Get Outa Here!

Okay, so the days are getting a little shorter, but that doesn’t mean the end of entertaining, outdoor play. With these great new toys, you and your kids can have open-air fun ‘til the sun goes down—and long after.


Bashminton (Toysmith)

bashminton toysmithThis is one of those games that will get you and the family up, outside, and sweating. It’s honestly a great workout. As you can tell from the “minton” part of the name, it’s kind of like badminton, but you don’t need a net. And the “bash” part tells you that you’ll be whaling away, smacking the 4.5-inch “birdie” ball as hard as you can with one of the 21-inch mesh rackets. The rackets and ball are washable and float, meaning you can take your game into the pool. Includes two rackets and one ball. For ages 5+. Under $20.

NightZone Light Up Capture the Flag (Toysmith)

toysmith light up capture the flagAs with most capture the flag games, you can make up your own rules, but the object—capturing the other team’s flag—remains the same. The big difference here is that the flags and the bases they rest in light up, which adds a nighttime twist to this classic team game.  Comes with red and blue light-up flags and bases. Batteries are required (and included). To make things even more fun, you can also get light-up vests (sold separately) for each team member. For ages 6+. Under $26.00.


NightZone Light Up Football (Toysmith)

toysmith light up footballAlthough the pros play football in rain, snow, sleet, and any other kind of miserable weather, they generally draw the line at darkness. After all, if you can’t see the ball, what’s the point? Well, with this light-up football, you can play at night, in the fog, or under any other low-light conditions. The 8-inch football has “lightband technology,” which gives the ball a super-bright glow that makes it easy to see no matter where you are. And the ridges and other texturing make the ball easy to hold, throw, and catch, so you can keep on playing even in a nighttime blizzard. Batteries required (and included) and provide 24 hours of continuous play. For ages 6+ Under $16.


Robo Alive Slithering Snake (Zuru)

zuru robot snakeRobotic tech is getting better by the day. These lifelike, battery-operated snakes look and move like the real thing (although, unlike the real things, they’re only about a foot long). They slither and zig zag, their tongue flicks, and the eyes move. We found it fun, but, admittedly, some might find it creepy. Just flip the switch on your new pet’s head, and off he (she?) goes. If you want to add to your reptile collection, Zuru also makes a Robo Alive Lizard. For all ages (as long as they aren’t afraid of snakes). Under $24.00.


Spring Ring (Toysmith)

toysmith spring ringIt’s a giant frisbee! No, it’s hand-held trampoline for catching and bouncing balls! Yes, it’s whatever you want it to be. Designed to be used anywhere—your backyard, the beach, a pool, or even inside (if you’ve got a big enough place and you remove your Ming vases and other valuables). Includes two giant (16-inch diameter) foam paddles with mesh centers, a regular rubber ball, and a pom-pom ball. Unbox it in under 30 seconds and then start throwing, catching, bouncing, flinging, and anything else you can think of. Ages 4+. Under $26.