The 7 Most Fun Outdoor Toys for Kids This Summer

two-boys-riding-skateboardsOn a bright sunny day, it’s almost impossible to stay indoors and not head to the park or the beach for some playtime. Make sure to bring favorite toys to keep everyone happy. Here are 7 of the most fun, outdoor toys that are perfect for summertime.

  1. Mini Gator SUV Tractor

This adorable little SUV tractor allows your kids to ride around in style, allowing you to relax knowing they are safe. The mini tractor vehicle has two-speed forward and reverse controls, with adjustable seats that help make the ride comfortable for your growing child. The smart pedal both accelerates and brakes, and the extreme traction wheels make the ride safe and easy for children young and old!

  1. Lightning Print Beginner’s Skateboard

Your kids will thank you years from now for buying them a skateboard! Make sure to prep them with protective gear and watch them take off down the sidewalk and driveway on their own! This skateboard is affordable and great for starting out – perfect for kids still figuring out what they want to do with their free time! Children should be supervised when they’re first starting out – we all want the kids to make it home happy and healthy for dinner!

  1. Jump ‘N Slam Hoop Set

This hoop set is incredibly easy to attach to any stable surface and will allow for hours of never-ending fun! Your children will grow up becoming accustomed to the hoop, concentration, and hand-eye coordination – plus who knows, maybe you’ll have a basketball star on your hand one day! Basketball also allows for great skills like teamwork and sportsmanship, and helps keep your kids in shape and active.

  1. Mini Spider Foam Balls

This set include a soccer ball, football and basketball, all made of foam for the ease and safety of your children! The webbing on each foam ball helps with gripping and is a great way to teach kids how to properly hold and throw a ball. Each ball is available in a variety of different colors. Your kids will never be bored!

  1. Buzz Bee Twin Blasters

These little Twin Blasters will help your kids perfect their aim at a young age! The blasters are incredibly easy to use with a simple pull-back trigger. It’s easy to load and comes with four foam darts that are all safe and soft. The package also comes with a bullseye target so your children can become pros!

  1. Foam Baseball Bat and Ball

If you want your kids to learn baseball early on, this baseball bat and ball is excellent for any age! Because they’re made of foam, you can be sure that your kids will be safe working on their batting and swinging skills! Plus, with the affordable price, you might as well get multiple for any upcoming birthdays!

  1. Nerf Crossfire Bow

This bow is created to emulate real crossfire action, preparing your kids for archery in the long run! This skill will also help them with coordination and focus. The package includes four darts. All your child needs to do is pull back the string to load the bow and fire! Because of its interactive features, we recommend this toy for kids 8 ages and up.


County Fairs in Illinois & Indiana


It’s finally that time of the summer where county fairs pop up across the nation. The pageants, kettle corn, ferris wheels, tractor pulls, livestock shows, cotton candy and fried food are all waiting for you. Are you ready to get your fill of fair fun? Find the closest county fair in your Big R community with the list below.


  1. Iroquois County Fair: July 20th to July 25th (Watseka)
  2. Tazewell County Fair: August 2nd to August 6th (Washington and Pekin)
  3. Vermilion County Fair: July 6th to July 10th (Tilton and Danville)
  4. Ogle County Fair: August 3rd to August 7th (Rochelle)
  5. Livingston County Fair: August 18th to August 21st (Pontiac)
  6. McHenry County Fair- August 3rd to August 7th (McHenry)
  7. Will County Fair- August 24th to August 28th (Homer Glen)



  1. Montgomery County Fair – July 15th to July 21st (Crawfordsville)
  2. Wabash County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Wabash)
  3. Kosciusko County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Warsaw)
  4. Elkhart County Fair – July 22nd to July 30th (Elkhart)
  5. LaPorte County Fair – July 10th to July 16th (Michigan City)
  6. Fulton County Fair – July 9th to July 16th (Rochester)

Don’t forget to stock up on necessary fair gear like sunscreen and hats at your local Big R store before you go. There’s nothing like enjoying a warm, summer day with your family at the local county fair!

10 Grilling Tools for the Best BBQ in the Midwest


We are saying good-bye to the snow and hello to the rising temperatures – you know what that means! Everyone’s starting to get out and enjoy the outdoors again with blue skies and warm sunshine. Can you truly think of a better way to celebrate the new season than with a group BBQ? At Big R, we have a surplus of top tools for you to make your next BBQ the best in the Midwest! Here are some of our favorite tools:

1. Char-Broil 6 Burner Gas Grill

This traditional 6-burner gas grill is built to last! It can also hold a large amount of your food while still doing the job efficiently. The charbroiled finish on your BBQ favorites creates a taste that is hard to beat! It also features 900 square inches of working space, so you have plenty of room to enjoy your grilling.

2. Weber Bamboo Grill Brush

This bamboo grill brush from a trusted brand like Weber helps to clean up your grill’s surface, making for a truly delicious and thoroughly grilled product! The scraper end removes all rough spots with ease, so you can save your arm power for the actual grilling. Bamboo is also known to keep from rusting, which will increase the longevity of your brush!

3. Simple Green Heavy Duty Cleaner

There is a way you can still try to be green while creating your BBQ. This non-toxic formula provides reassurance for you and your guests that the safest option was used in cleaning the grill. The fast-acting formula works efficiently to keep surfaces clean, and the aerosol doesn’t have any damaging CFCs.

4. Western Apple BBQ Cooking Chunks

Did you know that smoked apple is becoming a very popular flavor for grilling and smoking? The subtle sweetness and robust smokiness helps to give your food a delicious kick! We especially recommend apple wood chunks for poultry and pork BBQ products!

5. MintCraft Stainless Steel Tool Set

This 3-piece tool set is made with stainless steel, perhaps one of the best materials to use when handling meat. It features aluminum handles and a rubber grip that makes grilling easy and efficient. The set includes all of the essentials: a turner, tong, and fork. You’ll look and feel like a pro!

6. Kingsford Matchlight Charcoal

Lighting up your BBQ will be easy with Kingsford’s charcoals! They’re both fast-acting and safe, and you won’t even need to buy lighter fluid to get them rolling! All these charcoals take is one step – no lighter fluid needed! All you need to do is light them up and then let them burn for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes are up, you’re ready to go!

7. Char-Broil Charcoal Grill

This grill is extremely popular, not just for its affordable price and compact size, but also because it gets the job done right! The convenient side shelf helps you cook faster because you can utilize the 225 square inches of cooking area to make approximately 10 burgers all at once! This will quickly become your favorite BBQ tool to use in your backyard!

8. Weber Charcoal Grate

This convenient charcoal grate replaces 22 ½” grills with ease and sophistication. The grate is also incredibly easy to clean with a brush and a cleaner! The grates are made to perfectly hold onto your favored BBQ items, so you won’t have to worry about a lack of stability when you’re busy grilling up tonight’s delicious meal!

9. Kingsford Charcoal Lighter Fluid

Kingsford is a brand you can trust, and this lighter fluid gets you one step closer to the perfect BBQ in no time. Lighting up your charcoal will be easy, so you can spend time on the marinating and grilling — the things that really matter! The lighter fluid is clean, high quality and odorless, giving you the ability to create whatever flavors you’d like!

10. Weber Grill Rack

This convenient grill rack is easy to clean and easy to use! With storage space for 5 racks, you won’t have to worry about making a mess and delaying your BBQ! Even better, the grill rack is dishwasher safe, so getting rid of your mess won’t take long at all.

With these 10 awesome tools, you’re probably already salivating at the fact that BBQ season is right around the corner! Come to Big R today and get going on your backyard BBQ!

Outdoor Workwear: Carhartt Jeans, Boots, Coveralls & More


Working outdoors is tough enough, but how about when it rains? No one wants to work outside when there’s the chance of getting stuck in the mud and having a cold rear its ugly head a few days later. Luckily, we have a few options for you to stay warm and dry while working outside in the rain. With these products, you’re guaranteed to have even the roughest of weather beat!

1. Tingley Hi-Visibility Sweatshirt

This bright, hooded sweatshirt is made with polyester and helps to keep warmth in as you’re working outside in the cold rain. The brightness of the sweatshirt, featured with the broad silver reflective tape, also ensures that you will be seen in the rain and fog, increasing your visibility and helping prevent accidents! The convenient pockets of the jacket are also very deep and can hold a good amount of essentials while on the job!

2. Carhartt Relaxed Fit Fleece Jeans

If you tend to get cold working outside in the rain, these comfortable, stretchy jeans are perfect for you! Not only are they relaxed enough at the waist to allow you to move easily and without stretching out your jeans, but they are also lined with fleece on the inside to keep you warm and focused on the task at hand.

3. Dickies Deluxe Blended Coverall

You probably already know about Dickies – you can trust their brand because it’s been everywhere for quite some time! But did you know Dickies also has coveralls for workers? The coveralls are ideal for someone who works too hard to be held back by the weather! You can rest assured that the bitter cold doesn’t stand a chance while wearing these on the job.

4. Berne Thinsulate Glove Mitt

These gloves from trusted company, Berne, warm up your hands without adding too much bulky fabric. They are insulated with a thin, yet effective fabric to keep your hands from getting cold in even the lowest of temperatures! The shell is also water-resistant, so you can wear them at any time. The bright color featured here also helps others see you in the mist!

5. Itasca Men’s Mudwalker Buckle Boots

These buckle boots provide a great fit for anyone! The buckles adjust and you can choose the tightness on each buckle. The rubber construction of the boots are waterproof and help to prevent damage and rust. The slip-resistant outsole is also incredibly important if you’re going to be working outside!

6. Honeywell Steel Toe Knee Boot

Servus by Honeywell is the brand’s heavy-duty supplies for working. These boots definitely do the trick while you’re working outside! The steel toe helps to protect your feet and the length of the boot ensures that you’re warm and comfortable. The insole is also specifically built to combat moisture and help keep your feet dry!

7. Muck Hi All Condition Chore Work Boot

Like the name says, these boots are ideal for all weather conditions! No rain or mud is enough to destroy these boots. The stretch fitting top helps to ensure a snug fit around any and all calf sizes. The steel shank built in also ensures additional arch support, so comfort and stability are guaranteed!

With these great finds, you might even be excited for your next time working in the rain! Come by Big R today and see even more of our weather related products.