Spring is in the air, and kids are heading outside to enjoy the weather after this long, harsh winter. There are some great toys hitting shelves this season, giving kids and parents plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Who doesn’t like to fly a kite? Brainstorm has many options available for boys, girls, and parents. What I like most about Brainstorm’s Xkites line is the incredible designs. Half the fun of flying a kite is having one that’s cool, right?


Mandrill kite, from Brainstorm

Brainstorm also makes AirSleds, colorful kites, and a range of licensed products including Angry Birds, Disney characters, Star Wars, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

For those looking for simpler ways to have fun outside, I suggest the Gertie Ball, “the world’s most catchable ball.” It has an almost-sticky texture that provides a great grip.

People who want more complex forms of play need not look farther than the Avitron. It is an R/C flying bird that is lightweight, attractive, and looks like a real bird when airborne. R/C toys are always fun, especially flying ones. Most such toys are helicopters or planes, so this is a  deviation from the norm.


Young entomologists can explore their own backyards and collect bugs with the Bug Playground, from SmartLab. The playground is complete with a slide, jungle gym, pool, and rock wall, and kids will love to watch their new “pets” have a ball in their new hangout. The set comes with a bug-collector tool for easy capture and a manual with information on how to feed and care for insects.

For more commentary from Christine, check back each Tuesday afternoon. 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!