by Amy E. Goodman, Lifestyle Editor zulily
Lemonade stands. Sprinkler hopping. Melting ice cream cones that drip faster than you can lick. It’s definitely sum-sum-summer time.
My family has been living for the outdoors. Our art projects take place in the cool of the morning shade. Come afternoon, we check on the progress of our peach tree. Even dinner is an al fresco affair, often barbequed and served up with hot, buttery corn.
But after riding bikes and drawing with chalk and chasing down our peach-stealing squirrels (never caught mind you!), my kiddos yearn for something new and fun to do.
At zulily we picked our top 10 summer toys to keep your kids happy and engaged…and buying you more time to relax in your lounge chair and quietly sip your margarita and enjoy the bliss that is summer.
#1 Float Away!
With my daughter on the swim team for the first time this year, we’re spending an inordinate amount of time at the pool. So when she doesn’t have to swim laps, cool pool floats are a welcome respite and can be lots of fun.
Game Station & Chair Float Set, Swimline
A pool float that sprays water at your friends? Are you kidding? A child’s dream. (And when you get too hot in said lounge chair, you can ask for a refreshing squirt.)
Swimline, Battleboards Water Squirter Float Set
#3 Roly Poly
This certainly livens up a trip to the park or a family reunion, and will undoubtedly provide your kids with hours of entertainment. Just steer clear moms…no sun bathing while the Mammoth Beach Ball is in motion or you might just be balled over!
Mammoth Beach Ball, S&S Worldwide
#4 At-Home Parachuting
Okay, so no jumping out of planes just yet, but kids love a massive parachute for tossing, rippling, running underneath and disappearing under. Add some balls on top and you have your own “popcorn” maker. What’s nice is that this is great activity for kids of all ages.
30’ Parachute, Pacific Play Tents
#5 Tether Ball…is Back
I’d like to think that my beloved tether ball never went anywhere (I can still feel the arm rope burns to prove it), but apparently it’s made a comeback. This new and improved version is portable and dignified with chic paddles. While kids have at it, mom and dad can secretly make Napoleon Dynamite references: “You wanna play me?”
Paddle tether Ball Set, Alex Toys
#6 Lanterns for Lightening Bugs
With these warm muggy nights, the fireflies are out. And while flashlights are too bright and having no light is too dark, these cutie pie headlamps are just right. Your kiddo might even be mistaken for a lightening bug in the hunt!
Frog & Monkey Headlamp Set
#7. Water Balloon Slingshots!
There is nothing better than a good water balloon fight on a hot summer day. These water balloon slingshots make for a great addition to the game…quick, get to your battle stations!
Water Balloon Slingshot Set
#8 Up, Up and Away!
It’s amazing how much joy my kids get out of those single loop, glow-in-the-dark necklaces; yes, the plastic ones that last only one night. Imagine how much fun they’d have with these LED ultra glow Stomp Rockets? It’s the nighttime version of one of their favorite daytime toys.
Ultra LED Stomp Rocket Kit, Stomp Rocket
#9 Movie Night
Want to be the cool family on the block? This 132” outdoor projection screen from Camp Chef will promote picnic family dinners and make you an instant neighborhood hit, especially if you play new releases. And if there’s a sudden summer storm? No worries, it works indoors too.
Entertainment Gear 132” Indoor/Outdoor Projection Screen, Camp Chef
#10 Grill Like a Grownup
Though my husband does most of the grilling, I know how to fire up our grill thank you very much—and now my little ones can too with their very own miniature grill set by American Plastic Toys. I dare you to place them side-by-side and see who produces the best burger!
My Very Own Grill Set, American Plastic Toys