Super Summer Fun: End of Summer Fun for Everyone
By Jennifer Stein | 8/14/2014, 11:16 a.m.
This summer is not over yet! You can still rock the beaches, play in the park and read on road trips! There are so many pleasurable and positive products on the market these days that will not only make the end of summer sunnier but also help consumers enjoy it even more.
For parents and students, getting ready for school has never been so cool! STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) creates a new play space that students and the public in general are going to be hearing more and more about. Combining the STEM principles within games and toys equals awesome activities and educational excitement. We have a new category this year on the Super Summer Fun product guide dedicated to STEM because of its growing popularity and the push from schools to integrate it into the lives of youth.
Children as young as 3 are learning through new “smart” products. Science, robotics, technology and engineering construction activities can all be combined or done in separate activities. The sky is the limit for creativity when it comes to parents planning summer STEM projects with all the new items that are flooding the market.
The hottest trends, the coolest toys and most marvelous makeup are all explored below to ensure consumers know their choices and can make the best decisions when picking new products. So while the weather is warm, think about enhancing life your life and heating up your home with some of the latest, most innovative, creative and “funtastic” items.
Consumers should look both online and in stores for the best prices. In addition, when purchasing, remember to look at the suggested age manufactures list on a product. There is a reason it is on the packaging. It may be because of small parts or because the product can harm a child if swallowed.
All prices below are approximate.
Lovable for little ones
- Call and Chat Learning Phone 2-5 Vtech $12.99 Your children will learn letters, numbers and time while they play on this colorful, graphic-oriented, electronic, pretend cellphone.
- 4moms RockaRoo up to 25 pounds 4moms $159.99 This infant seat has a rocking horse motion, five-speed adjustability and is able to connect to an MP3 player.
- Nickelodeon “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Pale Cultivator, Trowel, Gripping Gloves Combo Pack 3+ Midwest Gloves and Gear $16.99 Take this superset to the beach, park or playground for digging, raking or flower-planting fun. midwestglove.com
- Snugabunny Cradle ’N Swing by Fisher-Price $139.99 With Smart Swing Technology, this Toys R Us exclusive has 16 songs, six speeds and an easy-to-wash seat cover.
- Zing Air Zano Bow 4+ Zing $12.99 Blast the two zarts indoors or outside up to 30 feet and hit the positive-themed target. Zingtoys.com
- Twinkling Firefly Frog 0+ Cloud∙B $34.95 The royal frog plays soothing sounds and has glowing lights in the tummy area. Kids will love their new extremely soft friend who can lull them to sleep. cloudb.com
- Nickelodeon “Dora the Explorer” Singing Star Guitar 3+ Fisher-Price $19.99 With more than 20 tunes, phrases and sounds in Spanish and English, this pink and purple “Dora”-themed girls guitar keeps kids giggling and rocking out. service.fisher-price.com
- Buggy Brites 3+ to play with (all ages for clip-on) Buggy Brites $12.99 Waterproof, BPA-, formaldehyde- and phthalate-free, this cool to the touch light-up glow caterpillar clips on to strollers to let people know a stroller is on the street at night. buggybrites.com
- Nickelodeon “Paw Patrol” Chase’s Cruiser 3+ Spin Master $11.88 This play set comes with a cool police car, Chase the Dog and emergency cones.
- Treasure Trax, the All-in-One Scavenger Hunt Game 3+ USAopoly $19.95 Find your animal friends around the house while you learn letters, directions and words.
Great for Girls
- “Dora the Explorer” Singing Star Microphone 3+ Fisher-Price $11.24 Sing with the real pink and purple microphone in English or Spanish to the prerecorded songs and phrases.
- Molly Nickelodeon “Bubble Guppies” Snap Dress Princess and Cowgirl Sets 18m+ Fisher-Price $10.99 Change Molly’s hair, clothing and accessories with these sensational play sets. NickJr.com
- Alpine Lodge 4+ Playmobil $76.99 The set comes with five figures, accessories galore and a detailed lodge with patio.
- Nickelodeon “Dora the Explorer” Ready to Explore Set 3+ Fisher-Price $18.94 Dora, Boots, Map and Backpack are all included in this easy to take-along set. The whole set fits easily into a small bag for travel time play.
- Playhouse by LEGO Duplo 3+ LEGO $59.99 The playhouse is three pretty stories of fun with changeable wallpaper!
- The Chill Factor 5+ Spin Master $14.99 Make your own slushies with ease in no time with this special cup.
- Maleficent Collection Fashion Doll 3+ Tolly Tots $49.99 This is a real doll collector’s doll with beautiful details and features.
- Celestia Jumbo Pink Unicorn Super Flopsie 3+ Aurora $48.99 At 27-inches long, this huge pink and purple unicorn with a fluffy tale is sure to be a hit!
- Littlest Pet Shop Style Set 6+ Hasbro $39.99 This set comes with more than 135 pieces, three exclusive pets, stickers, customizable wall panels and an awesome app.
Bold for Boys
- NERF Zombie Strike 8+ Hasbro $14.99 Four darts come with this small zombie-themed quick-draw blaster and holster. nerf.com
- Ionix Tenkai Knights Tenkai Action Pack 10501 6+ Spin Master $15.99 Create three minifigures of Bravenwolf, Leinad and HOS with more than 49 pieces! TenkaiKnights.com
- Wacky-Tivities Goozerk Sport 5+ Spin Master $12.99 These three squishy sports balls are colorful, make funky sounds and are easy to catch.
- Godzilla 5+ NECA $54.99 The roaring, detailed Godzilla has amazing articulation!
- Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon On-A-Roll MARSHALL 3+ Spin Master $24.99 The doghouse transforms into a real-sounding fire truck that Marshall can ride in to save the day.
- Fairground Mixer 12+ LEGO Creator $149.99 This huge set includes 12 mini figures, 1,700 pieces and a mini working fair.
- Ionix DreamWorks “How to Train Your Dragon 2” Toothless Giant Toothless Battle Set 8+ Spin Master $39.99 The set comes with a Toothless that you have to create. Make the scene and play, play, play!
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Raphael Helmet 5+ C Preme Limited, LLC $39.99 The bike helmet that has Raphael’s face and mask on it. Serious padding inside and cool graphics outside.
- Pokemon Gothitelle vs Reuniclus 4+ Tomy $6.99 Collect all the sets of these adorable mini collectable figures with ID tags. tomy.com
- Alpine Cable Car 6+ Playmobil $76.99 This interesting set contains four figures, two stations, awesome accessories and a working cable car.
- Nickelodeon “Dora,” “Bubble Guppies” or “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Giant Bubble Wand 3+ Little Kids $5.99 Create giant bubbles with your favorite characters.
- Y’all Ball 3+ Joint Merchant LLC $39.99 medium Soft Y’all Ball comes in an assortment of sizes and eye-catching colors. Play inside or out. email@example.com
- Djubi Dart Ball 8+ Aliquantum International Co. $19.99 Launch the Djubi ball at the net target and then keep score with a dry erase scoreboard. It is a game of skill—like darts but without the worry of sharp objects. Djubi.com
- “Bubble Guppies”-themed Beach Towel 0+ Franco Cotton $18.95 This 28-inch by 58-inch brightly colored character towel is wild for wet weekends!
- Fuze Bike Bubbler 3+ Skyrocket $14.95 Mount the bubble machine to a bike and see the magic or use without a bike to see bubbles fly. FuzeBikeFX.com
- X6 Zoom Rockets Six-shooter Launcher 8+ Zing $29.99 In a rapid revolving fire motion, blast six soft foam zoom rockets up to 100 feet in the air—all by air power! Stomp and watch the rockets zing through the air. Zingtoys.com
- Djubi Original 8+ Aliquantum International Co. $24.95 Launch the special ball up to 100-feet and catch it in a net that includes the launcher. Play in the pool or anywhere outdoors! Djubi.com
- Nickelodeon “Bubble Guppies” Molly Cuddle Pillow 3+ Funhouse $19.99 Molly is the beautiful Black mermaid from the “Bubble Guppies” series with pink hair and she makes the perfect pillow. She also is delightful room decor. NickJr.com
- Cyborg “Teen Titans” GO! 2+ Jazwares $11.99 DC Comics’ Cyborg is handsome, Black and part bot! This plush pal is easy to take on the go. Jazwares.com
- Bailey St. Bernard 3+ Mellissa and Doug MelissaAndDoug.com Baily is huggable, super squeezable and very endearing!
- Molly Nickelodeon “Bubble Guppies” Plush Doll 3+ 9-inches $14.99 SRI Molly the mermaid is Black with pink hair and a blue tale. She is happy and inviting.
- Perched Eagle 3+ Folkmanis $35.99 Majestic and realistic, this pretty puppet is perfect for play!
- “Paw Patrol” Pup Pals by Nickelodeon 2+ Spin Master $7.81 Marshall the Fire Dog and Chase the Police Dog are soft miniature plush pals to take along on any adventure.
- SmartBall Jr., the O Ball 2+ Physical Apps $39.95 Made in the USA for physical techno fun, the O Ball, through the app downloaded to your Apple device, allows players to play games, learn letters and numbers and sing and dance to family favorites. Technology and sports come together perfectly in this innovative product. PhysicalApps.com
- Electricity and Magnetism 8+ Thames and Kosmos $59.95 Play with more than 60 experiments with circuits and magnetic contraptions.
- MiP 8+ Wow Wee $99.99 Mip the robot is your fully interactive friend. It has seven functions out of the box and can be hooked up to a phone to control through an app. The GestureSense technology, attachable tray and its ability to navigate its surrounding make it “STEM-tacular”! wowwee.com
- The Sick Science Collection Volume I Steve Spangler Science 8+ $149.99 This huge science kit collection is the perfect present for the curious kid.
- Physics Pro 10+ Thames and Kosmos $99.95 Take physics one step further with this all inclusive kit with more than 213 parts.
- Molecule Madness 7+ Thames and Kosmos $9.95 Make mushy polymer gel beads to learn about the molecular structure of plastics.
- Arduino Starter Kit $64.99 The kit includes an Arduino UNO—everything needed to get started in the world of physical computing. Add to the set to create bigger and more difficult projects. Join the online community to look for projects and answers to questions.
- Big Bucket of Science 8+ Steve Spangler Science $49.99 The bucket comes with tube after tube of experimental learning fun!
- Squigz Deluxe 3+ Fat Brain Toys Co. $49.95 Made from high-quality silicone rubber, this engineering set can be used in the bathtub or kitchen or near a window.
- “Colores Everywhere! Colors in English Y Espanol” by series editor and designer Madeleine Budnick and photographer Peggy Tenison 1+ Trinity University Press $7.95 Learn about art, color and language in this brilliant board book! artekids.org
- “Frog and Friends Frog’s Lucky Day” by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Josee Masse 5+ Sleeping Bear Press $3.99 In one story, Funny Frog and his friends try to find the end of the rainbow, and in another, Frog looks for a new pond.
- “The Summer Fairy” by Elizabeth Kelly Gillihan and illustrated by Jennifer Zivooin 4+ Cherished Reflections LLC Join the Summer Fairy and enjoy the season. There is a special keepsake pouch in the back of the book for pressed flowers. thesummerfairy.com
- “This Day in June” by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Kristyna Litten 4+ Magination Press $10.76 This book explains the LGBT community to children in a colorful way that celebrates differences without being preachy.
- “Dino-Boarding” by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott 4+ Carolrhoda Books $16.95 Skateboarding and surfboarding dinos star in this action-packed dino-mite book. lernerbooks.com
- “S is for Sea Glass: A Beach Alphabet” by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Doris Ettlinger 4+ $15.95 Sleeping Bear Press Learn your letters from this beach-themed book that is lovingly illustrated.
- “Digger and Daisy Go to the Zoo” by Judy Young and illustrated by Dana Sullivan 4+ Sleeping Bear Press $9.99 Brother and sister doggies go on an awesome adventure to the zoo.
- “Two Parrots” illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh 4+ NorthSouth Books $17.95 Inspired by a tale from Rumi, this book teaches kids that if you love something, you set it free, and if it loves you, it will come back.
- “Animal Amigos! Artsy Creatures in English y Espanol” 1+ by series editor and designer Madeleine Budnick and photographer: Peggy Tenison Trinity University Press $7.95 Learn about animals, art and language in this beautiful board book! artekids.org
- “The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook: Featuring The Gospel Project For Kids” 5+ $16.99 BH Kids stories from both the New and Old Testaments are told through short stories and cartoon pictures.
- “Seeing Red” by Kathryn Erskine Scholastic Press 12+ $16.99 This work of historical fiction is a coming-of-age story that makes one question morality and choices and looks at race in the early 1970s.
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition Merriam-Webster Inc. $27.95 New words for a new generation have been added for school use or Scrabble.
- “5 Years to Life” by Sam Huddleston 13+ Perkins Publishing $14.95 The story of how love and mercy can restore a soul and help one find redemption. samhuddleston.com
- “Isabelle” by Laurence Yep 8+ American Girl $7.99 The first of a series of books on Isabelle, this novel deals with Isabelle’s desire to dance and shine for herself.
- “The Zero Degree Zombie Zone” by Patrick Henry Bass and illustrations by Jerry Craft 8+ Scholastic Press $15.99 Bakari and Wardell go on a buddy adventure with a magical backdrop.
- “Flying a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way” by Laura Sobiech 13+ Nelson Books $24.99 The inspirational story of cancer patient Zach Sobiech, the writer of the No. 1 hit single “Clouds” and the focus of the documentary “My Last Days.”
- “Mermaid in Chelsea Creek” by Michelle Tea 12+ McSweeney’s McMullens $19.95 Fantasy, horror and magic are all mixed into a page-turner that is hard to put down about female heroine Chelsea.
- “The Badger Knight” by Kathryn Erskine 8+ Scholastic Press $17.99 The year is 1346 and England is at war with the Scots. Adrian, a young man, learns the harsh nature of war.
- “The Boxcar Children Guide to Adventure” from Albert Whitman and Company 7+ $12.99 This title features exploration, activities and DIY guides based on the popular series.
- “Positive: A Memoir” by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin 13+ Harper $18.99 This is not just another anti-bullying book, but an inspirational journey about standing up and being “positive” when the world around you is negative. The book deals with HIV and how people treat those with the virus.
- “Ahead of the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Youth Sports Concussion” by Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser Dartmouth College Press $14.40 Learn about sports concussions and how to protect your family from them.
- “Liberty: A Redemption Novel” by Ginger Jamison Harlequin $14.95 A great summer romance about love, forgiveness, redemption and second chances.
- “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration and the Power of Song” by Gloria Gaynor and Sue Carswell Grand Harbor Press $14.95 The story of how one iconic song of survival touched so many lives in different ways all over the world.
- Washable Sidewalk Chalk Grab ’N Go Games 4+ Crayola $6.99 Create your own game board with the four pieces of chalk and then toss the two beanbags to play!
- School Zone Big Hidden Pictures and More 6+ School Zone $12.99 Activities like color by numbers, mazes and coloring in hidden pictures will keep little ones active.
- My Comic Book Make Your Own Comic Book! 6+ Lulu Jr. $29.99 This creative kit comes with all you need to make your own comic book and then send it out to have it published. lulujr.com
- Pencil by Fifty Three $74.95 Install Paper by FiftyThree on your Apple product and start to draw like a pro. Draw, erase, color and create inspiring digital art. Fiftythree.com
- Illustory Make Your Own Book! 4+ Lulu Jr. $29.99 Make a hardcover keepsake book with this easy-to-use all-inclusive kit.
- Super CRA-Z-LOOM 6+ CRA-Z-ART $19.99 Join the CRAZE with this loom set and 2,200 latex-free rubberbands.
- Olloclip for iPad $69.99 The iPad 4-in-1 photo lens helps you take creative pictures with your iPad. Olloclip.com
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Papercraft 5+ FunKo $10.99 Create a colorful paper play set without tape, scissors or glue with all your favorite turtle characters. Stickers are included! funko.com
- Cosmic Colors 7+ Thames and Kosmos $9.95 Make stained glass planets and experiment with light and color.
- “My First Hidden Pictures” by School Zone 4+ $2.99 Find the hidden pictures in this busy book and then color them in.
- The Happy’s 3+ Cepia LLC $19.99 Choose from eight adorable little RC pets that play and are controlled by their treats. Additional Happy Treats are sold separately for more tricks for the pets to show off. cepiallc.com
- Synchros Over-the-Ear Headphones by JBL $349.95 UBS charging, iOS remote/microphone cable and ultra-comfortable ear cushions make these headphones a musical masterpiece.
- Little Live Pets Bird with Cage 3+ Moose Toys $19.99 These little birds tweet, sing and can record a voice.
- vQuiet by Velodyne $299 These premium over-the-ear active noise-canceling headphones that come in multiple colors with superb high performance sound are excellent plugged in or used via Bluetooth.
- J56BT Bluetooth headphones by JBL $149.95 Wirelessly stream music through these hardy headphones that have a built-in remote/microphone and rechargeable battery.
- Livescribe SMARTPEN 8+ $149.95 Simply write on paper and view it on your tablet or smartphone after using the Livescribe 3 Smartpen and the Livescribe+ mobile app. Add recorded audio, share notes, tag important concepts and organize thoughts. This is a terrific product for kids in high school and college, as well as business people.
- Selfy by jWIN Electronics Corp. $49.99 Take the perfect selfy for iPhones with this gadget that uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone. Place your phone in the case, connect and then use the remote to take video or pictures. iLuv.com
Terrific for Travel
- BRITA Nickelodeon-themed Take-Along Hard-Sided Sippy Water Bottles 3+ Brita BPA-free and dishwasher safe with a built-in BRITA filter, this sippy bottle offer kids a healthy way to drink without spilling water all over the place this summer. brita.com
- Crashlings Series 1, Sea Life! 10 pack Wicked Cool Toys $9.99 There are over 150 little characters that have their own popping cases to collect and trade, from aliens, to sea life, insects and dynamic dinos!
- Nickelodeon “Dora the Explorer” Pop-Up Book and Flashlight Set 3+ Publications International Ltd $25.75 The flashlight has five sound buttons and casts shadows on the neat pop-up book! pilbooks.com
- ChargerLeash by JSN Holdings, LLC Never forget your electronics power pack again when you travel. An alarm will sound alerting you to take your power source when you unplug your main device like a phone or iPad.
- POWERPACK T2200 by PNY $14.99 Recharge the battery on your smartphone with this pre-charged power pack that has a universal USB port and LED battery level indicators.
- “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” Safe Travelers’ First Aid Kit by Johnson and Johnson Packed with 50 essential items for active travel, including bandages, this kit is small enough to put into a handbag! jnjredcross.com
- Mimo PowerTube by Mimoco $30 Power phones, cameras and MP3 players with these design-oriented and stylish rechargeable backup batteries.
- “SpongeBob” Backpack distributed by Wal-Mart Global Design Concepts Inc. $9.88 This full-size backpack is great for summer travel and back-to-school with a super sparkly “SpongeBob” graphic on the front and two separate storage pouches.
- Suspend 8+ Melissa and Doug $16.99 Become unbalanced in this unique “moving and building” strategic game. Every time you play, the game changes!
- Flip Flops Card Game 6+ Briarpatch $4.98 Collect the most surf gear and win in this easy-to-learn flip-flop-inspired game. briarpatch.com
- Disney Princess Castle: Pop-Up Magic Game 3+ Hasbro $19.99 A 3-D board game where you get to play as your favorite character, you can combine it with other game sets.
- Telestrations 8+ USAopoly $29.95 Play this telephone-esque game where you sketch, guess, laugh and do it again for hysterical results.
- Simon Swipe 8+ Hasbro $19.99 Updated from the original game, now play four electronic games at 16 fast-paced levels of light-catching intensity.
- Stack-O-Saurus 5+Briarpatch $6.99 Learn your dinosaurs in this card stacking dino game. Dinosaur enthusiasts will really enjoy it.
- Tapple 8+ USAopoly $19.99 Family fun is to be had with this fast-paced word game where players get eliminated with letters.