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On my tenth birthday, many years ago now, my dad purchased me a 'Skip-It', one of the expensive ones with the built in counter. It was the 'in' toy at the time, and I was delighted, until my dad had a go, and promptly broke it!
More recently, I was looking for active toys my daughter could play with outside in the nice weather, and came across this Glitter Skip Ball. I had to buy it for her, just for the nostalgia alone. Essentially, this is a hard plastic loop, which goes around your ankle, attached to a plastic covered string, attached to a weighted rubber ball.
To use, you put your leading foot through the plastic loop. By this, I mean if you're right handed use your right foot. Then, grab the weighted ball and swing it anti clockwise, and then, using the momentum of the swing, jump over it with your non leading foot. You can keep the momentum going by speeding up a touch, and you can either skip on the spot, or skip down the street. It is quite hard to describe how to use it really, but is easy to pick up if you're at least a little coordinated.
This one seems well made - the ball is hardwearing, there are now raw or sharp edges,and it shows no signs of wear after a lot of use barring a few dings in the ball, which don't effect the working. The hoop makes this easy to hang up out of the way in the shed so it isn't left lying in the garden, and my daughter really seems to enjoy it . Several of her friends also have them, so it seems a popular toy amongst little girls, though I have seen a few boys enjoying it too.
From a parents point of view, not only is it a relatively inexpensive toy, but it is an outdoor toy that encourages children to spend time out in the fresh air, getting some exercise. My one criticism is that the toy is very girly looking - I think if it was unisex, more boys would have a go.
After reading a review on this particular product I was transported back into my childhood, with me actually owning one of the earliest incarnations, but with my daughter (who is 9, how old do I feel!), owning her own version.
The product in question is a skipping ball, and for those of you who have never heard of these they were particularly virulent in the early to mid 90's, around the same sort of time as the "lolo ball", I feel another review coming on!
The set comprises of a round plastic ring that fits around the child's ankle, with best one being the matching side to your dominant hand.
To the ring there is a length of plastic coated cord attached, around 75cm long, which is ample enough to be swung around and under the opposite leg to the one the child has this contraption attached to.
Finally on the end of the cord is a lightweight ball, and when I say lightweight I mean light enough for a child to flick around but with enough weight to straighten the cord out to make a circle around the child when being played with.
How easy is this? To be honest it's a bit like half skipping (the type you do with an almost walking method, rather than with both feet leaving the floor!), once you get started and find your "rhythm" it comes quite easily.
Once attached onto the dominant leg (over the top of socks is best, though not small enough to touch the leg when stationary, once in motion can really rub quite quickly!), you simply flick the ball in an anti clockwise direction for the right legged and clockwise for the left legged, this gives the motion of skipping forwards rather than backwards, though I would imagine the latter would be for the more advance skippers out there!
You then keep kicking the ball around in a circle jumping over it with the opposite leg, giving the person skipping the vaguest impression of a newborn galloping giraffe, though however stupid you may look (and you will!) it is a lot of fun!
Any downsides? Apart from the obvious tripping hazard no not really, these should be kept away from really young children ie toddlers, the urge to swing this around the head, or putting the ring part over the head would probably be too great for some youngsters to bear!
These are a fun outdoor toy (please note outdoors, not indoors where there are so many things that can be knocked off and smashed, I speak from experience little buggars!), that does entertain and also provides much needed exercise, the fact that this is obviously in very girly colours, which my daughter loves (she won't when she reaches that depressing goth teenage stage!), hasn't stopped my son from giving it a go though is very much uncoordinated, though this doesn't normally put him off!
Price wise these are relatively cheap, starting from 30p up to around the £4.00 mark on www.amazon.co.uk.
These are a fun toy (did I mention OUTDOORS!), that for the price is a fantastic way of getting them from in front of the telly, recommended!
Thanks for reading x
There will always be certain television programmes and certain toys that never fail to remind me of my childhood and I had a childhood flashback this week. As I walked into the playground at school a whizzing pink object caught my eye, my first thought was how many injuries this could cause in a packed playground full of children before I realised the whizzing pink object was actually attached to a child's foot and therefore moving within a restricted area. My school recently bought some new playtime equipment and one thing they invested in was the Toyday Glitter Skip Balls which took me right back to my time at primary school!
The Toyday Glitter Skip Ball is basically a pink plastic ball attached to a purple and white rope, which in turn is attached to a purple hoop which you can slip your foot through so it fits around your ankle. The idea is then that you swing the ball either clockwise or anticlockwise and as the ball goes past your other foot (the one it isn't attached to) you hop over it. I can easily get it over my size 7 foot too! The overall effect is that this creates a rather energetic skipping game! It's incredibly simple to use as there's no particular skill required other than the ability to time your hop right as the cable and ball comes past, but it does keep you fit!
This is currently priced at a mere 30p on Amazon which is incredibly cheap. This cheapness is reflected in the quality of the product as the pink ball is made of very thin plastic and I doubt it will last for that long but so far we've had nearly a month's worth of entertainment from these skip balls which is certainly worth 30p! We bought twenty of them and in a month only one of them has broken and they are vigorously used at my school! I'd thoroughly recommend this toy, yes it's cheap but it keeps our children entertained and they're very popular! It's getting four stars from me... loosing one due to the cheapish quality of it.
Thanks for reading.
When I was younger I had various different types of garden toys and one of these was the Skip It as it was know as then. This is defiantly a toy designed for outside rather than inside, using it inside could get you in trouble from your parents if it was to crash into something as it spun!!!!!! It is a very basic toy but one that gave me hours of fun.
The Skip It is basically a ball usually made our of some rubber type material on the end of a plastic coated rope. At the end of the rope was a loop big enough to fit over your ankle. So to use the Skip It you place your foot though the loop then begin to swing the entire thing around in circle on the end of your ankle, I suppose in a similar way to a hula hoop but on you ankle rather than around your body. As the Skip It is swinging around one foot you jump over the ball and rope with the other. The idea is to get a good momentum going, and the better the momentum you can get the faster you can skip.
As I have said you can get various different types of Skip Its, I had several over the years in many different colours, some had bells inside the ball so that it rung as you skipped, some were multi coloured and others glittery. Most Skip Its are made of a plastic or rubber type material, however I remember one Skip It that I had in particular, the entire thing was made of strong bright pink plastic including the extremely heavy ball in the end. Now this was no normal Skip It, it had a little devise inside the ball end of it that was suppose to count how many skips you did. On the outside of the ball was a little counter and each time you swung the Skip It round it would go up by one number. Now in theory this was a very good idea and I was very pleased when I received this as a present, however there was one slight flaw with it. Inorder to keep the counting devise safe inside the ball the plastic had to be very strong and thick therefore making it quite heavy which was fine as it meant you could get up a good momentum going, that was until you smacked it against your ankle if you missed a jump. With a normal plastic/ rubber Skip It was fine if this happened but with the large plastic one you frequently ended up with bruised ankles, also after a little while the counter stopped working so all you were left with was a normal Skip It that bruised you. Needless to say I think the plastic ones with the softer ball at the end are much safer.
Im not sure what the exact age range for a Skip It is but although is would be suitable for reasonably young children, very small children may struggle to co-ordinate their legs and actually swing the Skip It around. Personally I think this is an excellent toy to buy for a child as it gets them up from in front of the TV and doing some physical activity. A Skip It is an excellent form of exercise as it is an energetic activity. It is something that the whole family can use, I remember that I had my mum, dad and nana having a go on mine to see who could keep it going the longest. Recently my mum told me that when she was little they use to make their own Skip Its with a ball in the leg of a pair of tights.
You can still buy Skip It's from places such as Amazon and generally they will set you back around £5 however the price depends on where you buy them and the type you buy.
Im not sure why I had so many when I was a child as I can always remember them as being quite hard wearing. I think occassionaly the plastic covered rope can break however this is very unlikely and rare.
An excellent form of activity for children, it gets them up from in front of the TV
Can be bought reasonably cheaply
Can end up with bruised ankles
Can make your ankle sore if you are on it for a long while.
A brightly coloured ball attached to a ring which fits round the ankle. Swing the ball in a circle and skip over the string as it circles past.