March 05, 2013 Slideshows » Special Sections

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Kids of Summer 

Running, jumping and skipping demand a lightweight but sturdy shoe. Brooks Kids PureFlow has dynamic cushioning for comfort, a reinforced toe and is very flexible. A stretchable Nav Band over the inset gives strong arch support and stability, and the Brooks' "Ideal Heel" curvature helps align joints and reduce stress, $60 at Southern Runner (6112 Magazine St., 504-891-9999; www.southernrunner.com).
The simplest toys can become the biggest hits. Easy to catch and throw, BeamO flying hoops are lightweight, appeal to all ages and are easy to use. These big, soft, flying hoops come in 30-inch ($25) and 20-inch ($20) sizes at The Magic Box, 5508 Magazine St., 504-899-0117; www.-magicboxneworleans.com.
This Sector 9 Cloud 9 longboard is smooth and comfortable for street cruising, but suitable for light skatepark use as well. With a wide nose and kick tail, its easy riding deck is great for when you need to ollie a pothole. $160 at Massey's Professional Outfitters (509 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-648-0292; 816 N. Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-7544; 3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-885-1144; www.-masseysoutfitters.com).
Offering great comfort in a streamlined design and flashy colors, Asics Gel DS Trainer is the summer sneaker perfect for strutting. It's a high-performance running shoe with plenty of flex from heel to toe and a Wet Grip outsole for super traction on rainy days, $115 at Southern Runner.
The Specialized Hotrock 20 Coaster is a sturdy BMX with features to keep youngsters safe, $240 at Bayou Bicycles (3530 Toulouse St., 504-488-1946; www.bayoubicycles.com).
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This new twist on ring toss uses two sticks to launch a plastic ring through the air — and catch it again. Waterproof and sturdy, Ring Stix is the summer toy that will survive hours of outdoor fun, $20. There's also a larger, glow-in-the dark version, $35; both at The Magic Box.
For younger kids not ready for carving and grinding on a skateboard or a big kids' bicycle, there's the YBike Glider Deluxe Scooter with three wheels, brakes, a wide ribbed deck and a rubbery grip to build balance skills and stability in children as young as 2, $100 at The Magic Box.
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The Specialized Hotrock 20 Coaster is a sturdy BMX with features to keep youngsters safe, $240 at Bayou Bicycles (3530 Toulouse St., 504-488-1946; www.bayoubicycles.com).
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