Families at play: Let's get rolling

  • Article by: ARMIN BROTT, PAUL BANAS and SAMANTHA FEUSS , McClatchy-Tribune News Service
  • Updated: September 19, 2013 - 10:23 AM
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Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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What is it about kids and things with wheels on them? This week, we take a look at non-motorized wheeled vehicles that are great fun for the whole family.

Razor Scooters

Razor enters the little-kid market with Kixi Kix, which is a great way for beginners to start their scooting careers. The stand-alone, three-wheel design and extra-wide, slip-resistant deck make Kixi Kix extra stable. That, in turn, makes it easy for preschoolers to balance and steer with Razor’s patented “Tilt-To-Turn” feature. But because there are two wheels in the front and one in the back, some kids may find the Kixi Kix a bit wobbly. So plan to stand close by to help out at first. Kixi Kix comes in two colors, and its sturdy steel, aluminum and plastic construction will stand up to the many tumbles and drops it’s sure to endure. A great first scooter. Ages 3 and up. $34.99. kixikids.com

Skateboards

Got a budding skateboarder on your hands? You’ll want to check Bravo Sports’ new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cruiser Board. This 21-inch board is perfect for younger kids who aren’t quite ready for the larger boards that parents and older siblings might be using, but still want to feel included. This board is shorter and slimmer for their smaller feet and strides, and has instantly recognizable characters (although lesson No. 1 is to focus on what’s in front of you, not what you’re standing on). A great way for kids to learn balance and build confidence — and have fun doing so. Ages 6 and up. $17.99. www.toysrus.com

Sbyke

It may be part bike, part skateboard, part scooter, but the Sbyke is all fun. Although it’s designed for kids, Sbyke is made of hard maple and aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it sturdy enough to accommodate up to 220 pounds, That means Mom and Dad can learn some new tricks right along with the kids. Sbyke’s patented rear-steering design makes it amazingly maneuverable, smooth and more responsive than most other scooters. Sbyke looks a little unusual, with a skateboard-like deck (wide enough for side-by-side foot placement), hand brakes on the handlebars and bicycle tire in front. To turn, just lean your Sbyke in the direction you want to go and use your feet as you would on a scooter, no need to even turn the handlebars. Takes a few seconds to get used to, but even the learning part is insanely fun. Ages 8 and up. $234.75. sbyke.com/

YFlikr Y-volution

Once you get past the YFlikr’s unique and very cool design (from the top, it looks like a Y (hence Y-volution) — one wheel in the front, one on each of the two back “wings” — you’re in for a real treat. You can push off with one foot, like a skateboard or scooter, but with a little practice, you can get the YFlikr moving just by wiggling your behind (sorry, there’s no way around that — but it’s also a tremendous workout and makes exercise a blast). The YFlikr is also a great way to meet your neighbors: Every time we take ours out for a spin around the neighborhood, we literally stop traffic and people cross the street to ask about it. $99 (for the F3) — $129 (for the F5). http://flikerscooters.net/

Wipeout Dry Erase Helmets

Before you hop on any bike, scooter or skateboard, make sure you’re using the proper safety equipment, including a good helmet. Wipeout Dry Erase Helmets come with markers, adding a creative element to your shredding. Available in three sizes and a variety of colors. Ages 3 to 11. $29.99. www.iWipeout.com

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