COMMENTARY: A Fresh Take on Traditional Outdoor Toys and Games

These days, it’s pretty crucial for toy companies to be as innovative as possible. But sometimes, providing kids with a new take on an old-school toy or game is just as effective. Sure, kids are ridiculously interested in tablets, iPhones, and computers, but when it comes to play the rules haven’t changed all that much. Although kids are now growing up in the “digital age,” they are always going to love running, jumping, laughing, and exerting energy in a physical way.

Toys such as pogo sticks, Skip-Its (my favorite), and sidewalk chalk were staples throughout my childhood, and contrary to those who believe kids are actually digital robots, they remain favorites for children growing up now, too.

Kidoozie Pogo JumperI never got around to mastering the pogo stick, but this bouncing device still remains a popular activity for kids of all ages. The Kidoozie Pogo Jumper from International Playthings offers kids a lot of hop, but enhances the fun by adding a built-in speaker that squeaks with every bounce. In addition, instead of the metal framework, rubber handlebars, and foot pegs that a lot of classic pogo sticks feature, the Pogo Jumper has a layer of foam over the handlebars to offer kids’ hands comfortable support. The large foam platform on the base of the pogo makes it easier for kids to keep their balance for prolonged play. Although the Kidoozie Pogo Jumper is great for young jumpers, it also accommodates any height and can hold up to 250 pounds.

Twister Rave Skip-ItWhether it was during recess or at an after-school play date, taking turns with someone’s Skip-It was a play-time ritual. The concept is still the same: Kids put one leg through the hoop and swing the Skip-It in a circular motion while hopping over it. While tricky at first, once you get the hang of it, this game can be played for hours in the driveway or on the blacktop at the park or school. Hasbro’s Twister Rave Skip-It brings a real glow to the game by challenging players to keep the Skip-It going in order to light the toy up in multiple colors. The Skip-It comes with a trick guide and has over 20 light levels for kids to complete.

Crayola Grab n Go GamesSidewalk chalk has always led to beautiful patio illustrations and endless rounds of hopscotch and foursquare. Now with Crayola’s Chalk Grab ‘n Go Games, kids can play even more outdoor games with sidewalk chalk. Available games include Foot Hockey, Bean Bag Toss, Chip Shot Golf, and Obstacle Course, all of which include four sticks of colorful, washable chalk, as well as the materials needed to play the game. Kids will not only have a blast playing the game, but they can get as creative as they like drawing up their play area, whether it be a rink to play foot hockey in, a crazy obstacle course, etc.

For more commentary from Deanna, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!