Reviews for Sports related

Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and Others Now Available! Ballpark Classics Hardwood Tabletop Game

Ballpark Classics

$279.00 at Ballpark Classics

Whether you and your grandchildren are in the heat of the baseball season and loving every moment of it, or muddling through the off-season, Ballpark Classics is a wonderful way to celebrate the game together indoors. Ballpark Classics is a finely crafted 3-dimensional hardwood game resembling a ballpark and equipped to simulate just about any scenario possible between pitcher and batter. Fastballs, sliders, walks, strikeouts, home runs — anything’s possible! The “pitching pipe” allows you to adjust your thumb and fingers to throw different types of pitches — and as with any game, practice makes perfect. When hitting, there is a mechanism that actually lets you feel the ball hitting your bat, so whether you hit a single (through a gate in the fence), or a home run (over the fence or back up the pitching pipe), you can actually experience the satisfaction of it as you might experience it playing the actual game in an actual park. The game is fast-paced and realistic, which makes it appealing to the younger generations (great for kids 8 and up). And older generations love the heart and soul that was clearly put into the design of Ballpark Classics — it takes just one look to realize that a long-time baseball fan conceived it. In fact, Doug Strohm developed the first version of the game as a teenager in 1976. Thousands of hours of product development time have passed and what you have is a beautifully nostalgic game with a design inspired by some of our country’s beloved ballparks. It even includes some vintage advertisement decals so you can personalize your park. There are no batteries or electricity needed, and it’s made in USA! So connect with your family members face-to-face, and enjoy America’s great pastime year-round. And as of Spring 2009, you can now special order some of your favorite ballparks! Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium and Busch Stadium. Surprise the baseball fans in your life — not just for grandkids!

 

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Grandmother Invented “CARES – Kids Fly Safe” Airline Child Safety Harness is Lightweight and FAA Approved

CARES - Kids Fly Safe

$74.95 at Kids Fly Safe

First of all, we love the entrepreneurial success story behind this product. Louise Stall, the inventor of CARES — Kids Fly Safe airline safety harness, is a grandmother of 9 who was inspired to make airplane travel safer for her own grandchildren and for all young children. As she watched her own kids struggle to fly with her small grandchildren, Louise recognized a problem that most of us have encountered. Normal airline seat belts are not safe for toddlers and preschoolers, and it’s nearly impossible to lug a car seat onto the plane along with carry-ons and children themselves. Sketches and work to file for a patent eventually led to a partnership with AmSafe who also manufactures most of the airline seat belts found on today’s flights. After 4 years of developing and testing the prototypes for safety, the FAA certified the CARES system as the first and only alternative to car seats allowed on planes. The best thing about the CARES system, aside from peace of mind, is that it weighs just one pound. It’s packaged in a small nylon travel pouch with an instructional dvd and a safety card similar to the one found on airplanes. It can fit easily in a carry-on bag or can even be carried by your grandchild. When installed, the restraint system itself looks similar to a 5-point harness system used in an infant or toddler/convertible car seat. It should be noted that installation varies slightly depending on the type of airline seats and tray tables on the plane (and this is clearly diagrammed on the instructional safety card). On seats with a “non-recessed” tray table the CARES is installed under the tray table of the person behind you (allowing that person to use the tray table). Thus the CARES can be used throughout the entire flight. On seats where the with a “recessed” tray table, the CARES is installed over the tray table, thus it can only be used during taxi, takeoff and landing. Cares is designed for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. Louise and her family-run business suggest that airlines should be required to carry and offer the CARES restraint to any child flying with them who fits that profile — and that sounds good to us. In the meantime, if you have grandchildren who fall in that range consider presenting them (and their parents!) with this gift of safety and convenience, invented and brought to market by a concerned and industrious grandparent — bravo!

 

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Kettler Balance Bike: A Great First Bike & Alternative Set of “Training Wheels”

Kettler Balance Bike

$119.99 at Amazon.com

If you’re thinking about getting your young grandchild a tricycle or small bicycle with training wheels, you may want to consider this Balance Bike, or training bike, as an alternative. Balance bikes have been popular in Europe for many years and have recently become popular in the U.S. They’re a really smart and safe way for children to learn to ride bikes, balancing themselves as they would on real two-wheelers, scooting around without pedals and chains getting in their way, and using their feet as guides. You can find balance bikes in different styles and price-ranges. This one by Kettler is a nice quality bike, yet more moderately priced than other brands and models. It has some nice features, such as a lengthened, padded, adjustable seat, Euro-style wheel and spoke covers (so shoelaces don’t get snagged), front and rear mud guards, and a patented “limited turning radius,” to avoid tipping. Great for children ages 2-6.

 

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Smart Cycle by Fisher-Price is Mind and Body Exercise for Kids

Smart Cycle

$89.99 at Amazon.com

Finally, a video game system that promotes physical as well as mental exercise! Yes, there’s the Wii system for older children, but the Smart Cycle by Fisher-Price is specifically designed for 3-6 year-olds — an age group that really needs to expend energy, regardless of the weather outside. The Smart Cycle “physical learning arcade system” plugs right into the TV, where your grandchildren can ride their onscreen car through virtual environments by pedaling (to keep the car moving) and steering (with the cycle’s handlebars), making sharp turns and negotiating other obstacles, while “catching” letters of the alphabet along the way. The Smart Cycle also has a console with buttons and joysticks (both sized and positioned appropriately for this age group) to play other games. It comes with a few games (on one cartridge), including “Math Mountain,” which reviews numbers, and “Shape Lake,” which introduces different shapes. Also included are a car racing game that allows 2 children to play at the same time, and a “creative journal” in which your grandchildren can create pictures of their travels. Of course, there are other game cartridges available for purchase, including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and other common characters. Regardless, there are plenty of essential skills that can be learned from these games, and along with the indoor exercise it offers, the Smart Cycle is an overall plus. It should be a big hit with your grandchildren, and Parenting Magazine agrees, having chosen it as one of their Best Toys of 2007.

 

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Award Winning Game Hyper Dash “Dashes” to the Top of the Toy Charts

Wild Planet Hyper Dash

$19.99 at Amazon.com

What an incredible way to get kids (ages 7-10) to challenge themselves both physically and mentally! We’re not surprised that Wild Planet’s game Hyper Dash has won several awards, including an iParenting “outstanding product” award. Kids set up five different colored targets wherever they want (as far apart as they want), inside or outside. Then they hold an electronic “tagger” that calls out which targets you need to hit, while also playing energizing music to encourage them to go as fast as they can through their “course.” There are four different skill levels, with the first calling out certain colored targets to be tagged, up to level four where they need to solve an addition or subtraction problem in order to know how many targets to hit. There are also other play modes, such as “micro dash,” a memory game, and multi-player mode, promoting teamwork — although the game is equally as fun being played solo or head-to-head. Loads of fast-paced fun!

 

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Revolutionary New Wheely Bug Ride-On Toy by Prince Lionheart

Wheely Bug-Small

$69.95 at Amazon.com

The revolutionary features of this new ride Wheely Bug toy by Prince Lionheart are its multi-directional casters and its padded seat. Why hasn’t this been done before? The caster wheels enable toddlers (ages 1-3) to go forward, backward, sideways, and around in circles — no more getting jammed up by domestic obstacles! The soft seat (love it!) is filled with non-compressible foam and padded with a layer of soft sponge, then coated with non toxic polyurethane so that it can be wiped clean. It’s also nice to know that the plywood base is made from renewable timber. This ladybug is one of the small Wheely Bug models for toddlers (also see the bumblebee or cow), and a larger version (for 3-5 year olds) is also available. The Wheely Bug’s quiet ride is ideal for smooth level floors but can be used outdoors as well. It was researched and developed in childcare centers and designed for “industrial use.” So it can withstand whatever your little explorer has in store!

 

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Alex Monkey Balance Board is Fun Inside or Out

Alex Monkey Balance Board

$17.45 at Amazon.com

This Alex Monkey Balance Board is a great “active” toy for girls and boys that encourages physical activity either inside or out. It builds leg strength and balancing skills, and is just the right size for little feet (ages 3-6). The wooden board is solid and sturdy with no weight limit, and is adorned with an adorable monkey. Perfect activity for a rainy day, and equally as fun outside.

 

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The Domino Effect: Build Excitement Indoors with Kids Domino Race Set

Domino Race Set

$29.98 at Amazon.com

We always wanted one of these domino race sets! And if your grandchildren (ages 3 and older) are so lucky as to receive this present, they’ll understand that some of the simplest things — such as small wooden dominoes — can also be some of the most exciting. Using this domino set, they can building excitement indoors by designing dozens of imaginative knock-down chain reactions. This colorful kids domino race set includes 250 wooden dominoes and 21 accessories, such as: stairways, a chime, ball, gutter, pinwheel and finishing bell!

 

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Play Ping-Pong, Air Hockey & Pool with 3-in-1 Game Table

3-in-1 Game Table

$89.98 at Highlights Catalogue

This 3-in-1 Game Table is just the right addition for a basement or large playroom. Three beloved indoor games (ping-pong, air hockey, and pool) all combined in one table! The play surfaces slide in and out of place in seconds. The pool game includes balls, two cues, a triangle and chalk. Air hockey includes 2 pucks and pushers, and ping-pong includes 2 paddles, balls, and a net. The table is reasonably sized but not too big, measuring 36″ x 20″ x 9″. This will definitely keep the grandkids busy on a rainy day, and for this gift, you will instantly be named a “champion!”

 

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Protection from the Elements: Waterproof iPod Case

Waterproof Case for 2nd Generation iPod Nano

$8.50 at Amazon.com

Remember making sure your kids and grandkids were dressed appropriately for all kinds of weather? Now you can still offer that same protection — for their iPods. Chances are their iPod is their prized possession, and many of you may have purchased it for them. We bet you’ve already vowed not to buy another if it gets damaged… so why not protect it with this waterproof iPod case. In addition to protection from water damage, it also protects the delicate equipment from falls, dust, dirt and sand. The belt clip helps manage headphone wires.

 

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