Thursday, December 03, 2009

Toys for boys

If you are looking for gifts for boys, here are some of my favorite suggestions:

First are the Snap Circuits SC-300 which is good for the budding 8-14 year old engineer on your list that loves electronic projects. Another good toy for this age group is the Air Hogs Havoc Heli which is described as "the Smallest and Lightest Micro R/C Helicopter in the World." A number of guys seem to like this LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 which is a building kit (though a bit pricey) that lets a kid construct robots that see, speak, feel, and move. And finally, for boys, there is always the old standby, The Dangerous Book for Boys. You can hear our interview with the author, Conn Iggulden, here.

If you have other holiday gift suggestions for boys, drop them in the comments.



Blogger Unknown said...

Grant Imahara, reaching for a 5" high-velocity aircraft rocket (HVAR), with a dozen of which the Mythbusters build team is about to shoot a cutting blade into a car at 700mph to see if they can shear it in half: "got one or two extra of these laying around?"

NMMI technician: "don't touch."


9:54 AM, December 03, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I ordered the electrical kit and also found a chemistry set. I am sure my daughter will enjoy those as well.


1:16 PM, December 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to second your recommendation of "The Dangerous Book for Boys." My now-12-year-old son got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and he's read it ragged.

4:08 PM, December 03, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Instead of learning engineering/science we should teach boys to play with transgendered dolls and be in touch with their own transgendered identities.

6:12 PM, December 03, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Alex, isn't that what the "Gay Bob" doll is all about? They had that on a really funny movie, Serial. A kid talked the family maid into showing him her breasts, the mother had to fire the maid to protect her, then she took the boy to a child psychologist (expertly played by the man who was the Jerry the dentist on the old Bob Newhart show) and the therapist gave the boy a gay Bob doll to play with. I think the doll's packaging resembled a closet.


12:22 PM, December 04, 2009  
Blogger Siduri said...

I got the SC-300 for my 8-year-old daughter last Christmas (I found it on Glenn's blog) and it was above and beyond her favorite toy all year. She didn't need my help, either, but enjoyed doing all of the projects herself.

I'm not sure that it would work for every girl (her own sister, for example, took a weak mild interest), but I was so happy to find something for my unique daughter.

9:24 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger Dstarr said...

Then there are the traditional toys
1. Toy trains, wooden Brio you-push-it for younger kids and electric trains for older kids. You can still buy the big old Lionel trains although they are a bit pricey. HO sets are economical but the kid needs to be maybe 9 before he will be able to get the trains onto the track.
2. Plain old Legos. Boys love them and play with them up thru high school.
3. Winter outdoor toys, skates, skis, sleds.
4. Walkie Talkie sets.
5. Wood working hand tools
6. A Dremel motor tool or cordless drill.

9:46 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger tom swift said...

I think that were I to do that whole "boy" thing again (rather than the exaggerated and expensive middle-aged equivalent I'm stuck in now) I would like a set of ... lock picks.

That'd be, you know, cool.

9:53 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger tom swift said...

I got a great present once - a rowboat. The worst wreck of a boat I've ever seen, a reject from a summer camp. It was great.

I know someone who gave his son a pound of black powder for his birthday. Son's a bit older now; last I heard he was setting up a fireworks display somewhere in one of the rich Gulf states.

9:57 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...


That's wonderful. There are some girls who would love these toys as well.

11:05 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger K said...

Warning about the small RC helicopters, they break with alarming regularity. My wife got me one and the rotor was destroyed within 30 minutes due to unavoidable collisions with furniture.

So either make sure it's played with outside or the kit contains extra parts.

1:38 PM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

The greatest toy in the world is Lego Mindstorms. The hard part is keeping the dad from "helping" too much.

4:15 PM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Estes rockets. For books, the Heinlein "juveniles" - Glory Road, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Star Beast, Podkayne of Mars (with a female protagonist, so very appropriate for girls too)

5:47 PM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger TulipGirl said...

Wooden Swords / Shields are a hit here. Still use them, even with the boys getting much older.

Similarly, costume stuff. Especially knights, invisibility cloaks, etc.

Books. Lots and lots of books. CS Lewis is a hit, as is Tolkien. We do a lot of ebooks and mp3 books from .

As someone else said, lots of legos!

7:53 PM, December 06, 2009  

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