iVillage’s Elizabeth Werner Spotlights Latest Backyard Toys
(STREETSBORO, OHIO) — April 30, 2008 — Let the outdoor fun begin! Reeling from the wicked winter of 2007, the backyard is a welcome oasis for outdoor creative play and an important outlet for kids who’ve been cooped up inside for months.
Elizabeth Werner is “Chief Toy Officer” for online parenting community iVillage and offers advice for parents picking outdoor toys for kids. She predicts that with rising travel costs, many families may forgo the annual road trip vacation and stick close to home this summer. “With so many new outdoor toys on the market, parents can turn their outdoor space into a safe playground of fun,” Werner said. “This year the hot new toys are updated twists on classic fun — like sand and water carts, playhouses with running water, and jungle gyms turned into sports centers.”
Werner recommends parents check the labels, pick familiar brands and look for toys that can foster different kinds of play throughout the season. The Step2 Company, famous for its signature play kitchens, ride on toys and playhouses, offers new outdoor toys that transform an ordinary yard into a magical cottage, silly funhouse or haven of water toys with no landscaper or contractor required. The majority of Step2′s toys (90%) are made in the USA and all are free of phthalates.
New Toys for Fun in the Sun
Here are new toys from Step2 designed to promote creative, self-directed play for kids this summer:
- All Star Sports Climber: Outfitted with a basketball hoop, rock wall, football toss, soccer and slide, kids will keep active as they learn how to toss, shoot, and kick on target at a young age. Keep score with the built in score keeper. Rock wall provides a safe and easy challenge for children.
- Neighborhood Fun Center: Unique design features multiple activities so there is something for everyone. Activity stations include a hook & loop target board, two balls, ring toss, crawl-thru rotating door and wavy slide. Ring toss comes with four rings. Crawl-thru hole leads to slide and playhouse. Playhouse design has a working Dutch door, window and doggy door.
- Fun Flow Play Sink: A battery-powered pump keeps the water and fun times flowing through the Fun Flow Play Sink’s gooseneck faucet. Faucet rotates to allow children to direct water flow and play with the included accessory play pieces: cup, strainer, spinning waterwheel and funnel.
- Naturally Playful® Magic Fountain Cottage: Imaginations can run wild with this magic cottage that hides surprises around every corner. The old-world inspired design features stone cottage-look with shale roof and battery-powered wall fountain. Full size door and working shutters for peek-a-boo fun. Detailed interior features a secret crawl-thru door, stone fireplace, and a kitchenette with sink, swivel faucet, burner and clicking knob.
- Sand & Water Cart: No beach? No problem with the Sand & Water Cart, the new raised sandbox and water table which offers elevated play. Two front wheels and handle help easily move sand cart from one place to another. Durable protective lid helps keep debris and water out. Underneath storage shelf allows toys to dry after use. Comes with a 42″ tilting umbrella to help shade children from sunlight.
Step2′s spring and summer 2008 products are currently available at toy stores and retailers nationwide. For more information on the full line of Step2 toys and products, please visit www.step2.com.
Step2 is the world’s largest rotational molding manufacturer, designer and marketer of children’s and home products sold under the Step2 brand. Known for providing durable, imaginative and active fun, Step2 is a market leader in outdoor toys, playhouses, play kitchens, sand and water play, ride on toys, swing sets, wagons and kid’s furniture; as well as mailboxes, home & garden outdoor furniture and trash cans. Some of the company’s most popular brands are Naturally Playful®, LifeStyle®, MainStreet Village® and MailMaster®. Step2 is based in Streetsboro, Ohio, and distributes its toy and home & garden products through multiple retail channels including toy retailers, mass merchants, home centers, and the Internet. www.step2.com
Dotti Foltz, Vice President Marketing Communications
Margaux Vega, Current Lifestyle Marketing