How do I get my child to play outside? 12 ideas to try

We all know how important it is for our kids to get plenty of fresh air, outdoor play and exercise.  But if you’re one of the many parents struggling along and saying to yourself ‘just how do I get my child to play outside when they don’t want to?’ here are a few ideas for you to try.

Remember not to beat yourself up over this, especially if your child isn’t used to being outdoors to play much, small amounts of time out in the garden and it being a fun experience is way better than expecting hours of play and your child getting annoyed, anxious and upset about it.  You can work your way up to longer periods of time!

 

12 ideas to get your child to play outside

Many of these ideas just get your children used to being outdoors more, exploring and being happy out there.  It doesn’t have to be scripted, regimented or involve expensive items.  Let them decide how to enjoy the outdoors in a way that is meaningful to them!

 

 

Get some dedicated toys to encourage outdoor play

My first tip is to get some toys together that are dedicated to being outdoor toys.  If your child is easily bored with them then you can rotate what’s available so that they can feel that excitement of the ‘new’ set of toys rather than you having to always buy things.  Perhaps you can have some specific outdoor ride on toys, cars to play with, dolls and pushchairs or even large garden games.

The bigger outdoor toys like trampolines, swings and bikes are of course great too and can help let off some steam especially after a day of school and being sat around.

 

 

Create a scavenger hunt

Young kids often want direction and making that into a game in the form of a scavenger hunt can be fun.  My favourite is nature scavenger hunts and you can tailor them to all sorts of age groups.  Perhaps get your child to hunt for something in nature that matches all the colours of the rainbow?  Or something for all the letters in the alphabet (some of those letters will be tricky!) or just write down some things and send your child off to find them.

If they like bugs and minibeasts then here are some ideas to include those in your activities.

 

 

Enjoy some water play

Water play is the best way to get kids outside when they are unsure – most kids love to splash, bring their toys for a wash and pour water for endless amounts of time.  It doesn’t need to be with dedicated toys, although water pistols and play tables can also be good fun – just get a basin full of water and see if your child wants to spend some time washing their toys.  Provide some cups, jugs and maybe a sieve and leave them to it!

 

Invite friends around for a play

If your child doesn’t like to play on their own then it’s a perfect opportunity to get some local friends over or arrange a play date.  You can use some of the other ideas in this post to encourage them to play together outside rather than scrambling to the nearest screen together!

 

 

Create a garden with them

Most kids love flowers and love having their own spot in the garden for them to grow them.  If you like gardening yourself can you create their own space just for them?  Spend time planting seeds, watering them and enjoying seeing the first shoots as they come up.

A little vegetable patch is also a great idea, especially if you want to encourage more variety in your child’s diet and make them aware of where food comes from.

Kids are great at looking out for bugs that might be hindering the plants – they love picking up snails and caterpillars so you can definitely emply them to relocate them!

 

Blow some bubbles

This is another activity that most kids will love to do.  Having some bubble mixture on hand to give out to your kids (and a spare on hand for that inevitable moment when it gets dropped!) when they just need to get outside is a must.

You can get some more fancy bubbly blowing toys on the market these days, but often a small bottle of mixture and a bubble wand will keep most kids happy.  It helps in so many ways too – dexterity, manual control of their breath, patience and of course the science of it all!

 

 

Ask them to help you with some chores

Ok, this one isn’t play orientated, but often just getting your child outside is the aim and this might encourage them to take note of the nature around them while doing it all and you might find they get distracted and play in their own way while helping out.

Some ideas might be to get them to help you with hanging clothes out, sweeping the garden, watering the plants or raking up some leaves.

 

 

Do some science experiments

We love doing experiments and since they can often be messy they are a good candidate for doing outdoors.  Some ideas might be mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to see a reaction, making some slime or cornflour goop!

 

 

Do art outside

Like science experiments, painting can be messy – why not make it a dedicated outdoors activity?  You don’t have to restrict it to the messy things though, bring out a whole load of paper, colouring pencils and pens and just spend some time in the outdoors while doing the creative things they love!

 

 

Encourage nature journalling

If your kids love to watch bugs, birds or flowers and they also like to draw or paint then a nature journal is a great activity.

You can simply encourage your child to draw on some paper about what they see or you could do it a bit more formally with a dedicated art book for them to jot down what they see.  My kids loved having a special place for all their drawings and we often took them with us on days out too.

 

Have a picnic

Bring your food into the garden or eat at your outside tables whenever you get an opportunity.  Not only does this encourage your kids to slow down and enjoy the outdoors, but it can also help us parents too!  Everyone loves a picnic and most kids will jump at the chance to take their food into the garden.

 

 

Read a book in the garden

Finally, we can slow down and just appreciate the world of the outdoors while reading a book.  Encourage your kids to find a secret spot they can take a book and enjoy it, or just get a picnic blanket out a heap of picture books and spend an hour or so reading what they choose.

 

I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful – what tips do you have when trying to encourage outdoor play?

 

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The best kids electric cars and bikes in 2019

By Kirsty / February 7, 2019

Electric cars for kids to drive are a huge thing nowadays.  Getting one can be a fun way of turning your garden in to a pretend world that kids can really drive about in.  Read on for some of the best kids electric cars available right now in 2018 and what you need to look out for when buying.

*Updated January 2018 – as models of cars change, so do the available electric cars and occasionally they go out of stock.  I try and keep this page up to date with any of the newest models and best rated electric cars for kids.

What to look for in an electric car for kids

One of the main things to check when buying a motorised car for kids are the safety features.  Obviously most of these toys won’t go too fast, but it’s still a good idea to check out that they have a seat belt, that the speed isn’t too fast for you and your child and whether you are able to control from a distance via a remote control.

Electric cars are generally good for older toddlers up to around the age of 6 or 7 – you might want to check your child’s weight alongside the recommended limit as well especially if the child you are buying for is big for their age.

It’s worth also checking how you can charge these mini cars for kids and how long they will go for when fully charged.  I recommend checking reviews as this is where you’ll find out whether they live up to their claims as well!

Best kids electric cars and bikes – our reviews

On the budget end of the scale you’ll find electric ride on bikes and some of the cheaper cars.  They are mostly powered by 6v batteries at this price point.

 

Ricco s2188 BMW style Kids ride on remote control car

If you’re looking for a car that’s a little bit sportier and little bit more flash then this BMW style ride on sports car will be perfect!

Coming in 3 colours (red, black or pink) and with a really smart look to it all kids will love it.  Again it has a parental remote, making it an excellent electric car for toddlers with added lights and music too.

Suitable for ages 3-8 years

To check out the reviews and latest price click here

 

Charles Jacobs Ride on Kids Motorcycle/Scooter

This is a fab little kids electric bike and it comes with excellent reviews.  You can get the bike in two different colours – pink and navy.  I love the classic scooter look and I think kids will love it too.

It’s a 6v battery operated bike which has three wheels at the back (making it a trike I guess!) for extra stability.  It has forward and reverse and a maximum speed of 3 km/h.

For ages 3-7!

 

To check out the reviews of this electric bike for kids and the latest price click here.

 

HOMCOM Kids Electric Motorbike


This is a really fun bike for kids who like to pretend to be bike riders.  It comes with stabilisers so it’s still great for young children to play on.

It’s powered by a 6v battery and has a maximum speed of 2.5km per hour.  It’s suitable for ages 5-8 and for just one rider at a time.

It’s a really good value electric ride on – probably the cheapest item around at the moment, definitely one to consider.

Check the latest price here

 

Best 12v kids cars

12v ride ons and cars have more power than the 6v versions (unsurprisingly!) and also come with a slightly higher price tag.  They also sometimes come with parent remotes making the cars last a lot longer and be suitable for a longer age range – use the remote when they are little and need help controlling it and let them take to the pedals when they are a bit older.

Range Rover Style kids ride on car

This is an excellent little car for the price with lots of features and I can personally vouch for this version which a little girl I looked after had.  It’s well built with one seat (and room for some teddies) and is easily drivable.

It has a parent remote so that you can take control if need be and has some fun music and lights to blare out while driving along.  Seat belts are also included and it’s 12v battery should last for about an hour of driving time.

To check out more details for this car and reviews click here

 

Kids 2 seater 12v wrangler style Jeep 4×4

Many of the electric cars around are only one seater even if they look like they have two.  This 4×4 style Jeep is the only one on this page that will fit 2 children in it – perfect for twins or young siblings or even if you have friends who come round often.

There are 2 separate speeds and a maximum of 8km per hour.  Like many of the other cars on here the car makes noises with the horn and also by playing music too – lots of fun!

This will run for 1 hour on a full charge which is quite good for these kinds of toys and once empty needs 10 hours of charge so at least a good overnight one.

You can see more about this ride on electric car here. 

Licensed electric ride on cars

There are many versions of these battery powered ride on toys available as you’ll see – perhaps what tickles your fancy is a mini version of your own car.  If so you could look for a licensed version of the car you drive yourself so that your child is literally a mini version of you!  Licensed electronic cars sometimes (but not always) come with a slightly higher price tag though, but they can be really fun.

Licensed Mercedes ML350 Electric Ride on Kids car

This genuine Mercedes ride on car is lovely and sporty and if you have your own Merc why not treat your little one to one as well!!  If your kids are anything like mine and know their car makes and models then this one will surely go down very well.

This is a 6V car so not as powerful, but it comes highly recommended from parents as a really fun electric ride on.

To find out more, read reviews and check the latest price click here

 

 

Personalise their ride!

Finally, why not personalise the cars just for your little one by getting some personalised licence plates for them?  These would be perfect little additions to a gift of an electric car or something cheap to add in to a stocking.

click for more details

 

Although these toy cars can sometimes represent a fairly big investment, the play value is also huge and I really think they are a great thing to have in your arsenal of outdoor toys for kids especially if your garden is big enough, or if your street is safe they’re really cool toys to have.  Kids love pretending to be adults and let’s face it, most of us drive or have access to cars!  Finding the best electric car for kids can be a tricky thing to do but I hope that my article has helped you out today!

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Best electric scooter for kids – 2019 review edition

By Kirsty / February 6, 2019
best electric scooter for kids

Zipping around on a little electric scooter is a lot of fun and if you have kids who sometimes get too tired to keep pushing along when you’re on a bit of a journey can also save a lot of tears!  Here’s my thoughts on choosing the best electric scooter for kids and you’ll see that my favourite brand features quite highly!

Tips for choosing the best electric scooter for kids

You’ll want to consider a few things when looking for a good electric scooter:

  • will they play in the street or is it for going out on longer ‘walks’ – battery life could be a concern.
  • is it suitable for your child’s weight?
  • How fast does it go?
  • How is the speed and braking controlled?
  • Can you get a seated version?

Our electric scooter reviews – 2018

Razor E100 Electric Scooter

Top of our list of kids electric scooters is the Razor E100.  Now Razor feature highly in my list as they have quite a few options depending on what you want and they are a reputable brand.  I think this one is the most popular that they make and would be good for most kids.

Compared to the E90 below, this one has a larger frame and can take a slightly heavier child – 54kg instead of 50kg.  It also has a twist throttle to enable speed variations.

The batter will last for about 40 mins on full charge so definitely enough to start getting them outside and playing in some fresh air each day.

  • can go up to 10mph
  • comes in four colour options – red, pink, silver and navy-red
  • all steel frame and fork
  • twist grip for acceleration control
  • kick start motor
  • age 8+
  • max weight 54kg

Check out the latest price on Amazon here.

 

Razor Power Core E100

As I said, there are a few options within the Razor brand and although this one is also an E100 it’s a ‘Power Core’ version.  What this means is that it has a higher torque motor inside.  It’s also 16% lighter than the classic model and is pretty much maintenance free as there is no chain driven motor.  The ride time of this one is 60 mins, I imagine due to the lighter material.

  • chain free motor – maintenance free
  • twist throttle

You can see this version on Amazon here.

 

Electric E Scooter

If budget is a primary concern for you then this electric scooter might well fit the bill.  It’s about a third of the price of the Razor brands and so represents good value.   It states that you can go 15-20km on a single charge and since the speed of it is 12km per hour it should be able to be used for at least an hour and probably a bit more outside.  The weight limit is generous and so should make it a good choice for heavier kids or teens.

  • weight limit 60kg
  • speed – 12km/h

Check the latest price on Amazon here.

 

iScoot V3 electric scooter

This scooter from iScoot is another pretty decent budget option.  It does get mixed reviews though due to build quality and possibility of brakes binding although this may be a localised problem as there are plenty of people who are really happy too.

With a top speed of 7.5 mph this one is much slower so perhaps good if you’re a little worried about speed!  It lasts for a journey of up to 6.2 miles so not quite an hour of play.  It has a maximum load of 80kg so again slightly more than the Razor scooters and good if your kids are a bigger.

  • hand operated front brake
  • steel frame
  • twist acceleration
  • speed of up to 7.5 mph

Check the latest price and reviews here.

 

Best seated electric scooter

Razor E100S Seated Electric Scooter

If you’re after a more leisurely scooter or you think your kids would just like the option to sit down while scooting around then the seated version of the E100, the E100S is a great option.

The seat is removable which means you can have it just like the classic version reviewed above.  The stats are pretty much the same too with a 40 minute ride time on a full charge and a top speed of 10 mph.

Check out the reviews of this item here.

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Best fitness tracker for kids in 2019

best fitness tracker for kids

Getting kids active can be either something that is increasingly hard or something that you don’t need to worry about at all.  If you have a child that’s bouncing around day after day then you might not feel the need to help encourage them to be more active.  On the other hand, if you have kids that prefer watching the tv and playing computer games to going out for a walk then maybe a fitness tracker might be something to consider for a bit of gentle encouragement to get more active.

What to look for in a kids activity tracker

Fitness trackers for kids should always be something that is fun and that doesn’t penalise kids.  We want them to be encouraged to move around rather than feel like it’s a chore and that’s a tough thing to get right.

When looking for the best fitness tracker for children you probably also will want to have something that is inexpensive, simple to use and comfortable on your child’s wrist if it’s a watch design.  You also need to think about what you want it to track – tracking calories might not be appropriate but a step tracker watch could be just what you’re after.

When I’ve been looking at the best kids fitness trackers that are for sale right now in 2019 I’ve found it tricky to get some that aren’t too expensive and that actually work!  There are plenty for adults but getting something that is good for kids?  A bit harder!

What’s the best fitness tracker for kids?

Your kids ages will dictate what the best product is – younger kids won’t have the wrist size for some of the more adult orientated watch fitness trackers that are available so they’ll need something designed just for them.  If you’re looking for fitness trackers for older kids scroll down for my top picks there.

Best fitness tracker for young kids

The following activity trackers are good for kids up to about the age of 9.  Scroll down if you’re looking for more grown up products.

Garmin Vivofit Jr Motivator and Activity Tracker

This is a good option if you want something from a good brand name that deal with these kinds of children’s fitness trackers.  The Garmin Vivofit Jr is marketed for ages 4-9 but it’s definitely not one that looks too babyish and so I think could last for a long time.  It has some great designs available that are suitable for a wide range of kids tastes.

What is unique about this fitness band is that it has a parent controlled app – they can motivate the kids to do more activity through this!

I liked this one so much I decided to do a more in depth review that you can see here.

Pros

      • lots of features that are controlled by the parent app
      • doesn’t need to be charged – it’s battery powered
      • can incorporate chores and other tasks as well as active time
      • tracks steps, sleep and active time

Cons

      • On the more expensive side compared to some

Overall it’s one of my favourite child pedometers for this age range especially with the fun yet not too childish designs.

See more about this item on Amazon

 

Garmin Vivofit Jr 2


Garmin have just updated their range and brought out some themed activity trackers from Star Wars, Marvel and also Minnie Mouse – definitely worth looking at especially if you have kids who are crazy about these characters!  As well as being quite unique and having some fun straps, they have new games that are attached to the app too.

You can see more about this new range of trackers here

 

 

Leapfrog LeapBand Activity Tracker

If you have young kids and want to get them active then this is one of the best things I’ve found.  It really encourages the child to get active by having games to get them moving.  It’s suitable for ages 4-7 approximately.

The LeapBand has a virtual pet that your child will have to keep healthy by jumping, keeping active etc and there are other challenges that the band gets your kids to do as well.  For the price it’s a really lovely little toy and it would be a perfect stocking filler if you’re looking for something for Christmas.

Pros:

      • Inexpensive
      • Makes a game out of keeping active
      • Comes in different colours
      • Can be set to not be in use during night and school hours

 

Cons:

      • might be a bit too ‘young’ for some kids
      • it’s a little bulky

 

See latest price on Amazon

Vtech Kidizoom DX2 Smart Watch

(Updated to their new DX2 version) Now this item isn’t specifically a fitness tracker, it’s a smart watch, but it does include a child’s pedometer and motion sensor so you can certainly use it to encourage and keep track of your child’s fitness and activity levels.

It’s a child version of a smart watch, but obviously at a lower price and with child friendly games on as well.  It comes in  3 different colours – blue, green and pink and is suitable from the age of 4 upwards.

Pros:

      • Multi use toy with lots of smart apps and a camera
      • pedometer keeps track of steps and activity
      • Action challenge activities

Cons:

      • Fairly expensive – you’re paying for more than the pedometer, but still reasonable cost overall I feel

 

See more details on Amazon here

 

 

Best activity tracker for teenagers and older kids

Once your kids get a little older you’ll probably be looking for a tracker that’s a bit more grown up looking and so it’s natural to be looking at what is available for adults.  Here’s some good options for kids in the 8+ age range.

LETSCOM Fitness Tracker Watch

A really good option, and one of my favourites for the top spot in activity trackers for older kids is this one from LETSCOM.  It’s an inexpensive watch, looks very like a proper FitBit, and it is quite high on the features.

It will track your steps, distance and calorie counting as well as tracking sleep.  It has some other pretty cool features – you can take photos from your phone by tapping your watch, can control the music on your phone and also show you who is calling you.  Not bad for an cheap fitness tracker!

Pros

      • Lots of features including a step tracker
      • Good value for money
      • comes in different colours – purple, green, pink, blue and black

Cons

      • strap isn’t great, but on the plus side is replaceable

Check out the reviews on Amazon here

 

Fitbit Alta

You’ve probably heard of Fitbits, they have a huge following and are one of the better brands of fitness trackers out there.  But any good for a kid?  My choice of the best fitbit for kids is going to be the Fitbit Alta.  This is for a couple of reasons:

      • it’s not too expensive compared to others in the fitbit range
      • it tracks more than just steps – calories and activity should you want that
      • it displays the time just like a watch
      • it’s not huge – so won’t feel out of place on a small wrist
      • the app keeps track of everything – you could put it on your phone or your kids.

There are a few cons to a FitBit of course

      • the cost might be too much for a child item – there is the worry that it will get lost or broken
      • I don’t personally like any emphasis on calories burnt for kids

I do also really like Fitbit because they have an excellent customer service – one of our Fitbit’s stopped working and they replaced it with no questions asked (we just had to show we had a receipt for it), so although there are lots of cheaper versions out there I think getting a good brand is worth it.

See more about this kids Fitbit on Amazon here

 

 

FitBit Ace

FitBit have also just released a kids fitness tracker themselves, aimed at ages 8 and upwards, which I am in the process of looking into and will add more here when I know.  It’s called the Fitbit Ace and it seems like a nice go between of having a grown up looking tracker but without the focus on calories burned.  If that’s an issue for you then do check it out.  It’s at the higher end of the price range but my personal experience with FitBit means I wouldn’t hesitate to trying it out.

You can see more about the kids FitBit Ace here.

 

Megadream Sports Wristband

This is a good option if you don’t want the expense of a Fitbit for your kids which still looks grown up and good quality.  The sports wristband will track your steps, your walking distance, calories, sleep quality and will also do things like notify you of incoming messages if you attach it to your phone.  It’s a really good entry smartwatch and will connect to android (above 4.4) and iOS (above iOS 8) phones.

I really like this one because it does all you’d want a more sophisticated tracker to do but at a much reduced price.  It will help your kids feel all grown up yet will be cheap enough to have you not worry about getting it broken.

Pros

      • inexpensive
      • looks good quality
      • tracks a variety of different things
      • comes in 3 colours – blue, pink or black

Cons

      • some people have had difficulty getting it to pair with their phone

See this item on Amazon here

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What is the best stunt scooter on a budget in 2019?

By Kirsty / January 28, 2019
best stunt scooter under 100

In my quest to get my teens outside more and more I’m always on the lookout for good ideas for activities that they might enjoy and not screw their noses up at me.  Learning tricks on scooters is something that definitely fits the bill.  It’s something teen friendly but these trick scooters are equally good for younger kids too!  In this article I’m looking at what is the best stunt scooter on a budget in 2019 so if you’re looking for a gift for a teenager or an older child this scooter buying guide might be just the thing!

 

Scroll down for individual comments on each item in this table!

Namemax weightheightageour ratingprice


Fox Pro RAW Tang
80kg75cm5+4.8££


MGP VX7 Team Edition
100kg80cm12+ 4.7£££


Fuzion Pro X-5 Pro Scooter
63kg82cm7+4.6££


TBF XV Pro Street Tricks
100kg79cm5+4.5£



Albott Sports Scooter
80kg82cm8+4.8£

What’s the difference between a stunt scooter and a normal scooter?

So your child is asking for a stunt scooter and you have no idea what that is.  Unfortunately it’s not exactly the same as a normal scooter so you’ll want to get it right by not buying a normal scooter instead – how do you know the difference?

stunt scooter reviewsFirst off, what is a stunt scooter?  

An ordinary scooter is designed to just move you (or your child) around in a fun way, but it isn’t designed to do much more.  A stunt scooter is for doing tricks and stunts, as the name helpfully suggests! (They are also known as trick scooters too)  Yes you could try doing stunts on a normal scooter, but it’s not built to do that and you could find that they’ll break or fold up when doing the trick so it’s also not a particularly safe or ideal thing to encourage!

If you think your child is going to want to do stunts on their scooter then do get them the right type.

  • A stunt or trick scooter generally won’t have adjustable handlebars – you don’t want them changing height by accident when you’re doing a trick.  Likewise, they won’t fold up like normal scooters.
  • Stunt scooters are also slightly heavier, often built out of more sturdy materials like steel rather than aluminium.  This is for durability as the scooter is designed to take some serious playing on.
  • Sometimes the wheels are smaller too and made of alloy so much stronger.
  • Durability and strength are the key words really – they are designed to take a lot of beating so should be up to doing all sorts of tricks and jumps.

 

Our stunt scooter reviews

I wanted to look at some really good stunt scooters but also keep them under around £100 for this review and mostly they are – some are even way below £50, obviously prices do change so check the links to Amazon for the latest price.  Cheap but good scooters aren’t hard to find and cheap doesn’t always mean bad quality, there are some really good value options presented here in a wide range of prices so you can find something affordable.

You can get some brands that are more than this amount but you’re starting to get in to the serious stunt scooter territory!  As a starter to see if your kids like it these ones should definitely do well and they could definitely upgrade to a better trick scooter once they are ready and past the beginner stage.

The more well known and best stunt scooter brands are Fox Pro, Madd Gear, Sacrifice, some of which are represented below.  AO is also a good brand but the scooters didn’t fit in my price range, but you can see them here.

One thing to consider with buying the best scooters for stunts is being able to get spare parts.  There’s nothing worse than it breaking and being worthless so it is a good idea with these scooters to go for good brand names as they often have spare parts available.

 

Fox Pro RAW Rang Stunt Scooter

This is a really popular scooter and comes in at about mid range in the price points of this review and it makes it an excellent entry level pro scooter.  You get a really good and well made scooter for a really good price and that’s why it’s the first one in this list – my top choice.

There are a few different colours available – red as shown, purple, blue and silver/black but mostly it’s a really great and well built bit of kit.  For the price you’re getting a really good model, with high quality parts that’s also not too expensive should your child decide it’s not for them.  Highly recommend this one!

  • high quality parts  including 4 bolt collar clamp, internal compression system
  • variety of colours
  • lightweight – 3.6kg
  • Height – 750mm
  • Max Rider Weight: 80kg

Check the latest price of this scooter here

 

MGP VX7 Team Edition by Madd Gear

Updated for 2018 – the model I used to recommend is harder to come by now but it was so popular I’ve added in this newer model by Madd Gear.  This one’s over top end of my price range I was trying to sticking to but is a really good brand and so if your kids are serious about getting in to using stunt scooters it could be one they are asking for.

It comes in a couple of different colours too as well as the yellow and black shown above.  It’s suitable for not only older kids but also adults too so if you’re worried about size being an issue it shouldn’t be.  It can also be cut down for use by a smaller child should you want that, although obviously it won’t have the longevity once your child gets bigger.

  • well known brand
  • for ages 12+
  • weight limit – 36kg – 100kg
  • scooter height – approx 80cm
  • weight – 3.6kg

Check the latest price here

 

Fuzion Pro X-5 Pro Scooter

Another good brand stunt scooter and again at middle of the price range, this scooter from Fuzion is a good choice for an affordable option.

Like the MGP scooter above it’s suitable for adults so if you have older kids or teens this one will definitely be ok for them.  Keep an eye on the weight limit as this one is slightly lower than some others though.

It’s a nice, classic design this one and looks fairly plain in my opinion, but I also think that highlights the simplicity of it and doesn’t detract from what it can do of course!

  • good for adults as well as older kids
  • for ages 7+
  • weight limit – 63kg
  • scooter height – approx 82cm
  • weight – 3.2kg

Check the latest price on Amazon here

 

TBF Stunt Scooter XV Pro Street Tricks

On the lower end of the budget is this scooter from TBF.  It’s probably the best cheap stunt scooter around and if you’re buying for a couple of kids and worrying about it getting expensive this might be a good compromise!  It’s got some really good reviews on Amazon so you can be sure it’s a good choice.  It would make an excellent first stunt scooter.

It comes in a variety of colours – Black, Blue, Green, Mint, Pink and Purple which again if you want different ones for different kids means you’ll know which one belongs to which child!  It is on the heavier side compared to the others in this guide and I think this is reflected in the cheaper price.

  • inexpensive stunt scooter
  • for ages 5+
  • weight limit – 100kg
  • scooter height – approx 79 cm
  • weight – 6kg

See the latest price here

 

Albott Sports Pro Push Stunt Scooter

This mid range scooter from Albott is suitable from the ages of 8+ and comes in the orange shown above and also a few other colours.

It would be a good choice if you are looking for a cheap pro scooter that will also last while your child grows.  This is suitable up to adults.  It comes in a variety of colours too so good if you have more than one child to buy for as well, especially at this price.  It has some great reviews on Amazon as you can see by clicking below.

  • for ages 8+
  • weight limit – 80kg
  • scooter height – approx 82 cm
  • weight – 3.3kg

Check the latest price on Amazon here

 

 

 

The best stunt scooter accessories

You’ll not need need a huge amount of accessories for a stunt scooter but the following safety equipment and a ramp would be a great addition to a scooter gift for children.  Ramps are especially good to have in your garden to encourage more play outside and the practising of tricks in a safe spot away from others will be good for those kids with self confidence issues.

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Best balance bike for kids and toddlers 2019

By Kirsty / January 21, 2019
best balance bike for kids

Balance bikes are great for getting kids to learn those first skills in getting their balance while riding something with two wheels.  Read on to find out the best balance bike for kids, toddlers and even older kids on the market in 2016.

What is a balance bike?

A balance bike essentially looks just like a normal bike, except that they are missing one thing – pedals.  The idea is that without needing to worry about pedals getting in the way, and by being small and manoeuvrable, kids can jump on a balance bike and wheel themselves around.  In reality there’s no teaching involved and it’s a natural process.  Eventually once they are used to the bike and how it works they’ll naturally start lifting their legs as they go and keeping their balance easily.

Since keeping balance while riding a bike is the biggest problem, balance bikes help to overcome this with ease.  When ready to progress to a regular bike it will be so much simpler, less scary and with hopefully less falling off!

 

Since balance is the biggest obstacle that you’ll come across when learning to ride a bike, some people believe that forgoing bikes with stabilisers is the best option and this is where a balance bike will come in.  Stabilisers get your child out and about but they really don’t help with the balance issue and let’s face it, getting your kids to learn to ride is often our main objective – ok fun comes in to it too!

 

Which balance bike to choose?

Options of kids balance bikes have increased lots since my two were younger which I’m really pleased to see as we loved our little wooden balance bike that we had.

First thing is to take in to consideration the age of your child.  The majority of balance bikes for sale at the moment are targeted to the small child stage and will be suitable from the age of 2.  Most of these bikes will suit through ages 3, 4 and in some cases up to 5 years old.  Don’t worry, there are also bikes suitable for kids up to age 12 on the market these days (and adults too!).

Check out whether the seat height and handlebar height can be adjusted to suit your child as they grow – some of the wood balance bikes might not have much movement in this area.

Also think about whether you’d like to have a brake on the bike too.  Balance bike with brakes are available as are bikes that can covert in to regular pedal bikes too.

Have a think about what you want in terms of features and then you can take a look at some of the designs available!

 

Best balance bike for kids – my reviews

Chicco Bullet Balance Bike

Best budget balance bike

One of the best sellers in the UK at the moment, and for good reason, is the Chicco Bullet.  If you’re after a cheap balance bike that is from a reputable brand then this is the one for you.  It’s basic, lightweight, but still with adjustable seat and handlebars.  It’s a perfect first bike!  It comes in Red as shown above but you can also get a nice pink version too.

The age range suggested is from 3-5 although reviews have suggested that for some larger 4 year olds it may be a bit too small, so do measure your child before purchasing.  Overall though it’s a brilliant bike for little kids.

Check out more reviews and latest price here.

Strider 12 Classic No-Pedal Balance Bike

I’ve included this bike here even though it could be a contender for the best toddler balance bike, because it has such a wide age range that it’s suitable for and didn’t want you to miss it if I put it in the toddler category!

You can use this balance bike from the age of 18 month all the way up to age 5.  It’s a lightweight and well built bike from a trusted brand.  There’s even seat extension posts that you can buy separately if you have taller children and need a bit more height.

Overall it’s a fantastic little bike, a perfect first balance bike – available in a few different colours too (blue, purple, green and red).

You can check out more reviews of this bike here.

 

Boppi wooden balance Bike

Best cheap wooden balance bike

The Boppi Bike is a lovely little balance bike that is not only wooden but also really lightweight, has puncture proof tyres and an adjustable padded seat.

What I particularly like about this one is the range of colours and patterns it’s available in – there’s really a huge choice!

This bike is suitable for 2, 3, 4 and up to 5 year olds and is suitable for both indoors and out – it’s a great first balance bike.

See the latest price and range of colours here

 

Kettler Speedy 12.5-Inch Balance Bike

The Kettler Speedy bike is suitable for ages 2 – 4 and is the only one in this section that includes a brake so if you’re worried about hills and getting kids used to using brakes this one would be a good choice.

Apart from the obvious lack of pedals it has a real look of a proper bike to it.  I love the colours of this bike too – as well as the pink shown it comes in a few other colours that will be suitable for both boys and girls.

Again the bike has height adjustable seats and handlebars making this last a while.

To see more about this bike click here.

 

Kiddimoto Kids Kurve Wooden Balance Bike

You might think that wooden balance bikes are more suitable for the younger child, but this one by Kiddimoto is suitable up to the age of 6.

What I really love about this bike is that it’s such a fun style.  It comes in all sorts of colours from the pastel dots on the image here, to a union jack style, to a police bike.  It’s got a lot going for it in the looks department!

It has a padded seat that is also adjustable, but no adjustable handlebars if that’s a concern for you.  It’s a lovely bike and probably one of the best wooden balance bikes out there.

Read more reviews and see the range of designs here

 

Best balance bikes for toddlers

If you’ve just jumped to this section, do also check out the bikes in the ‘kids’ section, particularly the Strider bike which is suitable from 18 months all the way up to 5.

 

Wooden balance bike by deAO

I love wooden bikes and we had them for our kids many years ago now.  Although they tend to be a bit heavier (although still light enough for a child) than some other bikes I think they also are much sturdier and are a nice item for kids to use.

This wooden bike is suitable for ages 2 – 5 and does have a height adjustable seat, but not handlebars.  It’s made from birch wood and is extremely sturdy.

Find out more about this product here

 

Early Rider Lite 12″

This is a special little bike and if you’re wanting to invest in something that has a beautiful design then this one could fit the bill nicely!  Although it is one of the more expensive bikes I’ve picked out it’s still very reasonable for what you get.

The bike is handmade in the UK which is always great and it has a host of features:

It has adjustable seating and dual steering which means you can have it restricted or unrestricted.  When it’s restricted it means it can’t turn as fully and so might be safer and less likely to make your child fall if they can’t turn so sharply.

It’s suitable for ages 1.5 to 3 years.

Click here for the latest price

 

WishBone 3 in 1 Bike Ride on

Another amazing bike that is firmly in the premium category and definitely a lovely bike for very young kids is this one from WishBone.   It’s actually a 3 in 1 ride on which means that the use is extended as it’s suitable for very little ones when it’s in ‘trike’ mode and has the three wheels in use.  When the child gets older you can change it to a classic two wheeled balance bike, and when they are older still you flip the frame and it extends the size.  It’s really a very clever design and makes it a worthwhile investment.

Suitable from 12 months

See more and the latest price here.

 

What about a balance bike for older child?

If your child hasn’t mastered the art of riding a bike at a younger age and you’d still like to give maybe a large balance bike a go for them to increase their confidence then don’t worry as there are still some options for you.

Strider Youth 16 Sport No-Pedal Balance Bike

This no pedal bike is perfect for ages 6-12 so whether you missed the window while your child was younger, or if they simply got too big for their old balance bike and wanted a new one, this bike would be great.  It’s also good for children with special needs as it can grow with them and be a bike they can use for a long time if pedals might be too much to contend with.

It has a 16″ frame, adjustable seat height and adjustable handlebars.  It also has brakes as well so can get kids used to using those.

It comes in blue and red as in the picture.

To see more about this bike, including reviews, click here.

 

Balance bike with pedals

perhaps you’re looking for a 2 in 1 balance bike with removable pedals?  They aren’t so common, but you can get them!

Muddyfox / Muddy Paws 14″ 2 in 1 Grow Bike / Balance Bike

This bright orange bike from Muddyfox is a balance bike with pedals to add at a later date when your child has mastered the balancing and riding.

It’s just like a regular bike with brakes, adjustable handlebars and seats and it also has a chain guard to protect feet and clothes while riding.

It’s suitable for ages 3-5 years and if you’re concerned about how long your child might want the balance bike part then this would be a good compromise to get them on to regular biking when ready.

To find out more info click here.

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Best family tents to suit all budgets – 2019

By Kirsty / January 11, 2019
best family tents

To go alongside my post about camping with kids and tips you’ll want to remember I thought I’d do a post about the best family tents on the market now we’re getting into 2018.  It’s probably the biggest expense you’ll have when camping and if you choose right it should last you for quite a few family holidays.

Tips for choosing family camping tents

Here are some tips about getting the right tent for you and your kids:

  • Choose a tent you’re able to stand up in.  This is especially important if you think your kids might wake in the night and need to be held to get back to sleep, it’s nice to at least be able to move around if you’re doing that.
  • Choose something with a good sized living space.  If you happen to have rainy weather you’ll want somewhere you can play and hang out that isn’t your bedroom.
  • Choose from well known brands if possible.  Yes they come at a higher price than the most basic tents out there, but they tend to be much better quality.  Our very first tent was a basic non branded and it was awful!
  • Be aware that the sleeping capacity refers to small spaces.  We were always ok in a four berth tent for our family and we didn’t mind the size, especially when kids were small, but it can be tight.  A tip I’ve heard often is to go for a bigger berth than you need.
  • Will you need a storage area?  Perhaps going for a bigger tent and using one of the bedrooms to store things will work.
  • Take in to consideration the size of the tent when packed.  It can be quite surprising just how big some of them are and how quickly your car will fill up!

 

For this review of tents available I’m sticking with tents that are at least 4 berth and that have a living space you can stand up in.  I have had smaller tents and they really weren’t as good for a long holiday as the bigger versions.

If your budget is much smaller then by all means try out some of the smaller, cheaper brands out there to get a feel for camping and if it’s for you, or even better, check out second hand versions of some of the brands listed here.  Vango, Coleman, Outwell and Khyam are all good brands myself and friends have had good experiences with.

Best budget family tents

Coleman Ridgeline Plus 4 person tent

This is a really good basic tent for the money and is the design of the very first tents that we had when family camping.  It has two bedrooms, each fitting two people in it.  There is a central living space that you can stand up easily in.

One thing that I really like is doors that open on both sides of the living space.  This is especially good if the weather is bad and coming towards a certain door.  If it’s warm then you can also open them both and let the breeze blow through the tent.

On a safety note, if you’re cooking just outside the door of the tent it also provides another route to enter or escape.

Something to note about this design is that if you sleep in one section and your kids in the other then you’ll not be close enough to comfort them should you need to.  Not without getting up and crossing through the middle section!  This would be good for older kids who are more happier to sleep away from parents.

To see more information about this tent and current price click here

 

Coleman Waterfall Tent – 5 berth

I think this one is my favourite of all that are available, this one has the highest point of the tent in the living area rather than the sleeping area.  So if you’re tall and want to be able to wander around the living area this is a great choice.

Again the bedroom is all together, so nice if you have younger children or if you’re just a little worried about how you’ll all cope sleeping outside – you’ll all be snug in the bedroom.

This tent has a sewn in groundsheet which means it’s attached to the main outer tent.  This is great for keeping the tent watertight although it can be a bit trickier to handle when making sure you pack your tent away dry.

 

To find out more about this Coleman tent and read more reviews, click here.

 

 

 

Best family tents in the mid range budget

If your budget can stretch a little further then these are good choices:

Coleman Da Gama 4 Tunnel Tent

This 4 berth tunnel tent by Coleman is a really nice choice and comes well recommended.

The bedroom can be opened up and all on space or you can use the bedroom divider to give more privacy.  There’s plenty of living space too.

What I like about this option is that there is an extension available which means that if you want to make your living space a bit bigger for longer holidays you can do, or you can keep it simple for short breaks away.  Porch extensions can be really useful as an area to take of wet clothes if you do have bad weather on your trip.

To see more about this tent click here.

 

Vango Odyssey 600 family Tunnel Tent

This is a good tunnel tent design by Vango.  It’s really easy to pitch – they state it only takes 22 minutes – so it would be a perfect weekend family tent.

It’s a 6 berth so would suit small or larger families so if you don’t mind being all close up together up to 6 people.  This tent has a room divider in the bedroom too – just a thin mesh fabric, but enough to give a bit of privacy which is nice, while making access to each other easy.

It comes with storage pockets and is plenty big enough for a really nice camping break with kids.  It also comes in other sizes and berths should you want a different size.

For more information and the latest price click here.

 

Best large family tents for over 8 people

If you’re looking for a tent for a large family or just want to make sure you have enough space then have a look at these options.

Skandika Montana 8 Family Tunnel Tent

If you’re looking for a much larger tent then I’d definitely recommend this one by Skandika.

There are two bedrooms, one at either end of the tent, each having space for 4 people.  The bedrooms also have a bedroom divider making them in to 4 spaces for 2 people.

It’s easy to put up and reasonable quality for the price.  I’d probably not put it in the excellent quality group, but the reviews make me think that it’s definitely a good choice if you’re needing a big tent on a tight budget.

Check here for the latest price.

 

10T Desert – 10 person cotton pyramid/bell tent

And finally, if you want lots of space for a large family or if you’re just interested in family glamping (Glamorous camping) then why not consider a bell tent?

They are a lot different to other types of tents, but they are a lovely alternative.  As they are made of cotton they are much cooler inside, so if you’re planning on camping abroad it could be a good choice.  They are really good at staying waterproof, but the downside is that if you have to break camp when it’s wet it’s a bit of a nightmare as the tent can get really heavy.

They don’t have individual bedrooms or living spaces, but rather just have one big area to sleep and live in.

To see more about this tent click here.

Best science toys for 2019

best science toys 2018

I’m a big advocate of getting kids out in nature, as you know, and also a big advocate of adding learning in to every day life and making it fun.  With that in mind I wanted to look at some science kits today as it’s often a great way of getting kids to look at our world in a different way or even to capitalise on a blossoming interest.  Nature walks and studies can set off an interest that can stay with kids for ages and science or STEM kits can help or widen that interest eventually building a good foundation and helping when kids get to more formal studying age.  So with that in mind, here’s my choice for the best science toys for 2018 and I hope you find it helpful!  Don’t forget to check out the best outdoor gifts article too.

Best science toys for ages 5+

Ages 5, 6 and 7 are great ages for getting interested in science and these kits are definitely good buys that should foster an inquiring mind and lead on to further discoveries.

 

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab set – 3+

Helps with – chemistry and general science

For young children who want to do proper science experiments this is a really nice kit.  It looks like a proper science set with test tubes, goggles and flasks but it’s very much safe and designed for little kids.  You do need to add some items yourself to do the experiments such as some food items as many of the experiments are kitchen science based – bicarb, vinegar, food colourings that sort of thing.

Included are some really nice and chunky plastic test tubes, flask, tweezers, goggles, beaker and dropper.  There’s also 10 activity cards that are wipe clean and so perfect for enthusiastic scientists!  One thing that would make it perfect would be the addition of a lab coat but you can find them separately here.

See this item and the latest price on Amazon here

 

Galt Rainbow Lab Kits – age 5+

Helps with – Chemistry and general science

This is a really fun science kit that is good for ages 5 and above.  The main focus is on the rainbows and so there is plenty of colour experiments involved and even a bit of chromatography that will come up in formal science lessons!

The pack contains 3 test tubes, test tube rack, goggles, colour mixing tray, pipette, polyacrylamide crystals, 3 food colourings, rainbow glasses, 3 plastic cups, mirror, stickers and a notepad.  There’s a lab book with 12 different experiments and everything is included so no need to go out and buy more stuff.  

Check out the latest price on Amazon here

 

Natural History Museum pocket microscope – age 5+

Helps with – biology

Microscopes are great for all ages and if you’re looking for a proper one then head a bit further down the page.  However if you’re just looking to introduce microscopes to your kids or if you want something light that you can put in a nature explorer kit and take out with you on adventures, I can highly recommend this one.  The Natural History Museum pocket microscope is one we’ve had for many years ourselves and it has lasted really well.  It’s a robust plastic which is just what you need with little ones.  It’s perfect for looking at bugs, tree trunks, flowers or anything really.

The microscope has a 20x – 40x zoom and it also has a led light which lights up what you’re looking at should you need it.  It also comes with a blank slide so you can practice making your own – but I’d definitely recommend pairing this with some pre-prepared slides like these so you have lots to look at.

Check out more information on this here

 

Insect Lore Butterfly Garden

Helps with – biology

This is a classic science based gift for kids and one that I think is perfect for understanding life cycles and just enjoying nature at it’s best.  It comes really highly regarded, but do be aware that you need to send off for caterpillars between March and September (you also need to pay postage) and they obviously don’t come in the kit.  If giving as a gift it would be good to have the caterpillars ready, but it would be fine if the intended child was happy to wait a bit.

The kit comes with the butterfly habitat, a feeding pipette, full instructions on how to care for the caterpillars / butterflies and a voucher for your caterpillars.  The whole set is reusable so you can try it out perhaps with caterpillars you find in the garden too.

For more information and the latest price click here

 

Best science toys for older kids (ages 8 upwards)

Once kids get older you’ll find there’s all sorts to get their minds thinking scientifically.  Here’s some that we’ve enjoyed as our kids grew up.

Solar System Planetarium – 8+

Great for – astronomy

This is a planetarium model kit which is great for any kids with a passing interest in learning about the planets.  It comes as plastic parts that you have to build up and paint to look like the planets so lots of opportunities to discover about their colours, why each one looks like they do and discuss the different sizes too.

It’s marketed for ages 8+ because the painting can be fiddly to do.  There’s a great sense of satisfaction on completing it though and I love the fact it can glow in the dark too.

See more about this set here

 

Kidz Labs Crystal Science – 14+

Helps with – chemistry, geology

For older kids who have an interest in crystals and their formation, this small set is a really nice kit.  It requires some patience as the crystals do take time to form but the end results are fascinating.  You get enough formula to make 3 crystals, all different kinds.

The set says for ages 14+ but I think it could definitely be good for younger children with some adult supervision.

See the latest price on Amazon here

 

Snap circuits – 8+

Helps with: electronics and physics

This was one of our absolute favourite kits we had when our kids were younger.  The played with this set for hours so it’s great value for money.  It’s essentially an electronics kit that allows you to build circuits, but the great thing about this is that it’s so easy because the parts snap together.  Really easy and quick to change the components so no worries about it being fiddly for small hands.

This set includes over 30 components and a booklet with over 100 projects to make which all are set up on the plastic base.  It’s for ages 8 and over and will definitely last for a few years.

See more reviews and price on Amazon here

 

Science Mad Chemistry Lab – 10+

Helps with – chemistry

If your child is ready for a real and more grown up chemistry set then this one is a pretty good, yet inexpensive option.  When I was looking for a set for my kids I wanted proper glass apparatus inside as well as ability to do some good and interesting experiments – this one fits that bill.

You get 19 chemicals and 20 pieces of lab equipment in this kit and there are 100 experiments to be done with the booklet that comes with it.  Highly recommended.  Don’t forget a lab coat too!

Check out the latest price here

 

Discovery Channel microscope – 8+

Helps with – biology

Finally we have a microscope and a good microscope is essential if your kids are looking to learn more about biology in the future or just if they are curious.  It’s great to have a good quality one that they can learn to use properly.

This one is by the Discovery Channel and even though it’s a low price range, I still think it’s an excellent entry level microscope that can be accessed by children as young as 8 (possibly younger depending on the child).

One aspect that I like with this microscope, and others are following suit now, is that you can use your smartphone with it.  There’s a special mount that you can hold your smart phone up to and take pictures or a video – a great update for todays kids.   You also get 2 pre prepared slides, and 12 blank ones to make your own up, plus some sample pots and tweezers.

See more info about this on Amazon here

 

Best science books for kids

Getting some good books can complement these science toys perfectly.  Here’s a couple of my favourites that we’ve enjoyed over the years.

 

What is the best Nerf gun ever for kids in 2019?

By Kirsty / January 6, 2019
best nerf gun ever

Playing and having a nerf gun battle is great fun for kids and is a good way to get them outside with their friends.  Nerf guns are safe, having foam bullets, but provide hours of happiness, chasing and then searching for the bullets afterwards!  It doesn’t have to be a team game either, look below for a great idea to get your kids practice shooting which they can do alone.  So, what is the best Nerf gun ever for kids?  Read on!

The best Nerf gun for kids

Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster – my first choice!

Okay, so why is this my top choice?  From a mum’s perspective here’s my reasons:

  • It’s not huge.  Believe me, some of these Nerf guns can take a whole lot of space, this one is nice and compact
  • it’s easy to use.  Sometimes the bullets can get stuck, but this one is super easy and fires well
  • It’s cheap – it’s available at the moment for under £15
  • It keeps my kids happy.  Not quiet, but happy.

The N-Strike Elite Strong-arm blaster can hold up to six darts and can fire them a distance of 75 ft so it means that you can fire a few at once which I think helps them get the most enjoyment out of it.

Of course they can be used inside as well as outside if you’re worried about losing all of the darts, but they are available in cheap packs as refills if you should ever need them – check them out below.

As a first Nerf gun this is a really great option for all the reasons above, but mainly because kids have such a lot of fun playing with them.  It’s one of the most popular toys and it receives a lot of good reviews.

Check out this item on Amazon here.

 

Other Nerf Gun Accessories you might need

Although certainly not needed, here’s some other ideas of things that will help make your Nerf gun play more exciting.

Extra Nerf Gun Bullets

No-one wants to run out of bullets but it eventually happens especially if you’re not the best at retrieving them at the end of play.  Getting a spare set to keep in the cupboard is a great plan.  My tip – don’t say you have them and only use them when you really need them and the originals can really not be found!

You can get generic darts or Nerf branded ones – check the reviews to see whether they are recommended before going for a cheaper set.  Some are good, some not so good!

They are quite cheap to have – you can get them on Amazon here.

Nerf target board

Getting a Nerf target practice set is a great idea if you want to extend the play life of the toys to more than just when your kids are with friends.  Having a target board means they can play on their own, or they can still play with their friends in a more civilised and quiet way!

This board features four flags which spin round when you hit it with the nerf dart.  It’s easily moveable to change the target range too.

You can find this product on Amazon here.

Nerf Gun Tactical Vest

To add a dressing up dimension to your Nerf battles, these tactical vests can be a lot of fun as well as being practical.  They can hold all your bullets and just make you look like you’re being serious!  For any child who is big into their Nerf battles this would be an excellent gift!  You’ll get some more bullets that go with the gun above too.

You can see more about this vest here.

Nerf Goggles

A pair of Nerf safety glasses can be an excellent idea if you’re worried about injuries.  Although Nerf guns are generally safe and we’ve never had an issue, it can be wise to just take a little bit of an extra precaution.  The good thing about these goggles is that they feel like they are part of the bigger outfit and combined with the tactical vest above, would definitely look great so kids won’t mind wearing them.  Again you get a few extra nerf darts alongside.

You can see more about this product here on Amazon.

 

Best Nerf Water Gun

good nerf gunsIf you’re looking for a water gun rather than a dart gun then Nerf also make those too.  I’ll be honest, we’ve had some not so great water guns from Nerf but the one below is a great option if you’re looking to get soaked!

Like I said before about my reasons for liking the gun above – this one is a reasonable price.  But the main reason that I like this one is that it works well.  I try and stay well out of the way when it’s in use, but my son and husband agree that it’s good!

If you’re looking for a good water gun then this one is worth a go!  Take a look on Amazon here.

 

New for Christmas 2016 – the Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike Blaster

This is one of the newest Nerf guns around at the moment and it’s being touted as one of the must have toys for Christmas 2016 – so is it any good and is it worth the money?

Ok, first of all, what does this one do?  It’s a tri-strike blaster which means that it can shoot three different ways – you can shoot the elite darts, the mega darts and also the missile.  There’s quite a few ways it can be set up so your kids can have fun making the best combination of shooting set ups.

This one is suitable for kids over 8 and with the size of it I reckon would be appreciated by even big kids!  If you’re looking for a new nerf gun for Christmas it might be worth looking at.  Price wise it’s a higher range than my choice above, but if you have kids that collect Nerf guns, as mine did, it’s a good one to add to the collection!

Check it out on Amazon by clicking here

Best climbing frames for toddlers and kids in 2019

By Kirsty / January 5, 2019
best climbing frames for toddlers and kids

If you have the garden space a climbing frame is a great investment.  Kids just love to climb and explore their limits.  Safety precautions must always be at the forefront of your mind when buying and investing though, so here are the best climbing frames I’ve found on the market in 2018 for toddlers, kids and even older kids!

If you haven’t time to read the whole guide then do take a look at my best all round choice which is the TP Explorer Climbing Frameyou can see it on Amazon here.

What to consider when buying a garden climbing frame

Climbing frames are excellent garden toys, but there’s a few things to think about.  You’ll need to consider the following when looking for the best children’s climbing frame for your needs:

  • How many children will use it
  • The age of the children it will be for
  • how big your garden is
  • your budget
  • whether you want plastic, metal or wood

When looking at all these points, perhaps you’ll want something that will last all the way from a toddler age all the way to older child, or perhaps you might just have the space for a small toddler climbing frame that you want to bring inside in the winter and you’ll be looking to invest in a larger climbing frame in a few years.

Best climbing frames for toddlers

Many of the climbing frames in the other categories, including my best pick, are suitable from a young toddler age, so do look at those as well.

Toddler climbing frames tend to be much smaller and plastic which has the added benefit of them being easier to move around and if you have space they can even come indoors on wet and cold days in the winter which means their play can get massively extended.

Little Tykes Junior Activity Gym

One of the best plastic climbing frames for toddlers is this one by Little Tikes.  The design has been going strong for many years now, certainly since before my teens were toddlers, so you can be assured that it’s a good one and built to last.

These climbing frames are easy to assemble and not so big that you’ll be worrying about if they fall off it.  The play value is immense, it’s a plastic climbing frame with slide attached, spaces to crawl through and of course plenty of bits to climb over!  It’s brilliant for wearing out toddlers and as mentioned above and it’s small enough that it could definitely be used inside as well.

It’s suitable from the age of about 18 months to 4 years old and is a reasonable price should your budget not stretch to some of the larger climbing frames around.  Little Tikes toys always have a good resale value should you want to sell them on when your kid gets a bit older.

Pros:

  • Brilliant for toddlers
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used inside
  • Easy to clean
  • Cheap

Cons:

  • limited age appeal – they’ll grow out of it soon
  • sun can bleach it and make it fade

You can see more about the Little Tikes junior activity gym here

Best climbing frames for kids – our reviews

TP Explorer Climbing Frame – my best choice!

This is my best choice out of all the products.  TP is an excellent brand with many years in the business so they are well established.  We’ve used this one ourselves and found them to be a great choice.

They make this as a base metal climbing frame and it’s perfect for small gardens on its own or you can add some of the extras on to it if you have a bigger garden.  You can get monkey bars (the jungle run) and a slide which make it a much bigger option (can be bought as a whole or separate), but just the base set is excellent on it’s own in my opinion.

The reason I like it so much is for the added den at the top which just makes a great place for kids to sit outside and enjoy the world going by.  They can use it to spy on nature, have picnics, read a book, anything!

It’s also a climbing frame that’s suitable for toddlers so if you want something that will grow as your kids do without having to pay out again, this is great.  You simply build it to a smaller height and it’s find for ages 18 months +

 

Pros:

  • Can be used from a young age
  • Good value for what you get
  • lots of add ons
  • good for small gardens

 

Cons:

  • add ons can bump price up

 

You can see more about this frame and buy on Amazon by clicking here

 

TP Lil Monkey Climbing Dome

Another great idea from TP is this climbing dome.  It’s like all those monkey bars that you see in play areas but on a smaller scale and suitable for gardens.

Perfect for toddler kids who just want to climb and swing, it’s even good for a couple of children to play on at once so if you have more than one it could be good for you.

It also comes with an app designed for it to add another layer of fun for your child.

Pros:

  • A unique item
  • inexpensive
  • good for 2 children

Cons:

 

You can see more and the latest price on Amazon here

 

Plum Climbing Dome

If you’re considering a geodesic climbing dome for your kids then your might find that you’d prefer a metal frame.  This does increase the price but will make for a much sturdier and more longer lasting item.

This climbing dome from Plum is a really fab item – it looks amazing in the garden and just invites children to come and climb on it.  This one also includes a platform and slide as well for some added play value which I think is great.  It’s suitable for ages 3+ and up to 50kg.

Pros:

  • Can be used from a young age
  • Geodesic climbing domes are great fun for kids
  • metal dome lasts much longer and is much sturdier

 

Cons:

  • metal is much more expensive than plastic versions

See more about this play dome here

 

 

Hudora Turnreck Fabian horizontal gymnast bars

A slightly different option for older kids are these horizontal gymnast bars.  It would be perfect for any kids who also do gymnastics or just kids who like to climb and swing about.  This set is a single bar set but you can buy a larger set and have the heights set differently so that kids of different ages can use them.  They’re really a fun idea and can certainly help to get your kids more active.

It does need set in concrete so requires a bit of planning but for the price it’s an excellent bit of kit.

Pros:

  • Good swinging bars for active kids or gymnasts
  • can get kids interested in gymnastics as a sport

Cons:

  • Some kids might not like the limited appeal
  • Not much else to do with it
  • needs concreted in

You can see more, including reviews, on Amazon by clicking here

 

Best wooden climbing frames

Wooden climbing frames can be a really good investment – they can last for years if you choose wisely.  They are at the higher end of the budget compared to plastic and metal versions but sometimes nothing beats wood outdoor toys!

Plum Climbing Pyramid Wooden Play Centre

This one is really great and comes with it’s own climbing wall and scramble net so it’s a little different to some of the other climbing frames.  There’s a slide and also a play area underneath which has some camouflage side panels.  Its an excellent choice if your kids want a den or if they are a bit obsessed with soldiers (I wish we’d had this when my son was younger – he’d have loved it!)

It’s recommended for ages 3 – 12.

Pros:

  • climbing wall is unique

Cons:

  • expensive
  • can’t move round the garden

See more on Amazon here

 

Dunster House MonkeyFort Wilderness Wooden Children’s Outdoor Climbing Frame

This is a perfect wooden climbing frame for older children as it’s suitable up to the age of 14 and so you’ll likely get many years of use out of it.

It consists of monkey bars, a swing and a slide with a covered den part at the top.  You get to the slide by climbing up a climbing wall.  It’s a great option if you are looking for something for multiple kids to play on too as it can suit up to four kids playing at once (although only one on the platform at a time).

Pros:

  • suitable for a wide age range
  • lots of years worth of play
  • covered den for imaginary play

Cons:

  • expensive
  • can’t move

You can see more about this climbing frame here

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