Award Winning Outdoor Toys For 2018 Spring and Summer Fun

PlaymobilEach year the Oppenheimer Toy Awards on Toy Portfolio give us guidance as to our toy purchases.  Each year, it seems, it is harder to pry our grandchildren from their electronics to play outside.  It is more important than ever to find outdoor toys that will grab attention away from electronics.  Here are some award winning options.

Age 2 to Preschooler

Playmobil Sand Dump Truck

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 winner, described as “perfect for beach or sandbox, this lightweight dump truck is designed with older toddlers and young preschoolers in mind. It not only has works as a truck, it comes with a sieve for sifting the sand, two treads for rolling the truck over, a construction guy for dramatic play, and a back-end that lifts off and can be used for making a mud pie brick.”  Buy at Amazon.

American Plastic Toy Gigantic Car Hauler

An Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2017 Platinum Award Winner, it is described as follows: “It is giantic—over two feet long and ready for indoors or out in the sandbox play. Toddlers are fascinated by big trucks and here’s one they can take charge of in the early pretend play. This has a tilt-able bed, big tough wheels  and a separate red convertible that may need to be delivered somewhere or taken for repair. Unlike so many “talking” trucks, this one will only say and do what the player wants it to do. It’s a child-controlled vehicle that can also carry and deliver whatever your big pretender imagines.” Buy at Amazon.

Both Preschool and Early School Age

Little Tikes 2-in-1 Food Truck

An Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2017 Platinum Award Winner, it is expensive. Instead of the kitchen we buy so many grandchildren, this is an interesting and modern alternative.   It is very comprehensive and described as, “It has a complete kitchen back there, with play sink, microwave oven, fridge and soda fountain. There’s a cash register, note pads for taking orders, a chalkboard for writing the menus (or flavors) of the day, a flip out counter, order bell, and  steering wheel with a working horn. As if that wasn’t enough, the sign on top can be turned to make this a food truck with hot dogs or reverse it and sell ice cream. There’s a trash can that comes loaded with 40 play food accessories that will surely add to the fun of running a business. Okay, that’s the good news. Now here’s a little side note. This requires assembly and a power tool, since our builder found that not all the holes were pre-made and he tells us it took considerable time. Marked for 2 and up, we’d say older 2s will like this very urban style setting for pretend, but the sweet spot is probably more like older 3s and 4s and even 5s. Kids can use this for a puppet stage, too.”  Buy at Amazon, where it is an Amazon Choice Toy.

Simplay3 Super Coupe Pedal Trike

An Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2017 Platinum Award Winner, it is described as a combination of a cozy coupe and Big Wheel, for those grandchildren “ready for a pedal toy.”  Buy at Amazon.

School Age and Preteen

Learning Resources Let’s Go Code! Activity Set

An Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2017 Platinum Award Winner, it is an indoor as well as outdoor game that combines coding with activity.  We all want our grandchildren exposed to coding.  Described as: “Kids themselves become the “robot” moving with their whole bodies, following the commands laid out on the coding cards. This is a cooperative game with special codes for jumping over, turning right or left, going forward, picking things up and moving from the entry point to the robot at the other end. There are multiple ways to set this up and along with learning left from right (not such a simple task) and making a plan together, this is a game for thinking and problem solving while keeping it developmentally right and appealing. It’s not played at a desk, but with physical action driven by cooperative planning. Let’s Go Code will not come out of the box and ready for play. Some parental modeling will be needed to establish the game play or to keep it going. Marked for 5 & up. We’d say it’s going to make more sense for 6-8s.”

Remember the easiest way to teach your grandchildren left and right is that your left hand makes an L!   See post for this and other ideas: “Left Hand Makes An “L”“

Buy at Amazon where it is given five stars.

Ultra Dash

An Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2017 Platinum Award Winner, it is an as outdoor game for all ages and the whole family, including that impossible teen. It makes a great visit present.  Seems complicated though in this description:   “Once you get through the directions (read them all the way through) this is a terrific game for active play and can be enjoyed by mixed ages. Be sure to turn on all the switches, including the one on the side and toward the bottom  Gameplay is something like Simon only here there are five plastic stands that can be placed around a room, house, field, or table top. Set the timer and each player takes a turn racing to find the colors as they light up on the main hand-held control. We liked that it can also be played solo or as relay race. A fun choice for family gatherings if there is a place to send the players – preferably outdoors!”  Buy at Amazon where it is a choice toy:

Not only is it hard to maneuver the new Oppenheimer Toy Award website, when we get to older grandchildren we need to expand our search.

Amazon Top Rated

Beach Toys Sand Toys Set for Kids, Newisland 9-Piece with Shovels Bucket in Reusable Zippered Bag, More Durable (9 PCS Beach Toy Set) Described as better quality than most.  Baby and Toddler and Up.

Air Power Soccer Disc Hover Soccer Football with Powerful LED light and Foam Bumpers. Recommended Age: 3-15 years old

EvoCrest Binoculars for Kids w/ Shock Proof Rubber Body – 8×21 High Resolution Lenses w/ Clear Focus Perfect for Bird Watching, Outdoor Play, Educational Learning – Toys for Boys and Girls.  Described as good quality and durable.  Age 3 and Up.

Finally, Learning Express just released its best spring and summer outdoor toys.  Take a look at their choices.    Maybe a giant soccer ball, a scooter and helmet or lazer tag.  Once we get into items such as scooters that come in different styles and colors, it might be best to bring the grandchild along to a Learning Express store near you.  I always immediately get someone to help and direct us quickly to outdoor toys only.

For 2017 choices see post: “Best Outdoor Toys for Grandchildren Of All Ages That Make Great Visit Presents.”

Yes, we can!  We can find toys to get our grandchildren outdoors and away from electronics this Spring and Summer 2018.







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