Yes, yes, I know that summer actually starts next month. But for all intents and purposes, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and for the next three months, we’ll be cramming in as many cookouts, camping trips, beach days, and family get-togethers as we can. Kids have already started the countdown to the end of the school year, and after the long, harsh winter we had here in the northeast this year, they’re ready to get out and make the most of their summer vacation. Here are some great outdoor toys that will make it a summer to remember:


The Slip ‘n Slide Wave Rider, from Wham-O, is an obvious go-to for a hot summer day. This 16-foot slide is a classic way for kids ages 5 to 12 to cool off and have hours of fun. Hydro-glide technology creates water beads on the surface, giving kids a fast ride, and the included boogie board gives an even smoother time as kids slide alongside the water bumper and into the splash pool. The bumper also continuously sprays water, guaranteeing a cool, wet ride.


Hasbro‘s Nerf Super Soaker Barrage Soaker is perfect for an epic water fight. The tank holds up to 84 ounces of water—plenty of ammo for kids ages 7 and up to drench their opponents mercilessly before reloading. The Barrage features three soaking modes that kids can alternate between by simply turning the nozzle: Flood mode provides a huge stream of water; scatter mode lets kids hit multiple targets at once; and distance mode lets kids hit targets up to 38 feet away.


For those that want to stay dry, there’s the Grill & Play Patio Cafe, from Step2. Kids ages 2 and up can act like the grown-ups by grilling up a feast for their friends on the pretend charcoal grill and oven. The set features a pretend refrigerator, a sink with a swivel faucet, and two stove top burners with clicking knobs. When it’s time to eat, kids can move to the other side of the set and take a seat at the raised dining area with a counter top and two stools. An umbrella keeps things cool as little ones munch away.

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, and these products are sure to keep kids outside and active, even on the hottest days.

For more commentary from Christine, 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!