January 13, 2013

Fun in the snow

Toys ranging from old-fashioned wooden sleds to plastic blocks for building snow forts lure children outdoors for winter activities.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Winter Lightning sleds are the biggest seller for Paricon.

click image to enlarge

L.L. Bean’s Classic Dash Sled.

Additional Photos Below

The tubes "also tend to be probably the fastest sled that we have," Balentine said. "They tend to follow the contours, so if you're, say, at the golf course at a local sledding hill, they're going to follow the downhill fast. They're not super maneuverable unless you drag a foot or something, but they give you the fastest ride over a wide variety of snow surfaces. They have tremendous flotation."

Balentine jokes that he knows firsthand that snow tubes are also more gentle on baby boomer bodies.

"As an older parent and somebody who tests all this stuff," he said, "now that I'm in my 50s, the snow tube is definitely the way to go. Even if you go over a jump at my tender old age, you can still walk into work the next day." 


L.L. Bean, $24.99

Balentine admits he was skeptical when he first saw snowball makers. Any kid can make a snowball, right?

But he's since found that being able to make a perfect snowball, or perfect blocks of snow for building, helps kids' imaginations run wild.

"You can build a castle or you can build a rocket ship or you can build a fence around the yard," he said.

Paricon also makes versions of these toys. The company's snowball maker sells for $6.99, and its snow block maker is $4.99. 


$34.95 at tubbssnowshoes.com

How cute are these? Designed for 3- to 6-year-olds (up to 50 pounds), they come with a sticker pack so kids can customize their snowshoes. 


L.L. Bean, $139 Classic, $169 Long, $109 Small

New this year, the Dash sled is an update on the classic hardwood sled with thick steel runners that slice through the snow. A pivot steering system flexes the front end for precise turns and good control. It's handmade in Canada for kids ages 6 and up.

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:


Twitter: MeredithGoad


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

The Sno Smash Inflatable Air Board with the New England Patriots logo.

click image to enlarge

A Rocket Linkable Sled, inspired by how children play on sledding hills.

click image to enlarge

The Snow Castle/Snowball Maker Set.

click image to enlarge

The Zipfy Mini-Luge Sled.

click image to enlarge

The Sonic SnowTube is “probably the fastest sled that we have,” L.L. Bean’s Scot Balentine says.

click image to enlarge

“Kids love the graphics” on foam sleds like this one, says Tom Morton of Paricon.

click image to enlarge

Tubbs Snowflake Snowshoes even come with stickers.


Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)