School is officially out and this momma is ready! When it comes to summer, there are a few supplies I just can’t do without as a mom of three; sunscreen, easily-portable snacks, and the perfect beach and water toys.
To me, plunking down a little of my hard-earned money on high quality outdoor toys- that I know will last us all summer long- is more than worth it.
I want my kids outside and away from screens as much as possible (and if I get to relax on the beach or in a lawn chair in my backyard for a few minutes, all the better).
What I don’t love?
Spending my money on toys that can’t stand up to my kids’ (sometimes rough) play or – maybe worse – that they find boring after 10 minutes.
So, without further ado, here are 5 summertime toys totally worth their price.
I’m always shocked how truly hard it is to find good trucks for my kids to play with in the park sandbox or at the beach. I’ve actually never been able to find any that are really big enough for my kids to enjoy filling with sand or driving over hills.
So I was SUPER excited when I got an email asking if I’d like to review PLAYMOBIL’s brand new construction trucks made specifically to be played with in sand.
I think the idea of incorporating sand digging toys right into big toy trucks is genius. And once we took them up to our friends’ lake house for the weekend, we weren’t disappointed.
Whether kids want to build sand castles, dig holes, play construction site or make up a game all their own, there are just so many ways to play with these impressively big and durable vehicles!
#1 – PLAYMOBIL Sand Dump Truck
The Dump Truck can haul stuff or the truck bed can be removed and used as a bucket and sieve for sand play. The bucket piece is also great for molding the sand into small buildings so the kids can build an entire town.
Along with the removable bucket and sieve, the truck also comes with a driver and even removable ramps to unload things from the truck or to help drive it over soft sand.
#2 – PLAYMOBIL Sand Excavator $24.99
As cool as the Dump Truck is, our favorite had to be this clever excavator and the sturdy sand shovel it includes. When placed in the lower position, the shovel can collect sand as kids move the excavator. Or, place the shovel in the upper position to keep it out of the way as kids drive.
Once your kids’ sand castle is built, they can remove the flag from the back of the vehicle and attach it to the top. Cool right?!
These trucks are staying in the back of my car all summer long so we’ll have them at the ready anytime we run across some sand.
#3 Strider Balance Bike $109.99
I think a balance bike will probably make it onto my famous gift guides for as long as I’m writing them. All of my kids have been zooming around on bikes since they were 2-years-old thanks to this genius idea of taking away the pedals and letting the kids pick up their feet and balance when they’re ready. I also really love how lightweight they are.
My kids could easily pick theirs up and carry it around as soon as they started using it.
We’ve always had a Strider Balance Bike because they’ve always worked great for us and the price is so great. Check out the video of some of the cutest bikers ever and you’ll be totally sold.
The only drawback has been when the kids get really good at it and can’t stop when going down steep hills due to the lack of brakes. This FirstBike version comes with a hand brake that could come in very handy for those scenarios (no pun intended).
#4 Stomp Rocket Jr. Glow Kit $14.99
and Ultra Stomp Rocket $18.00
My kids both got to play with this at science camp this summer, during their study of physics, and fell in love. They both, my son especially, get a little hyper in the afternoon and I knew we’d all love having this around for them to stomp to their hearts content in the backyard. Lucky for us, we got one for C’s 6th birthday and I was absolutely right.
The concept is simple, stomp (or jump) on the launch pad to send a foam tipped rocket up to 200 ft in the air. I like that both sets come with 4 rockets so the kids get to launch multiple times before running around to pick them all up and do it all over again.
Obviously the glow-in-the dark aspect of the Jr. Glow Kit is pretty cool. Siblings will love going together, and not having to take turns, and hosting friendly competitions with the Dueling Double Stomp Rocket Kit. In summary, these simple battery-free toys are multi-award winners and get great reviews. Plus they’re cheap – gotta love that!
#5 Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler $249.00 (3 – 7 years)
Ok, I admit it, Power Wheels don’t encourage a whole lot of physical activity, and the price can be prohibitive, but they are fantastic for getting kids to play outside all day long. We finally caved and got one of these for our youngest’s 4th birthday and it’s truly ridiculous how much my kids beg to play with it every single time either of them pull them out. They even seem to enjoy being the passenger as much as the driver.
Also, I’ve noticed that these vehicles can lead to some pretty involved “lets act like grown ups and run errands, do yard work, etc.” dramatic play. So… if you have the budget to splurge this year (or if you can justify the purchase because your child fights your every time you try to get them outside), this is definitely something to consider.
*Post contains affiliate links and PLAYMOBIL toys provided for free for review.