My 6 year old daughter recently learned to ride her Trek Mystic without the training wheels and my 3 year old has been coasting along on her Skuut in front of our house. Thus, we've been spending a lot of time on the street in front of our house. While we live on a cul de sac, several neighbors (including teenage boys!) speed into and out of the court, so I knew I wanted some sort of caution sign to alert neighbors that my kids could come barreling down my driveway.
I saw several of these Step2 Kid Alert signs in another neighborhood and thought it was a brilliant idea. Thus, I immediately ordered one and have been very pleased so far.
About the Sign
As 32" tall (to the top of the baseball cap, not measuring to the tip of the flag), this sign is much larger than an orange safety cone (which was my first idea). It's a plastic 3-D figurine in the shape of a little boy, so it definitely catches drivers' eyes. It's bright yellow/green with a red plastic baseball cap on the figure's head. In his hand is a long white stick with a plastic orange flag. Amazon says it's measures 52" x 22.5" x 18.25" (which I assume is to the height of the orange flag).
Out of the box, you are supposed to get 4 pieces and 1 plastic bag with the instructions and stickers. The largest piece is the figure, then there's a "cross piece" that forms its base, the orange flag on a long white plastic stick, and a black plastic plug for the base to seal in the sand/water that provides weight (my box was missing this and I had to call Step2 to get the replacement).
The stickers included two eyeballs, two reflective red strips (in case kids are playing in the evening and car lights are on), and two "SLOW!" stickers. While the instructions suggest aligning the SLOW! stickers to the angle of the red strip, I decided to place the SLOW! stickers perpendicular to the ground. It looks better that way to me!
Assembly requires that you snap the figure into the cross piece, put on the stickers, and slide the flag into the figure's hand. The hardest part was snapping the figure into the cross piece. The plastic is very thick so not very flexible at all. The cross piece and the bottom of the figure have complementary grooves that need to snap together. I initially tried while sitting down and just using my hands. That was useless, so I ended up standing up, placing one foot on the base, and shoving the figure into the slot on the cross piece with all my weight.
There is also a handy built-in hand grip along the upper back of the figure so you can lift the whole thing up and down one-handed.
Prices seem to run around $30-40 on several websites I checked. I purchased mine on-line. I've never seen it in stores and I read in some parent review on the Toys R Us website (where it's out of stock!) that it's difficult to find in stores.
About our Experience
I initially put this out in front of my house without adding any weight to the base, just to see if it might be ok without it. However, it fell over just minutes after I put it on the street (even with the back of the base leaning into the sidewalk gutter). So I filled it with water, which is much easier to deal with than sand.
I do move the sign in and out every time my kids ride their bikes, as I'm worried some teenagers may think it's a fun sign to steal! It's not worth dragging out if they're just drawing with sidewalk chalk, but I definitely grab it if they want to ride their bikes. We play ball in the back yard, so the sign is really only when we plan to be in the street.
Luckily, even with the water in the base, the sign is easy to move and I have space in the garage to store it. I probably will empty the water once every few months or so, as needed. Once winter comes, I can leave it empty in the garage until warm weather returns.
Originally, I had planned to buy an orange safety cone, which runs about $8-15. Yet this model looks so much more effective because it's the shape of a child and will definitely make a driver slow down and notice (compared to an orange cone). The novelty of the sign is what convinced me to pay the premium price of the Step 2 sign.
I highly recommend this sign to other suburban families whose young children like playing on the street. It helps put drivers on notice that kids are playing nearby and is well worth the price to me.
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