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, sciencemuseumgifts.com, $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, Amazon.com, $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: http://boogersandburpsgiftguide.blogspot.com/2009/11/toys-you-wont-mind-buying-batteries.html
2) Subscribe to Boogers and Burps via RSS
3) Write a blog post about my Boogers and Burps Gift Guide and/or this giveaway