My youngest kids have a need for speed. Alas, they also have a need for training wheels. The Maxi Kick Scooter and it's smaller sibling, the Mini, were perfect bike substitute on a recent, rare, sunny New England day.
Unlike almost everything else my kids have, these scooters can be assembled quickly and easily; the drive shaft simply snaps into place, and you're good to go (you can take them apart just as quickly, with the push of a hidden button). Made by Mirco-Mobility, both scooters have a sturdy, skateboard-like deck and a wonderfully responsive steering system that allows kids to zoom happily and easily on three wheels. They can swerve gently simply by leaning on the handlebar -- I was really impressed by how easy it was for my 3- and 5-year-olds to maintain control while riding.
The Swiss-designed scooters come in two sizes, Mini (for 3- to 5-year-olds, $84.99, with traditional T-bar handles) and Maxi (6- to 10-year-olds, $149.99, with a cool, joystick-like handle) and in a range of bright colors. They're lightweight but sturdy, and were able to handle every type of surface my kids and their friends tried to ride (gravel, wet leaves, puddles, steep driveways, grass -- they left no terrain untested).
If you're looking to go green, they're an easy way to start. If you're tired of strapping several bicycles to the back of your car, these scooters make an excellent alternative. You can find them at Henry's Bear Park, Stellabella Toys, Magic Beans, and Learning Express stores in the Boston area (or click through to find a retailer near you). For the month of November, WriteEditRepeat readers can get 20 percent off a scooter when the order at KickboardUSA.com -- just use coupon code WriteEditRepeat at checkout!