Best Kids Tents that Even Mommy Needs to Buy!

You’ve wracked your brain trying to find new, creative ways to keep your kids entertained. If you’re out of ideas, perhaps you should look at some of the best kids tents for indoor or outdoor use to provide your little ones with a new space to play.

Who doesn’t love camping? You can make so many wonderful camping memories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories, and sleeping under the stars. Any night of the week can turn into an adventure but taking the bedroom outdoors.

The best part is you don’t even need to leave your own backyard to create these long-lasting memories with your kids. And play tents don’t have to just be for backyard camping, either.

The best kids tents will serve as castles, little make-believe classrooms, cabins in the woods, and any other place your child can dream up.

Things have come a long way from throwing a blanket over a few dining room chairs. Today’s technology has made the best kids tents light, portable, and easy to assemble in a matter of minutes.

With any of the options on our list of the best kids tents out there today, you’ll be sure to provide your kids with the perfect spot for camping and letting their imagination run wild.

How the Best Kids Tents Promote Imaginative Play

via GIPHY

One of the best ways encourage your child to flex their imagination muscle is by providing them a space specifically designed for creative play. Finding the best kids tents does just that without taking up too much space or costing you a fortune.

Keep in mind, the best children’s play tents are more than spaces where kids can play, crawl around, and take naps. Children love playing in tents because they become secret hideaways. It becomes their personal space to do with what they will.

The best kids tents help to keep your child happier, leave your house mess-free, and give your family plenty of opportunities to create new memories.

Choosing the Best Kids Tents to Nature Imagination

When it comes to choosing the best kids tents from the hundreds of options that are on the market, you should keep in mind a few factors. At first glance, many manufacturers claim to make the best kids tents, but they fail to live up to their customers’ expectations.

The best kids tents must be easy to assemble and break down quickly. Consider tents with a pop-up design, since they require little to no assembly and often fold away into a carrying bag.

Bright colors are one of the early aspects of sight that allow children to identify and categorize things around them. The best kids tents will be bright and colorful.

A tent that is all shut up can be a microcosm of germs. Well-ventilated tents decrease the likelihood of harboring nasty bacteria.

Manufacturers have started creating tents that have connector features allowing you to connect several tents. Many models also have extra rooms that you can attach to increase imaginative play. Look for tunnels, ball pits, and basketball hoops that can expand your child’s play space.

How We Reviewed the Best Kids Tents

When it comes to your kids, you want nothing but the best. There are hundreds of different play tents for kids on the market these days. You are too busy managing your household to separate the best kids tents from the sea of average.

We’ve done the work for you. We’ve pursued through blogs, looked at other lists of the best kids tents, read what other consumers had to say, and compared prices. After all that work we narrow down the list to nothing but the best kids tents for your money.

The Top 9 Best Kids Tents

Some of these are so cool; you’re going to wish they made them for adults. Be prepared — your blanket fort of old is about to seem way less cool than it once did.

Please note that we include these tents in no particular order.

Monobeach Princess Tent


Monobeach Princess Tent Girls Large Playhouse Kids Castle Play Tent…

  • # NEWFANGLED CASTLE DESIGN: Inspired by castles in fairy tale, this beautiful and remarkable princess house can help…
  • # SPECIAL GIFT: This is the cutest fairy house tent, providing a private space for your kids to entertain themselves,…
  • # DIMENSIONS: 55 x 53 inches. Made from high quality polyester taffeta which is also quite comfortable, durable, and…

The Monobeach princess Tent is inspired by castles in fairy tales. In this tent, your child can play out their fantasies of battling dragons, rescuing princesses, or throwing tea parties with the king and king.

This princess tent has a 530-inch diameter and stands 55 inches tall, providing plenty of space for up to 3 kids to let their imaginations run wild. The curtains are made of polyester taffeta, specifically designed to be hard-wearing, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.

The frame is made from PVC support rods and sturdy connector pieces to be more stable. Manufacturers have been kind enough to include extra parts for those houses where things seem to walk off on their own.

This Monobeach ranks in our best kids tents because it comes with a string of 40 star lights to increase the magical feeling. Amazon customers gave this tent a 4.3 out of 5.0 star rating.

The downside of this tent is that it’s not as quick or easy to assemble as some of the other tents. It can take as much as half an hour, and the directions aren’t very helpful. You set up this princess tent, and your kids will beg you to never take it down.

Rocket Ship Play Tent


USA Toyz Play Tent for Boys or Girls – Rocket Ship Kids Tent,…

  • ROCKET SPACESHIP KIDS PLAY TENT: Blast off for out-of-this-world fun in this kids tent; includes 1 space projector toy…
  • SPACIOUS INDOOR KIDS TENTS: This roomy tent for kids with original illustrations comfortably fits up to 3 children
  • EASY SETUP AND CLEANING: Assemble this kids pop up tent with the included foldable tent poles (no tools required), and…

For your budding NASA employees, the best kids tents are ones that inspire their cosmic imagination. This rocket ship tent comes with vibrant starry-sky panels and rocket fins. It’s the perfect place for your little ones to blast off into space, explore the galaxy, and discover new beings across the universe – all in time to come home for lunch.

It’s easy to see why Amazon customers gave this rocket ship tent a 4.5 out of 5.0 star rating.

The base of this tent has a 41-inch diameter and stands 53 inches tall. Three of your little astronauts can comfortably explore space together. With just a damp cloth and mild soap, you can keep this play space clean and bacteria-free.

You don’t need any tools to build this rocket. With a twist of the wrist, the rocket unfolds and the sturdy, durable poles to assemble in a snap. With similar ease, you can fold the tent and store it away in it’s carrying case.

Your little one’s imagination will soar with the bonus torch projector. Simply turn on and light up your astronaut tent (or any blank surface) with 24 NASA-inspired images!

The one common complaint about this tent is that the fabric is prone to ripping easily. Some customers noted that their children tore the fabrics within minutes of construction.

Fire Truck Pop-Up Play Tent


WOOHOO TOYS Big Fire Truck Tent – Spacious Indoor & Outdoor…

  • UNLIKE ANY OTHER FIRE TRUCK TENTS: Our fire truck tent is the “BIGGEST” on the market with more square area for…
  • VENTILATION THROUGHOUT: Allows fresh air to flow through for your child to breathe with all-around mesh windows on each…
  • FITS CRIB MATTRESS / CRIB TOPPER: Turn this pop-up firetruck into a bed for your little tykes to sleep at night or use…

You kids are going to love this fire engine tent. They will have hours of fun role-playing as a fireman in their make-believe fire rescue missions.

It’s one of the best kids tents on our list, according to Amazon customers who gave it a 4.7 out of 5.0 star rating. This tent is lightweight, portable, and easy to set up anywhere you find a flat surface.

This tent is designed for many kids to use it at once. It’s 54 inches long by 28 inches deep and 36 inches tall, meaning plenty of little ones can respond to the 4-alarm fire in your living room at the same time. You can even fit a child’s mattress inside!

All parts of this tent are laboratory-tested and contain no lead or phthalate. There are no loose parts that can be misplaced or lost. The tent is made from easy-to-clean polyester fabric that water-resistant, and each side has mesh windows for ventilation.

It’s hard to find many negative reviews about this tent. Though a few customers said that this tent was poorly constructed and too flimsy to stay standing for long, most raved about how much their kids loved it.

TazzToys Kids Teepee Tent


TazzToys Kids Teepee Tent for Kids with Fairy Lights – Kids Bedroom…

  • Our UNIQUELY DESIGNED teepee tent uses BEAUTIFUL KIDDO-SAFE EXPOSED PINE POLES & durable, 100% COTTON MATERIAL to…
  • DESIGNED TO GIVE YOUR little ones a SAFE & FUN PLACE to let their imaginations run wild, our kids teepee tent was…
  • Our tent CAN BE BROKEN DOWN & EASILY TRANSPORTED in our COMPACT CARRY BAG, which can be worn like a string backpack to…

If you’re scrolling through this list of the best kids tents to find something unique, then this is the one for you. This stunning teepee is crafted from cotton fabric and stands 49.6 inches tall.

It’s held up by exposed pine poles and has ventilation panels at the top to keep the air well-circulated.

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to your little ones. The manufactures have stated that this teepee was lab-tested for a Child Safety Certificate in an independent lab.

This cotton is 100 percent non-toxic and unpainted. Likewise, the smooth pine contains no chemicals or splinters.TazzToys has designed a tent that breaks down compactly. It’s easy to store and transport in its accompanying carry bag, which can be worn like a backpack, keeping your hands free to hold onto your littles and their belongings!

A unique aspect of this teepee is the waterproof base, keeping your carpets safe or your child dry at the beach. That’s why Amazon customers give this tent a 4.6 out of 5.0 star rating.

Though there aren’t many negative reviews, some parents have expressed concern that there is no support or device at the bottom of the teepee to keep the legs open. They fear the tent will collapse easily on their children if they are playing too hard.

Sunny Days Entertainment Thomas & Friends Pop-Up Play Train Tent


Sunny Days Entertainment Thomas & Friends Pop-Up Play Train Tent for…

  • Designed with durable fabric for indoor and outdoor fun with distinctive Thomas the Tank Engine art for more realistic…
  • Designed to fit multiple children, this tent is 4 feet long for added play value. The multiple entryways keep kids busy.
  • Use the tent as a place to play with toys, and read or entertain with Thomas the Tank. Promotes creativity and imaginary…

What toddler doesn’t love trains? If your child wants everything train-themed, then this distinctive Thomas the Tank Engine is your last stop in the list of the best kids tents.

This tent is constructed with durable fabric for indoor or outdoor use. It’s four feet long, meaning there is enough room for up to three children to play. There are multiple entryways on the different side of the tent to keep kids busy the whole afternoon.

Amazon customers gave this tent a 4.6 out of 5.0 star rating for its pop-up design that allows for easy assembly and fast storage.

Despite its positive reviews, a few customers have pointed out that the tent tends to be pretty flimsy and there is no bottom to it. So Thomas is likely to collapse or fall over if played with too roughly.

Kids Model Clubhouse Playhouse


Kids Play Tent Children Playhouse – Indoor Outdoor Tent Model…

  • GIVE THEM THE GIFT THEY’LL REMEMBER FOREVER The Little guys are OBSESSED with this. Kids don’t need expensive toys to…
  • KEEP YOUR CHILD ENTERTAINED AND GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME Help your child to become more independent and social by…
  • INSPΙRE YOUR KIDS TO READ. YOU’LL BE SURPRISED TO SEE THAT THEY LOVE READING Inside their own private area. Every…

Did your little one go off to summer camp for the first time this year? The Clubhouse Playhouse tent is the best kids tent to recreate that summer camp magic.

The walls have a wooden kiddie clubhouse design that is immediately appealing to your little ones. There are also lots of cute signs to make this tent feel like your child’s very own secret clubhouse — no adults allowed.

Setup is also reasonably simple, although older kids or adults should do the job. Construct the clubhouse frame by placing the G3 poles into their connectors and stretch the polyester fabric over it.

Aside from the zippered front door, the clubhouse also has plenty of mesh panels which serve as windows. You’ll be sure your child is getting plenty of air circulation inside. The round tunnel port is both a second entrance and a connecting point where you can add more play tents.

Amazon customers gave this clubhouse a 4.3 out of 5.0 star rating.

 Playz 3-Piece Rocket Ship Astronaut Kids Play Tent, Tunnel, and Ball Pit with Basketball Hoop


Playz 3pc Rocket Ship Astronaut Kids Play Tent, Tunnel, & Ball Pit…

  • ASTRONOMY TOYS FOR KIDS Your child will take off into an outer space adventure with this 3-piece playhouse castle tent,…
  • NASA BABY APPROVED We were inspired by dozens of little kids opinions which led to our innovative child-friendly &…
  • FAST INSTANT ASSEMBLY Portable, durable, easy to setup & foldable into a lightweight zipper carrying bag for convenient…

This three-piece tent set is out of this world! Not only can your child blast off into space in the rocket tent, but they can also crawl through the mesh tunnel into the solar-system-themed ball pit to play basketball among the stars.

Playz designed this set with soft, thick fabric, breathable mesh walls, and flexible padding. Your kids can romp around safely, knowing that Playz toys all meet USA CPSC Toy Safety Guidelines.

Despite its size, each piece is portable, durable, easy to setup. You can fold them all together into a lightweight zipper carrying bags, which is small enough to store underneath your couch!

Amazon customers gave this set a 4.4 out of 5.0 star rating. The biggest concern was a lack of connection between the tunnel and ball pit, meaning the balls don’t stay contained. Also, some have said that the material rips easily.

Alvantor Starlight Bed Canopy Dream


Alvantor Starlight Bed Canopy Dream Kids Play Tents Playhouse Privacy…

  • 2-in-1 BED TENT, FITS TWIN BEDS. Patent Pending construction keeps no collapsed, no bent, no leans off, no unstable, no…
  • INNOVATION DESIGN: durable pop up PVC poles and fibreglass rods, compared to other steel frame make the bed canopy stay…
  • EASY SET UP and TAKE DOWN: pop up frame and shock corded poles make it super easy to set up in a minute. No need…

Some children have trouble sleeping away from home or ay be scared of sleeping outside. The Alvantor Starlight Bed Canopy is one of the best kids tents to get your child ready for outdoor camping.

Durable pop-up PVC poles and fiberglass rods support a canopy as it stretches wide enough to fit over a twin bed mattress. It’s also constructed of high-quality fabric covered in glow-in-the-dark stars that transform any bedroom into the night sky.

These tents easily fold down in a figure eight and pop right back up for your next use.

Amazon customers gave this canopy 4.3 out of 5.0 star rating. Reviews were concerned with the safety of the poles; for example, they’ve been known to cause fiberglass splinters if the poles break because they shatter into small pieces.

Others were concerned that the stitching wasn’t very good quality.

 BESTEN Floorless Indoor Privacy Tent


BESTEN Floorless Indoor Privacy Tent on Bed with Color Poles for Cozy…

  • HAVE SOME PRIVACY. For Both Adults and Children, It is a Great solution when sharing a room with others. (Dorm,…
  • KEEP YOU WARM. The Tent Blocks Drafty Wind in the Room while Circulating Fresh Air inside through a Mesh Vent on Top….
  • PLACE FOR RELAX & FOCUS. This Canopy Makes a Great Nook for Reading, Studying, Meditating, etc. You Can Even Turn It…

We think this may be the coolest of the best kids tents. Besten has created a floorless canopy tent that you can pop over the top of your existing bed.

You can choose either a twin or a full/queen canopy, depending on the size of your bed. Once you place the tent on top of a mattress, pull each the corners to fit snuggly on the mattress.

It’s made with lightweight fabric and a mesh top to promote good air circulation; however, it should be kept clear of heat or fire. There are three different doors, so you can choose how you want to set it up.

Many Amazon customers pointed out that the canopy doesn’t fit as snug to the bed as they’d hoped, and they have to readjust it after a night’s rest. They gave this canopy a 4.4 out of 5.0 star rating.

Imaginative Play and Its Benefits for Kids

Kids Play Tents that Even Mommy Needs to Buy

Image Via unsplash

Childhood is a time of magic and wonder; it’s when creativity and imagination rule the day.

Bath towels become superhero capes, teddy bears morph into best friends waiting to share adventures — helping pint-sized warriors storm the castle brandishing a sword to save the princess from the fiery clutches of a dragon.

Though parents blinded by adulthood only see a cardboard box, a lifeless doll, and a broken broomstick, kids see adventure.

Play is like a full-time job for children. What may seem like nonsensical fun is actually your child putting in a full day at the office. These crucial hours spent working their imaginations are when children develop vital psychological and emotional capacities.

These early developments help children gain a better understanding of the world around them and how they relate to it. At the same time, children start to explore their inner selves, learning how to recognize their emotional and physical responses in different situations.

During this crucial period, children begin to develop many key skills that will set them on the path to success.

Social and emotional skills

When your child partakes in imaginative play, she is learning how to navigate the various social and emotional roles she will experience in life. She’s testing the boundaries and establishing who she’ll be in each of these various scenarios.

Pretending to be someone else enables your child to feel what it’s like to be in someone else’s place. Taking on someone else’s role helps her develop empathy, decreasing her natural egocentric point of view to understand how others feel.

Playing with others teaches her how to take turns, share with others, think creatively, and get along with others. The younger a child develops these skills, the more it will help her in the future.2 kid playing in kids tent

Image via Flickr

Language skills

Imaginative play exposes your child to the power of language. It teaches her how others react to her words, both positive and negative reactions.

Your child also begins to understand how words give her the ability to reenact a play or story. Often she’ll be playing through sentences that have happened that day or week.

Children are prone to mimicking their parents, caretakers, teachers, and anyone else with whom they spend significant amounts of time.

Cognitive skills

Imitative play provides your child with a multitude of problems to solve. These critical thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever.

Perhaps two children want to play the same pretend role; they have to learn how to compromise. In searching for the right material to make a castle that won’t fall, your child musters essential creative thinking skills to reinforce those pesky pillows.

They learn how to better negotiate and express their needs in a healthy manner. On top of that, they gain better coordination, balance, and flexibility.

Nurturing the imagination

When your child learns how to flex their imagination muscle, there’ll never be a dull moment in your household. Providing spaces, tools, and opportunities for your child to use their imagination is the best way to keep their imagination at the ready.

Just like a muscle in your body, one’s imagination needs plenty of exercise to stay fresh and healthy. Turn off the video games from time to time and encourage your children to make up stories or games of their own.

By showing your child how to play creatively or make up games, you are encouraging them to do the same for themselves.

Best Kids Tents: The Decision Is Yours

When it comes to finding the best kids tent, it comes down to your child. Would they be interested in a camping tent or something themed like a firetruck? Will they want to play with it during the day or sleep in it at night?

You should also consider if you’re going to use it indoors, outdoors, or a little bit of both. Remember to set them up in places that are well ventilated to keep them cool, especially during hot summer days.

Whichever tent you choose, we hope that it’s the start of many happy childhood memories making s’mores and telling ghost stories.

Tell us what you think is the best kids tent. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

 

Featured Image via Flickr

Best Swing Set for Those Priceless Backyard Moments

It’s easy to determine the world’s best swing set when you’re a kid. It’s always the one you’re playing on, no matter the location — your backyard, the school playground, a friend’s house, or someplace else.

Parents don’t have it as easy. Shopping for the best swing set requires striking the right balance between several variables, starting with the size of your budget.

Plastic or metal? Swings only or slide too?

How big should it be? Which part of the lawn is best?

HAPPY PIE PLAY&ADVENTURE Adult Super Big Wood Tree Hanging Swings SeatImage from Amazon

Sifting through the choices to find the world’s best swing set is one of those milestone decisions in the life of a family. Get it right, and it will provide unforgettable moments of fun, laughter, and love. Do your homework, and you’ll be sure to deliver priceless backyard memories.

What’s the best swing set? You’ll know it the first time you hear your little ones gleefully cry: “give us an UNDERDOG!” Some things never change. Other things, like swing sets themselves, do.

On This Day in Swing Set History

Backyard Discovery Skyfort IIImage from Amazon

The backyard swing set is a relatively recent phenomenon. But the urge to swing — to experience flying, without wings — definitely is not.

Archeological discoveries including drawings in caves and other artifacts suggest a deep fascination with swinging, perhaps as long ago as 1450 B.C.

The first examples of swings “may have been fashioned from plant fiber and woody vines of tropical jungles,” according to the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York,

The first swing sets in the United States date to the early 1800s, but were anchored in nature, the Toy Hall of Fame indicates. If you had a tree, you could establish a swing for your children.

The concept of public playgrounds began spreading toward the end of the 19th Century and into the beginning of the 20th Century. A key milestone was the formation of the Playground Association of America, which advocated for play spaces to help with the physical and emotional development of youth.

Skyfort IIImage from Amazon

The popularity of backyard swing sets came into its own in post-World War II America, according to Backyard Discovery, a maker of playsets.

In the decades since, home swing sets and playsets have evolved to feature different materials and different configurations to capture youthful imaginations.

The sets provide more option and are safer than ever, but there’s still plenty of think about before you buy.

How to Pick Out the Best Swing Set

Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing SetImage from Amazon

The first and most important factor in selecting the best swing set: Know your child.

Today’s swing sets will clearly state the age ranges they support. But even then, consider your child’s unique personality before you decide. What activities will he or she most enjoy? Do you just want swings, or would you like to add on a slide or a rope climb or a jungle gym?

You’re also going to have to know your yard. You want to place the set on flat ground with enough clearance at the front and the back — sometimes this is required. Children are known to appreciate the flying forward dismount, after all.

Consider what materials fit your style and budget. Plastic and metal sets tend to be lower on the price range but are geared toward younger and lighter children. Wood sets tend to be more expensive but will usually last longer.

The material you choose will impact the challenges of installation. If you’re someone who wants to do it yourself, and you choose a wood set, you’ll need skills with a measuring tape, a hammer, a saw, and other tools. Or you’ll need some extra budget to hire professional installers. Metal sets tend to be a little easier to construct.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you should take time to think through issues of safety. Swingsets have their hazards, so you’re going want to make sure you read reviews and consider the safety recommendations and record from the manufacturer you choose.

Follow the directions to the letter — for instance, one company stresses that you should use only commercial-grade hardware. You don’t want protruding bolts or screws to create scratches, or worse!

Safety Rules!

Backyard Discovery Big Brutus Heavy Duty Metal Swing SetImage from Amazon

Safety is essential even after building the best swing set for our family.

You’re going to want to teach your kids and their friends to follow some basic safety rules. This may well impact which set you choose as the best swing set.

Backyard Discovery Big BrutusImage from Amazon

Even with a buffer zone, make sure your children know to avoid walking near friends and family who are swinging, either in front or back.

As well, kids shouldn’t stand on swings (though they will try to — didn’t we do that when we were young too?) The swings are made to be operated from a seated, balanced position.

One element you can control as the adult owner of the playset is ongoing maintenance. Make sure you regularly examine all the nuts and bolts on a swing — perhaps as often as twice a month during peak months, according to PlayNation.com. You want to spot any situations early-on where bolts have come loose.

Also, as the years go on, look at swings and other parts of the set for cracks or other signs of wear. Sometimes aging from the weather can catch up on you.

All that said, don’t go into the world of swinging with fear. Follow a few basic rules, such as these from Good Housekeeping, and the best swing set will give you memories to last a lifetime.

How We Selected the Best Swing Set

Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing SetImage from Amazon

Americans love their playthings. And so do publications and media organizations established to keep parents informed of the smartest choices. To build our list of best swing sets, we consulted reviews and recommendations from publications both in the lifestyle category as well as those focused on parenting and the family.

Our list of resources included Family Living Today, Good Housekeeping, The Spruce.com, Gardener’s Path, and Heavy.com. We also looked at reviews in mass-market publications such as the Chicago Tribune and others, as well as Amazon.com — with a particular emphasis on customer feedback.

From our analysis, we selected swing sets that will appeal to various age groups. And we’re confident you’re going to find one that fits your definition of the best swing set.

The Best Swing Set for Priceless Backyard Moments

Plastic. Wood. Metal. Surprisingly enough, the best swing set could come from any of these materials.

Notably, some might just offer positions for swinging. Others provide an all-around experience involving slides, and climbs and clubhouses. For older kids, there may even be an opportunity to go back to nature and use a tree branch as you anchor.

The best swing set will always be the one you have in your backyard. Follow our advice, and you’ll be a backyard hero in no time.

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Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Wooden Swing Set


Backyard Discovery Skyfort II All Cedar Wood Swing Set

  • Elevated play: Backyard Discovery offers a large, raised clubhouse on the Skyfort II featuring a wooden roof, trimmed…
  • Crow’s nest: the elevated crow’s nest with telescope provide a rare feature that will bring out imagination and…
  • Lower fort: a lower deck packs in ground level fun by including a snack stand picnic table as well as a sandbox area,…

Why settle for swings when you can build a fort in the sky? That’s the question behind the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II Wooden Swing Set. This set will allow your kids to move their play to another level.

The Skyfort II offers three swinging positions – two for belt swings, one for a two-person glider swing. But that’s just the start of the fun.

As the name suggests, the centerpiece of the Skyfort II is a raised clubhouse, complete with a wooden roof, bay windows, a covered entryway, and – get this – a porch! It provides a place for kids to escape the sun or enjoy a snack.

The set also comes with a crow’s nest with a telescope to encourage imagination and a rock wall for climbing skills.

Pros

  • Multiple play options
  • Three swing positions
  • Clubhouse for shaded rest

Cons

  • Footprice – set requires a big lot
  • Assembly – not a one-person job
  • Cost, this is not a budget item

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Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set


Lifetime Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set, Primary Colors

  • Featuring 3 Belt Swings 9-ft. Wavy Slide All-Weather Resistant – Will Not Crack, Warp, Rot, or Splinter
  • Fireman’s Pole, Free-Standing – No Need for Cement, Gym Rings
  • Hard Edges are Rounded or Covered with Plastic Caps

Perhaps your brood isn’t the sky fort type. Don’t fret. Many swing sets offer other pathways to activity, such as the Monkey Bar Adventure Swing Set made by Lifetime, in a more streamlined fashion.

The Monkey Bar Adventure features three swing positions, all of them for belt swings. But it also offers a set of other activities –- primarily a 9-foot wavy slide that the company promises will not “crack, rot, warp, or splinter.”

While there is no clubhouse in this set, your kids can also climb across a set of monkey bars, use the fireman’s pole, or get acrobatic on a trapeze bar with a set of rings.

Pros

  • Three swing positions
  • 9-foot wavy slide
  • UV resistant

Cons

  • Pretty pricey
  • Lower-quality hardware
  • Slide too high for young children

swing icon

Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing Set


Gorilla Playsets 01-0021 Nantucket Wood Swing Set with Wood Roof, Two…

  • Tongue and Groove wood roof protects from the elements
  • Recommended for ages 3 to 11 years old
  • 3-stations provide space for the belt swings and trapeze bar

It’s probably OK to assume that a swing set/playset made by Gorilla is built to take a beating that even a gorilla could dish out. Interestingly, the Gorilla Playsets Nantucket Swing occupies a smaller footprint than others on this list but is still full of fun and possibility. It’s worth a look as your best swing set.

The Nantucket offers three swing positions, one of which can be used for a trapeze bar. It also comes with a smaller wave slide, as well as a free-form open clubhouse –- definitely a place where the kids can take a breather or wait out a rainstorm.

Additional features in the Nantucket Swing Set include a rock wall with climbing rope as well as a separate safe entry ladder to the clubhouse.

Pros

  • 10 separate activities
  • Three swing positions
  • Sturdiness

Cons

  • Cost, not a budget item
  • Assembly – took one customer eight hours to build
  • Inconsistent customer support

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Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension


Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Set Extension

  • Climber has roomy deck with balcony railing
  • 5 1/2 foot slide; Adult assembly required
  • Secret playhouse with door and crawl-through portals

Not every parent is up for a neighborhood-sized construction project. That’s not to say they couldn’t do it, but sometimes either the budget or the age of the kids won’t allow them to go big. If you’re in this category, consider the Step2 Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber and Swing Set Extension.

The Naturally Playful Playhouse combination set is made of plastic, allowing it to come together (or apart for moving) reasonably easily. The Playhouse includes two belt-swing positions and a more manageable 5.5-foot slide. This alone makes it a contender for best swing set.

Your kids will enjoy the mystery of a secret below-deck playhouse as well as a ladder that leads to a deck (with a safety balcony railing.) The playhouse offers portals and windows for fun escapes to work out your kids’ fine motor skills.

Pros

  • Easy-to-assemble
  • Lightweight for relocation
  • Appeals to younger children

Cons

  • Assembly directions hard to follow
  • Tight space for kids to maneuver
  • Inconsistent service

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Backyard Discovery


Backyard Discovery Woodridge II All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set

  • A woodridge swing set with an enormous upper backyard fort, porch and even a crow’s nest. There are also a lower…
  • Heavy duty Backyard Discovery kids fort with wood roof. Covered side porch with 5-ft high sun deck. An elevated tunnel…
  • Railings surround the lower wooden playdeck with a bench seat and a sandbox for kids in this large swing set

Sometimes kids just want to swing. For that, we recommend you consider the Backyard Discovery.

Big Brutus offers three swing positions with two belt swings, and a trapeze bar included. Additionally, it’s free-standing with molded feet and built-in anchors.

We liked the super durable swing chains. Some kids just want to go high, and these will give you the durability you can trust. The swings themselves are manufactured to be low-maintenance, resisting even some of the harshest conditions.

Big Brutus is rated for kids 36 months to 10 years of age.

Pros

  • Affordability
  • Safe – heavy-duty construction
  • Easy assembly, directions available on the app

Cons

  • Assembly – more than a one-person job
  • Only a swing set

swing icon

Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber


Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber and UV…

  • Swinging burns calories and engages muscle groups, particularly hamstrings and quadriceps
  • Monkey Bar -Builds arm strength and helps keep off excess weight through exercise; Also the arms, shoulders and chest…
  • Ladder Climb -Helps grow a kid’s sense of balance and co-ordination; Climbing on bars strengthens both arm and leg…

It could be that Big Brutus strips things down too far for you and your family. If so, then consider the Ironkids Challenge 100 Metal Swing Set with Ladder Climber as a candidate for best swing set.

The Ironkids Challenge is mostly focused on swinging but includes a couple of additional features. For example, the set consists of a ladder for climbing, a glider for two-person swinging, and two swing positions.

The set builds in a UV protective sunshade. While it’s not a clubhouse, it’s still a way for the kids to continue enjoying their swing time without melting in the heat.

In addition to the glider and belt swing, the set also comes with a position for a monkey bar.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Sunshade design provides UV protection
  • Multiple activities in a small footprint

Cons

  • Tricky assembly — screws connect inside pipes
  • Inconsistent customer support
  • Unsturdy feel

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Lifetime 90188 Playset


LIFETIME 90188 Playset, Children’s Picnic Table and Bucket Swing…

  • Bundle includes: 1 a-frame playset, 1 children Picnic Table and 1 bucket swing
  • Clubhouse with hardtop roof, 9-Ft. Wavy slide, 1 trapeze bar and 2 belt swings
  • All-weather resistant – will not crack, warp, rot, or splinter

Our last candidate for best swing set is one that offers additional value outside the A-frame that makes your swing set. In addition to swings, the Lifetime 90188 Playset comes with a children’s picnic table and a bucket safety swing. Significantly, for parents on the go, the four-seat picnic table is easily folded for transit to the park or grandma’s house.

The set itself has plenty to keep your children happy. In addition to the two belt swings, there is room for a trapeze bar. Your kids can also escape beneath a clubhouse with a hardtop roof and take a ride down the 9-foot wavy slide.

Lifetime promises that the set will last through all kinds of weather, resisting rot, or warping.

Pros

  • Very sturdy
  • Multiple activities, including a picnic table
  • Accessories available

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Assembly – confusing instructions
  • Requires ladder to install roof

(Bonus) Who needs a swing set to swing?

swing icon

You don’t necessarily need to invest in a full-fledged swing set to give your little ones the thrill of swinging. That’s because sometimes the best moments are made from spur of the moment inspiration — particularly for children at the younger end of the spectrum.

For those little ones, we offer the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Snug ‘n Secure Grow With Me Swing. This is a safety swing with a T-bar that can be made portable — attaching to a sturdy tree branch, for example, or taken to grandma’s for the afternoon.

Notably, one of the nice things about the swing is it can adapt according to the needs of your child. If necessary, you can secure him or her with a T-bar and straps, but you can also remove these as the child gets older.

For less than a family trip to McDonald’s and some ingenuity, you can have instant swing fun.

Swinging and Singing

As we’ve said, the mind of a child, the best swing set is the one you can get to the fastest. But the designs of modern playsets have grown to be highly sophisticated, offering children multiple enjoyable play options.

Determining the best swing set will be a very personal decision because it involves understanding what your child can do and wants to do. It also means having insights into how your child will grow and the ability to envision where your set will fit!

When you come right down to it, the swing set represents a snapshot in the life of your child growing up. Choose for fun, choose for safety, but most of all, choose for the memories it will bring.

Introducing Your Kids to Organized Sports

Put me in, coach! Whether it’s on a field, a court, rink, or a diamond, kids sports are part of growing up.

In 75 percent of U.S. households, at least 1 child participates in an organized sport, according to a Project Play (1). 

That amounts to almost 60 percent of the country’s youth ready to play.

Though data is a little harder to come by, sports are just as popular in other countries (2). In India, it’s cricket. In other parts of Asia, it’s badminton. And everywhere, it seems, kids are playing soccer.

If you’re a parent of youngsters, you might be wondering: 

What are kids sports all about? 

Are they right for my children? 

What’s the best way to get my kids involved? 

And most importantly, will they be safe and pressure-free?

Everyone’s situation is a little bit different. But, before you decide on your kids’ sports, if any, consider the benefits.

Benefits of Kids Sports

Kids have an abundance of energy. They are moving from the time they wake up almost to the time they go to bed.

At the same time, parents want to see that energy diverted toward learning about the way the world works.

Activities such as organized kids’ sports can help.

Let’s take a quick look at how the world of athletics will shape your child’s health and happiness and teach lessons that last a lifetime.

Get them to the field on time. You won’t regret it.

Strong Heart

The screen generation faces many temptations to stay in place from video games, movies, texting with friends, and other distractions. The lack of activity can create health problems down the road.

But get them involved in sports, and you’ll be activating their muscles — and not just the ones in their arms and legs. The heart is a muscle, too!

Sports means moving your body, and moving your body leads to improvements in cardiovascular fitness (3). In the near-term, playing a sport will help them grow by strengthening their little hearts.

And the benefits accumulate. Learn to stay active, and you’re increasing your chances of staving off heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

In part, that’s true because activity during kids sports pays dividends in terms of weight loss. 

Getting your heart pumping means you’re burning calories — something you cannot do while sitting still on your Xbox or PlayStation.

The fact is, the benefits go beyond the heart. Staying active during sports keeps your lungs in shape and helps by building a solid skeleton with the strongest of bones.

The physical payback from kids’ sports is enormous. But that’s not all.

Strong Mind

Kids sports also teach crucial life skills and provide support for emotional development (4).

Playing on a team requires learning not only to get along with others but also how to collaborate positively. Remember, there’s no “I” in team.

a coach and his youth soccer team

In many children, sports also bring out confidence, self-discipline, and leadership skills (5). Not everyone will go on to be captain. But getting through a game or a season successfully goes a long way toward a resilient attitude.

Perhaps you’re worried about putting too much pressure on your little ones. That’s certainly a consideration.

Make sure that the activity you choose is supported by good organization, excellent coaching, and a positive environment.

However, don’t be afraid to see them fall. Great growth comes from experiencing high-pressure situations and failing.

At some point in their lives, every child will go through the experience of a job interview. If you know how to harness the butterflies in your stomach from sports, it will go better for you.

The softer benefits don’t just go to the kids. Being part of the experience can have positives for the entire family (6). Being together, even if it’s just cheering together for your little one, makes for a happy household.

Best Kids Sports to Join

Which sport should you pursue for your child? It’s a good question — and not one anyone can answer for every family.

Every child is different, as is every family’s circumstance. And all sports have their pluses and minuses. Only you will know what’s best in your case.

a

To help, though, the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program created the Healthy Sports Index (7). It’s an online tool that looks at the pros and cons of 10 popular sports for the target population.

You can adjust various factors in the tool to account for what’s most important to you. The factors to consider are physical activity, psychosocial benefits, and safety.

The tool allows you to click and read more about each sport. The tracker provides information on the types of physical agility needed to succeed in each and recommended alternatives.

We picked out three from the list to discuss more in depth. Since we’re focusing on children between the first and fifth grades, we thought it’s probably too soon for organized cross country or track and field.

Baseball

Baseball is America’s pastime for a reason. It’s a rite of summer, drawing millions of kids outside to swing bats, run bases, and field ground balls.

The Health Sports Index ranks baseball tenth out of 10 sports, though mainly because playing the game requires lots of downtime between plays. When there’s activity, it’s intense; however, many times, players are waiting for something to happen (probably two-thirds of the time, HSI says).

Still, the HSI likes that baseball requires balance, reactionary capabilities, hand-eye coordination, and many basic movement skills. The sport is considered the fifth safest on the list of 10 sports.

The analog for girls is softball. That sport ranks ninth best out of 10 for girls but very high for psychosocial development.

In either case, boys or girls, get started in the sport by finding a T-ball league. You can probably find one through your local town recreation association or even a church league.

Setting aside the data-oriented approach, what are some of the intangible reasons for choosing baseball?

Well, for one, the teams are big — nine to each side. Anyone can participate and succeed — you don’t need to be the biggest, strongest, or fastest kid on the block.

It’s also hard to resist a sport that such an essential part of American history (8).

Soccer 

Parents have always considered soccer (or futbol depending on your nationality and country) to be one of the best kids sports.

And the Healthy Sports Index agrees. 

The survey ranks soccer the fourth-best sport for boys and the fifth-best for girls out of 10. (9)

little league soccer teams facing off.

Soccer is a sport that requires vigorous exercise about 50% of the time during a game. It rewards footwork, stamina, leg strength, and teamwork, the HSI survey suggests.

A downside: 

The injury rates in soccer for girls are the highest of the 10 suggested sports, and seventh out of tenth for boys (10).

Yet consider also the intangibles of soccer when deciding on which are the best kids sports for your family (11).

It’s a game enjoyed around the world that can be played almost anywhere and requires minimal equipment. If you have two goals, a ball, and the right shoes, you’re good to go.

Soccer also enables broad participation. 

A full game takes 22 players!

Lacrosse

We wanted to include a game that probably doesn’t get enough recognition as one of the best for physical and emotional development.

Lacrosse is also one of the nation’s oldest games, which adds a historical component to the experience. The Healthy Sports Index ranks lacrosse ninth for boys and eighth for girls, out of the 10 kids sports it reviewed.

Youth lacrosse players on the field squaring off.

You should know upfront that lacrosse involves more contact than you might think. 

HSI ranks lacrosse as the ninth safest sport for boys and eighth safest for girls out of the 10 kids sports on the list.

But it also requires maximum activity from participants… 

Players are vigorously active about 40% of the time.

Lacrosse is a fast-moving game that calls for hand-eye coordination, endurance, balance, speed, flexibility, and agility, according to the HSI social scientists.

One of the significant intangibles of lacrosse is that it develops the full athlete (12). To be successful in lacrosse, you must build speed, strength, and coordination, while calling on various skills utilized more prominently in other sports.

And teamwork is paramount, which is, in our view, one of the best reasons to involve your children in kids sports (13).

Here’s the Pitch

Parents have other choices in addition to soccer, baseball/softball, and lacrosse. Running, swimming, wrestling, basketball, tennis, all have attributes to help your little one gain confidence and grow.

Should you take the leap with them or not? That’s a question you’ll have to work through as a family, based on what you know about your child’s physical and emotional maturity.

A youth baseball coaching team a young player proper form.

Tools like the Health Sports Index can help but aren’t a replacement for real experience and understanding of the world around us.

If you’re leaning towards getting in, your best bet is to check with your kids’ school, town’s recreation league, church leagues, or even consult physical education teachers at your local school. They’ll point you in the right direction.

And don’t be afraid to get involved yourself. Our youth need caring parents with perspective to realize the benefits of organized kids sports.

One final word: Our list focuses on warm-weather sports. To learn more about kids activities in the winter, read our guide (14) to cold-weather kids sports.

What sports do your kids play and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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Have You Ever Tried These Awesome Water Sports?

Tired of beach games and looking to explore other ways to have fun? Read on to find out some of the best water sports that are adventurous and fun for you and the children.

Summer is a perfect time to spend time with your kids and explore what nature has to offer. Nothing says fun and adventure like being in the water. Children naturally love having fun in the water, and it’s an excellent way to help them develop fitness, strength, and coordination.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of water sports and some water sport options to explore during the summer.

Benefits of Water Sports

If you thought water sports are a favorite because of the adrenaline rush you get, you’d be surprised to learn that water sports have other benefits like:

Enhanced Physical Stamina

Most games require muscle coordination and the combination of aerobic/anaerobic exercises. The combination helps to improve stamina, which in turn leads to you pushing more. Young children will enjoy being fit while still having fun.

A way to Learn Teamwork

Allowing your children to interact and play with other kids enables them to learn the benefits of teamwork. Your children can work with people from different cultures and temperament. Moreover, your kids learn how to work as a team, something that helps them develop cooperation and leadership skills.

Improved Mental health

Water sports helps to enhance mental health. Research shows that water can help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Also, swimming can help enhance any one’s mood.

man surfing sunset

Image via Pexels

The Best Water Sports to Explore

Below are some of the best water sports to explore this summer.

Swimming

Swimming is a favorite water sport that you and the kids can enjoy in a personal pool or at the beach. You may find swimming more enjoyable and adventurous when you visit the sea. The best part is that you can enjoy the activity no matter the age or budget.

Swimming promotes heart health and increases one’s endurance. It’s also a perfect way to reduce weight and improve lung capacity.

Canoeing

Canoeing is a great way to enjoy the scenery as you take to the water. You can explore different stretches that are safe and have slow-flowing waters for the young ones. However, children need to be over the age of eight and able to swim for at least 50m without any help.

Jet Skiing

You can explore various forms of jet skiing. Some water parks have these skis at an affordable rate, and it’s a perfect way to spend time with your kids on holiday. Also, you can opt to hire them from a resort or a water sports center.

What’s more, you don’t need any special skills or training to enjoy jet skiing. It’s also a fantastic way to be in the water without getting wet.

boy waterskiing

Image via Pexels

Waterskiing

Waterskiis give you that feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration. Moreover, it gives you a full body workout, which is another way to promote fitness for your kids. If you have teenage kids who love having fun in the water and would rather participate in something else instead of swimming, you may need to explore waterskiing.

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding resembles snowboarding, but the former is easier to the large surface area of the board. The best part about wakeboarding is that you can stay grounded if you’re not prepared to ride up the slope.

Body Surfing

Body surfing is an excellent alternative to regular surfing or bodyboarding. You get to enjoy the relaxing feeling of swimming coupled with the fun of getting to a wave. The fact that you don’t need any extra equipment to explore body surfing makes this activity a perfect way to spend some time in the water.

Surfing

Your children will love learning how to surf if they enjoy playing in the water. Moreover, it’s the best way to get them to win a challenge of staring on the surfboard for long. Most destinations have surfing lessons for children; this means you don’t have to worry about your children doing it wrong.

Skimboarding

Sandskimming or skimboarding comes with a small board, and all you need is to balance under shallow water and wet sand. All you need is a flat beach and a wave to get started. Also, you can opt to skim on waves that are about to crash.

woman kayaking

Image via Pexels

Kayaking

Kayaking is a fun activity for both adults and teen children. The kayak boat resembles a canoe but comes with a paddle to help you move forward. What’s more, you can explore kayaking in rivers and seas.

Kiteboarding

Kitesurfing is different from windsurfing, as the former allows you to attach your feet to a wakeboard. The kite acts like a parachute, and you have control over how the kite behaves. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy wakeboarding without having a boat.

Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding involves getting on the paddle board, standing up, and floating on the water. Older children will enjoy this activity due to the waves. However, it’s recommended to ensure there’s supervision by a professional to prevent any incidents.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing is an easy sport that requires steady winds and an ideal location. You need to have precise movement as this helps you maintain balance. It’s an excellent way for the whole family to stay in shape.

You don’t have to worry about getting bored as every day comes with a new challenge. For example, you may have to experience new speeds or deal with new waves. Moreover, you can find windsurfing groups, which make the experience more enjoyable.

sunset sailing

Image via Pexels

Sailing

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive, large boat to explore sailing. You can now find places that provide affordable sailboard rentals to get your family out on the waters. Those new to sailing may need to take a lesson, but with time, you’ll be a pro in sailing.

Parasailing

Everyone should try parasailing once in their lifetime; you’ll enjoy the feeling of getting strapped and feeling the parachute catch wind as it lifts you. You can now experience soaring the sky while above the water.

If you love adventure and you’re an adrenaline junkie, parasailing will be a sport you’d want to explore. It’s a safe activity when done by professionals.

Whitewater Rafting

As a family, you can enjoy whitewater rafting if you’re planning to go camping. The sport enhances teamwork and is an excellent way to bond. The thrill that comes with whitewater rafting is something your family will never forget.

Pool Games

Another perfect way to enjoy summer is to have the kids participate in pool games like Marco Polo, Sharks and Minnows, and more. These games are enjoyable and cut through different age groups.

man jetski in beach

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Safety Tips When Participating in Water Sports

Participating in water sports with your family is an excellent way to bond. However, before you pick up the paddleboards and kayaks, you need to understand some safety tips to ensure you have an enjoyable summer adventure.

Some of the must-know tips include:

Have Basic Swimming Skills

If you plan to bring the children along, make sure that they have the necessary swimming skills. Also, you can have someone with these skills supervise them to prevent any chances of drowning.

Always Follow the Instructions and Rules

Some water sports require guidance from an experienced person. Make sure that you follow the stipulated rules, monitor the wakes, and stay in navigable waters. Get to learn the communication –  especially the hand signs when out on the water. Avoid operating in restricted areas and obey the warning signs.

Wear the Appropriate Gear

Don’t assume that you’re a professional and you can do without protective gear. For example, if a specific sport requires you to have a life jacket, ensure that it’s the right fit and size. Secure it well as it can help you stay afloat in case of any issue when out on the sea.

Remember to carry your sunscreen if you plan to explore these activities during spring and summer. Apply it as often to protect your skin from sunburns. Also, bring along plenty of water.

Moreover, you need to have an idea of how some equipment work. You may come across life preservers, GPS devices, radios, and other items. Safely store the times when out on the water.

Have Someone Supervise the Children

Children are curious and sometimes want to explore the restricted areas. You need to ensure that an adult supervises all kids the entire time they are near water.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Read the weather man’s prediction about the time you plan to be out on the water. Get to know the sea condition and water levels. If you notice that there’s a likelihood of storms or rough water, avoid planning any activities around this time.

Final Thoughts

Kids love playing in the water during the summer. You can find various places that allow you to enjoy water sports with the children. However, ensure that you’ve taken all the safety precautions before planning for any activity. Don’t forget to have fun while exploring some of the above water sports activities.

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How to Make Your Own Slip and Slide Kickball Field

Slip and slide games are a great Summer water activity, as is kickball. Both are great ways to have fun in the sun. But they can get boring. So why not combine them? Slip and slide kickball provides competition and teamwork while also cooling the players down in the summer heat.

How to Make Your Own Slip and Slide Kickball Field

Slip and slides are a great summer water activity. People of all ages enjoy the feeling of sliding fast across their lawn.

Not only that, but many throw their own small slip and slide races with their friends.

Kickball is a favorite outdoor game that kids and adults both enjoy playing. It teaches teamwork, agility, speed, and coordination. More importantly, you can have fun playing it while still being competitive.

Kickball is such a favorite game that there are teams that compete against each other.

Kickball is a fun game and slip and slides bring joy. But why not make them both a little more interesting?

Add some pools, tarps, water, and soap. Kickball is now slightly more difficult, but even more exciting.

Slip and slide kickball is just kickball with a twist. All you do is play a typical game of kickball but use slip and slide as baselines and kiddie pools as bases.

With this game, you can enjoy two great summer activities in one! A game like slip and slide kickball is the perfect pass time to play with your friends during the warmer seasons of the year.

The History of Kickball

Kickball, also known as kick baseball, is about a century old and invented by Nicholas C. Seuss in 1917. He developed it to teach his kids how to play baseball. Seuss did not have any baseball equipment. So he opted for a ball to kick with feet instead. He referred to it as kick baseball.

Children mostly play it, but during World War II, soldiers would play it to keep themselves entertained.

The game lost popularity until the late 90s. Since then, adults are playing kickball more than children. The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA Kickball) formed in 2011 in Washington D.C.  Now, there are 2,000 teams and more than 40,000 players that take part every year in the competition.

Teenage girl is enjoying the slip and slide kickball while at her back are some people having a picnic

Image via: Flickr

How to Play

Men are enjoying the kickball slide field

Image via: Flickr

Slip and slide kickball is an easy game to understand. If you know the rules to kickball, then you are set. If not, here’s what you need to know to play.

Start by creating two teams. Next, choose one member from each side to be the pitcher. Then divide the rest of the members into other roles. Here are some different roles for the game:

  • Catcher
  • First base
  • Second base
  • Third base
  • Shortstop
  • Outfield

The teams will then decide who will kick first.

The team that is kicking first will send a player up to Homeplate. The pitcher will roll the ball without the ball bouncing, and the kicker will try to kick it. If it goes past the pitcher’s mound without getting caught, they will run to the first base kiddie pool.

The goal is to get to the first kiddie pool (base) before getting tagged.

If concerned about falling and injuring yourself, you can run alongside the slip and slide then hop on and slip at the end.

Others often run on the wet sheets from the start which is more difficult when you are trying to reach the base because you will slip too much, but it is more fun this way.

Score more runs

The main point of the game is simple; one team needs to have more runs than the other.

To achieve this, players will kick the ball and run to all the bases to score points. When not kicking, the opposing team will try to stop players from scoring by catching the ball or striking the kicker out.

To build a slip-n-slide kickball field, you will need supplies to get it set up. It is a cheap project; you will not need to spend much. In fact, there is a good chance some of the supplies required can be around your house. Here is what you will need:

  • Four 3’x50’ plastic drop cloths or four slip and slides
  • Four kiddie pools (round or square)
  • About 18-20 tarp stakes
  • 4-8 bottles of dish soap
  • A kickball
  • Spray paint
  • Garden Hoses
  • A hammer

Building The Field

To begin building your slip and slide kickball field, you must first lay out the plastic drop cloths in the shape of a baseball diamond. These will serve as your baselines and will work best if laid on the flat ground.

If you are using real slip and slide mats, be sure to hammer them I with the stakes that came with them.

At home base, create a fair-sized gap between the tarps. With this space, players can kick the ball without slipping on the soap and water.

Once the tarps are laid out, you must place a kiddie pool at each corner of the diamond. These will be your bases. If worried about sliding on the rough ground, you can make the game safer by placing cardboard under the tarps for a smoother slide without any injuries.

Man with a green life saver is sliding at the slip and slide kickball

Image via: Flickr

Nail down the slip and slide

All you have to do is nail down the plastic drop cloths with the tarp stakes. To be sure that the tarps are secure, be sure to nail them down deep into the ground.

Check the stakes every once in a while to make sure they do not come above the surface. If this happens, it could cause injuries if any players happen to fall on one by accident.

The final step in building a field is to add soap and water. Fill each kiddie pool; a lot of water will splash out during the game. Then add the dish soap to the baselines and rub it in to make them slippery.

If you wish to make the field more realistic, then you can spray paint the home plate and the pitchers’ mound.

Have Fun

Creating a slip and slide kickball field is simple, comfortable, and cheap.

Now all you need to do is lay down some plastic drop cloths in the shape of a diamond, nail them to that ground, and place kiddie pools at each corner of the diamond.

Fill the small pools with water and lather the plastic drop cloths with some soap and water and then play an average game of kickball.

Now that you know how to build the field, have some fun!

Gather your friends on a hot summer’s day and enjoy a fun round of this tricky game.

Boys and girls of all ages will love the fun and competitive feeling that the slippery kickball field provides. If everyone playing is having a blast, it is unlikely that you will care about keeping score.

Check the field

Make sure to check on the field after every few rounds and make fixes where needed.

Some stakes may rise out of the ground and will need to hammer it back in. We don’t want a tarp stake to poke someone’s foot. It is also a good idea to refill the pools and add more soap to the tarps to keep the fun going.

Before you start playing slip and slide kickball, it’s not a bad idea to stretch out to help you prevent some major strains, sprains, or aches.

As with any water activity, don’t forget to put on a generous coat of sunscreen to avoid a painful sunburn at the end of the day. If you’re playing with a variety of age groups, make sure to set some rules on how “rowdy” you can get to avoid preventable injuries.

Snorkeling 101: Everything You Need To Know

​If you’ve been on any beach vacation, you might’ve seen those funky snorkeling masks with tubes and wondered how they work. What exactly are they for, and how are they used? You might be doing some research into snorkeling while you plan your next vacation. Either way, we’re here to give you all the basic information you need to start snorkeling today. 

What is Snorkeling?

person swimming in body of water during daytime

Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Let’s start with the basics. Snorkeling is an activity where you swim over the surface of the water while wearing a special diving mask. This diving mask has a breathing apparatus called a snorkel; that’s how it got its name.

Snorkeling is as a way to explore sights under the water’s surface without too much effort. Usually, someone that’s snorkeling will also wear swim fins to make swimming easier. 

Using fins is important because snorkeling is most popular in warm waters where there is often a lot of tropical water life to discover, so the swim fins allow someone that’s snorkeling to spend less of their energy swimming through the waves and allows them to enjoy more time observing things under the water.

Snorkeling is a very popular recreational activity because it can be done by people of all ages. The relative lack of necessary equipment makes it much more accessible than scuba, which often requires a lot more complicated equipment, like air tanks and ballasts, and time spent training to acquire a scuba diving license. Because you generally stay in shallower waters and on the water’s surface, it’s also less dangerous than scuba diving

Despite these differences, scuba diving actually grew out of snorkeling, or rather it’s predecessor, known as freediving. Even though the snorkel only works at the surface of the water, you can combine it with breath holding techniques and dives under the water’s surface in what’s known as freediving, to get a better look at things below.

While this article will focus on the recreational activity, technically snorkeling is done any time someone uses a snorkel and is done by scuba divers when they are on the water’s surface and in some water-based sports.

Snorkeling is a great activity for those that want to:

  • ​Enjoy time outdoors

  • ​See a variety of undersea life

  • ​Do something active outdoors without being too strenuous

  • ​Do something special that everyone in the family can do

Snorkeling skills

​Even though it’s very accessible, there are still a variety of basic skills that can be developed to make the activity more fun and enjoyable, no matter your swimming level or comfort with water sports.

Preparation

finger of a person with sunscreen

​Image via Pixabay

Just because you’re not scuba diving doesn’t mean you won’t run into everyday dangers associated with the beach and water sports. Even though you’re in the water, your skin is susceptible to sunburn, so you’ll want to be sure to wear waterproof sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. 

It’s important to remember you’ll be face-down with your back to the sun, so you’ll have to be sure to cover areas of your skin you may not be used to like the backs of your knees, legs, and ears. It can also be helpful to wear a waterproof shirt to help keep the sun off of you.

You should always enjoy water activities in groups for safety. You want to make sure everyone in your group has the same plans and knows what to do in case of an emergency. If you’re snorkeling with children, you’ll want to go over water safety with them, and maybe practice going out into the water without the snorkeling equipment so they can get comfortable in the environment. 

It’s also helpful to have new snorkelers practice using the snorkel in shallow waters or even a pool so they can get comfortable with the different breathing rhythms it can cause and they can get used to the angle they need to swim at to prevent water from splashing into the snorkel, which can be very uncomfortable.

Swimming

two person swims on opposite direction

Photo by Jonny Clow via Unsplash

When you snorkel, it involves quite a bit of swimming, so everyone can benefit from improving their swimming skills. While a small child could be reasonably held and led along through calm waters, it’s still best to have them comfortable in the water. A good way to do this might be by having some lessons at a local pool before going out.

No matter your swimming level, you’ll want to work on your freestyle swimming technique, as the kick used for freestyle swimming is the same one that needs to be used to swim successfully and economically while wearing the swim fins most people wear while snorkeling.

Improving your swimming skills will also give you more freedom in the water. While most wear floatation vests while snorkeling to make observation easier and more relaxing, they aren’t necessary, and can sometimes even make swimming harder to swim in a wave or subtle current. If you’re comfortable enough to swim without a vest and have built the endurance to do so easily, you can even access snorkeling areas you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and can easily transition into freediving if you want to.

An important thing to remember is that you’ll likely be wearing swim fins while snorkeling, so you’ll want to practice swimming in those as well. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, if you aren’t used to wearing swim fins your muscles can get sore or may even cramp because the extra lengths of the swim fins put more strain in different parts of your leg. It can be helpful to practice using them in a pool or shallower waters before going on a snorkel excursion.

Conserving Energy

woman snorkeling

Photo by Maja Novak via Unsplash

In the previous section, we used the word excursion for a reason. Sometimes you have to travel out to special snorkel spots to be able to see the impressive sea life and reefs. That means snorkel trips can take all day. Think about how tired travel can make you, especially if you have to take a boat in the sun, and then consider snorkeling on top of that! That’s why learning how to conserve your energy while swimming and using a snorkel is important.

Going for a swim while wearing swim fins and a floatation vest might not sound like hard work, but if you do it for long periods in the sun, you can get tired. The most important thing to remember when snorkeling is to let the equipment do the work for you. 

Often, new snorkelers will fall back into freestyle swimming, but using your arms burns more energy than kicking alone, and usually isn’t necessary for a leisurely snorkel. 

Your technique plays a big role in the amount of energy you expend as well. New snorkelers often try to suck air through the snorkel, which can lead to stifled breathing. Remember to take long, slow, breaths through the snorkel and trust that it’ll work for you. 

Another factor in conserving energy is the thing that will be using the most of it, kicking. Because you’ll be wearing swim fins, you don’t need to kick very hard, and kicking too hard can cause splashing that disturbs the beautiful sea life you’re trying to see.

Snorkeling Equipment

We’ve mentioned some of the basic snorkel gear you’ll need to get started, but there are a few things to consider when looking to either purchase or rent snorkeling gear.


Masks

diving mask in the sea

Image via Pixabay

The mask is vital to being able to enjoy your snorkeling experience. You want to make sure your mask is appropriate for outdoor snorkeling. That means it’ll be made of tough material that doesn’t deteriorate in seawater and has a relatively low amount of volume in the mask portion. This design will prevent too much pressure from building around your eyes, and be easier to clear if water gets in. 

You also want to check to see if the straps on the mask are comfortable and if it can fit your head size, as you’ll be wearing it for long periods.

An important note: although full-faced snorkel masks have risen in popularity because of their full range of view, there have been a number of troubling reports about their risks, and we don’t recommend them.


Fins

snorkeling fins placed in a wooden char

Image via Pixabay

A key factor when choosing fins is knowing what the temperature will be for the water you’re swimming in. If you’re going to be in warm water, you’ll want the extra comfort and security provided by a full heel swim fin. If you’re going to be in cooler waters, you’ll want a half heel swim fin that can fit over a wetsuit.

If you’re going to be snorkeling in calmer waters, or casually, a shorter swim fin is more comfortable for most people to use, requires less exertion, and is easier to pack if you buy your own.


Snorkel

Like the swim fins, choosing the right snorkel will depend on the kind of snorkeling you want to do. Most people will be best suited to using a medium length snorkel. While it might be tempting to get an extra long snorkel to prevent splashing, proper snorkels will be equipped with a filter to prevent water from splashing in easily, plus, long snorkels make it harder for you to draw breath.


Final Thoughts

group of women snorkeling

via Giphy

​Now that you know the basics of snorkeling and snorkeling gear you have all the information you need to get started snorkeling for yourself and enjoy all the wonderful experiences snorkeling can offer. See you in the water!

​Featured Image: Photo by Carolina Garcia via Unsplash

The Best Hikes In Utah Every Family Needs To Experience

The state of Utah is the perfect location for long family hiking trips. In the northern part of the country you have the beautiful trails filled with tall mountains and aspen trees — think Colorado in terms of natural brilliance.

But, if you travel further south, then you will experience a dramatic shift in scenery. Gone are the snow-covered mountains, which become replaced by red rocks and deserts. In this part of the state, the landscape more closely resembles the American southwest.

As you can guess, Utah offers a lot for hiking enthusiasts — far more than you can squeeze into a small hiking trip. But how safe are the trails in Utah? If you have kids, then is it safe taking them on the hiking paths? Or will they get overwhelmed by tough terrain and weather?

While there is no shortage of advanced trails in Utah, there are also plenty of family-friendly ones you can choose from too. In this article, we provide you with some of the best hikes in Utah — ones that will appeal to the whole family and not just the hiking enthusiast. But first, let us look at how we rank the locations.

How We Choose The Hiking Locations on This List

man standing on a rock overlooking the green highlands

Photo by Mike Tanase from Pexels

We select the best hikes in Utah on this list by looking at trails that appeal specifically to families and children. This criterion means that the trails are not too difficult to navigate and you can enjoy them all within a day or two. When ranking the locations, we look at three distinct factors.

Specifically, we look at factors like the difficulty of the trail, activities available, and the overall beauty of the location. For each of these factors, we ask a series of questions that help us determine the strengths and weaknesses of each trail.

We then assign the location a score out of five stars, so you can have a quick reference when checking out the sites. Here are some of the questions we ask:

  • The difficulty of the Trail — How hard is the trail to hike? Can you complete the path within a day? Can a small child enjoy the trail? Is the trail dangerous in any way?

  • Activities Available — Are there any activities available besides hiking? Can you go fishing? Or are there areas to picnic, grill or eat?

  • Overall Beauty — How scenic is the Utah hiking trail? How does it compare to the other locations found of the list? How unique is the scenery to Utah?

The Six Best Hiking Trips in Utah for Families

Keep in mind that we believe all the locations on this list offer great hiking and views for whoever decides to explore them. However, we do think that some of the places might appeal more to families than season hikers. Still, you probably cannot go wrong choosing any locations on this list.

1) Silver Lake – American Fork Canyon

Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon lies on a well-marked trail that ranges between three and four miles. The crystal clear lake surrounds itself with breathtaking rocky mountains covered in trees, bushes, and wildflowers. The result is a location that remains almost stunningly beautiful.

The trail starts at Silver Flat Lake, where you will find a parking lot for leaving your vehicle. The first part of the path takes you through a well-marked trail that weaves between beautiful aspen trees and fresh mountain streams. In total, the trail takes about two in half hours to hike.

Once you get to the lake, you can go swimming or fishing if you possess a license for doing so. There are also camping locations located around the lake itself. Generally, we think kids will be found on the trail in terms of energy as long as they do not care incredibly heavy packs. Otherwise, they should be fine.

2) Grotto Trail – Payson Canyon Utah

Since this trail is not very long and contains little elevation, it is ideals for families of all shapes and sizes. You also get rewarded with a sight of the beautiful Grotto falls at the end of the trail. The trail follows a variety of small streams, some of which you must cross using wooden beams placed by rangers.

As we mentioned, this is a quick trial, so you should not expect to spend all day on it. The trail is roughly half a mile long and takes about forty-five minutes to get through it (not counting any time you spend enjoying the waterfall afterward).

However, if you visit during the spring make sure you are careful while you hike the trail. Sometimes running water from melting snow can flood certain parts of the path. We recommend visiting in mid-summer since the trees provide a nice bit of shade and the waterfall is crisp and refreshing.

3) Devils Kitchen Payson Canyon

If you want a great trail of some of the beautiful red rock formations found throughout Utah, then the Devils Kitchen trail in Payson Canyon is the perfect trail for you and your family. This trail is an excellent way to get in and out of the area quickly since the path is only a quarter of a mile long.

At the end of the trail, it will reward you with a mountain platform that offers a beautiful scenic view of southern Utah. You can complete the path in roughly thirty minutes. The park also provides toilets and picnic tables, which makes the area an excellent location for your family to stop and have lunch during a road trip.

However, keep in mind that the trail is aptly named. During the summer when the weather heats up, the paths can become unbearable for certain sun-sensitive individuals Since there is little natural shade from the trees we recommend that you bring a good hat and some sunscreen.

4) Silver Lake – Big Cottonwood Canyon

The beautiful Silver Lake offers a lot for family hikers: lakeside trails, picnic areas, and some dock fishing locations. With any luck, you will see a moose near the trail since the city is an excellent breeding ground for the animal. We recommend visiting anytime during the Spring, Summer or Fall.

The boardwalk hike itself is less than a mile long, so no one should get too tired during the trip. In terms of fish, Silver Lake offers mainly trout populations. Just make sure you have a fishing license before you bring along your rod and tackle box!

One cool thing about the location is that it included boardwalks for reaching the lake area. As such, it is ideal for families that want to bring along an elderly or disabled family member since the lake is handicap accessible.

5) Lower Bells Reservoir – Little Cottonwood Canyon

Like many of the trails on this list, Lower Bells Reservoir found in Little Cottonwood Canyon offers a quick hike with a reward scenic payoff. The path itself is less than a quarter mile long, and you can navigate in around twenty minutes. The trail takes you up a small ridge, and then circles you around the reservoir.

Generally, many people consider this trail as secure which makes it ideal for children and elderly hikers. If you are a fan of bright green mountainsides and plenty of blossoming wildflowers, then we recommend you visit the trail in spring or early summer.

You can get parking at the trailhead found at the 9800 South intersections. You will also find bathrooms and picnic table at the park head.

6) Red Reef Trail – Red Cliffs Recreation Area

At six miles long, the Red Reef Trail, found in the Red Cliffs recreation area, is one of the long hikes on this list. However, the beautiful canyons, gorges and water crevices will be sure to entertain your family during the long trek. If you do not want to hike the entire trail, then alternatively you can take a quick half mile loop that offers a lot of the same views.

Along the trail, you find many memorable sights — from the thick elephant trunk tree to the pools of water you can swim in along the path. While the scenic views and geographical formations offered on the trail is undeniably beautiful, we do provide a word of caution if you want to hike the trail with your family.

During the summer the heat can become unbearable for children or the elderly. Also, during the spring flash flooding can occur in the valleys at the drop of a hat, which makes certain sections of the trail potentially dangerous. As such, we recommend it for families with older children or more experienced hikers.

Hiker’s Guide for Navigating Utah Trails

man in blue jacket and brown backpack

Photo by Oziel Gómez from Pexels

If you never hiked a trail before, then there are some essential things you should know before bringing your family to one of Utah’s many national parks. Luckily we included some important take waypoint in this hiker’s guide section. Here are some vital tips you should keep in mind before hiking.

Pack and Dress Accordingly

Without the proper trail gear, an otherwise fun hiking experience can turn uncomfortable at best and downright dangerous at best. As such, it is vital that you bring such essential equipment. First and foremost you should bring water, at least two quarts per person and a comfortable pair of shoes.

Similarly, so areas of Utah experience random or erratic rainfall. As such, some ziplocked plastic bag can help keep your phone and wallet dry in case of an emergency. Similarly, so areas can experience sweltering heat in the summer, so bring sunscreen, even if you find you do not usually need it.

Do Not Overestimate Yourself

If you are a beginner or hiking with family and friends, then do not plan too ambitious of a hiking trip. A lot of the harder trails in Utah offer little shade from the sun and steep mountainous climbs. Discuss how long you would like to hike with your family, then pick a path that corresponds roughly in difficulties.

There are also plenty of trails that offer easy-to-reach, family friendly views. So visit the park center when you reach a national park and ask the staff which paths they recommend. Do not be nervous; it is their job to help you navigate the park.

Be Aware that There Might Be Crowds

Hiking is becoming a much more popular activity, and as a result, there might be more crowds on the trails then you are used to dealing with while hiking. If you do not mind sharing then the path, then this issue is not a big deal. But if you want to avoid some crowds, then there are some tips you can follow that will help you.

First, try and come during non-peak hours when the parks just open. Noon is usually the most popular time for people to visit. So, try coming either early in the morning or after two PM. If you want to catch a sunrise or a sunset on the trail, then you can probably expect some company too.

We hope this guide helped you find some of the best hikes in Utah for your family. Whether you camp or walk the trail for the day, make sure you leave the environment the same as when you found it. Set a good example for your family and others and pick up your trash and belongs. Have fun on the trail!

Top 10 Best Snowboard Goggles For You

Heading for the mountains this winter? You’ll need to have a pair of snowboard goggles to protect your eyes from wind, cold, and blowing snow.

Comparison Table

Best Snowboard Goggles for the Avid Sports Person

Goggles will help you improve your visibility while in the snow, especially in a whiteout or low light conditions. Here are the 10 best snowboarding goggles to consider:

1​

Dragon Alliance X2s Lumalens Goggles


Dragon Alliance X2 Ski Goggles, West/Purple Ion

  • Helmet compatible with silicone strap backing; Large fit Size
  • 100% UV protection on a optically correct 6 base injected lens
  • Patented Frameless Technology with Armored venting

These goggles allow users to quickly switch the lens. It is fitted with a green ion and an amber glass.

The model comes with a strong carry case to protect the spare lens from breaking. However, these Dragon goggles are somehow flimsy and more fragile than others on the list.   

2

Electric California EG3


Electric Eyewear Kleveland Matte Black/Brose/Blue Chrome One Size

  • Ergonomic frame design
  • Mold injected thermoplastic urethane (TPU) frame
  • 100% UV protection

This is the perfect example of a frameless, spherical goggle. It is the latest model of the Electric California EG series.

This pair of snowboard goggles is the ultimate combination of style and quality. The lens is constructed with a one-way pressure valve to create its distinct concave shape with an anti-fog coating.

3

Winterial Magnetic Goggles


Winterial Magnetic Ski and Snowboard Goggles, Includes 2…

  • Magnetic interchangeable lens system; bright light lens and fire orange lens included; perfect for all weather…
  • Lightweight frame design with multi outlet ventilation technology; these ski and snowboard goggles weigh only 5.8 ounces
  • Anti fog double layer lens and 100% UV protection for tier 1 optical performance

This is one of the best snowboards goggles you can purchase if you are on a budget.

As the name suggests, this model allows you to swap quickly between the dual lenses. It comes with a blue and yellow glass for excellent visibility. You can quickly switch the lens by peeling off the thin outer blue glass to reveal the yellow one beneath it.

4

Smith Squad XL


Smith Optics Adult Squad Snow Goggles,Whiteout Frame/ChromaPop Sun…

  • Medium Fit and Helmet Compatible
  • Select colorways available with ChromaPop, Cylindrical Carbonic-X lenses with TLT Lens Technology for Crystal Clear…
  • Ultra Wide Silicone Backed Strap and Dual-slide Strap Adjusent System

Released in January 2018, this is the most recent innovation of the Smith brand. The XL version is bigger and has improved qualities than the older brands. In fact, it has one of the largest cylindrical lenses in the market today.

These goggles offer comfort to a wide range of users – from small faces or large face snowboarders.

It also has a good optical quality that allows you to rid in both high and low light conditions – the dual Chroma pop lenses for sunny days and a faint light option for lower light conditions.

5

Snowboard Goggles


ZIONOR X4 Ski Snowboard Snow Goggles Magnet Dual Layers Lens Spherical…

  • High Performance Anti-fog & UV Protection – Ski & snowboard goggles with unique anti-fogging treatment and 100% UV400…
  • Magnetic Lens Technology – 8 magnets hold the lens tight and easy to be replaced for different terrains and light…
  • Spherical View and Smooth Venting – 180+ degree panoramic view design for super clear vision and less visual…

If you need fashionable and unique snowboard goggles, then this model is one of the best goggles you will come across.

It has a stretchy strap which makes the goggles easy to adjust over a helmet. It also has a generous fit that makes them quite popular with people with larger faces.

The optical ability of this goggles enables you to enjoy clear visibility while snowboarding. The spherical lenses have been treated effectively to prevent scratches and fog.

6

Von Zipper ALTXM Goggles


VONZIPPER ALT XM, Black Satin/Wildlife

  • Extreme light weight frameless design
  • Dual polycarbonate Toric lens
  • 100% UV protection

The ALT-XM is developed for a rider who needs high-quality lens goggles for one-time use. However, this one-time use goggle has top-notch performance.

The hybrid lens is designed with weight-saving features that ensure you are comfortable while snowboarding.

7

Oakley Line Miner Goggles


Oakley Line Miner Snow Goggles

  • Oakley keeps your sights clear so you can shred with the Line Miner goggle.

This model gives you a peripheral vision despite its cylindrical lens and thick frames. However, you have to use a self-heating system to ensure the lens are never fogged.

The lens provides an adaptable vision in the wind, cold, and blowing snow regions.  

8

Electric EG 2.5


Electric EG2.5 Goggles Possy Pink/Jet Black Plus Bonus Lens, One Size

  • Lens: spherical
  • Frame: thermoplastic urethane
  • Ventilation: frame and lens

An excellent choice for people with smaller faces. The frame of this goggle allows you to have a full field of view of the surrounding. Also, the lightweight frame ensures comfort and fit to the user.

The lens is spherical and provides clarity to the users. The reflective finish on the goggles allows it to be fog-free for a limited duration of time.

9

Anon M3 Goggles


Anon Men’s M3 Goggle with Spare Lens, Black Frame Red Solex Lens

  • Cylindrical lens construction reduces peripheral distortion for full clarity
  • Wall-to-Wall Vision incorporates optimal optics in a low-profile frame that utilizes 40% thinner face foam for an…
  • Triple layer face foam features moisture wicking fleece for the most comfortable goggle-to-face fit that seals out the…

If you want some Magna-tech on your lenses wrapped in a sleek frame, the Anon M3 is a great choice. The integration and optical clarity are top-notch – almost second to none. Your face will never happier on the cold hills.  

10

Oakley Flight Deck


Oakley OO7050-20 Flight Deck Eyewear, Matte Black, Prizm Sapphire…

  • Snow goggles featuring logoed band and rimless lens design for improved peripheral vision
  • Lens sub-frame attachment for fast and easy lens changing
  • Platonize lens material for 100% protection against UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light

The innovation of this model was inspired by the flight pilot helmets.

This design has oversized spherical lenses that are modified to minimize weight and increase comfort. It is frameless and easy to switch the lens, making it one of the most popular best snowboard goggles today.

Get Your New Snowboard Goggles Today!

It is crucial for you to find the best pair of snowboarding goggles. When purchasing the goggles, one of the main factors to consider is the color of the lens. Snowboarding goggles are available in wide variety of color lens each specialized for a specific condition.

Also, ensure that the pair you settle on offers protection from both UV-A and UV-B light. Look for goggles that are constructed with double lens technology. This will help you avoid fogging.

Happy snowboarding!

Featured Image via Pixabay

How to Shoot, Dribble, and Play Basketball the Right Way

Turn on your television and watch a basketball game for a few minutes. In that short amount of time, you will see a wide range of playing styles, techniques, and strategies on how to shoot a basketball. Want to focus on one single player and attempt to emulate their style? Even in that scenario, you may find yourself trying to keep up with the changes they make throughout the length of a season or even a single game.

There’s no single right way to play basketball. However, there is a basic set of tips that you can begin using in your own practice sessions to help you begin to master the game.

How to Shoot a Basketball:

A Beginner’s Guide

Since you can’t win a game without scoring points, knowing how to shoot a basketball is pretty important.

When taking a shot you need good form. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. A slight bend in the knees is allowable to help give yourself some momentum and guide the ball to the basket. One hand will hold most of the weight of the ball while your other hand is placed on the side for stability. Your shooting hand is the one holding the ball. When lining up your shot, align your elbow directly below your wrist.

Square Up The Basket

Before you take your shot, try to square up with the basket. Your feet, hips, and shoulders should all be facing your target to help you line up your shot more easily. Finally, once you have your form set, release the ball. A lot of people talk about dipping their hand into the cookie jar. As you release the ball, you want your fingers to follow through the shot like you are sliding them into the top of a cookie jar.

Reading all of that may sound complicated. In reality, setting up for a shot is a very quick process and the movements will become natural as you put in more practice time.

The Layup

Layups often make for some of the best basketball highlight reels. This is the perfect shot when you are driving toward the basket and you simply want to bank the ball off the backboard and into the hoop. If you miss, there is a good chance that a defender may take a foul and give you the opportunity to earn points with free throws. A layup may look complicated as you watch the day’s highlights on television but the process is actually very simple. One mantra to keep in mind is, “outside, inside, up.”

Footwork

This describes the footwork as you drive the basket and into the air for your layup. “Outside” refers to your first step. If you are attacking the net from the right, then your outside foot is your right foot. “Inside” describes your second step using, of course, your inside foot. The “up” portion of the movement is when you use your outside leg to drive your body into the air and bank the ball off the backboard.

As you take off, use your inside hand to hold and release the ball while your outside hand protects the ball from being blocked or knocked away by defenders. At first, you may find yourself having trouble with the movements. It sometimes helps to say, “outside, inside, up” out loud while you practice your footwork. As you become more experienced, the movements will come naturally without a second thought.

Moving the Ball: Dribbling Basics

Before you can take your shot, you need to advance the ball from your end of the court to the opposite end. Passing with your teammates is one way to advance the ball but, at some point, you will have to dribble the ball. Dribbling is the act of bouncing the ball off the floor repeatedly with your hand. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of rules concerning dribbling that you must keep in mind. First, you can only dribble with one hand at a time. You are allowed to alternate between hands, often known as a “v dribble.” However, dribbling with both hands at once will result in a turnover to the other team.

Push The Ball

When dribbling, you must “push” the ball straight back down. Use your hand on the top of the ball and push down to bounce the ball off the floor. You cannot hold the ball and then start dribbling after you were previously dribbling. Again, this will result in a turnover to the other team. If you stop dribbling, you must either shoot or pass to a teammate.

Also, you cannot move without dribbling. The only case where this does not apply is when driving the net for a layup. In that case, you can take three steps without dribbling as long as you release the ball for a shot.

Practice Makes Perfect

All of that probably seems a little bit complicated. Now you know how to shoot a basketball and some dribbling basics. Get out there and practice your new skills so they come naturally next time you hit the court. 

Featured Image via Pixabay

How to Play Disc Golf and Disc Golf Rules

Disc golf is a great game. It is something that you can play recreationally with friends or that, believe it or not, you can play seriously and competitively. No matter what your goals with the game may be, you will find that learning how to play disc golf is actually quite simple, especially if you know and understand the basic rules.

The Basic Rules of Disc Golf

The first thing to know, disc golf is a game of respect and courtesy. And you are asked to treat your fellow players, opponents or not, in a friendly manner.

For example, you cannot distract another player when he is throwing. Nor can you throw your disc without ensuring it will not cause a problem or distraction for another player.

Aside from general courtesies, each golf hole begins with a tee-off and then throwing until the players have all reached the basket, just as in golf. Scoring is also the same as golf. Every time you throw your disc that counts as a “stroke.” Penalties that you incur as you play also count as a stroke. At the end of the game, the player who took the fewest strokes or throws wins. It’s as simple as that, but so much more fun than you could ever imagine!

Make Your Final Shot Your Easiest Shot

As you learn how to play disc golf, you will quickly find that the desire to win is real.

Even though the sport isn’t always super competitive, winning is the kind of thing that players seem to get into. So, even if you are not playing for serious reasons, you’ll likely still find yourself wanting to win…big time.

Tips to Remember:

If that’s you, one key tip to follow is to remember not to get too hung up on distance. All too often, players, especially beginning players, want to throw their discs as far as they can from the first throw onward.

And, while throwing far is helpful, it’s not the important part of winning the game.

You’d be much better off by seeing the big picture and trying to make as few progressive throws as you can to get your disc into the net. You also want to make it so that your approach shot is easy and so that your final shot is your easiest one yet.

This is the point where you should be wrapping things up and getting that disc into the net. So don’t make it hard when you don’t have to.

Take the Proper Stance and Use Good Technique

Another thing that can help you to get better at disc golf is to remember that stance and technique matter. As such, always try to keep these things in mind when you play.

Always begin with a stationary throw. Once you have mastered that, you can do a run-up or at least work your way up to one

When throwing, reach back with a full extension of both the arm and the elbow. Then, when you’re ready, bring the arm forward by pushing the elbow and maintaining strength and power until you are ready to release the disc.

Remember while you throw to keep the rest of your body as still and firm as possible. This will help you to control your shot and will give you a better chance at landing your disc in the net.

Follow the Rules of Tee Off Order

While disc golf may be largely about fun, it’s also about following the rules. This is especially true when it comes to the rules of tee off order.

Always remember that the first tee is decided upon by flipping discs. If you’re not playing as serious of a game, though, you can simply decide who goes first.

If you are flipping discs, use the printed side of the disc as “heads.”

This flipping is only done on the first tee off. For all other holes, allow the player with the lowest score on the previous hole to go first.

Use Quality Equipment

In addition to following these tips and following the rules, make sure you are using quality equipment.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, and playing at a local park is just fine, but you should have quality discs and other materials to help improve your game.

As long as you can follow this tip and the others presented here, you should get great enjoyment from disc golf.

Featured Image via Pixabay