Must Have Camping, Beach, Pool and Outdoor Toys
Who doesn't camp or visit the beach in the summer months? Even if you don't I bet you are on the look out for some great outdoor and pool toys. I partnered with Mastermind Toys to test out some toys on a recent camping trip to Beyond Hope RV Resort in Idaho. Mastermind was kind enough to provide me with the Dodge Tag and Aquapod the rest were purchased with my own pennies as I knew Grady would love them!
Anteater Bug Vac:
The Anteater Bug Vac grabbed me the moment I saw it on the shelf and with a self proclaimed scientist in the house I knew it would be a hit.
The basic idea is that you place the nozzle over the bug of choice and press the vacuum button sucking said bug up into a clear compartment.The compartment has a magnifying glass so you can get an even closer look at the bug.
The Vac works best with small and light bugs like ants or mosquitoes. However we were able to catch a wasp and large unidentified insect by sucking the bug up into the nozzle then covering the end with a hand or book while continuing to suck until the suction was strong enough to pull it into the chamber.
Grady LOVED this as did every other kid that got their hands on it, it was easy to use even for the youngest kids who were more excited by sucking that examining.
Aquapod Bottle Rocket:
Aquapod Bottle Rocket was ridiculously easy to use and really had WOW effect. For older kids they could certainly be set up in a safe location and left to refill and pump up the rocket themselves. The boys were both under 8 so I wasn`t confident that they could correctly read the gauge on the bike pump and safely launch the bottle.
My only complaint is that it doesn`t come with an initial bottle and a pump. There are lots of small bike pumps out there so I think the manufacturers could easily add this to the box and you would be ready for launch right away.
|The boys were too excited to let me get a focused photo|
Once we found a suitable bottle Grady really enjoyed decorating it first. I marked a fill line but the boys were insistent upon experimenting with different fill levels. We found 1/3 to 1/2 full made for the highest launch.
Dodge Tag is lots of fun for adults and kids. Originally I bought one set but it only comes with 2 vest so I asked Mastermind to provide me with a second set so more kids could play. Little did I know the dads would be all over the fun and be first to get in on the Dodge Tag action.
The set is two vest and 6 balls. There were no "rules" but basically you are guaranteed fun if you just throw on a vest and start nailing each other with the soft foam balls.
I would love to see a team set that include enough vest for lots of players. It would be a great corporate team building game.
Sea Squirts Swim Assist:
The Sea Squirts Swim Assist vest is an attention grabber to be sure. Lots of people stopped Grady at Silverwood to check out his vest and tell him how cool it was.
The vest has a nice big zipper so it is easy to put on and take off for both kids and adults. It comes in a few sizes so it should be easy to find something that fits snug but comfortable.
The vest gave Grady that little bit of added confidence in the water without the bulk of a life jacket. Of course it doesn't replace a life jacket in terms of lifesaving capabilities but it does allow for more range of movement and enough buoyancy that kids feel secure in challenging themselves while swimming.
Another competitive type game Smakaball is lots of fun and added bonus is that all the parts float so it works great on land and in the water. But like Dodge Tag it only comes with enough pieces for two to play, other players could just use their arms etc but I found the kids didn't really want to play unless they each had a ring.
Make sure you inflated the ball all the way and then give it several hugs and inflate some more so that it will stick in the rings and you can truly smack it around. It also makes a good beach ball if you want to play beach ball volleyball or keep away.
What are your favourite camping, beach, outdoor or pool toys? Any must-haves I should check out for our next camping trip?