China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Kids Need to Move It, Move It

Today, kids are swarmed with toys that enable them to experience every world of play possible without ever having to move. Play buttons are all that’s required, and while this is incredible for the mind, it leaves the next generation sedentary. Millions of toys are available for molding the brain, but what are kids doing for their bodies? I remember a time that my mom had to beg us to come inside because it was getting dark out, and nothing could keep me still for very long. In a world where touch screens have replaced backyard swings, remote controllers have replaced running, and headphones have replaced jump ropes, it’s so important to get kids up and moving.

YgliderYvolution’s objective phrase is “Life through motion,” and with the Y Fliker and the Y Glider, kids can do just that. These scooters combine an innovative, extremely mobile design to the classic wheeled toy. The Y Fliker is a three-wheeled scooter that will get kids up and active, and there is no kicking the pavement for movement anymore. Riders move their hips from side to side to take off and use their own body movement to keep going. The self-propelled scooter has performance-rated wheels that allow the free-style scooter to perform carving and drifting actions, so that kids will never lose interest. There’s also a hand brake for increased control. The Flikr comes in four styles for different age ranges, so there is three-wheeled mobile fun for everyone. The Y Glider is perfect for first-timers; it’s a kid-powered mini scooter with a “lean to steer” movement method for kids in the developmental stages. The Glider also helps develop balance and coordination skills—something I certainly could of used a lot more of as a kid. The Glider has soft rubber handgrips and features the same three-wheeled design as the Flikr, so youngsters will feel just like the big kids. This Glider does, however, have a wider deck for a more stable ride, PU casted wheels for durability, and an easy-touch, rear safety brake for quick stopping.

Yoga The Magic Path of Yoga from Upside Down Games is a family yoga game for ages six and up. The game includes 66 yoga-pose cards, 64 quiz cards, and an illustrated book. I remember watching my mom do yoga in our living room after dinner, but I never realized I could do it with her. Now that I see what great benefits come from the practice, I wish I had started much younger. This game, like yoga, strengthens and tones muscles, improves body posture, and increases concentration. Two players or teams must go around the board game path carrying out the requested tasks until a winner reaches the final square.

Land & Water Lighted Habitat, from Backyard Safari Outfitters, not only allows, but also encourages kids to play with creepy-crawlies including frogs, lizards, small fish, turtles, Land&Watersnakes, and bugs. The habitat can be home to these creatures with a built-in deep water haven and a land terrain for crawlers. The set also features a clear dome for 360-degree viewing and a built-in light fixture, so kids can observe their little friends. Don’t worry—there’s an additional port to allow kids to transfer their captured critters into the new home. The habitat also comes up with a field guide, so kids can learn more about them as they watch. How does this get kids moving? You can’t catch a bug if you aren’t running around outside. In fact, Backyard Safari Outfitters has a vast collection of toys that will make kids crave some time outdoors. I remember having a “bug box” made of wood and opaque netting; the bug-catching world is moving on up!

For more commentary from Kara, 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!