Training ball is perfectly sized and weighted. $21.99. Available at SendaAthletics.com, on Amazon, and on Ebay.
Kids can roll in style with the latest line of Heelys wheel-in-the-heel skates, now in lighter styles resembling athletic shoes for active and sporty kids. Other new styles look like street shoes, and the new lifestyle fashion-forward line is designed for girls. As with all Heely’s, the wheel can be removed and replaced with an included heel plug for walking. $47 and up. Available a sporting goods and specialty stores nationwide.
Every kid needs a backpack – for school, playdates, overnights, and other outings. So get them a versatile backpack made to last from the pros at Kelty, like the lightweight Minnow ($29.95) for little ones who need to pack a lunch and blankie for preschool, the sporty Grommet ($34.95) for kids 5-10 to carry their notebooks, school supplies, and a water bottle for school or a day on the trail, or the comfy Captain ($80) for the high schooler or college-bound kid, or even Mom or Dad, for carrying all you need for classes, a day about town, or a weekender. Available at REI or kelty.com.
Lay N Go
The Lay-n-Go play and activity mat is the ingenious creation that allows kids to play while traveling without lost pieces and airport or on-the-road drama. Its unique design makes cleaning up hassle-free all with the tug of a cord. It’s that simple. $24.95- $64.95 depending on size.
Water Balloons, Water Balloons Everywhere
Nothing spells fun like a water balloon exploding on your back. Kids will love to build their arsenal for the equivalent of a warm-weather snowball fight with the Kaos Tie-Not Battle Pump. The portable one-gallon filling station features a carry handle and an easy-to-use nozzle with a notched tool for quick and easy knot tying, and the pump comes with 250 water balloons to get the party started. Watch a fun video about the pump at vat19.com. $14.99. Available at vat19.com.