Tag Archives: outdoor play

Spring into Play With Step2’s New 2014 Toys

Products provide hours of creative outdoor fun all season long

STREETSBORO, Ohio – February 12, 2014 – Spring is in the air and the Step2 Company is delivering new products that will make little ones eager to play outside. From new water and sand tables to climbers and light-up basketball sets, Step2’s new spring line is designed to enrich imaginations and expand creativity.

“Since day one, our mission has been to develop safe, top-notch products that allow children to explore, discover, create, pretend and build greater social skills.  Our new products stay true to this mission,” explains Jerry McDermott, Step2’s chief marketing officer. “Step2 toys are focused on helping kids develop what they need to be healthy and happy contributors to our world.”

With features that encourage simple play and complex learning, Step2’s newest spring products nurture the mind, body and heart of children. Water and sand tables offer updated features for open water play that stimulate the senses and encourage imaginative play. Step2®’s newest climbers, playhouses and light-it-up basketball sets promote physical activity and multi-kid play!

Step2 is turning up the fun and helping children build social and motor skills with these new toys that create enjoyable play experiences for everyone.

  • Wild Whirlpool Water Table™: Imagine the adventures children will encounter with this water table.  The power of the spinning wheel creates a water vortex that takes children to a wet and wild world that includes sea creatures and a boat. (MSRP $39.99)
  • Water Works Water Table™: Children will watch and explore the workings of chain reactions while having fun with the Water Works Water Table™. Water pours through the center funnel and filters into various outlets allowing children to use the accessories to carve new paths for the water. (MSRP $39.99; Target Exclusive)
  • Duck Pond Water Table™: This playful water table will turn your backyard into a day at the park. Children will laugh in delight as they take turns sending the ducks down the slide and launching the frog into the pond! (MSRP $34.99)
  • High Seas Adventure Sand & Water Table with Umbrella™: Imaginations will run wild as children take on a high-seas sailing adventure with this new sand and water table. Kids will take turns powering the water-propelled ship while sending the pirate figures off the plank! (MSRP $69.99)
  • Sand Castle Play Table™: Build sand castles right in your backyard with this play table. The elevated sand table provides hours of creative fun all season long allowing children to develop fine motor skills to dig, build and knock down their sand creations! (MSRP $39.99; Target Exclusive)

With spring ushering in warm weather, climbers and playhouses are sure to be provide an environment that encourages physical activity while inspiring imaginative play!

  • The Alpine Ridge Climber and Slide™ (MSRP $299.99; Toys“R”Us Exclusive) is the perfect climber for active kids who enjoy climbing wall adventures. The five climbing walls complete with grips, holes and steps to assist your climber will promote coordination, balance and strength during active play!
  • Meanwhile, children will be in awe as they roll the colorful balls through the zig-zag maze into the ball pit on the Play Ball Fun Climber™ (MSRP $99.99). The Great Outdoors Playhouse™ (MSRP $199.99; Toys“R”Us Exclusive) features a large open floor plan for all-around play. Complete with working water pump and paddle wheel, grill, mail slot, bird house and flower box, this playhouse will have your kids eager to move in!

Additionally, Step2 is introducing two new basketball sets.  Kids will want to show off their skills in front of mom and dad as they elevate their game and take it to the hoop with the Light-It-Up Junior Basketball Set™ (MSRP $49.99) and Light-It-Up Pro Basketball Set™ (MSRP $59.99) available at Toys“R”Us stores and online. Featuring a large backboard, electronic light-up rainbow rim with sound, real woven net and expandable rim and pole, these basketball sets support gross motor skill development and are designed to grow with your child.

Made in America and backed by a three-year warranty, the new spring products are available for purchase at Step2.com and select retailers including Target, Walmart and Toys”R”Us. For more information, visit www.Step2.com.

 

Halloween Giveaway: Win a Wagon and Safety Sam

The ghosts and goblins will come out to play in a few weeks and what better way to trick to treat than in a wagon from Step2? Step2 is giving away a wagon to one lucky reader just in time for Halloween. Turn it into a chariot, a monkey bed, or even Harry & Lloyd’s Mutt Cutts van!

Step2HalloweenGiveaway_October2013

Plus, to continue their campaign for outdoor play safety, Step2 is adding a Safety Sam (also known as the KidAlert! V.W.S) to the prize bundle. According to Safe Kids, Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for children under 14 to walk. Unfortunately, children are four times more likely to be killed while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year. Step2′s Safety Sam is trying his best to keep neighborhoods and children safe, but we need to continue to spread the word about children pedestrian safety. Educating our children about outdoor play safety and notifying drivers that there are children walking and playing on around the area are two important ways to keep them safe while playing outdoors. Check out additional Halloween safety tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention here.

Enter to win this prize package valued at up to $196 using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway open to the residents of the 48 contiguous US states, ages 18+. Ends 10/20/13 at 11:59 PM EST. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 12:00AM ET on 10/21/13. 1 winner will be selected at that time and winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours. Winner will receive a Safety Sam and may select a wagon currently in stock at Step2.com. Step2 cannot guarantee delivery by Halloween. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send an email to thestep2team@gmail.com.

New Toys, New Campaign at Toy Fair 2013

The Step2 Company, LLC. showcased new products for spring and fall 2013 at the Toy Industry Association Toy Fair 2013 in New York City February 10-13. Proudly displaying photographs of the Everybody Plays photo shoot by photographer and best-selling author Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things. The Step2/Infantino booth showcased fun, excitement and, of course, creative play.

Photos taken by Kelle Hampton during EverybodyPlays Photoshoot

On display from our new spring line was a mix of versatile outdoor toys. The Fixin’ Fun Outdoor Grill™ is a stone oven barbeque grill that can be used for indoor play or outside as “me too” play. It features grill knobs that make real “clicking” sounds, plenty of counter space to prepare “meals,” and a realistic “lift up” grill lid. Plus, a molded-in side burner creates an extra cooking area.

Included with the grill is a 10 piece Stack ‘n Stay Hot Dog Set. Two additional accessory sets can be purchased separately – the Stack ‘n Stay S’mores and Stack ‘N Stay Hamburgers. Designed to help with gross motor skills, these unique play food sets have grooves so they stack and stay together.

Step2 Fixin Fun Outdoor Grill and Stack 'N Stay Sets

Also new for 2013 is the Fun & Sun Climber & Sandbox. This 2-in-1 climber and elevated sandbox is great for small outdoor spaces and gives children a place to climb, slide and be active as well as a small sand area for sensory play. Children can pour sand in the cascade accessories and watch the sand flow. Included is a protective lid, a shovel for digging and a drain plug making for easy clean-up.

Step2 Fun & Sun Climber & Sandbox

The featured spring item at Toy Fair this year was the Easy Turn Coupe. To celebrate the launch of this new little car, Step2 displayed this toy front and center as guests entered Booth #437.

After conducting extensive research with moms and dads, we found that our customers wanted a few new features when it came to their child’s play car. This included a see-through roof to keep an eye on their child while at play, a handle to easily push the car, and a better turning radius for all of those tight squeezes around the couches and kitchen table neighborhood. We also added a removable floor board so little feet are protected when mom is pushing, cup holders for both mom and child, and fun features included a gas cap, ignition key, and working horn.

Step2 Easy Turn Coupe Toy Fair 2013

In conjunction with the Easy Turn Coupe launch at Toy Fair, Step2 is launching a new campaign entitled I {heart} Easy Turn Coupe on the Step2 Facebook page.

Step2 focuses its charitable efforts on programs designed to enhance the health and education of children while enriching their lives and their family experience. It is that mission that has made The Saving tiny hearts Society (StHS), an organization that funds life-saving grass roots research of congenital heart defects (CHD’s), a non-profit that Step2 has supported for many years.

Several years ago, Step2 learned that CHD’s are America’s #1 birth defect affecting over 40,000 babies every year. With that type of statistic, it should have come as no surprise when one of Step2’s own, Tena Crock, was impacted by a CHD.

At her 20 week ultrasound appointment, Crock believed that the biggest news she would receive that day was the gender of the little miracle growing in her tummy. Instead, she learned that her son had a complex CHD, double inlet left ventricle (single ventricle) among other issues. Because of the established relationship, Crock was able to reach out to the founders of StHS who offered her support and information while educating her about their important research efforts.

Crock’s son underwent three heart surgeries and one heart catheterization in the first 7 months of life. He will have one more surgery before he is school aged, but for now, he is a happy and healthy toddler, enjoying the toys that Mommy brings him home from work.

Easy Turn Coupe Facebook Tab

Step2 would like to continue its support of the StHS with our “I {heart} Easy Turn Coupe” campaign. We invite you to watch a quick video on the Easy Turn Coupe and tell us what feature you {heart} most about it. For every comment received on the Easy Turn Coupe Facebook tab, Step2 will make a $1 donation to StHS (up to $10,000). You can submit your comment now through  April 6, 2013.

About TIA |Toy Fair

Celebrating its 110th year, the annual American International Toy Fair® is the largest toy and youth product marketplace in the Western Hemisphere, bringing together more than 1,000 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers and sales agents from around the globe to showcase their toy and entertainment products. The Step2 Company has exhibited at Toy Fair for 18 years. In addition to NY Toy Fair, Step2 also exhibits annually at International Toy Fair Nürnberg.

Step2 Booth at NY toy Fair 2013

Staying Active in the Fall

Finding ways to keep kids active during the fall can be a challenge. During the summer, children enjoy playing in the pool and being outdoors, soaking up the sun and fun daily. As school starts and the weather cools, as parents, we can easily forget about all that outdoor active play has to offer.  According to Health.com, there are simple ways to keep your children active during autumn.

  • Encourage them to play outside during the weekends or after school during the week
  • Remind them to use their playhouses and swing sets to increase their levels of activity
  • Find a kid friendly class in the community that requires physical activity
  • Go on a hike during the weekend – don’t forget to bring your wagon to collect leaves and rocks
  • Turn simple chores into active play – turn on the music and ask them to sweep up the kitchen floor with the beat

 

Teaching your children the importance of staying active will help to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits.  What tips do you have when it comes to keeping your children active during autumn?

Ways to Get Children Passionate about the Outdoors

It is no secret that children today have higher rates of obesity than ever before, that time playing video games or on the computer have usurped the place of outdoor activities, and that kids are missing out on crucial element of life: the carelessness and joy that comes from playing outdoors. Here are a few ways that you can get your kids more interested in playing outside:

If you have a backyard, make it a place that your kids want to retreat to. Here are a few ways to make your backyard kid-friendly and appealing:

  • Build a playhouse. Not only do kids love playing house, you can also use the playhouse as a storage space for extra toys. A children outdoor play set – such as a small kitchen or dollhouse – can also be stored in the playhouse.
  • Build a tree house. Imagine an afternoon of reading and sipping lemonade (or even having lunch) out in a tree house.
  • Get a climber and slide, or a swing set, for your backyard. You could even consider putting a sandbox at the base of the slide; young kids love playing in the sand and making sculptures. Kids also love swinging; sometimes it even sparks creativity or ideas for school assignments.
  • If your kids like have friends over often, get them to put on a talent show with various skits, dances, comedic acts, etc. Make it a requirement to host their talent show in your backyard.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a backyard, or if you’d rather venture further, here are some other ideas to get your children passionate about the outdoors:

  • Visit a nature center or arboretum. Take photographs of various plants, insects, trees and flowers, noting their species and name. You can also pick leaves and dry them in the microwave, and then preserve them in a notebook collection. The next time you are outdoors, your kids will start to spot and recognize these plants. Visiting arboretums throughout the year can also get your children to appreciate seasons, as they start to become familiar with the different types of flowers that bloom and when.
  • Start a collection of “nature items.” This can include seashells from your last beach vacation, pine cones found at the park, or uniquely shaped rocks or stones found at the pond.
  • Play at the park: fly kites, play Frisbee, four-square, tag, hide-and-seek or on a swing set.
  • Invest in bicycles. Once your children are confident riding a bike, you can ride to the park.

Tips for Getting Your Outdoor Step2 Products Ready for Summer Fun

The kids are almost out of school, temperatures are rising all across the country, and outdoor toys are being brought back outside. This means one thing – Summer is almost here!

At Step2, safety is our number one priority; so we’ve devised some tips for getting your outdoor Step2 products ready for summer fun.

Outdoor Toys

Wagons & Ride-Ons

  • Review assembly instructions [available on all product pages (example)] to verify products meet all safety requirements as installed
  • Check seat belts on wagons and ride-ons to insure that they are secure, the buckles function and the fabric is not weathered or damaged
  • Look for signs of excess wear on wagon and ride on wheels
  • Check for bent axles or casters
  • Look for cracking on any handles

 

Swings & Climbing Equipment

  • Review assembly instructions to verify products meet all safety requirements as installed
  • Check for obstacles around home playground equipment  (there should be a minimum of 6 ½ feet clearance around the perimeter of the equipment)
  • Check all hardware on climbing & swing set equipment to make sure they are tight and make sure anchors are in place and beneath surface level
  • Check swing ropes on climber/swing sets to insure they are in good condition with no signs of fraying or rotting from sun/weather exposure. If you see signs of wear, please call Step2 at 1-800-347-8372 to order a swing replacement kit.

 

Sand & Water Products

  • Make sure sandbox lids are intact to keep sand clean and critters out
  • Check umbrellas for proper installation, function and fit.  Check umbrellas for exposed metal tips or torn fabric.  Remove damaged umbrella from use.
  • Check all sand & water product plugs for wear and make sure they are inserted all the way to prevent leakage

 

Additional Outdoor Toys

  • Review assembly instructions to verify products meet all safety requirements as installed
  • Check to see if basketball/football bases are properly weighted with sand or water
  • Check for cracks in any plastic toy before use
  • Products can be washed with a mild soap & water
  • Use Armor All®* to shine up your Step2 mailbox or playhouse after washing (not recommended for use on climbing/swing equipment for safety reasons)

 

Replacement parts & decals to spruce up your products (with exception to some discontinued products) are available at reasonable prices by calling us toll free at 1-800-347.8372 Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM ET.

*Armor All® is a registered trademark of Armor All Group