Sports Dreams

Just because half of the country is being blasted by the latest Polar Vortex doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t enjoy some sports-themed fun.

NFL Electric Football (Tudor Games)

nfl electric footballUnlike other games where you set up figurines on a sports field and move them around manually, in this one, the figures move around by themselves. The magic is in the vibrating gridiron (which has three user-controlled speeds) and the players’ “cleats” (some are built for speed, others for doing battle in place). You can slow down the action so your blockers can do their job or speed it up if your running back or receiver breaks loose. If this game sounds familiar, you’re not wrong. The first Electric Football game came out in 1949, but this newest iteration takes the original concept to a whole new level. Comes with decals from each NFL team so you can customize your games. Batteries required. For two players, ages 6+. $59.95.

Baseball Guys (Kaskey Kids)

baseball guysCompared to football, baseball is a lot less action oriented. But for those who love the game, it’s just as engaging. With Baseball Guys, two managers face off. How the game goes is completely up to you. Includes 26 2½” players, an umpire, a fully adjustable scoreboard, a washable felt field, and an instruction book with baseball rules and strategy tips. And it all fits neatly into a solid plastic storage container, meaning you can play your games at home or away. Aside from providing hours of baseball-themed fun for the family, the figures and field can be used by parents and coaches to explain strategy, plays, rules, and on-field movement. And since they’re washable, the Guys also make excellent birthday cake or cupcake ornaments. Baseball Guys encourages open-ended play (the kind where imagination rules). For example, why not use those building sets you have around the house to build a stadium so all of your child’s other figurines can watch the game? For two players, ages 3+. $24.99.

Kidi Star Karaoke Machine (Vtech)

kidi starz karaokeWhether it’s baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or just about any other sport, the game doesn’t start without the National Anthem. And with this kid-friendly karaoke machine, even kids who aren’t terribly interested in sports can get involved. The Kidi Star machine comes with eight original songs, but it also connects to your personal MP3 player or device so your little performer can let loose with his or her favorite track. (Don’t have a karaoke sound track? No problem. Music Magic mode does a nice job of turning down the volume on vocal tracks so your child can go solo). Comes with disco lights, applause and cheering tracks, and even voice-changing effects for the complete on-stage experience. Plus, there’s a built-in recorder that captures up to five minutes of performance gold. Batteries required. Ages 5+. Under $50. Ages 5-6.

Musical Hop Skipper (Kid Source)

musical hop skipperLet’s face it. Playing baseball or football on a board—or singing karaoke—is fun, but cooped-up kids need to get up and moving so they can burn off some of that pent-up energy. Set the adjustable arms to one of three height settings, pick your speed, and the Musical Hop Skipper will have your kids literally jumping for joy as they try to avoid the spinning arms (don’t worry—they aren’t spinning fast enough to cause any harm). Kids can jump solo or compete with friends or family. Great for indoor or outdoor use, as long as you have enough space to accommodate the 50 ½” wing span. For ages 3+. Under $38.