Spring Forward: The Season’s Must-Have Baby & Kid Items
When the birds start chirping and flowers are blooming, you’ve made it to spring. Time to get outside and fortify your kiddos with sunshine and fresh air. Whether you're hitting the playground, the trails, or taking a much-needed vacation, it helps to have the right gear. We’ve assembled a guide for must-have essentials for spring.
Carriers and Backpacks
Once spring weather arrives, parents are bursting to take a walk in the park or go for a hike. Sometimes there are places even the best stroller can’t go or you just want to be hands-free.
Baby Carriers: Soft cloth baby carriers are packable and convenient. For a forward-facing option, many parents swear by ErgoBaby and Baby Bjorn and well-known brands like Graco and Boppy also make carriers.
Frame Backpack: If you’re going hiking and hitting the city sidewalks, you might want a sturdy frame backpack. These packs usually feature a padded waist, chest straps, and sunshades, and can even accommodate heavier toddlers. A few years of use means a good bang for your buck.
Spring outings often call for a good set of wheels. Depending on the ages and how many kids you have, there are more options than ever.
Lightweight Stroller: An easy-to-fold, lightweight single or double stroller, like BabyJogger’s popular City Select, are perfect for stashing in the car or for running errands.
Jogging Stroller: For long walks or runs or navigating bumpy sidewalks, a jogging stroller is a sturdy and comfortable ride. At the high-end, BOB’s Alterrain Pro Jogging Stroller is a proven winner, while Graco’s FastAction Fold Jogging Stroller is a wallet-friendly option.
Wagon: For a full-day outing or carting gear and kids, a wagon may fit the bill. In the last few years wagons have come a long way. High-end models like Wonderfold's wagon feature 5-point harnesses, car seat adapters, sunshades, padded seats, and large wheels. If you want something more portable, opt for a slimmed-down wagon with basic features, like Radio Flyer’s 3 In 1 EZ Fold Wagon.
Best Thing on Two — or Three — Wheels
With warmer weather, kids need their own wheels.
Two-Wheel Bikes: For big kids, nab a high-quality two-wheeler, including Trek or Specialized, or a more affordable version like Huffy. Most starter bikes come equipped with training wheels, so you’ll get plenty of miles.
Tricycles: Too young to peddle solo? Get your kiddo started with a push tricycle, such as this Joovy model or the popular Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll N Trike. They can peddle and you can give them a little help. When they’re ready to take over, disconnect the parent handle and you have a tricycle.
Scooters: Scooters are the biggest thing since, well, bikes. Razor is a popular brand with scooters that last well into the teen years. Little siblings want a scooter of their own? Razor’s Jr. Lil Kick and Radio Flyer’s My 1st Scooter are sturdy three-wheel versions.
Safety: Of course, you want to make sure your kiddos have a well-fitting helmet. Adjustable models are a great option to accommodate your fast-growing riders.
Turn your backyard or patio into an outdoor playground with affordable, portable items.
Outdoor Toys: Collapsible tunnels are quick and easy to set up, and you can use them to create obstacle courses or forts. Your little one can swing the afternoon away in easy to install outdoor swings, like this one from FisherPrice, or move your trusty indoor swing out into the sunshine.
Picnic Gear: Every outdoor playdate needs a good picnic blanket for lunch and snack time. Opt for a waterproof model that folds down to fit into your diaper bag or stroller basket. You can use it at the park, the beach, or even in your trunk.
Sports Equipment: It’s never too early to try out a sport. Pop up soccer goals, a basketball hoop, t-ball sets, and mini tennis rackets will get your kids moving — and grown-ups can play too. Little Tykes makes kid-sized equipment that lasts for years.