Our Favorite Outdoor Toys to Keep Kids Busy Outside
“Turn off the television and go outside.” “Put down that controller and go outside.” “Give your eyes a rest, close that book, and go outside.” “Quit texting, hand over the phone, and go outside.” Those and similar commands are familiar to anyone who has ever been a kid. Even prehistoric moms were probably sending little Pebbles and Bam Bam outside for some fresh air. While it may be fairly easy to ignore the whining and push your children out the door, you can't make them enjoy it. That's where Windy City Novelties can help with a great selection of toys and games that is sure to include something to interest everyone. Here are some of our favorites:
- It has been said that nearly everybody in North America is vitamin D deficient, so it's important to get some sun. But one of the best things about summer for kids is getting to be outdoors after dark. With no school days looming every morning, it's fun to be able to stay out playing hide and seek, Simon says, and tag. Of course the Clip On LED Light for Caps will never do if you are playing hide and seek, but the cap light will really come in handy otherwise once the sun goes down. The clip on LED light fits perfectly on the bill of a baseball-style hat. The plastic clip on light has five high-powered white LEDs that provide a bright white, forward facing, functional light. The clip on cap light comes with two CR2032 batteries included but not installed. The cap light is great for hikers, joggers, and night-time golfers and can also be clipped to other surfaces to highlight signs for instance. The clip on LED light for caps is sold by the piece and comes packed on individual blister cards. The LED light clip can also be custom imprinted.
- The LED Flying Disc will provide more fun in the dark. The white plastic 10-inch flying disc has high-powered LEDs in green, red, and blue attached on the top, bottom, and sides that can be set to fast flash, slow flash, and steady on. Each flying disc comes with three AG-10 batteries included and installed. The batteries cannot be replaced. The LED flying discs are sold individually.
- Aspiring jugglers will love the Flashing Assorted Color LED Balls. The built-in, high-powered LED lights are activated the first time the bouncy plastic balls hit the ground--not that such a thing would ever happen to you! The small, palm-sized balls can be custom imprinted. The flashing, blinking, bouncing balls are sold in color assortments of 12. The flashing LED balls are also available by the dozen in all blue or all red.
- If your house is the gathering spot for the kids in the neighborhood, or you are planning an outdoor birthday party, Windy City has some good ideas for activities. The Inflatable Soccer Ball and Goal will provide hours of fun and help aspiring soccer stars keep their skills sharp over the summer. The yellow inflatable goal is 45 inches tall and 27 inches high—the perfect backyard size. It will also work well in the basement or even garage if it should dare to rain. The goal, with net, does not need to be blown up with a pump, but it makes the job easier. The inflatable goal comes with an inflatable soccer ball with the traditional black-and-white design. The Inflatable Football and Goal Post is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. The red inflatable goal post measures 46 inches high and 39 inches wide. The red plastic goal post has the word “Touchdown!” written in white letters across the bottom bar. Yellow stripes decorate the goal post. The plastic inflatable football is designed to look just like a traditional brown football with white markings. The inflatable football and goal post is sold by the unit.
- The Duck Fishing Game is a favorite for your littlest friends and neighbors. The duck fishing game comes with a sea blue inflatable 3' by 3' pool, an 18” fishing pole, and five 3” yellow plastic ducks. Youngsters must “catch” the ducks by using the fishing pole to hook the ring on the top of the ducks' heads. The duck fishing game is sold by the set.
- Head for the beach with a picnic basket full of treats, a big bottle of sunscreen, an umbrella for shade, and Straw Beach Mat keep the sand on the beach where it belongs. The 30” by 60” straw beach mat is bound by blue fabric around the edges. The mat rolls right up when it is time to go home. Beach Pails with Shovels are exactly what is needed for building sand castles, digging and carrying sand to bury mom or dad, or collecting sea shells to take home as a memory of the day. The 5 1/2” yellow plastic beach pail has a white plastic handle designed to look like a rope. The included plastic shovel is red/orange. The beach pails and shovels are sold in sets of one dozen. Don't rush off just because the sun is sinking behind the horizon. There is still time for a rousing game of catch or volleyball using a 12” Blow Up Inflatable Green Glowing Beach Ball. The frosted plastic inflatable beach ball comes with a 6” green glow stick that makes the ball shine green when it is activated and inserted into the middle of the inflated ball. Purchase additional 6” glow sticks from Windy City in the color of your choice and use the inflatable beach ball over and over again. The inflatable beach ball and glow stick is sold as a set, which is also available with glow sticks in blue, red, yellow, purple, pink, orange, aqua, and white. Everyone knows the most unwelcome guests at a picnic are ants.
- Imagine the horror if your beach picnic is over-run with Ants by the Gross. The 1 1/2-inch black plastic ants might or might not be a funny prank, depending on how the rest of the day has gone. The ants are priced and packed by the gross (144). Use them at your own risk.
- Start practicing now for an end-of-summer paddle ball tournament with Dinosaur Paddle Balls. The 9-inch wooden paddle balls, sold in assortments of 12, feature three different designs, including cartoon-like dinosaurs in blue, green, and purple. Once everyone has had a couple of weeks to practice, organize a series of elimination games, with an impartial judge to keep everyone on track. The Retro Paddle Balls, also 9 inches, are decorated in bright yellow, orange, blue, and green, with flowers, peace signs, 60's slang, and even a magic bus. The retro paddle balls are sold in assortments of 1 dozen. Other paddle ball designs include unfinished wood, luau, pirate, outer space, jazzy, and patriotic, all sold by the dozen.
- If you envision summer as one long series of friendly competitions, add a jump rope contest to your list. Jump rope contests can be judged according to how many jumps a person can make before stumbling, the intricacy of the jumping patterns, or even the cleverness of the jump rope rhymes – because you have to have rhymes when you jump! The 84” Cloth Jump Rope is a great rope for practice or just for fun. Fitness experts claim jumping rope is great for burning calories, increasing endurance, and improving coordination and agility. The cloth jump ropes are priced and packaged by the dozen, but you must order a minimum of two dozen. The 84” Plastic Rainbow Color Jump Ropes are the preferred choice of jumpers interested in speed and tricks. The plastic jump ropes are packaged and sold in color assortments of two dozen.
- Learn to rock the baby, walk the dog, or even shoot the moon with the 2” Hamburger Shaped Yo Yos. The hamburger yo yos look like your favorite lunchtime sandwich, with toppings hanging out of the sides of the sesame seed bun. The hamburger yo yos make great party favors. Even your grown-up friends will have fun trying to see if they can recapture their childhood prowess with a yo yo. The hamburger shaped yo yos are individually wrapped and sold by the dozen. If you prefer a yo yo that won't make you hungry, try the Plastic 2” Yo Yo, although it does look a bit like a lollipop without a stick. The 2” plastic yo yos are made of clear plastic in yellow, purple, green, and red. The yo yos are priced by the dozen, but sold in color assortments of two dozen. They come packed in a display box.
- If you are just looking for old-fashioned fun, Windy City Novelties is the place to go. There's nothing like a Bucket of Sidewalk Chalk to keep kids occupied all day. The bucket has 36 chunky sticks of 4” chalk in assorted colors, so there is plenty to go around, no matter how many kids want to draw. The sidewalk chalk can be used to create works of art in the driveway, breezeway, or even garage. Mistakes can be scuffed off or obliterated with a glass of water. Use the chalk to draw hopscotch games, or even practice poetry-writing skills. Who knew writing poetry could be so much fun?
- A clear, calm day is just what you want when you are ready to fly Jet Fighter 8” Gliders. The jet fighter gliders are easy to assemble and come in an assortment of cool colors and styles. Order the jet fighter gliders in increments of 4 dozen. Pretend you are wealthy enough to throw cash away with Money Gliders. The easy-to-assemble gliders look like they have been folded out of dollar bills when put together. The 8-inch money gliders are sold by the dozen.
- The 1 1/4” Neon Spinning Tops will keep kids amused outside, during the train ride to the city, while waiting for food in a restaurant, and maybe even in church (just kidding). The little plastic spinning tops, shaped like upside-down umbrellas, come in neon pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue. They are sold in assortments of 48 – a bag will more than last the entire summer. LEDs put a new spin on the UFO Light Up Spinning Top. This spinning top never stops once set in motion on its black base. The UFO spinning top has high-powered LEDs inside that create mesmerizing patterns when the top is moving. The UFO spinning top comes with an AC adapter, but will also run on three AAA batteries (not included). When the day is so hot you just can't cool off, revive everyone with a water fight.
- Arm friends and neighbors with the 4” Assorted Water Guns, sold by the dozen. The 4-inch water guns have a classic design in translucent plastic and come in assorted colors, including purple, blue, red, and green. The water guns, which come individually wrapped, are great for close-range targets. Hand them out and let the screaming begin! The Water Guns with Tank have a longer range and the tank on the top means you don't have to keep running back to the hose or faucet to refill. Grown-ups are sure to want in on the action when you pull out the water guns with tank, so be sure to order extras. The water guns are sold in color assortments of one dozen. Kids will greatly enjoy a nature hike, especially if you equip them with Binoculars before you head for the forest preserve. The 4 1/2-inch binoculars come in assorted colors, including yellow, blue, and green, and are great starters for aspiring bird watchers. The binoculars are individually poly bagged and sold by the dozen.
Shakespeare famously wrote “And Summer's lease hath all too short a date.” In other words, the season is way too short. All the more reason to let Windy City Novelties help you cram in all the fun you can with gliders, tops, jump ropes, balls, and many other great outdoor toys and games.