UPDATE: We have now released the Updated Best Summer Toys for 2012 Guide. Click here to read our Guide to the Best Outdoor Summer Toys for 2012
Summer is here! The sun is shinning, the days are long and most importantly – schools out! Summer is the perfect time for kids to get outside and play…but what should they play with?
Introducing the Ultimate Fun Outdoor Toys for Summer 2011 Guide
Fear not stressed out Moms and Dads – we are here to help. In this guide we will be covering some awesome outdoor toys and games for kids of all ages (and even some for Moms and Dads). As always, every toy in this guide has been subject to real world, hands-on testing by Moms and Dads. In addition, our reviews are completely objective, we never make any money from the products we review (see our Product Review Pledge).
Fun Outdoor Toys Keep Coming In and This Living Guide Keeps Growing
We are starting this guide in mid-July 2011, so we still have another solid 7 weeks of summer! We are constantly testing out new outdoor toys and games and will be updating this guide every few days – so check back often. Have an outdoor toy you really want to see reviewed? Just let us know – we aim to please.
Enough of the talk, let’s get right into some of the best Fun Toys for Summer 2011…
School May Be Out, But Spitballs Are in This Summer
Max Force Shadow Hawk 100 Spitball Blaster
Technically the Max Force Shadow Hawk 100 from Jakks Pacific does not shoot spitballs – it fires little pieces of paper that you need to get wet! Spitballs or wet paper bullets- either way this gun is still very cool and a blast! You can fire the paper pellets 100 feet and they make a big splat when they hit the target. No more arguing about who hit the target, with the Max Force Shadow Hawk the target will be clearly tagged with the flattened paper bullet.
Make sure you take a look at our video review of the Max Force Shadow Hawk where we shoot out the lens of our video camera from 50 feet away.
Price: $50. Good for kids ages 8 and up.
Defend Yourself From Spitballs With Gel Balls
Xploderz Blaster Gun
If your friend or sibling is pelting you with spitballs from the above mentioned Max Force Shadow Hawk, don’t get mad, just fight back with the Xploderz Blasters! The Xploderz line of toy guns shoot little gel balls up to 85 feet. The gel balls break apart on contact and our biodegradable, so no need to clean up the yard after an Xploderz war!
Price: $15 – $40. Best for kids ages 8-14.
For The X-Games Lover In Your Life
Cyco Cycle (CycoCycle)
What is the Cyco Cycle? It is a Unicycle with training wheels. No, it is really more like a giant tricycle that had its handle bar ripped off. No, that’s not right – well, it is really unlike anything else out there – but it is fun to ride!
Get the kids (ages 13 and up) outside this summer on a Cyco Cycle and you will have a hard time getting them to come back in. You can do tricks, carry a passenger on back and just have fun – all while getting a great workout!
Price: $99. Ages 13 and up
For Kids Who Want to Take Catch to The Next Level
Djubi – A New Twist on Catch
Djubi is hard to pronounce, but incredibly fun and easy to play. Djubi (pronounced joo-bee) comes with two racquets (pictured above) and a ball with a rubber band like loop on top of it. To play, you hook the ball on your racquet, pull it back and launch it over 100 feet for your friend to catch in the net of his/her racquet.
Djubi can be played in the backyard or for some real fun, take it with you to the beach and get wet and cool while playing Djubi! Great for kids ages 7 and up (younger kids may have a hard time launching the ball).
For Kids Who Like Fishing…And Watching TV…At The Same Time
Fisheyes Rod and Reel with Underwater Video Camera
Spending some quality time outside with the kids fishing is great, until your kid starts going on about how boring fishing is and how he would rather be watching TV. Resist the urge to push your kid off the dock for saying such blasphemous things and instead get him the FishEyes Rod and Reel with an underwater camera. He can fish and watch on the attached LCD screen exactly what is happening under water. He can also let you know if the Lockness Monster is stealing your bait and swimming under the dock.
Price: About $80
What Is More Fun Than a Summer Water Gun Fight? A Battery Powered Water Gun Fight!
Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm
It is not summer until someone gets soaked in a water gun fight! The past few summers, older kids had a big advantage as they had the strength needed to pump the Super Soaker guns and deliver a soaking stream of water. This summer, younger kids can fight back with the first battery powered Super Soaker – The Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm.
No pumping required on the Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm, just pull the trigger and a stream of water shoots 25 feet. Don’t fret when you go dry, just pop out the clip and snap in a full clip and you are ready for more soaking fun.
Price: About $15. Great for kids ages 3 and up
What Is Better Than Tossing a Football Or Blowing Bubbles? Tossing a Football that Blows Bubbles!
Gazillion Bubble Football
Some kids love to toss a football around. Other kids love to blow bubbles. Make them both happy with one outdoor toy – the Gazillion Bubble Football. This is what you would get if a Nerf type football and a bubble wand had a baby. Simply dip the tail of the football in the bubble solution and then toss it to your friend. As the football flies, bubbles come flying out of the tail.
Price: About $15. Great for kids ages 3 and up
Best Way To Combine Being Outdoors, Having Fun and Learning
Scientific Explorer Science Kits
Yes, it is the summer and we want the kids to play outside, but we also don’t want their brain to shrink away from lack of use! Scientific Explorer has come up with the perfect solution to this problem – three great science kits you can do outside – My First Backyard Explorer Kit, Ice Cream Kit and Meteor Rocket Kit. The kids will have so much fun playing outside with these science kits, they will completely forget that they are using their brains!
Price: About $15-$20 per science kit.
Zyphoon – For When Shooting the Kids With Nerf Darts Gets too Boring
Zyphoon Ring Shooter
In case you haven’t noticed yet, we like pretty much anything that shoots! The Zyphoon by Zing Toys put a different spin on shooting toys…literally. Load a soft nano ring onto the gun and pull back on the handle and watch the ring go flying over 55 feet. The company says it uses “Z-Spin Technology” to get the rings flying so far, we have no idea what Z-Spin is, but we do know it is fun to go outside and shoot flying rings at things!
Price: About $11. Great for kids ages 5 and up
For Kids Who Want to Fly Like A Bird…If A Bird Looked Like a RC Helicopter
Syma S107 RC Helicopter
Here are two things we have discovered about the world – 1. RC Helicopters are really cool and 2. RC Helicopters are really frustrating! We have tested our share of RC Helicopters that break, don’t fly and generally drive you insane. Luckily our sanity and faith in the RC Helicopter world was restored by the Syma S107 RC Helicopter.
The Syma S107 is stable, affordable ($30), fun to fly and a great outdoor toy for older kids. You do need a calm day with low winds, but under the right conditions, the Syma S107 flies great and will keep junior pilots busy all day…or until the batteries run out.
Price: About $30. Great for kids ages 12 and up
For When You Need to Knock Over a Can…From 125 Feet Away
Air Hunterz Z-Curve Bow
Let’s be honest for a moment, who hasn’t found themselves standing 125 feet away from a can that they really just needed to knock over? Nerf guns, Xploderz, even the new Max Force line of blasters max out at 100 feet. Don’t be ashamed, we have all been there.
This summer, go old school with the Air Hunterz Z-Curve Bow and knock that can down with a foam arrow from 125 feet away! Yes, the Z-Curve Bow from Zing Toys shoots foam arrows over 125 feet – which is great, until you need to walk 125 feet to retrieve your arrows.
Price: About $25. Great for kids ages 8 and up
Stay Tuned – Much More To Come…
Now get outside and play!
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