Little gets on a parent's nerves more on a steamy summer day than a hot, irritable child complaining of boredom. With less money for vacations or expensive camp programs this year, parents might want to invest in a few outdoor summer toys that will get their offspring off the couch or out from behind video games. Here are some ideas ranging from the new and innovative to updates on classics. Prices are approximate; you might find them cheaper at local stores or online. Hartford (Conn.) Courant
Fun Flow Play Sink
By Step 2
Great for children under age 6 if they like to play with water. It has a big sink with water that rotates through ($49.99).
Super Spiral Sprinkler
By Little Tykes
For those who don't want to deal with filling a pool, a sprinkler is an easy and cooling alternative. This sprinkler adds the fun of a spiral that shoots balls upward on a powerful jet stream ($19.99).
Baby Hideaway Pool
For the wee ones, this kiddie pool offers the best sun-screening canopy we could find. At $14.99, it seemed like a deal.
Super Soaker Quick Blast
What would summer be without a Super Soaker? This model has the hydro-powered performance of a Super Soaker Blaster without all the pumping. All you do is slide back the handle and unleash a blast of water on your opponent. Works up to 30 feet away ($14.99, ages 5 and older).
By Maui Toys
Parents and grandparents may remember the Wham-O SuperBall. Well, the Sky Ball is filled with compressed air and helium and bounces up to 75 feet in the air. The transparent ball is the kind of toy that will amuse kids playing catch, whacking it with a bat or simply bouncing the thing ($7.99).