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Outdoor Toys, Games and Crafts Add Sparkle to Fourth of July Barbecues and Backyard Fun

Toy Industry Association

Toy Industry Association Makes Twelve Top Picks for Holiday Play

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- Jun 30, 2009 Eating and playing outdoors are favorite pastimes, especially when there are children around to help build the holiday spirit. As families come together to celebrate the nation’s 233rd birthday, Toy Industry Association suggests a dozen great outdoor toys, games and role play accessories to keep kids and parents entertained, engaged and active this weekend and all summer long.

“Backyard toys, games and crafts are a great way to bring generations of families and kids together this July 4th,” said Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Specialist, Toy Industry Association. “Whether the child in your life enjoys sports, water play, crafts, or playing chef, there are lots of new, innovative toys to maximize outdoor summer fun.”

Cookin’ Up Some Excitement

Summer is synonymous with tasty treats – from watermelon and ice cream to hot dogs and hamburgers. Though kids should steer clear of a big grill, they don’t have to miss out on cookout fun when they want to role play top chef:

  • Younger kids (ages 3 and up) can “grill” bubble steaks and bubble sausages with the Gazillion Bubble BBQ from Funrise.
  • In the Meal Makin' Kitchen from Hasbro, children (ages 3 to 7) can serve up Play-Doh foods made their own way. All the tools they need to mold, slice, and serve their own pretend chicken legs, steaks and vegetables creations are always at arm’s reach.
  • Don’t forget dessert! With the Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker from Jakks Pacific, older kids (ages 8 and up) create real tasty treats to serve at summer picnics and barbecues.
  • And when a hot day calls for a cool treat, the SpongeBob SquarePants Sno-Cone Maker (ages 4 to 10) from Little Kids turns ordinary ice cubes into refreshing frozen taste sensations!
Water Toys

These aqua-picks will help kids of all ages cool off and beat the heat with the high energy and splash action of water play:

  • The Super Soaker Arctic Shock Water Blaster from Hasbro (ages 6 to 12) has a freezable core that makes every blast of water ice cold.
  • Subskate, the original underwater skateboard (ages 6 to 9) takes street moves to a new level. Made by Swimways, this combo of sports equipment and toy is great for the pool, lake or ocean.
  • Maui Toys Water Bouncers (ages 6 and up) contain colorful glitter that dazzle under light or with any movement. A quick flick of the wrist creates a cloud of floating sparkles in a rolling, bouncing, summertime version of a winter snowglobe.
  • Crawling through the Sprinkling Giraffe Tunnel, splashing in the Hippo Pool and dancing with an animated wiggling Elephant’s Trunk are three ways to stay cool in The Fisher Price Soak 'N Splash Animal Park (ages 3 to 6).
Outdoor and Active Play

Backyards and parks offer countless opportunities for active and creative play that prove staying dry can be just as joyful as splashing around:

  • Few things embody the freedom of outdoor play better than kites . . . and the newest creations combine classic flight fascination with state-of-the-art technology to make stunt flying a breeze. The Air Hogs Wind Chaser, a single line kite from Spin Master, comes with a remote control for kids (ages 8 to 12) to steer and stunt loop.
  • Little Kids’ Junk Ball Ghost Runner Baseball Electronic Home Plate (ages 6 and up) brings high tech electronic lights and sounds to backyard versions of America’s classic team sport. This home base does more than just keep track of runners on base or home runs; it adds to the excitement by imitating real Big League sports stadium play.
  • Bring the whole family together under Alex Toys’ Super Parachute and thrill young children (ages 3 and up) as they learn about cooperative play, colors, counting, and basic physics under a floating giant nylon parachute.
  • Budding artists can turn any paved surface into a giant coloring book with Crayola’s new (washable) 3D Sidewalk Crayons and Chalk (ages 4 and up). Each piece of dual-ended 3D chalk pairs contrasting colors to create scenes that "pop" when you put on the 3D glasses.
“Whether its energetic sports play or a messy craft activity that mom won’t permit inside, the great outdoors is the top summer play spot,” said Rice.

TIA also reminds parents and other caregivers to always play close attention to the age appropriate guidelines on toy product packaging. Age labeling is a safety precaution and is based on children's developmental skills and ability at a given age – and the appropriateness of the toy for that age. Age labeling does not pertain to the intelligence of a child so you never want to select toys marked with an age older than the child's age.

For more information on product trends, play and safety visit

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About TIA
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, representing over 500 companies who account for approximately 85% of domestic toy sales. Safe and fun play is the number one priority for the toy industry. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety including development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 30 years ago, and working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play. For more information visit, or