articles

Outdoor Fun with Uncle Milton Toys

A Macaroni Review

By Kindle Rising August 9, 2012
“We are adventurers!” My daughters exclaimed, armed with their new National Geographic Outdoor Explorer Toys from Uncle Milton.  We were recently provided with several of these toys to review, and from the moment we opened the packages, they were a hit with my two girls.

We started with the All Terrain Nature Collector, a very cool “grabbing” apparatus with a clear, plastic collection dome to allow for safe collecting and viewing of various critters.  There are air holes to allow the creature to survive while being scrutinized, although all we have “captured” so far are a dead cicada and some rocks (which the girls were nonetheless fascinated to observe).  The toy is well made and sturdy, and while the recommended age is 5 and older, my 2-year-old could play with it with some help making the grabbing motion. 
We also were able to try out Earth Tag, a child-friendly slingshot made to be used with foam balls (included).  The recommended ages for this toy are 8+, and both my 2- and 5-year-olds needed help with it, so this is likely a good recommendation.  I was a little hesitant about this “weapon-like” toy at first, but when I read the suggestions for play in the Explorer Adventure Guide (tucked into the cardboard backing of the package…don’t miss it!), I realized all the fun variations there could be in “tagging” {non-breakable} objects in the environment.  I will probably put this toy away until the girls are old enough to play with it, but when we do get it back out, I think they’ll make great use of it.
By far the favorite toy of this particular group was the 4-in-1 Navigation Tool.  With a compass, signal mirror, thermometer and whistle, this little device is fun and functional.  My girls were following fake maps and whistling danger signals (outside, thankfully) within moments of getting ahold of the toy.  The thermometer was relatively accurate, reading 75 degrees in the house and quickly climbing to 95 when we went outside.  My daughters wanted to know what the mirror (which is plastic, by the way) was for, and I showed them how it could be used to reflect the sun and send light signals, which they thought was amazing, but they found other uses for it, too.  My 5-year-old later said, “I love the compass toy because of the mirror…you can use it to send signals, look out for wild animals behind you, AND check your style!”  Adventurer, yes, AND all-girl!
The adventure play hasn’t stopped since we got the toys, and I love seeing my daughters branch out from princesses and fairies to dinosaur hunters, pirates and scientists.  Imaginative, durable and fun, Uncle Milton’s National Geographic Explorer Toys are perfect for all the little adventurers in your life.

Uncle Milton provided these toys for our review.  All opinions expressed are my own.