Thursday, March 1, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Yo Baby Kick Flipper: My Body Needs to Move!

GIVEAWAY with Updated Review!
DOES: Allows you to do tricks with a skateboard-like toy but you can do this at home OR outside;  Video instruction allows for private practice;  Can alleviate symptoms of Look-at-Me Syndrome
INVEST: $10 or slightly more depending on color or store
TOOLS: Social Scene Helper, My Body Needs to Move, Express Yourself
Giveaway Details Below

I wrote a review about this product but I wanted to make an extra effort to try to get readers here to take a second look and lo and behold GarageCoToys is sending us FOUR Yo Baby Kick Flippers to giveaway, each with instructional DVDs and guess what? Once you win, you can pick your own color!!!! Blue, Pink, Black, Purple, Yellow, Green...  Take Your Pick!

Sometime last year, I bought each of my sons a Yo Baby Kick Flipper for just under ten dollars and each included a well-made instructional DVD.  Right now, I see it on Amazon for just around that price and for that price, it's really one of the most affordable playground toys you'll buy this year.  This Kick Flipper is such a great energy outlet+confidence-booster+social scene helper... you pick the tool.

Get Ready for Spring!!!

For many of us, the weather is getting better.  In our house, Spring brings on strange behavior.  My kids have to totally readjust, not only because of daylight savings time (wish we didn't do that) but also because we have to prepare for being outdoors again.

Not that anything is wrong with being outdoors but really, there is a prep process involved.  We stock up on sunscreen (the good kind, when it's on sale).  We start thinking about what we are going to look like in a swimsuit.  We think about allergies.  In our house, we do all that and then we start thinking about our outdoor toys (do we need new helmets this year?)  In short, we all get ready for another season out in the sun.

Thanks to GarageCoToys, I had an excuse to make another pitch to you all to try out a Yo Baby Kick Flipper and if your schools offer basketballs, hoola hoops, frisbees for the kids during recess then convince them to have a couple of Yo Baby Kick Flippers around as well.  Heck, it can BE the gym activity, who says we can't?  And if recess must move indoors because of rain, the Yo Babies can be just as fun indoors.

Why indoors?  The Yo Baby is essentially a practice skateboard without wheels.   But it's so fun that you  don't even need the wheels.  It's just for tricks but tricks are really cool for kids.  They want to be good at something especially during the elementary school years.*(see foot of post for the theory)

The Yo Baby has my heart because the instructional DVD is awesome.  It is really well made.  The teaching is simple and if you didn't quite get it the first time, just hit REWIND.  What could be easier.  Goodness, if your DVD player has a slow-mo button, then you can really get even better instruction!  All of this can happen privately at home.

If you think back to the days when you were a kid and you think "Well, I didn't need a DVD to teach me anything."  All I can say is that things are different now.  Technology can be used to level the playing field, right?  If your child doesn't have a great skateboarding friend/model around, this DVD is the next best thing.  Who knows, it could be your child who sets the trend- and it'll be a good one. 

Two Makes it Social

Another great part about it is that it is so affordable, if you are serious about helping your child find a nice hobby that promotes exercise and self-confidence and possibly more social time, there is no reason why you can't buy two

When you have two Yo Baby Kick Flippers, a couple of great things can happen.  First, YOU can get on it yourself and give your child the big Look-At-Mom-Screw-Up-Laugh of his life.

More importantly, this whole act of practicing Yo Baby outdoors is a bit of an icebreaker.  Sometimes, I see that being able to do something fun in front of other kids invites kids to approach your child.   Like at an office party, when someone is telling a joke or showing people his newest coolest iPhone app, that person has an invisible sign above his head: "You Can Talk to Me."

Eventually some kid in the playground may ask my kid who is flipping his Yo Baby around, "Hey, what is that? Can I try?"   This is why I have 2 at the park, even if I've only brought one child there.  If your goal for your child is to play with other kids and you know no one else has one or a skateboard, it's like bringing half a ball to a playground.  Carrying 1 or 2 boards around is easy.  They are not heavy and the kids can carry it themselves.  But please don't think that this board makes instant friends, I have found that if your kid is shy, you must train your kid to know what to do after the icebreaker breaks the ice.  For example, I have trained Number 2 to ask, "Are you going to give it back?"  He is paranoid that someone will run away with his stuff.

Practice Turn-Taking without the Boredom

Complicated conversations are not necessary with the Yo Baby Kick Flipper but what will likely happen is that two kids become in tune with each other, possibly doing different tricks at the same time or even better, they will TAKE TURNS looking at each other as they try a new trick.  

Even grown-ups don't take turns anymore.  Spouses interrupt each other all the time (or tune out before you have finished talking). If you're in an office, you almost HAVE to interrupt someone to be heard, if you didn't, that means you had nothing to say.  But still for some reason, we still have to learn to take turns because it's important and expected at school.

To me, taking turns means that you must pay attention to the other person and see them appearing to be finished, decide that they are finished, and then you can have a go.  With the Yo Baby, it's really rewarding to wait your turn, because while my child pays attention to his friend as he does his trick, he will register what he saw and then possibly attempt the same thing or a version of it.   That kind of performance volley happens in music, comedy, dance, ...  who knows what else.  There is no reason why it can't happen with a practice skateboard like the Yo Baby.  In fact, I think that is one reason why skateboarding culture has existed for so long.

Skateboarding Culture: Yay or Nay?

When I see bigger kids in the park doing stunts, I think immediately, oooh... big boys... keep away... but then I think... gee, they could be doing much worse things than hanging out in a public park and doing stunts.  So sometimes, Number 1 and I park our butts down and just watch the big boys do their stunts. Sometimes I even ask questions.  The big boys are not that big up-close and they are pretty friendly and often look a little puzzled that a dorky mom is taking interest in them but I really love teenagers.  I think they are unripened grown-ups that have a unique ability to thrive well in both the kid and adult worlds.

I watch these boys do their skateboard tricks and see very interesting learning exchanges going on.  The constructive criticism is well-received, no one stomps away cursing and crying.  Turn-taking is done with ease.  Can you think of an easier way to wait your turn other than watching your friend do a trick? 

Lastly, it is very interesting how video instruction has really become a part of outdoor culture for kids. The boys I talked to, whether it's skateboarding or snowboarding say the same thing when I ask them how they got so good.  Their answer: YouTube.

Of course, it's 2012.  How could it anything but YouTube?

Take it Easy

I also like that there is no huge investment with this toy.  I am not looking for my kids to enter skateboarding competitions.   But I should mention that especially at this price, I find very few toys that can really promote this style of trial-and-error road to improving your technique.  I love when Number 1 tries to do something and he just gets it.  However, I love it even more if he gets something after he's tried  a particular move twenty times. He's so happy with himself.  

One thing to remember is that they are doing tricks.  By nature, tricks are not entirely safe.  So please encourage some level of caution especially if your child has a history of not playing with caution.   Moreover, watch that DVD that it comes with and bring a clip to the park.  Who says you can't bring technology outside?  Here is my cute little playlist of other Yo Baby videos.

Other than that, just know that we love our Yo Baby Kick Flippers.   I hope to hear that more schoolyards will offer them during recess.  I think it's a perfect way to kill time with friends or do something really fun if you're feeling a bit lonely in the park.   Chances are, because not every kid is carrying one around, it will make a great conversation piece and hopefully lead to more YoBaby or even real skateboarding with a friend.

*To read a bit more about kids wanting to be good at something, read the review of Perplexus or read up on the theories of Erik Erikson where he discusses the developmental stage known as Industry vs. Inferiority.

** Click Here to see a video about Yo Baby at a school in Malibu, California.   Between surfing and skateboarding, Malibu must have some very balanced people! 

Giveaway Ends 3/20/12 at 12:01AM.  And Canada...   It's all good, you're included!  Thank you GarageCoToys! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can buy a Yo Baby Kick Flipper from Amazon now.

Disclosure statement: Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the mentioned products for the publication of this post.  GarageCo Toys gave Toys are Tools permission to embed this video use these photos.


  1. My children are just beginning to scooter on scoter boards with steering wheels and already love scottering on therapy scooter boards. This would be a GREAT new expansion on such things, with room to grow for years and years. I'd love to try one out with them.

  2. They are so cool! Bet my son would love one

  3. This has been on my little guy's wish list for a while. He is a future skate boarder for sure!

  4. What a great toy! My son would love this, as he is trying to learn to do skateboard tricks but hasn't mastered them. This would give him the chance to practice without it rolling away on him.

  5. i think my kids would love this.... i have to get 2 or 3 of them so we have an extra one...

  6. My son would love this! We are working on his balance (he has low tone) and this can only help.

  7. Foxxy One! What a great comment! I think there is so much opportunity for strengthening core muscles. I find that the stronger those muscles are, the more likely they can sit up straight for school and even for dinner. My mother was so strict about me sitting up straight when I was little. Good luck to everyone. Keep the ideas coming!

  8. Couldn't wait and bought ours... Ready for Thursday's good weather I hope!

    BTW- Tyler has gone Perplexus crazy the last few days... ;-)

  9. I'm reposting this recent comment from the original review onto here because this remark and Mel's above, clearly shows that the readers here are serious about fun!!! Rebecca said:
    "I showed this review to my husband. He thought the Kick Flipper looked like fun, so he ordered four on Amazon: 1 for my daughter (8yo), her BFF, the BFF's little brother (a 6yo skateboarder), and an extra to keep at home for a friend to share. Thanks for the great review!"

    Thanks Rebecca and Mel!

  10. This is so awesome! My son has wanted to skateboard but lacks coordination so I was afraid of it. This would be a great learning tool for him.

  11. It looks so awesome, *I* want to play with it! But I noticed none of the kids in the promo video or photos are wearing helmets? I'm imagining my extremely uncoordinated and low-tone kid falling off this, tripping, etc. and bonking himself on the head. (Is this even a realistic concern?) But I'd still love to win one! THANKS! :-)

  12. My daughter doesn't naturally gravitate towards skateboarding, but this looks like great exercise. Not to mention the cool factor!

  13. First saw this among kids doing finger board flips. I was totally awed! Now this, and extreme roller skates for the youngsters: can't imagine what else they can do!

  14. oh wow awesome toys for kids they must love it to the max. I think this the good beginner before going for xgames best Syma rc helicopters