Children nowadays have many new options when it comes to entertainment. There are tablet computers, smartphones and flat screen TVs, to name but a few. The quality of their options has improved too: when I showed my children some cartoons from my youth, I was told that it wasn’t in HD and I could tell they also thought them a bit boring. Another thing that seems bigger and better than before is a thing called soft play. Picture an indoor hall housing a giant construction clad in soft material in which children can climb. It has stairs, slides, rope bridges and obstacles. Being a child these days must be amazing!
My kids rejected the TV shows from my youth like a superconductor expels a magnetic field.
When visiting one of these soft plays, something interesting caught my eye. They had a little area where you could drive around on swivel cars. The way in which they propel themselves is astonishing. The child sits on it, places their feet on the car’s footrests and turns the steering wheel left and right and just by this steering action alone, the whole car moves forward. No batteries, motors, pedals or foot pushing involved! The steering mechanism connects to a set of wheels which swivel between being perpendicular to the direction of travel and parallel to it, similar to how ice skates grip in one direction and glide in another. In this way, kids can build up a nice speed (5 MPH). I’ve bought two for my kids and think it’s an excellent investment in their happiness. All you need is a smooth surface and a swivel car; no fuel needed but a sandwich.
PS: they hold a parent’s weight too.