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Best drift trikes for kids and teenagers – a buying guide

By Kirsty / October 21, 2017

So your child has asked for a drift trike and perhaps, like me a little while back, you have no idea where to start and what these toys even are!  Well if so, you’re in the right place as we’re looking at the best drift trikes for kids today and explaining all about these toys.

What is a drift trike?

A drift trike is a low slung trike that has slick back wheels which allows the trike to drift round corners.  Basically the lack of traction on the plastic wheels means that it can skid as it turns.  It’s really fun and kids seem to love the possibilities!  They spin and drift as they turn the corners – it’s a great alternative to a bike!

What to look for when buying a drift trike?

Stability and a sturdy frame is the main thing that I’d suggest with a drift trike – I’d also suggest sticking with brand names as far as possible.  You want something that’s safe for your kids to play on and that won’t fall apart straight away when your child tries to drift!

I’d also keep in mind the age and weight range of the trike in order to get the best value for money with your trike – lots of these trikes that I mention here are good for up to the teen years but do bear in mind how big your child is and make sure it’s suitable.

 

Best drift trike for kids and teenagers – our reviews

Madd Gear 360 Drift Trike

Madd Gear is a really good brand (I recommend them for Stunt Scooters as well) and this is a good drift trike from them.  It’s suitable from a young age – they state from age 5 – and will be great for older kids too.  The weight limit of this is 68kg.

It’s a very sturdy trike and looks really good in these colours too – definitely one that will appeal to older kids.  The only downside to this one is that although the seat is adjustable and so is good for a wide age range, it’s not simple to adjust. You have to change the bolts which might be annoying as you’re setting it up and getting it to the right size.

 

Check out the latest price on Amazon here

 

Rip Rider 360 Caster Trike

This trike from Rip Rider is a lot of fun!  The casters on this are really small (compared to the other trikes) and allow for some great spins and turns.  I’d say that this one is a great option for smaller kids as it’s so easy to manoeuvre and light (9.1kg).  It has a sturdy steel frame so should definitely be up to the job.

It’s suitable for ages 5+ all the way up to maximum child weight of 73kg

(Razor also do some great electric scooters and as expected also do an electric drift trike too!  It’s a little out of the remit of this article but you can see more about it here)

 

See more about this drift trike on Amazon here

 

 

Huffy Green Machine

A slightly different design but the same great idea here – this drift trike has a dual ‘joystick’ rather than traditional handlebars and it’s a real fun one to try that is great for co-ordination and greater control on the trike.  I also like the addition of the red flag to make them easier to see!

This one is suitable from a slightly higher age – from age 8 although it should be noted that it’s quite a heavy trike and so that would make it harder for younger kids to use especially if you have hills!

See the latest price of this trike here

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Tips for keeping kids warm in cold weather

By Kirsty / October 21, 2017
keeping kids warm in cold weather

It’s one thing to want to get your kids outside more on a lovely summers day but it’s quite another when it’s cold, grey and bleak outside.  The key is warm weather clothing – keeping kids warm in cold weather will transform the scary thought of going outside into a much better one!  Here’s some ideas for dressing your kids appropriately for the autumn and winter seasons.

Layers is key!

Rather than just shoving on a thick winter jacket, think about layering up kids.  This is especially important if your child is the type of kid who will take their jacket off at the first opportunity and run around with just a t-shirt on!  If you’ve prepared early on with perhaps some base layers or maybe a body warmer then they’ll be much warmer and you’ll stress less.  Happy parents equal happier play time!

Base layers like the one opposite are also great for sports loving kids – stick them underneath their team kit and it will keep them warm.  They tend to come in all sorts of sizes – this one is for toddlers all the way up to teenagers – and fun colours as well as the dark neutral shades.  Click the image for more info.

 

Waterproofs will save the rainy day

Rain does not have to stop play at all if you have the right kind of gear.  Toddlers and even bigger kids love to splash in puddles, dance around in the rain and find the muddiest corner – let them do it if you can!  All in one rain suits are perfect for little kids and can totally take the worry out of getting soaked to the skin.

If it’s cold as well as rainy, make sure to add some layers underneath.

You can see my ultimate guide to waterproofs for kids here

 

Cover the extremities

Hats and gloves are the bane of any parents lives – where to do they go year on year?  I swear we lose them every summer and by the time Autumn swings around they are nowhere to be seen!

As annoying as that is though, they are pretty much essential in the colder months.

One tip I do have for you if your child is always taking off their scarf or if you don’t like to constrict their neck too much is to get a hood/snood like the one in the picture.  It’s fun and does two jobs in one.  Click it to get more information.

 

Have a warm up plan

Take some time to consider the best way to get warm AFTER your jaunts and playing outside.  Some of my favourite ideas are:

  • hot chocolate
  • a warm bath
  • warm clothes to change into
  • a warm lunch like soup

Some of these are also good to incorporate in to longer periods outside.  If you’ve gone for a walk in the countryside then a good plan is to bring a thermos of hot chocolate for after the walk or plan a coffee shop stop.

 

Kids are resilient and once going they often have great fun outside whatever the weather.  Don’t feel like you have to aim for hours and hours of outdoor play though – kids get immense benefits from even 10 minutes of fresh air and outside time.  Let them lead the way and let you know when they’ve had enough – it might actually surprise you how long they’ll be outside once they get going!

Cold weather definitely doesn’t need to stop outdoor play especially if you’re organised up front.  Do you have any other ideas?

 

 

Ezy roller reviews

By Kirsty / October 5, 2017

Every year I get so excited to see what new toys and ride ons come out and what catches my kids eyes.  This year it’s definitely been the Ezy Roller.  It’s one of those toys that are so simple that you can’t believe how much of a hit they are going to be really – sometimes simple really does win the day!  If you’re looking in to what these toys do then I hope you find my Ezy Roller review helpful.  They truly are a really fab toy for such a wide range of ages and as such something I really recommend!

Our Ezy roller review

I’m looking at the Classic Ezy Roller in the main here – scroll down for some info on the differences in the many kinds of ezy rollers out there.

I love the Ezy Roller for the fact that it’s a little bit different.  It’s not like some of the other items available for this age group, like stunt scooters or skateboards – it’s truly unique.  It’s great for getting kids to use muscles, develop co-ordination and all of those great things too, but most of all it’s a really fun item and if you have older kids you’ll know that it’s hard to always hit that sweet spot of something fun, cool and also not overly expensive or electronic too!

So what is an Ezy Roller then?  Well some liken it to a go kart and certainly with the seating position it does resemble one of those, BUT it doesn’t have any pedals.  So how does it go?  Well, what you do is move the wheels from side to side using a kind of ‘snake’ movement and it allows the Ezy Roller to move forward and backwards.  It’s a really good work out and in my experience kids manage to get the hang of it really quickly.

 

See the latest price of the Ezy Roller here

 

Safe and fun

The Ezy Roller has the child at a low height at all times, meaning that they have a really low centre of gravity.  What this means its that it’s an extremely safe item for them to be playing with – you’ll not get falls from a great height with it and it shouldn’t overturn!  I say shouldn’t rather than won’t as we all know how kids are for testing limits!  I highly doubt they could do it though.

It’s made from a really sturdy and strong tubular metal too and is a really high quality bit of kit.  It’s always a bit hit and miss with kids toys like this and sometimes you can buy something and be amazed at the low quality – not so with these.  They’ll last for many years and through many kids if you have them!

A wide age range of fun

I’m all about good value on Get Kids Outside and I love when good quality toys will last for years – it means I have way less qualms about paying out for them.  The Ezy Roller states that it’s suitable from 4 years old all the way up to 14+ so it’s not only great for longevity, but it’s also good if you have a wide range of kids who might be using it.  It comes with frame extensions for this purpose and for the bigger and taller kids.

Oh and it also comes in a wide range of colours too!

 

Ezy Roller Specs and features

  • for ages 4-14+ years
  • weight limit – 75kg
  • strong tubular frame
  • scooter style wheels
  • no pedals, chain or drive
  • frame extension for resizing for older kids
  • Length 70-98cm, Width 43.5cm, Height 34.5cm
  • Weight 5.80kg

 

See more about the Ezy Roller here

 

 

 

 

EzyRoller Classic v Drifter v Pro- what’s the difference?

There’s a few different versions of the EzyRoller out there – the classic is the basic one and is linked to above but there’s also the Drifter and the Pro.  What’s the difference?

Let’s start with the Drifter:

The drifter is pretty much the same as the classic Ezy Roller apart from one thing – the back wheels.  This one has special wheels that allows the kart to drift around so a little bit more fun and probably something that will appeal to older kids!

See more about the Ezy Roller Drifter here

 

Ezy Roller Pro:

This one is again, pretty similar to the Classic but this one is designed for adults too!  An Ezy Roller for adults?  Perfect!  So this one is more robust and can handle user weights up to 90kg and the frame is larger (92 – 112 cm length) too.  This is ideal if your kids are at the older age range and want something to last or if you think you’ll be hitting the upper limit of ages.  Or if as a parent you want a go too!

See more about the Ezy Roller Pro here

 

Conclusion

I think you can probably guess that I have a lot of time for this toy and feel that it’s one of the better ones out there.  It’s not overly expensive in comparison to other similar toys like bikes, go karts or scooters and it’s such a fun item!  I really recommend it whether you have old or young kids.

 

Buy the Ezy Roller on Amazon here

 

Looking for the best go karts for kids? Here’s our top pedal go karts

By Kirsty / September 26, 2017
best go karts

Go karts are excellent and fun outdoor toys that are great for older kids.  You can take them to a park for a great day out or they’re perfect if you’re lucky and have a safe street for your kids to play on with wide paths.  The best go karts for kids are often the ones that will last them a long time and that are easy to use.  Here’s my guide to some of the top choices on the market at the moment in 2017:

What to look for in a kids go kart

Firstly, let’s have a think about what to consider when looking for the best kids go kart.  As I said before, getting something that will last as your child grows is a big thing to think about, but what else?

  • what kind of chassis is it?  Is it sturdy or is it a cheap plastic?
  • Does it have an adjustable seat
  • How do the pedals work – chain driven?  Does it have gears?  or are they simply pedals?
  • are you able to go off road in the go kart?  Check the tyres for what grip you’ll get.

 

Kids go karts comparison table

Scroll down for individual reviews on each of the go karts featured in this table.

NameAge rangeHeight rangeWeight limitSizePrice

Berg Buddy
3-8 yearsnot stated50kg110 x 65 x 63 cm££

Kiddo go kart
4-8 yearsnot stated30kg101 x 61 x 62cm£

Kettler Barcelona Air
5-10 years110-140cm50kg125 x 72 x 67cm££

Bopster Go Kart
5-10 yearsnot stated
40kg101 x 40 x 61cm£


Ferbedo Bad Boy
5-11 years110-150cm50kg111 x 68 x 66 cm££

Berg Ford Mustang
4-12 yearsnot stated60kg124 x 70 x 64cm£££

 

Best go karts for kids – our reviews

I’ve split these reviews down in to two age groups, the first looks at go karts for ages around 3 – 8 years old.  Some will only be good for up to 5 years though – keep an eye on the age ranges.  The second group is for older kids – 8, 9 and 10 years old so scroll down for those.

 

Go karts for 3-8 year olds

There quite a few pedal go karts in this age range and if you’re starting with a young child or have a range of ages you want to buy for these might be worth checking out.

 

Kiddo 2017 Racer Design Pedal Go Kart

 

 

This is a really good budget option if you’re looking for a cheap go kart for your young kids.  It has the smallest weight limit of all the go karts I’m reviewing here but for the price it’s a really good option.  It comes in the nice red and black design and has the classic go kart look.

It has an adjustable seat and enclosed chain so no worries about getting fingers caught in it.  It’s a strong and sturdy tubular from too and should last a long time.

Age range: 4-8 years.  Weight Limit: 30kg

 

Check the latest price on Amazon here

 

Berg Toys Buddy Pedal Powered Go Kart

 

Berg go karts are really good quality toys and this one for young kids is no exception (you can see one for older kids if you scroll down).  It’s made of a high quality metal frame, has an easy to use forward and reverse pedal action and also has adjustable seats and steering wheel. This means it’s great for growing kids!  This one will last from age 3 all the way to 8 so if you’re buying early it’s a great option.

Available in orange/black as well as this white/pink design.  I don’t like labelling these toys as boys or girls personally, but the white and pink design is definitely one that girls might enjoy and is a little bit different and the orange one is a good unisex design.  

Age range: 3-8 years.  Weight limit 50kg

 

See the two colour designs and latest price here

 

Go karts for 8 – 10 year olds

As kids get older you’ll want something more sturdy and also something that will still last a long time.  Again there are quite a few in this age range and some even up to age 11 and 12 years.

 

Bopster 2 speed racing Go Kart

Our choice – Best budget go kart
a good option if you’re looking on the more budget end as this one is comfortably under the £100 price range (of course prices do vary – click the image for the latest price)

It has inflatable rubber tyres which means it’s suitable for a variety of surfaces – both grass and gravel as well as paths.  It also has a 2 speed gear system to allow for fast starts, a sturdy metal frame and a hand brake that covers both back wheels.  It has all you need which when you consider the price is pretty good!

Age range: 5-10 years.  Weight Limit: 40kg

 

Check the latest price on Amazon here

 

Ferbedo Cross Racer Bad Boy

The Ferbedo Cross Racer go kart is a good and solid kart that’s suitable all the way up to age 11 and so should last a long time for your child.  It’s a sturdy design with off road tyres, a hand brake and a covered chain guard so nice and safe.  Some people have found this one a little frustrating to put together though.  I like the classic black design that shouldn’t be grown out of too easily.

Age range: 5-11 years.  Max weight: 50kg

See the latest price on Amazon here

 

 

Kettler Barcelona Air Go Kart

Kettler is one of the big brands in kids ride on toys and they also have a good go kart available too.  There’s a few in the range but this one, the Barcelona Air is one of my favourites.  It’s nice and light so is easy to use for any child and it’s also got a large age range too so will suit for quite a while – as a guide, the height range specified is 110cm – 140cm.

The seat is adjustable, there’s a good hand brake and it has good quality pneumatic tyres.

Age range: 5-10 years.  Weight limit: 50kg

 

Check to see the latest price on Amazon here

 

Berg Ford Mustang GT Pedal Go Kart

This is really a special go kart and definitely a high quality bit of kit.  It’s licensed by Ford and has some of the nice details of a Ford Mustang car including the silver mustang badge.

This one will go all the way up to 12 years old and has the highest weight limit on this page and so it’s a really good investment I think – it has a 5 position seat and an adjustable steering wheel so even from a young age it can be used.  It also has a well designed ‘hub’ that allows you to change from forward pedalling to reverse simply.

I love the look of this one, it looks like a really high quality and premium go kart and the colours and styling is just awesome!  It would definitely make a really special gift.

Age range: 4-12 years.  Weight limit: 60kg

Check the latest price of this item here

 

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SmarTrike review – 4 in 1 Swing

By Kirsty / September 22, 2017

When my children were younger (much younger!) they loved to be pushed around by us and their grandparents on one of these trikes. There’s quite a few models around but one of the better ones is this one by SmarTrike and it’s a really popular option. Here’s my SmarTrike review of the 4 in 1 Swing if you’re thinking of getting one to help your little one get outside more!

Our SmarTrike Review

I love these baby trikes for a couple of reasons but the main one is that it promotes independence in your kids.  If you like to be outside as much as possible or perhaps you take lots of walks with your kids, just using a pushchair might be the easiest way.  But if you want something a bit different and something that will be fun for your child to use then a trike can get them more involved!

The SmarTrike is a great brand and I really love that it grows with your child so it makes the purchase much easier as you know it will get a lot of use.

See the latest price of this trike here

 

4 in 1 Trike – grows with your child

As I just said, the SmarTrike grows with your child and it can be used from as early as 10 months old all the way up to 3+ years.

Stage one of the trike has your baby strapped in to the trike with a really secure harness, padded seat and foot rests.

Stage two is from around 18 months and still has the handle attached but the child is now in the plastic seat with a helpful barrier round to keep your little one from falling off.

Stage three is from about 24 months – your child can learn to pedal while you still have some control.

Stage four (30 – 36 months) sees the handle come off and your child learning to ride the trike on their own.

 

Safety features

Another thing I like about the SmarTrike is the innovative features of it that keeps it being a really safe toy for you and your kids.

It has a sun canopy which is great for keeping kids protected from the sun and you can also close the safety clutch so that your kids feet don’t get hurt as you’re pushing the trike along (it stops the pedals turning as you move).

Having the storage bag that attaches to the handle as well as the parents bag means you can also bring all you need for your toddler out and about with you.

 

Features and Specification of the SmarTrike

  • Comes in both blue and pink varieties
  • From 10 months old
  • 4 stages
  • washable, padded seat cover
  • navigator button to switch from parent steering to child
  • UV canopy

 

See the colours in the range here

 

Overall if you’re looking for a good quality and innovative product for your child to use as they grow then you’ll probably really love the SmarTrike.  It has all you need to get your baby used to being outside and ready to be more independent and learn to ride the trike themselves as they grow in to a toddler.

See more reviews of the SmarTrike on Amazon here

Kanga Trampoline Review

By Kirsty / September 22, 2017

I’m often saying how amazing trampolines are for getting your kids outside and as such one of the first buying guides I wrote on this site was about the best trampolines for kids.  I’ve had such amazing feedback from that post that I wanted to make more in depth reviews of the best items that are around right now.  So to start off – here’s my Kanga Trampoline review for you – keep an eye out for more in depth reviews coming soon.

Buying a trampoline can feel like a big investment especially with the safety concerns that come along with the purchase.  My advice is to stick with the bigger brands who have a presence on the internet and many reviews around rather than unknowns.

Our Kanga Trampoline Review


When looking for a good brand of trampoline, Kanga is right up there with the best.  I like them for a number of reasons but the fact that they are so well thought of and have a tonne of good reviews out there on the internet also helps a lot!

The trampolines come in a variety of sizes from the smallest which is 6ft all the way through to a 12ft (and with 8ft and 10ft trampolines in between!) so no matter what your requirements, there’s sure to be a size that will suit you.  10ft is my preferred size which will last all the way in to the teenage years so if you can go that far then I recommend that!  6ft tends to be fine for just one child but it might be outgrown quickly and I often see many people regretting getting such a small one – of course it depends on your available space too.

NameWidthFrame HeightSafety Enclosure HeightMax User weight

Kanga 6ft Trampoline
6ft (1.82m)48cm165cm120kg

Kanga 8ft Trampoline
8ft (2.44m)60cm165cm120kg

Kanga 10ft Trampoline
10ft (3.04m)65cm177cm120kg

Kanga 12ft Trampoline
12ft (3.65m)85cm175cm120kg

The main reason why I recommend this trampoline is that it comes with all you’ll need so great if you don’t want to shop around for separate accessories as you’ll see:

 

See the latest price on Amazon here

 

High quality materials

The Kanga trampoline is made from UV resistant PE materials which means that if it’s out in the sun a lot (and let’s face it, it won’t be likely to be brought in!) it won’t weaken the item.  The frame is made from high quality galvanised steel which again will make it last a long time.  Trampolines are such an investment, even if you want a cheap one, you’ll want it to last a long time!

 

Lots of Safety Equipment included

A safety net is one of my must have additions to a trampoline as it can stop any accidents from children veering too close to the edge of the trampoline and falling off.  The Kanga trampoline comes with a safety net as standard so there’s no need to buy a separate one which increases the cost or might make you question whether to get it or not.

Ground anchors are also included which are another must have in my opinion, especially once your kids get a bit older and heavier.  Better to have them at the start to save from any movement in the trampoline that might cause and accident.

 

Specs and Features of the Kanga Premium Trampoline

  • Comes in different sizes – 6ft, 8ft, 10ft and 12ft
  • max user weight – 120kgs
  • meets all EU safety regulations
  • safety net enclosure included
  • shoe bag included
  • ladder
  • anchor kit
  • winter cover

 

As you can see, with this model of trampoline you’re getting all that you need for one price.  You don’t need to worry about adding on other accessories which then bumps up the price – what you see is what you get.  For me, this is a big plus!  You get the safety enclosure, the ladder, the anchor kit as well as a cover which is great for keeping it looking good and as such lasting a long time!

See the range of trampoline sizes here

 

Overall, if you’re looking for a good quality trampoline that will be delivered direct to your door and be easy to put up, you won’t go far wrong by looking at the Kanga Trampoline.  It’s a great budget option too so if cost is a worry then you’ll get a lot for your money with this one.

Reviews from around the web (I like to find out what everyone else thinks!) are generally extremely positive too – many citing that it’s a great value item which is really easy to assemble.

 

See more reviews on Amazon here

 

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Bluefin hoverboard reviews

By Kirsty / September 8, 2017

I’m always on the look out for gadgets that might catch a teens eye to get them outdoors and this hoverboard from Bluefin certainly caught my eye.  I can imagine them being on many Christmas lists from teenagers and kids who want something a little bit special to be playing outdoors with.  They aren’t an insignificant purchase so here’s my Bluefin Hoverboard reviews so you can make a better decision about whether you want to go for it or not.

Our Bluefin Hoverboard Reviews – 6.5″ classic

So, hoverboard might be a little bit of a stretch when it comes to the name of this toy – they certainly don’t hover and your child won’t be an extra in Back to the Future any time soon.  Hover boards are what they are commonly known as, but you might hear them referred to as self balancing scooters, segways or swegways.

Bluefin are one of the major manufacturers of these hover boards and one of the safest and most trustworthy brands around.  There was a time a couple of years ago when there was lots of reports of these boards catching fire – happily those days seem to be behind us.  Bluefin are definitely a maker of safe hoverboards.

Hoverboards work by them sensing your position on the board – tilt forwards and you go forwards, tilt backwards and you slow down/go back.  It’s quite simple really but of course takes a little bit of getting used to.

If you’re wondering what age these are good for, the manufacturers state age 8 – adult.

See the latest price here

 

Listen while you ride


I love that you can listen to music while you are out and about on the Bluefin swegway.  If you connect your mp3 player or phone via Bluetooth you can have fun listening to all your tunes while out and about.  Music is so important to my kids that this is a great addition for them.

Long lasting battery

One thing that has impressed me is the fact that you get a 6 hour ride time from one charge of the battery.  That’s quite impressive and just shows how good the battery is in this.  It’s a Samsung Lithium Ion battery and it comes complete with a charger.  It requires 2 hours to be fully charged.

Bluefin 6.5″ classic specs and features

  • Suitable from age 8
  • can be used indoors and out
  • max speed – 10-15km/h
  • max weight – 100kg
  • 6 hours ride time from a 2 hour charge
  • Built in Samsung Lithium Ion battery
  • Choice of colours

 

See the latest price of the Bluefin board here

 

Other bluefin products and accessories


You might be interested to know that there’s a heap of different accessories for the Bluefin Hover Board.  One that I think my kids would like is the Hoverkart conversion kit – basically you add it on to the board and it converts it in to a fun go kart!

There’s plenty of silicone skins available too to protect and to personalise the boards.  You can also get handles that attach which makes it in to a more traditional ‘segway’ type ride on – it also has the benefit of making it easier to use while you get used to the balance required.

 

There’s also a few different models of the Bluefin:

The Bluefin 8″ Drifter has slightly bigger wheels (8 inches rather than the 6.5 ” of the classic) and seems similar but has a slightly lower ride time on one charge (4 hours) and can go over slightly rough terrain.

The Bluefin 10″ Cobra has even bigger wheels – yup, 10″.  These wheels are also inflatable rather than solid.  This one can go over all terrain from rough ground to grass.

Finally there’s the Bluefin All Terrain – like it’s name suggests this one can cope with almost any surface.  The wheels on this one are 8.5″, solid grip tyres and it can also take heavier adults up to 120kg.

 

Other reviews for the Bluefin Hover Board

Normally gadgets like these have so many negative reviews you just know that they were bought one Christmas and never played with again because they were so rubbish.  Not so with the Bluefin.

The reviews I’ve seen around the internet are almost all positive – many people are really impressed with the ride you get from this.  It’s fun and it works.

 

See more reviews for this item here

 

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a ride on for older kids all the way up to teens that they’ll actually want to use then this is a great option.  It’s not cheap, but that’s because it works well and it’s from a reputable brand.

 

Garmin Vivofit jr review

By Kirsty / September 8, 2017

I’ve been reviewing this kids Garmin fitness tracker lately and have featured it on my fitness tracker for kids guide – but you know what?  I think it deserves it’s own page – that’s how much I love it!  So, by popular request, here’s my Garmin Vivofit Jr review – enjoy!

Garmin Vivofit Jr review – our favourite kids activity tracker


Ok, so first things first, let’s get it out of the way – I love this Garmin fitness tracker!  The Garmin Vivofit Junior does what lots of other fitness trackers fail to do – it provides a fun way to track activity yet still does it without looking too childish which I think really helps this product’s longevity.  Let’s face it, we want these gadgets to be used and not forgotten about don’t we?

The Vivofit Jr is targeted at ages around 4-9 but given that you can get replacement straps I think you could possibly extend this age range a bit – depending on your child of course and whether they still like how it functions.

 

See the latest price of this on Amazon here

Waterproof and swim proof

One of the big selling points for me is the fact that this fitness tracker is waterproof AND swim proof.  That means that if your child gets caught outside in the rain while romping around it’s not going to kill it.  It also means that you don’t need to worry about taking it off when you go swimming, take a shower or have a bath – we all know that it’s a recipe for it getting lost!

 

Snazzy designs and interchangeable straps


The designs really stand out for me.  I know they’re not targeting me, but as a mum I know how quickly my kids can grow out of things that they feel are too babyish.  This is not the case here.  There are three designs that the Garmin Vivfit Jr comes in – the yellow camouflage/minecraft look above, the red design to the right and a nice flowery version too (below).

There is no buckle to worry about with this strap – it just fits right over the hand like a bangle and is extremely comfortable.  Now this might have you worrying that your child might grow out of it size wise but you can also fit the tracker face in to other adult size bands easily too, so don’t worry about that.

 

Fun interface with targets

Ok, so we’ve spoken about how it looks and that it’s functional.  What about what we really want it to be and that’s a fitness tracker.

The Garmin kids watch tracks steps and also tracks for a target of sixty minutes of activity.  You can set the tracker up with a parent app which allows you to control some assigned tasks which kids can do to earn ‘coins’.  As kids reach their goals they unlock fun facts and and adventure trail.

One aspect I liked was that you could assign a task from the app, for example brushing your teeth, and the child then gets a message on their band to remind them to do it.  You can also set task timers too which encourages kids to complete their tasks in an allotted time.

 

Garmin Vivofit Jr – features and specifications

  • Battery powered – no need to charge and is also replaceable
  • bands fit wrists up to 145mm – you can get XL sizes though that go up to 170mm (plus adult bands of course)
  • remembers 4 weeks of activity data
  • compatible with an iOS and Android app via Bluetooth
  • functions as a watch too – has an alarm, timer and stopwatch
  • 3 designs

 

What others think of the Garmin kids activity tracker

It’s important to look into what others think of these items and check reviews – I’ve been scouting round the internet to see what the general feel for this item is and I’m pleased to say that in general there’s a real positive vibe to it.

The most positive aspects are, in addition to what I’ve mentioned above, the fact that it doesn’t need charged.  It’s just one less thing to worry about with a kids tracker – having to make sure it was charged each evening like some fitness trackers would negate the usefulness I think.

Some of the negatives are that the screen can scratch really easily – I’d definitely recommend a small screen protector if you are worried about this.

 

See more reviews on Amazon here

 

In conclusion this is a great kids tracker – I love it.  It’s fun, it works really well and it seems like Garmin have put a lot of thought in to it too.

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Best toy drones for kids in 2017

By Kirsty / September 8, 2017
best toy drones for kids

Remote control toys are a great way to tempt older kids and teenagers out of their bedrooms and in to the great outdoors.  With it being a really popular toy and lots coming on the market, the best toy drones for kids might be hard to figure out – hopefully this buyers guide will help.

Drones, or quadcopters as they are sometimes known, are a really exciting and trendy toy to have at the moment which is great as it not only gets them outdoors, but also will help with hand to eye co-ordination too and if you get one with a camera could start a nice little project of making videos.  They are similar but not quite like rc helicopters, but you may hear them referred to as such.

This is a fast moving tech environment so the makes and models do change frequently.  I’ve updated this list as of September 2017 so should be current just in time for Christmas!  It’s worth noting that all these are kids drones with a camera – it’s almost standard nowadays!

 

Best quadcopter under £100 comparison chart

I like to keep these items under £100 but prices do change regularly although in my experience they are coming down in general – click any of the links to see the latest price.

When looking for the best cheap drone or toy quadcopter for kids, it’s important to look at the features.  This table should help you decide which is best for you and scroll down for more in depth reviews on each model.

NameSize (cm)Flying / charging time (mins)CameraPriceOur RatingAge

Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter With Camera
11 x 9 x 47 /40Yes - 0.3 MP camera£4.514+
Syma X5SC-1
32 x 32 x 118 / 120Yes - HD 720p£4.412+

Parrot Mambo Quadcopter Mini Drone
13.2 x 4.1 x 13.29 /30Yes££4.814+

DROCON Traveler
33.5 x 12.7 x 33.515 / 180Yes - HD camera£££4.78+

TOZO Q1012
12.2 x 9.4 x 5.75-7 / 80Yes -££4.512+

 

What to look for when buying a drone

You can get drones for kids that are RTF (ready to fly) or which require being built.  In this article I’m looking at the best quadcopters on the market in 2017 that are ready to fly.  If your child has an interest in building though, definitely consider moving on from the RTF drones and think about building your own – would be a great educational opportunity!

Images online can be deceiving.  I’ve been caught out by this – I’ve looked at something, thought it looked great and a reasonable cost and then the size was smaller than my hand!  Always check the dimensions of the drone you’re looking to buy.  Look out for the words ‘micro’ or ‘nano’ when describing the drone.

Don’t be tempted to go for the fancy and expensive drones that run in to the £200+ range (like the DJI Mavic), not yet.  I mean you can, but always be aware that what goes up doesn’t necessarily come down easily and if you’re buying for children or looking for the best starter drone, then something that won’t cause as much heartache if it does crash is much better.  Start small and affordable with children’s drones and build up.

Best toy drones for kids – our reviews

Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter With Camera

The first drone I’m looking at is the Hubsan X4 Micro Quadcopter, which is the smallest of the drones I’m looking at.  It measures just 11cm at it’s widest point so would also be a good choice to fly indoors if you have the space.

It’s a camera drone and has a front mounted camera which can record video – you’ll need a micro SDHC card for it though.

For the price and the fact it doesn’t take an age to charge, I think this is an excellent starter drone.
click here to see more reviews and price

 

Syma X5SC-1 Quadcopter with HD camera

This is the biggest of the drones in the cheapest price bracket and is a great choice – definitely one of the best value toy drones.

It does take 2 hours to charge for an 8 minute flying time, which is a shame, but the features on this one are great and for the price can’t be beat really.   The camera comes with a 4GB memory card, although you’ll need some batteries for the remote controller.

Again, a strong contender if you’re looking for a drone for beginners.

Click here to read reviews and check latest price.

 

Parrot Mambo Quadcopter Mini Drone

 

I really like this new drone from Parrot – one of the leading brands in toy drones.  What I like most is that they have added some cool features such as a grabber and a shooter.  Just adds that little bit more fun to the whole thing – especially once you’ve got the hang of flying.

This drone has a good ratio of flying to charge time giving a 9 minute fly for a 30 minute charge.  You can pilot it using an app for your smartphone too.

Not the cheapest around but lots of spare parts and accessories are available from this brand and it’s a reputable drone.

See the latest price on Amazon here

 

Drocon Traveler Beginner Drone

This is a great drone if you’re looking for something a little bit bigger – the dimensions of this one are 33.5 x 33.5 x 12.7 cm so it’s a good size and definitely not mini.

Although the charge time is up to 180 mins you do get a good 15 mins of flying time with this one.   You can control it and get visuals from an app for your phone too.

It’s a great beginner drone and although it’s at the top of the budget quadcopters I’m looking at it’s a really good value toy.  You get a lot for your money and it’s definitely starting to get in to the hobby category rather than just a toy – a good one for teenagers I think.

See the latest price here

Tozo Q1012 Drone RC Quadcopter

This drone is a great option and I think it’s a really smart toy that would be perfect for adult beginners or teens – it doesn’t look like a kids toy!

The downside for me with this one is that even though its small it really doesn’t have much flying time compared to how long you have to charge it for.  Again this one can be synced with an app for your phone which is definitely becoming more common lately.  It’s really easy to learn to fly this one.

It does come highly regarded though with many great reviews.

See latest price here

 

RC flying safety

With the increased popularity of these remote control drones and flying toys, there has been some rules put in place by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) about how they can be used, especially as some come with cameras and videos attached.  As a toy and with no commercial intent you should have no issues, but the rules about where to fly these drones should definitely be adhered to.

As a general rule I’d say to only fly them in open spaces such as a park or a field and always stay away from buildings and people.  Also stay away from water while you’re learning to fly – you don’t want to lose it to the fishes!

Please take some time to check out the Dronecode on the CAA website here.

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Vtech kidizoom action cam review

By Kirsty / September 7, 2017

One way to encourage your kids outside would be to get them making videos and taking pictures as they are out and about.  Looking for a GoPro for kids?  Well, a GoPro is definitely an adult gadget but is probably a bit expensive for most kids use, so why not get something designed just for them?  Our Vtech Kidizoom Action Cam review will hopefully help you decide if it’s worth buying or not.

Vtech Kidizoom Action Cam review

When I saw that this children’s camera was coming up on the hot toys list for Christmas 2016 I was really pleased – another toy that will encourage kids to be outside and being creative.  I love for kids to be out and exploring but I also love to embrace technology so this is the perfect mix.

The Vtech Kidizoom Action Camera will encourage all sorts of sporty videos being made, or maybe you’ll have a budding nature film maker on your hands?  Get them out making some stop motion videos of a slow slug maybe?  If you were considering a kids GoPro camera then this is probably the best item out there without going for the real thing.

See more about the camera on Amazon >>>

 

So let’s take a look at the Vtech KidiZoom Action Cam specs what the camera does…

Video and Photo capture

Of course the main part of any digital camera is the photo and video capability and for this one specifically it’s how it copes with active kids.  This action camera can:

  • take regular photos
  • regular videos
  • stop motion videos
  • time lapse photography
  • add fun filters and cartoons to what you’ve done

Of course this is a kids camera so it’s not going to be the sharpest and best quality images, but I’d say that they’re pretty good.  Technology is getting so good these days that even a small camera like this performs quite well!

There’s a viewfinder on the back, which although is small, can help with seeing what you’re doing.

Waterproof case

One of the big attractions to me about this camera is the fact that it comes with a case that makes it a perfect kids waterproof camera.  That means I can send the kids out to make videos of their lego figures in the puddles or of them splashing around.  And of course it’s perfect for swimming and as a kids underwater camera!

Accessories

The Vtech kiddizoom action cam comes with a lot of accessories so you can use it to its full potential.  You get the waterproof case as I stated above, but you also get a mounting shell which then in turn can be attached to the bike or flat mount.

You get a USB cable to allow for photo transfer and also to charge the camera.

It’s worth noting that what it doesn’t come with is an SD card – you’ll need to buy one of these separately.

Check out reviews on the item on Amazon here >>>

 

What can you use the camera on?

It’s a great scooter or kids bike camera.  You can attach it to a bike, a scooter, a skateboard and show off your tricks.  You can even take it underwater!  It would be a perfect addition to a family holiday whether that be skiing or splashing in a pool or even for snorkelling.

As you can see on the video below, there’s a huge range of exciting ways you can use this camera – the sky’s the limit!

What age is it suitable for?

It’s marketed at ages 4-9 and I think that’s a fair idea of a good age range for this Go Pro type kids camera.  I think older kids would get a lot of use out of it too so if your kid is at the higher end of that scale I think it’s still an excellent buy and should last for quite a while.  It would be great for lots of ages as a good holiday accessory too – filming while swimming is fun for all ages!

It’s also available in a nice purple colour should you not be so keen on the yellow or if you’re buying for more than one child and want them to have different cameras so they can tell the difference.  You can see the purple version by clicking here.

 

Overall I think it’s a really great and innovative product that ticks the ‘getting kids out and about’ box which I love so much!  If you want to encourage outside time it’s a perfect gift no matter what the weather.  You also never know where it might lead as well, perhaps your child will want to progress to more photography or videography – it’s a great little introduction to it.  Check it out on Amazon by clicking below.

See latest price here

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