Help me with your toy suggestions

Biggie had a friend over to play this afternoon. It was lovely weather so I was a bit shocked when they asked if they could watch television!! What????? I said in disbelief. I said OK but luckily they changed their minds and went to dig up clay out of the garden.

Earlier in the day I was cleaning out our shed and really thinking about the piles of junk we have. Broken faded bits of plastic toys that we bought when Biggie was a baby. Useless torn string rackets. Skipping ropes with no handles or handles that fall off when you start skipping. Soft half deflated balls ... It's grim.

Poor kids, no wonder they are always standing the kitchen door trying to get in. They haven't got a decent toy between them. So my question is What toy or game for outdoor play has really stood the test of time in your family? Survived to be handed down to younger siblings? Made it through the odd rainstorm? Passed the rigorous tests of experimental kids? Stood up to hot beating down sun? Been an all-round crowd pleaser?

For us it's this tricycle which Biggie got for his 2nd or 3rd birthday. It's a Danish brand, Winther, made from strong rust-proof steel. It's regularly left in the rain by my kids, often filled with dirt, stones or garden clippings. They love to both get on at the same time, I've even seen my husband riding it!! It's indestructible and was well worth the hefty price tag (paid by doting grandparents 4 or 5 years ago). Visiting kids usually want to have a go. Biggie is 7 and quite tall but he can still ride it OK. Little Guy can do the pedals now.

It's payday today so I am on a quest. I need good solid *outdoor* toy recommendations from you! Help me survive another summer in Japan! My kids are close to 3 and coming up for 8. Both boys. We have plenty of paved play space - nice smooth concrete. And a fair amount of grass. We're not near the road. Kites are out and probably remote-controlled flying toys due to overhead power lines. I'd prefer battery-free toys that will encourage them to move. I don't mind them getting wet ...

In the meantime I will be searching the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for ideas. Thanks!


  1. We have a Winther-tricycle as well - naturally! :) The next thing we're getting will be a trampoline in the garden - not a tiny little thing, but a big one. It's quite popular in Denmark at the moment, my cousin has one, and it's an endless source of entertainment for everyone visiting as well as themselves. When was the last time you tried one? I tell you, it's SO MUCH FUN! I don't know the different brands, but if you have space for it, I would recommend a trampoline. :)

  2. Maybe you can build the boys a go-cart! hehe

  3. I thought you'd like that Astrid! Winther!
    I looked at trampolines last night ... tempting!

    Sal! a go-cart! we have the wheels off Biggie's old pram here and a book "how-to".

    Marianne - no, nada, never - I am not a dog person - look OK but keep, no! anymore suggestions?

  4. Not really a toy, but I always loved running through the water sprinklers in the back yard.... the kind that slowly fanned back and forth.

  5. How about a big plastic activity gym? One with places for climbing, a seat, and a slide. My boys used theirs for a hide-out, exercise, even a fort for action figures! They sometimes ate lunch on it as well. And the things are virtually indestructible! Our boys are grown, and we still have the gym in our yard!


I love your comments!
Thanks, I read each and every one of them!

I try to reply to all your comments, if you want to know what I and others say check :Email follow-up comments to ...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.