Explainer: 10 summer kids toys that grownups would love

  • The summer is now officially upon us, and that means kids are going to be out of school and ready to sit in front of the TV playing video games for hours on end. No, that's not right — they should be playing outside! These toys are exactly the kind of incentive they will need. Plus I'm not ashamed to admit that I would love to play with some of these toys myself, but my married couple friends never seem to want to hang out and go sledding on a grassy hill — or a slide down giant inflatable Titanic.

  • HandTrux shovels

    Uncommon Goods  /  Nerd Approved

    Kids will love playing in sand at the beach with these HandTrux shovels! They can pretend their bodies transform into construction equipment. Adults love it because they can tell their kids that digging up flower beds and scooping up dog poop is a game. Child labor has never been more fun! $18 Uncommon Goods via Nerd Approved

  • The Year 'Round Sled

    Hammacher Schlemmer

    Whether your on a snow-covered hill in the winter or a lush grass-covered hill in the summer, the Year 'Round Sled lives up to its name. In the summer, ice molds that attach to the bottom of the sled are removed, filled with water and frozen - providing a slick surface to propel kids down hills with short cut grass. And the best part is that these "kids" can be up to 200 lbs!  I used to play a similar game at my local golf course as a kid, only I didn't have a sled and the patrons were none too pleased. Neither was my mother now that I think about it. There are some grass stains Tide just can't get out. $89.95 Hammacher Schlemmer

  • "Angry Birds" dodgeballs

    ToyWhiz  /  Nerd Approved

    The game "Angry Birds" is coming perilously close to wearing out its welcome thanks to a merchandising blitz that puts even "Star Wars" to shame, but I have to admit that these dodgeballs actually make some sense. These rubber birds will be ready to terrorize pigs on the playground starting later this month. And if one of these pigs happens to be green, that's probably because he got pelted in the stomach with an "Angry Birds" ball after gorging himself on a summer meal of pizza and saltwater taffy washed down with an ICEE. $16.99 ToyWhiz via Nerd Approved

  • Live Action Infrared Skeet Shooter

    Hammacher Schlemmer

    Spend a lazy summer afternoon grilling in the backyard and shooting skeet with an infrared gun. Disks are ejected from the trap up to 7-feet in the air at either 2-second or 10-second intervals. When a target is “hit” with an infrared beam from the gun, it will break apart into two pieces. The gun must be "reloaded" before each shot with a pumping action, which will be rewarded with a realistic loading sound. The product page claims that the 7-foot launching height makes it suitable for indoor use, but that seems like a recipe for disaster. Precious family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation — finally done in by an indoor skeet shoot. I'll bet your ancestors didn't see that coming. $49.95 Hammacher Schlemmer via Nerd Approved

  • PoolJet

    Fire Box  /  Nerd Approved

    The PoolJet is a battery-powered mini sea scooter designed for kids. It's great for new swimmers or advanced kids that want to try their hand at some underwater acrobatics. The product page claims it's good for kids "4 and over", which means I just might be able to use it to lazily propel myself through the water to a poolside bar at the hotel. $161 Firebox via Nerd Approved

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  • RC Cars

    I loved playing with RC cars during my summer breaks when I was a kid. I would still love them, only as an adult I would demand something a bit more sophisticated. Something like this record-setting Schumacher Mi3 built by Nic Case. It features a carbon fiber chassis, and 11 horsepower motor and a top speed of 161.76 mph — good enough for a word record. Failing that, I would love an RC truck that's capable of towing a car. Don't be surprised if you see me riding to the grocery store on top of one of those. YouTube

  • Water knee hockey

    Hammacher Schlemmer

    Combine a Slip 'n Slide with an air hockey table and you have yourself an awesomely fun summer afternoon. Thirty tiny nozzles line both sides of the rink, spraying 24-inch high fountains of water across the playing surface from a standard garden hose. Players can then snapshot the oversized plastic puck into the inflatable goals using a plastic hockey stick. Of course, a fight is inevitable (this is hockey after all), but instead of fists you can settle your differences using the next toy on this list. It's a lot more fun and everyone keeps their teeth. $49.95 Hammacher Schlemmer

  • Super Soaker Thunderstorm

    Hydro Cannon  /  Nerd Approved

    There are bigger Super Soaker guns on the market (like the new Hydro Cannon), but if you want a rapid-fire precision weapon — reach for the Thunderstorm. It's fully automatic with a range of up to 25-feet and it utilizes magazines to reload. That means the muscles in your arm won't atrophy as you frantically try and pump up the Hydro Cannon 20 times for a full-charge blast. The Hydro Cannon may shoot more water than the Thunderstorm, but its kind of like bringing a musket to a machine gun fight. $11.96 Amazon

  • Sinking Titanic Inflatable Slide

    Fun Makers  /  Nerd Approved

    This 25-foot tall inflatable Titanic slide simulates what it must have been like to slide down the deck of a gigantic sinking ship to your doom. Only I'm pretty sure nobody on the actual ship went "wheeeeeee!" all the way down. $11,500 Fun-Makers via Nerd Approved

  • Cardboard box wheels

    Nerd Approved

    It seems that a big cardboard box is always more entertaining for kids than the gift inside it, which is why you might want to grab some of these reusable cardboard box wheels. It will keep kids busy outside for hours as they imagine that their cardboard box is actually a race car or a spaceship (draw the line if they head for the pool and try to launch an amphibious car), and you'll save tons of money on summer toys. $13.95 Amazon

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