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)

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Winter Lightning sleds are the biggest seller for Paricon.

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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." 

SNOW CASTLE/SNOWBALL MAKER SET

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. 

TUBBS SNOWFLAKE SNOWSHOES

$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. 

DASH SLED

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:

mgoad@pressherald.com

Twitter: MeredithGoad

 

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Additional Photos

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

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

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The Snow Castle/Snowball Maker Set.

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The Zipfy Mini-Luge Sled.

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

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

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Tubbs Snowflake Snowshoes even come with stickers.

  


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