Saturday, December 5, 2009

Icky Gifts for Boys (That They Will Love)

If you've got boys, you know that anything that us "normal folk" would consider gross or disgusting, boys find fascinating and desirable. Thus the inspiration for this Gift Guide for Boys. Rule of thumb: If it makes you cringe, it's sure to be the favorite gift!

Bacteria Growth Science Kit, ThinkGeek, $24.99
"Grow your own funk." That's the headline for the description on What boy could resist? This science kit is not for young kids; it's recommended for kids 12 and up. But if you know a boy old enough, this could translate into hours of fun—and learning! It includes all kids need to grow bacteria and perform experiments on them. The pictures of bacteria actually grown using the kit just made me throw up in my mouth. Perfect.

Disgusting Science, Fat Brain Toys, $19.95
Well, this already has an advantage because it contains the word "disgusting" in the name. This kit can be used by kids a bit younger than the previous one, starting at 8. Kids can do experiments to find out why their feet stink or why they fart. They can also make fake blood and slimy snot. This is definitely right up my boys' alley.

Yuck Science Kit, Creative Kidstuff, $24.99
Yet another science kit aimed at the lover of all-things-nasty. This kit, advertised for ages 8 and up, can be used to make barf, worm guts, and something called "Yuck crystals," among other things. All of it comes in a handy plastic handled tub.

Cool Slime, Creative Kidstuff, $6.99
What kid doesn't love slime? Here's a stocking stuffer that's sure to bring hours of oozing fun. Comes with everything needed to make a batch of slime and includes such instructions as how to make a "huge slime bubble." Also for ages 8 and up.

Athlete's Foot Giant Microbe, Creative Kidstuff, $7.95
Athlete's Foot may be a stuffed toy, but he also provides useful information about the microbe he represents. What could be nicer to snuggle with at night than a little athlete's foot?

Spill Your Guts Human Body Game, Learning Resources, $26.99
This game has kids trying to assemble the patient's organs without spilling his guts! Kids have to answer questions about the human body systems in order to earn organs to place in the body tray. Answer incorrectly, and the patient's guts are history. Great way to reinforce facts about the human body.

Battle with the Bugs, Human Body Detectives series, $16.50
I've had the privilege to work with Dr. Heather Manley in helping promote her Human Body Detectives series of workbooks and CDs. The second book, Battle with the Bugs, has only been out a little over a month, and it's already a hit with kids everywhere. In this book, Merrin and Pearl travel inside their cousin Max's body, where they befriend a white blood cell warrior and help fight invading bacteria who are making Max sick. The CD includes a narration of the book, and the workbook includes tons of activities for kids to do while following along with the story. The full-color stickers included are super cute and provide more fun for kids. Right now you can even order an organic T-shirt that says, "I fought the bugs and I won" to go with the book. Watch the book trailer now!

Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets by Dav Pilkey,, $5.99
Does this book have "boy" written all over it or what? It only makes sense that a man, Dav Pilkey, is the mastermind behind all of the Captain Underpants books, because I honestly don't think a woman could write these. I read this book to my boys, and I literally gagged in one particular place. For real. But I still love these books; they're clever, funny, and the epitome of "boy humor."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Star Wars Gifts for Boys—Plus Win a Darth Vader Build-A-Bear

Congratulations to Kara! She had comment #18, which was chosen using Random.Org and is the winner of the Darth Vader Build-A-Bear! Thanks to everyone who entered!

There's something about boys and Star Wars. Maybe it's the little green guy who talks in questions. Maybe it's that hottie Princess Leia. Or maybe it's the light sabers. In our house, it's definitely the light sabers. I've put together a variety of cool Star Wars gifts for that favorite boy in your life. (It's okay if he's 37. I won't tell.) And make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the post to find out about an awesome giveaway from Build-A-Bear!

Jedi Robe, CustomKids on Etsy, $19.99
I think this is adorable and a great price too! This robe made of a lightweight knit material comes in four different sizes for your little Jedi. The seller will also include a Jedi certificate with your child's name on it. How cute is that? Have I said how much I *heart* Etsy? Yeah? Oh, well, it's my blog. I'll say it again. I *heart* Etsy. With whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Holiday Plush Yoda, Think Geek, $9.99
Little Yoda in a Santa hat. What could be cuter than that? Stick him in a stocking and he will say, "A Merry Christmas You Will Have."

The Story of Darth Vadar, by Catherine Saunders, DK Publishers, $3.99
These Star Wars readers are great for boys who are beginning to read. The bright graphics will keep them interested, and they'll be excited to read the story of their favorite villain. We have several of the DK Readers Star Wars books, and they've been read many, many times. Note: If you click on the link from Amazon and order something, I'll make a few cents.

Star Wars Finger Puppets, Wee Knits on Etsy, $22.50
I love this shop! I've already featured them once, but they have so many cute and inexpensive puppets to offer, I've just got to brag on them again! These come in a set of 11 and are a great alternative to the traditional Star Wars action figures.

Storm Pooper onesie, Kool Kids on Etsy, $8.99
This would look adorable on the baby in your life, especially if the baby's daddy or older brothers are Star Wars fans! Pair this onesie with the bib below!

Barf Vader bib, Kool Kids on Etsy, $5.99
How clever is this? What kid wouldn't look cuter while spitting up than one wearing a Barf Vader bib?

Star Wars Bedding, Pottery Barn Kids, $14–$219
In my dreamworld, Boy #3 has not only this bedding, but this clean room as well. I love this Retro Star Wars look. Cool, yet classy. And the fact that it was featured in an episode of The Big Bang Theory doesn't hurt either!

Darth Vader Dimples Teddy, Build-A-Bear Workshop, $37 (price as shown)
All of my boys have always had a thing for stuffed animals. They have a ton, and they actually play with a lot of them. Granted, they're often fighting or engaging in Pokemon battles, but at least they're not just collecting dust mites! Boy #3 always begs to go to Build-A-Bear Workshop when we're at the mall, so when I had the opportunity to get a free bear from Build-A-Bear to see up close and give to Boy #3, I jumped on it! And I was even more excited when I saw that Build-A-Bear now has a line of Star Wars bears! Seriously, these are the cutest bears I think I've ever seen! We received Darth Vader last week, and the first thing I noticed that it was much bigger than I had thought it was going to be. The quality is fantastic, and it's incredibly cute with lots of "Darth Vader-ish" details. Build-A-Bear has several new lines all ready for Christmas gifting including Frosty the Snowman, Holly and Hal Moose, and even JONAS Dog, perfect for any Jonas Brothers fans out there. And you can either build these in a Build-A-Bear Workshop, or build them online at!

Like what you see? Want to win your own Darth Vader Dimples Bear? You're in luck! One person will win this cute evil bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop! Here's what you need to do to enter:

Visit Build-A-Bear Workshop and come back here and leave a comment telling me which animal you'd choose for a special kid in your life!

Want extra entries? Get 1 for each of the following:
  • Subscribe to me at Leave me a comment telling me you did!
  • Tweet this giveaway and leave this link: Come back and leave a comment with a link to your Tweet.
  • Link to this giveaway on Facebook. Come back and leave a comment and tell me you did so!
I'll randomly choose a winner on Tuesday, Dec. 1!

Note: I received a Darth Vader Dimples Bear as well as one to give away from Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Artsy-Fartsy Gifts for Boys

Usually when I hear the term "arts and crafts" I picture little girls making bead necklaces or completing their first knitted scarf. Sexist of me, I know, but I'm just being real. However, Boy #1 is testing my preconceived notions about craftiness only being on the x-chromosome. He just made his own fleece tie blanket and is loving sewing his gym bag in Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly known as "Home Ec"). And I don't know who I'm kidding, because there is nary a crafty bone in this female body! But I decided to put together some arts-and-crafts-type gifts that would likely appeal to most boys—because it's good for boys to use their imaginations and get in touch with their creative side!

Stick It! 99 DIY Duct Tape Projects , Uncommon Goods, $13
Okay, I am definitely getting this for Boy #1. Nearly ONE HUNDRED projects you can do with duct tape?! Score! I love that Duct Tape now comes in all kids of cool colors, adding to the creative possibilities. Maybe Boy #1 can make me a new pair of glasses since mine broke and I can't afford to get a new pair until after Christmas...

Flipbook Kits , Uncommon Goods, $12
I remember making flipbooks when I was younger, or at least trying to. I wasn't very artistically inclined, as I've mentioned before. These kits allow kids to make flipbooks of their own. In the era of computer-generated cartoons, it's cool to let kids experience "old-school" animation.

Sports Crayon Rollup, My Sunshine Designs on Etsy, $7.50
Who hasn't gotten to a restaurant or the waiting room of a doctor's office and realized you have nothing for your kids to do? Throw this Crayon Rollup in your purse, and your prepared for such an emergency! I love that these come in "boy" fabrics, as well as the cute "girl" ones.

Flame Thrower's Art Smock, O My Darlin' Kids on Etsy, $18
These oilcloth smocks can be easily wiped clean, which is essential when you've got a boy armed with paint, markers, or glue! This smock reminds me of one of my husband's roommates in college, who was a very nontypical artist: a Harley-type dude who created beautiful glass-blown sculptures and stemware. Goes to show that even tough guys can be artsy.

Pogo, Large Vinyl Monster Pouch, zomb on Etsy, $16
How cute is this pouch? I totally want one for myself. This is a great pouch to store boys' pencils, colored pencils, or pens. Pair this with a cool-looking drawing notebook, and you've got yourself a gift that is sure to be a hit!

Scribbles, A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book by Taro Gomi,, $13.59
Long car trips, waiting rooms, restaurants, plane rides . . . the places you'll pull out this book are endless! This book is so cool because it is full of different "starters" to get kids' creative juices flowing! Warning, though, you may have to get one for your kid and one for yourself! Disclosure: If you click on the link below and end up purchasing something, I'll make a few cents. Just so ya know.

Shrinky Dinks Robots, Think Geek, $4.50
Please tell me you've made Shrinky Dinks. Did you know they still make them? I have fond memories of Shrinky Dinks...I'm pretty sure we made Barbie or Strawberry Shortcake ones. These are super cute, and will totally fascinate any boy, especially if you let him watch the shrinking "in action" through the oven window!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Toys You Won't Mind Buying Batteries For—Plus a Rechargeable Battery Giveaway

Congratulations to The Fritz Facts for winning the rechargeable batteries and charger from Energizer! I'll be emailing you for your postal address!
I have to admit, I'm really not a fan of most toys that require batteries. So many of them seem to do nothing more than make really annoying sounds or light up or make really annoying sounds AND light up. And usually you'll spend $20 on the toy and then $50 in the first year keeping it in batteries. (Notice I said "you'll spend." That's because in my house, once the original set of batteries dies, it's gotta be something pretty special to warrant replacing them.)

That being said, there are some battery-operated toys out there that are actually worthy of the continued investment. So this post highlights some of the great gift ideas for boys that you won't mind buying batteries for.

BUT, to help you out in the battery department, I am going to give away a set of Energizer 2450mAh Rechargeable Batteries AND a Charger. I received a complimentary set to try (and keep) as well, and I've been using them in my digital camera, which has been eating the expensive disposable batteries I've been using in it. These new and improved batteries from Energizer can be charged up to 500 times, and they'll give 150 more charging cycles than the previous Energizer 2450mAh Rechargeables. I'm impressed with the life and quality of the batteries so far, and I'm also impressed that Energizer has made these improvements without raising the cost of the batteries. How can you win the Energizer Rechargeable Batteries and Charger? Find out at the end of the post...

Uncle Milton Shadow Magic Light Blaster and Screen,, $22
This is one of those toys that you'll want to play with, and the kids will be begging you to let them have their turn! Boy #2 got this from my youngest sister for his birthday, and it was a huge hit! I really don't understand at all how it works, but basically you flash this pen and it captures your shadow on the magic screen. Then you can decorate it with a light pen. And since it's just light and not markers, pens, or paint, it won't matter if the kids write on the walls! Totally boy-proof! Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Got It! Reading & Math Game, Learning Resources, $48
When I saw this game, I knew it would be a bit hit with my two youngest. I mean, it's a video game, it's shaped like a monster, and it involves math. Kids can play by themselves or against an opponent. The key is to gobble up the answers before the hungry monster—or their opponent. And perfect for parents, it's got volume control AND headphone jacks. Bonus! This is recommended for ages 5–8.

Pet's Eye View Digital Camera, ThinkGeek, $50
Okay, we need this in the Boogers and Burps house. Not only could the boys entertain themselves by seeing photos from the Dog's point of view, but we could see what the Dog really does when we leave him home alone. Considering what he does in front of us, I shudder to think what he does behind our back. You can set it to take a photo every 1, 5, or 15 minutes and then upload the photos to your computer. And since it's basically designed like a flash drive, there's no software to download. I'm pretty sure your not limited to a dog, either. Strap it on your cat, guinea pig, iguana, ferret, or pot-bellied pig. (I'm pretty sure it won't work on the fish.)

OLLO Action Kit, ThinkGeek, $30
What is more "boy-ish" than making your own robot? Hmmm? Well, with this Robotic Action Kit, your boys can build all sorts of motorized creatures and contraptions. What makes OLLO kits unique is their fasteners, which are two-part rivets. Use the tool to take apart and create something totally different! And the fact that everything can move via the motor? That's equal to hours of entertainment right there.

Design and Drill Activity Center, Creative Kidstuff, $44
Boy #3 received this as a gift, and it has had steady playtime from both Boy #3 and Boy #2. The kids can either use a pattern to create a picture using the screws and drill, or they can design their own. It comes with a screwdriver as well, but let's face it—the kids go for the power tools. This is a definite two thumbs up from the Boogers and Burps boys. Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Snap Circuits 300-in-1, Fat Brain Toys, $56
This is just one of those classics. It's a Dr. Toy 100 Best Children's Products winner, so you know it's good. Boy #1 received a Snap Circuits set (a smaller set than this one but still great) one year, and he played with it quite a bit. Now Boys #2 and #3 have fun making their own electronics. This set includes 300 electronic projects kids can build using the included pieces, like a doorbell, a musical motion detector, and a police car symphony. Yes, they can make all kids of different loud and annoying noises with this set, all in the name of science. Boys love their noise. Recommended for ages 8+

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Electronic Magnet Alphabet Set,, $13
Boy #3 has had three different magnetic sets from LeapFrog, and he has played with them probably as much as any other toy. I'm convinced that part of the reason he can read already is because he played the little phonics songs so many times. Unless you're much more organized than me (which really isn't hard), you'll still be finding magnetic letters under your refrigerator three years from now, but the many scattered pieces were definitely worth the enjoyment and education in my opinion. Recommended for ages 24 months–5 years.

Okay, so now that you'll have more battery-operated toys in your house, you're going to need to win the Energizer Rechargeable Batteries and Charger, right? Thought so.

Here's all you have to do:

  • Leave a comment below telling me your favorite battery-operated toy (For kids, people; let's keep this PG!). Make sure to include an email address in your comment so I can notify you if you win.
  • Want extra entries? Sure you do! Earn 1 extra entry for each of the following. Leave me a comment for each telling me what you did or including a link. Thanks!
    1) Tweet about the giveaway! Please include this link:
    2) Subscribe to Boogers and Burps via RSS
    3) Write a blog post about my Boogers and Burps Gift Guide and/or this giveaway
I will randomly choose a winner on Friday, November 12 at 10 pm. Good luck!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Superhero Theme Gifts

If there's one things boys love, it's superheroes. Boys love pretending to bend clothes hangerssteel pipes, save you from the evil terrier villain, and fly with their SpongeBob beach towelSuperman cape.

Here are some gift ideas for that little superhero you know:

Ellie Bellie Kids Cape,, $30
I love the lightning bolts on these capes; not personalized but unique and ready for hours of saving the world.

Super Hero Cape and Mask, Fancy That! on Etsy, $26
I love, love, LOVE these personalized capes! I've bought quite a few for gifts and they're always a huge hit! These are very well-made and extremely reasonable in price. I recommend these in a heartbeat!

Super Hero Crown, The Merry Crown Society on Etsy, $17
I think this crown looks really fun, especially for the superhero who already has a cape. The Merry Crown Society has other super cute crowns as well.

Spiderman Finger Puppet Set, WeeKnit on Etsy, $6
I want to buy these for myself and wear them while I work. Are they not adorable? You have to go on their site and check out all of their other finger puppets. And the price? Hellooo?! Can you say, "Stocking stuffer?"

Bruce—Super Hero Monkey, tweeling on Etsy, $30
I have a thing for sock monkeys, but now I've added another dimension to my infatuation—super hero sock monkeys! Isn't Bruce (get it...Bruce Wayne?) adorable? He'd be a stuffed animal that didn't quickly find itself in the FREE box at the garage sale.

The New Captain Underpants Collection (Books 1–5),, $17
You may not like reading Captain Underpants books, but I guarantee your boys will. Dav Pilkey, rumored to have once been a boy himself, includes everything boys like in his books: pranks, monsters, boogers, characters with names like Professor Poopypants, and of course a superhero who wears nothing but his cape and his underpants. All of my boys have enjoyed these, and they read them again and again.

Welcome to the Boogers and Burps Gift Guide 2009

You may be wondering what exactly is the Boogers and Burps Gift Guide for Boys? And possibly, where did Paula find time to put this together? Well, I'll tell you. Many people find it more difficult to buy gifts for boys. One reason may be that the majority of the gift buyers are women, and frankly, we don't totally get boys, having never been one ourselves. Oh, we can try, and we can come pretty close, but I think there will always be that element of mystery about what makes a boy pick up a snorkel and start using it as a gun.

Another reason is because there is just so much for boys in the toy store, we get overwhelmed. I mean, was Pokemon last year, and is it now Bakugan or Chaos, and what kind of creatures are these even, and what the heck do you do with these cards, and where does Ben 10 fit in with all this? Do they even make Yu-Gi-Oh anymore? Ugh. (Side note: We have about 15 Yu-Gi-Oh T-shirts from Boy #1, and the other two boys have never even heard of it. Of course, I make them wear them anyway.) They all look alike to me, and honestly, when I walk down the "boy aisles" of action figures or cars, I might as well be walking down the plumbing aisle of Home Depot. No clue what any of it is, nor how to use any of it. (And, honestly, no interest in learning either!)

And here's what generally happens with these movie- or TV-show-of-the-moment-themed toys: They get played with for approximately three days and then get lost under the couch or thrown into a bin in the closet, never to be heard from again. Now I say generally because some boys really take a liking to certain characters or shows and stick with it. For instance, my two youngest and Pokemon. However, the Iron Man, Spiderman, Superman, and other figures have all suffered under this allegiance to Pikachu and pals.

So my quest was to find gifts that kids can use and enjoy well beyond the holiday break, toys that appeal to boys and allow them to use their imaginations and maybe even learn a little, but while being "boys." Toys and gifts that you probably won't find at WalMart but can easily order online, and you won't have to worry about getting a gift receipt just in case they received 5 others. Oh, and if they don't cost a fortune or eat batteries like candy, all the better.

I've decided to put the gift ideas together by theme for a couple reasons: 1) It's fun for me, and 2) You could choose a few things from one post and put together a fun themed gift for that special boy. I love themed gifts!

We haven't personally sampled or tried all of these gifts. I wish we could! However, I am including quite a few that have been rigorously "tried and tested" by the Boogers and Burps Boys. I'll include this Approved icon beside those, just so ya know...

I'll roll these out one theme at a time. I've got quite a few gifts all ready to write about, but I'm not sure how many I'll get done before the Holidays. You know, organization and me...not really on speaking terms right now. But if you have some other ideas about a certain theme, comment away! Or if you have other ideas for gifts, please email me!

Oh, and to answer the question of where I found time to do this, I just neglected my children and laundry. Priorities, right?