Forget video games. Turn off the TV. It’s summertime, and kids need to be outside under the blue sky running wild.
Here are a few toys for the tikes and gadgets for the older girls and boys. Gnarly gear. Outdoorsy accoutrements. Material motivation, perhaps, to help nudge your kids off the couch, into the backyard and beyond.
Kona Stinky 2-4
Budding mountain bikers can peddle trails heretofore reserved for the big boys with this kiddie-size ride. The Stinky 2-4, a scale replica of the bike mommy or daddy might use to tear down the single-track, has a springy suspension system on the front fork as well as on the rear wheel. Its 24-inch wheels and 13-inch frame are a custom fit for kids as young as nine years old. But at $1,399, the Stinky 2-4 has a big-boy price tag, too. (www.konaworld.com)
Hydration should not be lost on the little ones. CamelBak, maker of the ubiquitous hydration backpack, has a model to fit thirsty girls and boys. The Skeeter, which costs just $25 and comes in pink or blue, holds 35 fluid ounces of water — enough for one to two hours of intense outdoors playtime. It has a sweat-wicking mesh back panel and reflective fabric strips to keep kids visible in all conditions. (www.camelbak.com)
Mion Footwear’s play-on-word namesake (“my-own,” get it?) is derived from the company’s “Ergomorphic” footbed, a foamy interior that permanently takes the shape of an individual foot after about 12 hours of use. The Current, a post-modern sandal that comes in youth sizes and costs $45, is made of a secret foam concoction. It weighs almost nothing and has a sole tread that, according to the company, actually gets stickier when exposed to water. (www.mionfootwear.com)
Leave the stroller behind on your next flight or trip to the cabin with this wheeled kid carrier. The Convertible transforms quickly from a comfortable kid-carrying backpack to a basic four-wheel stroller. Don’t expect to jog laps in the park with the $175 Convertible. But Kelty’s contraption is versatile enough for rolling through the airport or on sidewalks and paved trails. (www.kelty.com)
Babies need sun protection, too. The Looping, a 100-percent UV-protective model specifically made for the less-than-three-years-old crowd, has rubber nose pads and a hinge-less frame the company claims is unbreakable and baby-proof. To boot, the $25 glasses are fully symmetrical and can be worn right side up or upside down, meaning the little one will never become frustrated trying to put them on. (www.julbousa.com)
REI Sahara Tech
Outfit your young Indiana Jones in an REI Sahara Tech Shirt, a multi-pocketed, quick-drying and sun-protecting button-up available for boys and girls. The $26.50 shirt is made of rip-stop nylon with a purported UPF 30+ rating. But REI built in a mesh-lined back yoke to vent and circulate air during those long hot days outside in the summer sun. (www.rei.com)
BOB Revolution Duallie
Push your tiny prince and princess around together in this double-wide jogging stroller. The Revolution Duallie is built to handle the riggers of a bumpy running trail (12-inch front wheel; integrated suspension) or a stroll through the sunny park (side by side seats; independently adjustable canopies). But propulsion is delivered via old fashion elbow grease, no motor included, despite the Revolution Duallie’s hefty $529 price tag. (www.bobgear.com)