Category: Outdoor

Big View Telescope – Close Ups for Little Kids

Big View Telescope takes a look at a nifty new telescope from Learning Resources.

The “Big View Telescope” has been specially designed with young children in mind. The telescope is bright green in color with blue and yellow accents. It measures approximately 10 inches in length, and comes with a sturdy adjustable tripod. The “Big View Telescope” is suggested for youngsters ages 3 years old and up, and if this is their first time looking through the eyepiece of a telescope, they will be in for a pleasant surprise. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning, Outdoor

Presto Cabana – The Easy to Set-Up Tent

Presto Cabana looks at a perfect indoor/outdoor tent for young children from Pacific Play Tents.

Tents in general really do have a bad reputation as being difficult to assemble, time consuming and taking more than one adult to set-up. Well, “Pacific Play Tents” may well have solved all of those problems with their new “Presto Cabana.” Here is a tent that really is easy to put together, literally taking only a few seconds and done with ease by just one person.

“Presto Cabana” uses what they call an “instant hub system,” which is the key to easy assembly. Set-up is truly a breeze, as one person simply lifts straight up on a pull cord located in the center of the “instant hub system,” and once the cord reaches a certain height, “Presto Cabana” pops open and it is ready for play. Every member of the Toys Bulletin staff took a turn opening the tent and it worked just as advertised each and every time. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor

Bug Playground – A Funhouse for Backyard Critters

bug playground 1Today we’re going to take a look at the “Bug Playground” set from Smart Lab. We are typically fans of sets like this that help get kids outside exploring on their own and interacting with nature. We were able to test the Bug Playground with two boys, ages five and seven, and both of them became thoroughly engrossed in the set, even wanting to sleep next to it after the first night we put bugs in.

bug playground 3

The playground fully assembled before the bugs went in

The set is packaged nicely and can be put together in 5-10 minutes. It’s just a matter of placing the playground pieces in matching holes in the floor and then sliding the plastic side windows into place. The top is nice because once you get it on, a lid lifts up to allow easy access for placing objects inside the set. We should advise parents that there are four small corner pieces that are included in the set and they are absolutely necessary for a tight installation. Be very careful you don’t lose them when opening the package. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor

Discover With Dr Cool – Earth Science Kits

Science kit 1Kids love to dig in the dirt and part of the fun is not knowing what you might uncover. We recently tested a few kits from “Discover with Dr Cool” that take the experience of digging in your back yard to a whole new level. Today we will take a look at the “Learn How to Pan for Gold” and “Break Open Real Geodes” kits.

It is not uncommon to find museums that offer kids the chance to pan for gold. Science kit 3This first kit offers everything you need to do it at home in a simple, easy to use package that includes a bowl, a gold collection bag, retrieval tweezers, a sand mixture with ‘gold’ pieces and a magnifying glass. You simply add water and let your kids dig through the sand mixture until they identify something they want to keep. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning, Outdoor

Fling A Ring – An Outdoor Game Where Frisbee Meets Horseshoes

Fling a Ring 4We met the folks from Fling a Ring at Toy Fair 2015, held in New York City just a few months ago.  This was one of the outdoor games that stood out to us at the show, and they had a nice display where we were able to test it.  But where this game really shined is when we got back home.  The weather improved, we put the stakes in the ground and got started with a group of kids excited to try it out.

The game setup is very simple.  It includes four discs and two posts that serve as goals.  This is great because the game is easily transportable, it can be set up in seconds anywhere, and kids of almost any age can get it up and running on their own.  The instructions are printed on the packaging, and the rules can be adapted to different aged kids, primarily the distance between the two posts.  The creators recommend a distance of 5-30 feet, and since I tested this with two kids aged seven and five, we started at about 5 feet until they could get the hang of throwing the disc.  But I stood back perhaps 20 feet which made the game much more challenging. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor

Hydro Force: Water Fun is Never Out of Season

Hydro Force looks at the Side Winder Water Blaster from “Basic Concepts” and “Reeves International.”

We know that it is a bit late to be reviewing water toys in the middle of November, but from time to time we run across an item that is so appealing, it must be discussed no matter what the date. The “Hydro Force” water blaster is just such a product as it features the “first quickloading pre-pressurized water system.” The model we got our hands on was called the “Side Winder,” and it measured approximately 11″ long and 7½” high, colored white and neon green with black and blue accents. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor

Zing: Amazing Fun in the Air reviews some great outdoor toys for kids from Zing Toys.

Summer is here and it is time to shift our attention outdoors. Zing Toys manufactures a wide assortment of toys that provides not only a physical activity, but also numerous imaginative play opportunities for kids of all ages. We are going to look at 4 different products currently being offered by Zing Toys.

sky gliders 1First up are the “Sky Gliderz.” Our set included two soft foam “gliderz,” that when launched from an elastic loop around the handle soared easily over 100 feet in the air, whistling, spinning, sailing and changing direction. It was an amazing sight for sure. We misfired a couple of times, probably the fault of the wind, or our inexperience, but when we got it right, it was great fun. The “Sky Gliderz” are recommended for ages 8 years old and up, mostly because it takes a bit of arm strength to pull back the elastic and get a nice launch. “Sky Gliderz” retails for around $15.99. Look for it at { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor

Phlat Ball – Is it a Disc or a Ball?

Phlat Ball 1 reviews a fun outdoor toy for kids from Goliath Games.

Goliath Games has once again come up with a most unique product. This time it is the “Phlat Ball,” which starts out as a flying flat disc, and suddenly changes shapes and becomes a nice round ball.

When first removed from the package, the “Phlat Ball” is in the shape of a round flexible disc measuring approximately 9″ in diameter and about 2″ thick. In the very middle of the disc are two hidden suction cups that keep the top and bottom halves of the “Phlat Ball” together. However, everyone knows that a pair of small suction cups will eventually pull apart, and when the ‘Phlat Ball” loses its grip, it suddenly turns itself into a round ball with a 6″ diameter. The transformation is quite incredible, and when it first happens, you may literally jump back, as it happens so fast. Because the suction cups are a bit unpredictable, you never know when the disc will actually transform. The idea of the “Phlat Ball” is to basically toss it as a disc, eventually catching it as a ball. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Outdoor