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Best toys to get kids to play outside

June 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Summer is coming and the name of the game is getting your kids outside to play. Summer toys can help. We teamed up with Consumer Reports to test six toys that promise to get kids up and out and moving around.Should you splurge on summer toys? Our kid testers found some toys are hot -- and some are not.

When it comes time to test toys, Consumer Reports bring in young experts, ages six to 13. They tested a half-dozen toys, and prices ranged from $10 for a Flip N Flyer gyroscopic flying disc to a $100 Razor RipRider 360 Caster Trike.

The Crayola Sidewalk Paint Airbrush ($10) looked fun at first, but didn't draw any fans.

"It's not very good, because you run out of paint really fast," said one young toy tester. "And half the time the air brush pen doesn't work."

The SmartLab Blast-off Rocket Racer for ages seven and up makes it look like building a rocket would be fun, but it was complicated for the kids to get it to work properly. Even the adults had a tough time.

The riding toys got lots of play time. But the PlaSmart Plasma Car ($70) couldn't keep up. And it wasn't the fault of the testers, because the toy's age range is three to 103.

"If you want to put your feet up, the wheels, they just go crazy," said another young tester.

So what had the highest fun factor? The Razor RipRider 360 Caster Trike ($100) was the biggest hit of the bunch. Its caster wheels allow it to do spins, and was a favorite for most of the kids.

But for much less, the Nerf Big Bad Bow ($19) also got a lot of play. It comes with three soft foam arrows and it was a real hit.

Another inexpensive option that the kids enjoyed was the Stellar Toys Flip N Flyer gyroscopic flying disc ($10). It's designed for children ages seven and up.

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