ADVERTISEMENT: 4 Great Little Tikes Toys to Keep Kids Moving
Posted by Hillary Fields
Once upon a time, all toys were “active play,” but these days many toys and games don’t encourage kids to run about, practice their all-important motor skills and get the physical activity they need to grow up strong and healthy. So here are a few great suggestions for active play toys from Little Tikes that keep tots engaged, giggling, and bouncing about like the energetic toddlers they’re meant to be.
The Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike
What it is: When it says 3-in-1, this trike isn’t kidding. It grows with your child, letting little beginners from 9 months and up start to become confident cyclists. Stage 1 lets Mom or Dad push while Junior gets used to the ride. Stage 2 kicks in when they’re ready, letting parents step back a bit while their tot tries out his or her new skills, building coordination, pumping those legs and expending some of that boundless energy. Stage 3 is when your little one takes control, powering the trike all on their own and gaining confidence, strength and independence.
Who it’s for: Suitable for children 9 to 36 months.
Why it’s fun: Our test mom (and her two 18-month-olds) loved the sturdiness and versatility of this trike. With bright colors suited to both boys and girls, a removable sunshade, adjustable seat to fit growing kids and a detachable push handle, the Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike has a lot of appeal for both parent and child. It also features non-slip pedals, a 5-point seatbelt harness and a protective safety bar, so toddlers can test their wings without fear of boo-boos. The attached storage bucket and beverage holder make it super convenient to take out to the park without toting along a stroller too.
What makes it active: The Little Tikes 3-in-1 Trike encourages little ones to get their heart rates up, strengthen their leg muscles and improve coordination, getting out in the fresh air rather than sitting passively in front of a screen.
Little Tikes Activity Garden
What it is: An exciting adventure for infants and tots, the Little Tikes Activity Garden lets wee ones engage with their environment and improve motor skills. There are tons of interactive bits, from a slide to crawl through to mirrored play panels, a learning clock, ball shaker, moveable friendly-looking bugs, and best of all, a telephone that charmingly chirps “hello!” to your bambino (and teaches numbers and phrases in three languages!). As children grow too big to sit within the enclosure, it opens out into a two-sided play center to accommodate more active play.
Who it’s for: Suitable for children 6 – 36 months.
Why it’s fun: Our test mom absolutely raved about this one. Her toddlers adored the crawl-through obstacle course, and she was happy to see it was sturdy enough to hold up to very active play indeed. From the shape-sorting mailbox and moving telescope to the swing-able shutters and tap-a-tune door chimes, there was more than enough to keep her kids lively and exploring.
What makes it active: The littlest babes will begin fine-tuning their motor skills by reaching out to interact with the many bells and whistles of this engaging toy. Growing toddlers begin to crawl all through it, over it, around it, you name it. The Little Tikes Activity Garden will keep them occupied – actively – for hours.
Little Tikes Clearly Sports Golf
What it is: Kids don’t have to be teeny Tiger Woodses to take a whack at this engaging toy. Includes tee, hole, and an oversized see-through “club” that stores the included colorful golf balls.
Who it’s for: Perfect for kids 2 and up.
Why it’s fun: We like the lotto-ball effect of the oversized golf club/ball container, which rattles and clatters engagingly when full. The trigger releases the colorful balls one at a time and lets your tot push them back inside (and work on those fine motor skills) once she’s made a hole in one. Littler ones may have more fun collecting the balls in the club container and releasing them to chase around, or just balancing them on the tee, but as they grow (with Mom or Dad’s help) they’ll get the hang of the game.
What makes it active: While toddlers take a swing or three, they improve hand-eye coordination and get physically engaged chasing the balls around. Even “clean up” is a game of its own!
Little Tikes Clearly Sports Baseball
What it is: It’s never too early to get junior involved in the iconic American pastime. Your two-year-old may not be quite ready for Little League, but the colorful balls, giant see-through bat and sturdy tee for beginners capture toddlers’ attention, fire their imagination, and let them start swinging for the fence (or sandbox) with gusto.
Who it’s for: Suitable for children 9 to 36 months.
Why it’s fun: One of the neatest parts about this Little Tikes Active Toy is the stabilizing tee. The littlest ones may enjoy just balancing the balls on top, while older tots like the way it lets them really haul off and swing. We also appreciated the storage aspect of the bat – not only do you not lose the balls, they provide weight and clatter around inside to entertain your little one. Some may spend more time dropping the balls into the bat and taking them out again than playing the game itself, but that’s all part of the fun.
What makes it active: Like Little Tikes Clearly Sports™ Golf, this baseball kit gives your tot a workout whacking away at baseballs, chasing them down, and improving their coordination and motor skills.
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