Tag Archives: water table

Backyard Obstacle Course

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Are you and your kids ready to splash, run, crawl, jump and shoot? In honor of Backyard Games Week we decided to create an obstacle course at our HQs that you can recreate in your own backyard. This obstacle course is perfect for Memorial Day Weekend because it will keep toddlers and preschoolers busy during barbecues. All you need is seven materials and you’ll be done in six easy steps, so let’s get started.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  1. Write “START” in chalk near your child’s water table.
  2. Place number stickers on the bottom of the water toys that are floating around in the activity table. When your toddlers pick up one of the water toys, ask them to flip it over to find a number. This number will be used at the end of the obstacle course. For this part of the activity, we made the numbers out of colored tape and put them on the bottom of rubber ducks.
  3. Create arrows to lead preschoolers and toddlers to the different parts of the obstacle course. We taped duct tape to the grass to create the arrows (this step is optional).
  4. Push two cattails or chopsticks into the ground parallel to one another 30 to 40 inches apart. Bend the pool noodles slightly and slide each side onto the sticks. Repeat this step until you have a noodle tunnel for kids to crawl through.
  5. With your leftover noodles, make a “ladder” to lie on the ground. Cut a pool noodle into three parts to create the bars and tape them to two longer parallel noodles. Kids can crawl the ladder after exiting the tunnel or they can get up and jump over the bars of the ladder like a game of hopscotch.
  6. Write “FINISH” near the basketball hoop. Remember the toy from the water table with the number on the bottom? Whichever number was on the toy is how many baskets little sports lovers should to try to make to finish the obstacle course.

backyard obstacle course instructions

This backyard adventure encourages kids to spend time outside and benefits their minds and bodies. We hope you and your family have just as much fun creating this activity as you will have playing with it.

Have you ever created a backyard obstacle course? If so, we would love to hear your ideas and stories!

Manufacturer’s Note: Please make sure children are the recommended age to play with the products featured in this blog post.

Step2’s Award Winning Year

2012 has been a year of success for Step2 products. We are grateful for our loyal customers who help us to thrive and continue to create innovative toys for toddlers. In 2012 were many awards won by our new products that came out in the spring and fall. Let’s take a look at the winning toys:

My Clubhouse: This realistic wooden-looking clubhouse is a child’s dream come true! PAL (Play on Words) awarded My Clubhouse with their PAL Award in 2012. It is award given to toys based on products that encourage language, spark fun, and invite creative play. My clubhouse has plenty of features such as a peephole, chalkboard, picnic table, and secret hiding compartment.

 

Easy Steer Sportster: The perfect modern ride-on with 360 degree steering. The Easy Steer Sportster was award the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval. This is an independent program that involves testing of parent/child products in the market. The testing goes on for an eight week period and is conducted by volunteers consisting of parents, children, and educators. The volunteers judge the quality of the toys and reaction children have to the products.

In addition, the Easy Steer Sportster also received the Award of Excellence from The Noise on Toys.  Toys are tested and evaluated by families for two months.  Testers are given a journal to document the initial reaction and satisfaction of the toy and continue to take notes on the long term reaction.  The Easy Steer Sportster is unique for its whisper wheels which provide a smooth ride, cup holder for parents near the handle, and the handle folds under for easy storage.

Fort Slide-Away: This fun and multi-function slide was award the PAL  Award. The fort attached to the slide is a great hiding and hang out area for kids. Parents can still see into the fort through the mesh. This way they can keep tabs on their little ones.

My Own Laundry:  The pretend washer and accessories are perfect for kids that want to imitate their parents. Because of this, it was award the PAL Award. The My Own Laundry helps children to use their imaginations and pretend they are washing clothes, ironing, and hanging them. The accessories such at the hangers, iron, and spray bottle help the washer to come alive even more.

Big Splash Waterpark: Staying cool and entertained during the summer is easy when kids when the Big Splash Waterpark. Between easy assembly and tons of enjoyable features including, a waterslide, waterwheel, multi-level pool, two swimmers, and a diving board- the fun never ends.  For these reasons, the Big Splash Waterpark received the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.

Creative Cooks Kitchen:  With a large design, bright colors, and realistic accessories, it is no surprise why children and parents alike enjoy the Creative Cooks Kitchen. It received the Noise on Toys Gold Choice Award.  The Gold and Platinum Awards are very special because only 1 in 10 toys merit these awards. Only 8% of toys on The Noise on Toys receives gold.

All Around Wagon:  With silent wheels, plenty of room, seats flip into flat bed, seat or table, and six cup and snack holders make the

All Around Wagon is a perfect wagon for children. All of the wagon’s qualities helped it to receive the Award of Excellence from The Noise on Toys.

In addition to receiving this prestigious award, the All Around Wagon also received the PAL Award.

 

All Around Easel for Two: This easel is educational, artistic, and hours of fun for children. The All Around Easel for Two inspires creativity in kids. The All Around Easel for Two won the Award of Excellence from The Noise on Toys. Parents and children that tested the easel appreciated that many children could play with the toy at the same time.

We are honored by these awards and want to send a special thank you to The Noise on Toys, Play on Words, and the National Parenting Center.

Stay tuned for new Spring 2013 products hitting the shelves soon!

Introducing Your Children to Water Activities

Children love to play in water. Some take to it faster than others, splashing in the bathtub even before they can sit up on their own. For others water play is an acquired taste, but it is one more opportunity to learn and experience the world around them.

Playing in the sand is also popular with toddlers and preschoolers, and playing with sand and water together can open up whole new worlds to young children who can use these simple materials as a means to fuel their imagination and explore their world.

Traditionally, small children have been introduced to sand and water play through sandboxes. Many parents may even remember playing in the sandbox themselves, but sitting in the sand, especially with other children still in diapers may not be the most hygienic choice for playing in the sand.

Instead, children can play at a sand and water table and get all the benefits older generations had in the sandbox without the increased risk of bladder infections or other health issues. While some precautions can be taken, standing at a sand and water table is a healthier choice and just as much fun.

Sand and water tables come in a variety of different styles with different levels of functionality. A sand and water table can be simply elevated sandbox, or full-fledged activity center toy. Children can use features such as a waterwheel, shovels, buckets, spoons, and molds for hours of fun.

Sand and water play can help develop both fine and large motor skills, a sense of balance, and help build social skills. It’s also been shown to have a calming effect on preschoolers- something any caregiver can appreciate from time to time.

Parents and caregivers can get in on the fun too, as they help toddlers pour water throughout the water wheel or dig rivers in the sand. However, after very little guidance, children are likely to take over with their own ideas on how to get the most fun out of their activity center toy.

Whether they are using this as a backyard toy or it as part of a daycare environment children will love playing at their sand and water table. It provides the right blend of imagination and structure to help children develop important skills, while at the same time they are simply enjoying themselves. And isn’t that what childhood is all about?