Boys have always been inclined to play with technology- and action- oriented toys. While it is not uncommon to see young boys playing with doll figures, these are nevertheless, related to gender-specific roles and norms that have been set by society for many centuries. However, as we usher in the new century, the line between toys for boys and toys for girls is increasingly getting fuzzier, more blurred. Regardless of how blurred these lines are one thing is certain – boys and girls require only the coolest and most amazing toys they could ever get their hands on if they want to develop and grow to their optimum potential. Not to worry though since our 20 cool toys for boys in 2017 has you covered.
20 Amazingly Cool Toys for Boys
The Original Stomp Rocket: Ultra 4 Rocket Kit by Stomp Rocket
Age Range: At least 6 years old
For more than a quarter of a century, Stomp Rocket has been making these wonderful outdoor toys that do not rely on any mechanical component or even batteries for it to really work. The Stomp Rocket is highly reliant on good old leg power, your kid’s ability to jump as high as he can, and land as accurately as possible on the Stomp Launcher with all his might. No wonder the Stomp Rocket is highly regarded when it comes to the development of children’s leg muscle strength, precision and accuracy, and of course, visual motor coordination. And when you buy the 4-rocket pack, you can actually have a contest within your family as you’d be given 4 Stomp Rockets to send flying through the bright summer sky. There’s also no danger of the rocket ever injuring anybody since the tip is wrapped in ultra-soft, cushiony foam. Depending on the force of the launch, the Stomp Rocket is guaranteed to reach heights of up to 200 feet. This is great for playing in the park, the beach, or even right in your backyard. And since it’s portable and is easy to set up, you can bring it in family vacations.
What We Like about It – It’s a very useful tool in enhancing the motor skills of boys, not to mention providing an opportunity to build with the whole family and other kids.
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit by Elenco
Age Range: At least 5 years old
It’s never too early to introduce young kids to electrical concepts. This way, they will grow in appreciation of the many wonders of science and technology especially when it comes to electrical engineering. However, there are safety concerns whenever we talk about electricity. This is adequately addressed by the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit as all the electronics modules included in the package have been safety-inspected. Furthermore, the different Elenco parts can be easily snapped onto the accompanying circuit board without the need for soldering or any other complicated procedure. It’s like playing with LEGO building blocks that boys will have to snap in place to create some of the more common electronic gadgets we have today. You can simply imagine the joy these boys will feel once they are able to build their own photo sensor or even a really working siren with fully adjustable volume. Young boys will be thrilled building more than a hundred different electronic gadgets and modules. The ability to create something should be beneficial to kids’ emotional development, not to mention the benefits it would bring to their cognitive abilities.
What We Like about It – It’s an exciting instrument for introducing kids to fundamental science, technology, engineering, and electrical principles which can help enhance young boy’s cognitive abilities.
Power Wheels Dune Racer Extreme by Fisher-Price
Age Range: 3-7 years old
There really is no matching the thrill and excitement that young boys get every time they get behind the wheel of a kiddie ride-on toy. With the Power Wheels Dune Racer, the excitement can be further elevated as kids will get the experience of a lifetime taking an ATV-inspired ride-on toy across grassy terrain and over paved roads in the neighborhood or even in the park. While the Dune Racer Extreme is marketed as a ride-on ATV, it should be understood that its motor does not provide enough power to see it blitzing through sandy dunes like those in the beach or even rocky terrain. It comes with a 2-speed setting which is perfect for both beginners and more advanced users. Younger drivers can use the 2.5 mph setting just to let them experience how it feels to ride such a toy. You can then set the speed limit to the max at 5 mph if you have an older child. One good thing about the Dune Racer Extreme is that it rides tandem. Your young boy can actually invite his best buddy to ride with him and make the play even more fun.
What We Like about It – It may be underpowered but it’s just right for the recommended age group. And since it’s from Fisher-Price, durability and quality are never issues.
Batman Movie Mr. Freeze Ice Attack 70901 Building Kit by LEGO
Age Range: 7-14 years old
For young fans of the Caped Crusader or the Dark Knight, we’re pretty sure they would like to see their favorite villain’s butt being kicked by their superhero. And if your kid already has the LEGO Batman building kit, we strongly suggest getting the Batman Movie Mr. Freeze Ice Attack Building Kit to expand on the collection. Let your young boy play the hero as he tries to stop the sinister plans of Mr. Freeze. Or, let him invite his buddy so they can play Mr. Freeze, a security guard, or even Batman himself. However they chose to play with these mini action figures, your boys will have to first build the power plant and ice prison set using the 201 pieces of bricks or blocks that come with the package. Once completed, it’s all up to the imagination of kids how they want the story to pan out. They can remain true to the storyline of the movie or they can create their very own. Regardless, the benefits of playing with this toy are simply immense. From motor development to the enhancement of their divergent thinking and critical thinking skills, kids will definitely have a heyday building and playing with the Batman Movie Mr. Freeze Ice Attack Kit.
What We Like about It – We can always rely on LEGO to give us highly excellent products that encourage optimum children’s creativity and imagination while helping them develop their spatial intelligence, motor coordination, and problem solving skills.
Hamper Hoops by Wham-O
Age Range: 8-12 years old
Do you have a boy who happens to be a fan of basketball but you simply cannot get him to put his soiled clothes in the laundry hamper? Well, Wham-O has a solution for parents out there who have kids like this. Get the Hamper Hoops and mount it behind the door of your kid’s bedroom. With the door closed, you get a wonderful basketball hoop complete with an elegantly detailed and very sporty backboard, a basketball ring or hoop with net, and a laundry hamper attachment that goes all the way down towards the floor. It’s a very ingenious and fun way for managing clutter and soiled clothes in your kid’s bedroom. No more soiled socks, t-shirts, pants, or any other piece of children’s garments strewn on the floor as your boy will be picking all of these and shooting them through the Hamper Hoops net. Get your boy to do a three or even try out with the more standard free-throw. However he intends to use it, the Hamper Hoops is sure to make your kid’s bedroom a lot cleaner and organized.
What We Like about It – It’s an ingenious solution to messy bedrooms thanks to soiled clothes that never find their way into the laundry basket.
World Racing Car Take-a-Part Toy for Kids by Liberty Imports
Age Range: At least 3 years old
Car race teams are one of the most professional when it comes to teamwork. This is especially true for those in F1 teams. For instance, an F1 pit crew can refuel, change tires, and make some modifications to their car in less than 2 seconds, 3 at most. We’re not really encouraging your kid to be as fast the members of the F1 pit crew but he can always start with the World Racing Car Take-a-Part Toy for Kids. The kit comes with 5 modification components, 8 tires, and 5 different car parts which your young boy will have to learn how to assemble using the toy power drill that comes with the package. You can say it’s more like a 3D puzzle where boys will have to put the pieces together using the different tools of the kit. They will then have to disassemble and reassemble it to meet race specifications. We don’t expect your kid will be able to change the tires in under 2 seconds but the point is there: your boy will learn how to change tires as well as how to install performance components to improve the overall race reliability of the car.
What We Like about It – It’s a unique way to teach young kids how to perform basic automotive setups while helping them develop their hand eye coordination, problem solving abilities, and spatial intelligence.
Gears! Gears! Gears! by Learning Resources
Age Range: At least 3 years old
Psychologists laud building and construction sets as very beneficial in the development of divergent thinking skills among children. But you don’t necessarily have to buy a LEGO every time you want your kid to develop this skill. There are other toys that can provide such a benefit but in a largely more open-ended design. Such is the case of Learning Resources’ Gears! Gears! Gears! This 96-piece set doesn’t include bricks. Instead it’s all gears in a variety of colors complete with base plates that interlock, square pillars, pillar extenders, and six-way axles. Since there are no inherent designs to follow, it’s up to your child to decide how he is going to use the different pieces to create something marvelous. This is what child development experts consider as the epitome of divergent thinking-focused toys. Because it is open-ended, the child will have to use his imagination to whip up some fabulous creations. The brain will have its complete workout as spatial reasoning will also be called to the fore. For the younger child who may not have the necessary divergent thinking skills yet, the Gears! Gears! Gears! can also serve as a color recognition tool and as a way of introducing concepts of organization through sorting.
What We Like about It – The open-ended design of the Gears! Gears! Gears! is super for the maximum stimulation of creativity, ingenuity, and imagination.
Foam Pogo Jumper by Kidoozie
Age Range: 3-10 years old
There’s something about jumping and hopping around that makes us really happy. Almost all of the cartoon characters that hop have a very happy disposition. It’s no wonder kids love hopping around on their own pogo stick. And when it comes to such a toy, the Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper is unbeatable. Why? Unlike other pogo sticks that come with a very narrow base, the Kidoozie features a very wide, cushiony, and highly durable foam base that effectively absorbs impact forces as it hits the ground. And if you’re thinking the foam base is a wimp, you’d be surprised to learn that it can actually accommodate the weight of a fully grown man, provided, of course, he doesn’t weigh more than 250 pounds. That’s how strong and durable the Kidoozie is. Adding to the kiddie fun of hopping around on this pogo jumper is an integrated squeaker which can really create an entirely different symphony. The handles are wrapped in soft material so that should not be an issue. And since the Kidoozie comes with a foam base, your kid can hop around even inside your house without scratching or damaging your floor.
What We Like about It – It’s a more comfortable way to strengthen leg muscles, enhance visual motor coordination, and instill a sense of balance among kids.
Harley Davidson Tough Trike by Fisher-Price
Age Range: 2-6 years old
One of the most iconic motorcycle brands all over the world is the Harley Davidson with its unique styling and signature hum of its engine. Sure, Aprilias and Ducatis also have their respective charms but only a Harley deserve the name of a true American chopper. Young kids don’t need to be a biker to enjoy the thrill of getting onto the seat of a Harley. They only need to ride the Harley Davidson Tough Trike and muscle their way around the house, at the park, or even in backyard alleys in your neighborhood. The HD Tough Trike is very easy to maintain as it doesn’t come with any drive chain or engines to think about. It is propelled by leg power which should provide a great opportunity for young boys to strengthen the muscles in their legs. The moderately high backrest is also ample enough to support the lower back of kids so they won’t be complaining much about pain. With 2 ultra-wide rear wheels mated to an unusually wide wheelbase and a large front wheel provide optimum stability on the move. The only thing that’s missing now is the signature roar of the HD engine.
What We Like about It – It’s a fun way to enhance stability and coordination with movement while strengthening leg muscles.
Smart Shots Sports Center by VTech
Age Range: 1-3 years old
Two of the more popular ball sports in the world are soccer and basketball. While some manufacturers give you a play set for each kind, VTech gives you a 2-in-1 product in the Smart Shots Sports Center. This basketball-soccer combination is made of a soccer goal frame that serves as the base for the basketball hoop. It comes complete with a backboard with integrated LCD display for showing scores, giving enough motivation for your young boy to keep on pushing himself. Being a product from VTech, the goal posts are integrated with a variety of learning activities that include sounds and phrases as well as light effects. The Smart Shots already comes with a soccer ball and a basketball so your kid will be practicing his dribbling, shooting, and kicking skills in no time.
What We Like about It – It’s ideal for introducing young children to 2 of the world’s most famous and most popular sports while giving them the chance to strengthen their muscles, enhance motor coordination, and establish balance.
Toy Tool Set Workbench Kids Workshop by Talentstar
Age Range: At least 3 years old
Pretend play or make believe play is one of the best ways for children to act out their thoughts in a more constructive way. This is pretty much similar to role playing where kids are able to perform a certain role based on their own understanding of what the role entails. In playing the role of a handyman, kids can do well to be equipped with the correct tools. As such the Talentstar Toy Tool Set Workbench Kids Workshop is a wonderful prop for such roleplaying activities. It comes with 12 realistic tools such as handsaw, caliper, wrench, drill, square, and screwdriver, just to name a few. The Talentstar comes in wonderful tool box that can be transformed into a workbench to help kids simulate working on a variety of projects. This helps them play out their expectations of what men in the house do to help keep the family secure by performing a variety of home improvement and home maintenance activities.
What We Like about It – The Talentstar is a splendid prop for simulating the role of the handyman in our lives. At any rate, this introduces kids to simple home improvement projects.
1241835 Model Building Set by K’Nex
Age Range: At least 7 years old
Just like the LEGO construction brick sets, the K’Nex 1241835 Model Building Set is a fantastic gift for children who are deeply fascinated by the chance to build something out of different shapes of building pieces. The K’Nex comes with 480 different building pieces that allow children to create at least 35 fantastic models as illustrated in the accompanying guide. Rods and connectors are put together to help build a particular structure such as buildings, trucks, helicopters, and even airplanes. The beauty of the K’Nex is that the different pieces offer infinite possibilities at creating something very unique. This requires the extensive use of children’s imagination which should, in turn, help sharpen their problem solving skills. Tinkering with the rods and connectors also help with the enhancement of spatial reasoning and motor coordination skills. Overall the K’Nex helps facilitate better cognitive processing among young kids.
What We Like about It – The creative potential inherent in the K’Nex is just as amazing as putting together thousands of LEGO bricks.
Pro-Ball Set by Toysmith
Age Range: 3-15 years old
The Toysmith Pro-Ball Set that comprises of a soccer ball, a football, and a basketball is not actually a set of professionally-sized balls. Instead, these are wonderful 5-inch replicas of the real thing which can serve as a great addition to one’s décor. This does not mean kids cannot play with these 3 balls. They still can. However, they’ have to use a slightly smaller basketball hoops, soccer goal, and football goal posts to really make the most out of each playtime. The good news is that even without these accessories, just playing with these balls freestyle can bring so much fun and enjoyment to any young boy.
What We Like about It – The Toysmith Pro-Ball Set makes for a unique way for kids to enjoy their favorite ballgames – in midget size.
Active Dodge Tag by Diggin
Age Range: At least 5 years old
If it’s agility that you want to develop in your young boy, we recommend the Diggin Active Dodge Tag. This is actually a revamped version of the classic game of dodge ball where players in the middle of the game area try to evade balls after balls being thrown their way by their opponents from both sides of the court. The Diggin Active Dodge Tag modified this a bit by requiring players to wear an air-mesh vest that can be fully adjusted to fit the body size of the player. Right in the center of the vest is a bullseye mark which other players will have to aim for. However, any other part of the vest can actually be hit by the super-soft dodge balls that stick onto the air-mesh vest. The combination of soft dodge balls and the air-mesh vents make the Diggin Active Dodge Tag one of the safest ways to enjoy a classic game of dodge ball.
What We Like about It – The Diggin Dodge Tag is a great way for kids to develop agility as well as precision throwing while enhancing balance and feet coordination.
RacerZ Car Designer by ZOOB
Age Range: At least 6 years old
Featuring unique connectors that branch, pivot, and provide structural rigidity, the RacerZ Car Designer offers young kids the rare opportunity to design their very own cars. Getting them acquainted into how to use the different connectors and rubber wheels that come with the kit is made super easy with the Zoob instruction manual. This gives young boys the chance to create a Supersonic Stinger or even the famed Gear Getter. The great thing about the RacerZ is that once children have fully understood the concept of building and creation, they can easily let their imagination rip. With endless possibilities, the creative potential of children will be fully harnessed. The RacerZ kit allows kids to build 3 fantastic race cars all at the same time. And when your boy is already bored with the three, he can easily combine and reconfigure them to create a really stunning multi-wheeled racecar.
What We Like about It – The RacerZ comes as a wonderful surprise pretty much similar to what LEGO and K’Nex can bring to children.
Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board by Marky Sparky
Age Range: At least 6 years old
Playing darts require absolute concentration, focus, steady hands, and a sharp eye on the target. Unfortunately, it’s not really safe for young kids to be playing with real darts as the pointed tips can injure them if they are not careful enough. A safer alternative is to get the Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board which features the same styling of dart board but with safer darts. Each of the 6 flexible darts comes with strong neodymium magnetic heads that instantly sticks onto the magnetic surface of the dart board. This way, kids will be able to hone their precision aiming skills as well as other competencies that are inherent in the game of darts.
What We Like about It – The Doinkit is a very safe alternative to the regulation darts and dart board. Now, kids will be able to safely train their way to becoming the next darts champion.
N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster by Nerf
Age Range: At least 8 years old
While some folks consider shooting games to foster violence, child psychologists say that playing with toy guns, especially those that do not really look like the real thing, is no more violent than watching violent scenes on TV or even on computer games. The key, they say, is in the design of the toy gun. It should provide a gap between a toy and what is real so that kids will have to look at their gun as a toy and not as the real thing. Additionally, the gap in realism helps provide the impetus for kids to work out their creativity and imagination. This is exactly what the Nerf NS-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster aims to provide. It may be designed like some cool-looking 6-barrelled blaster but the N-Strike Elite is unmistakably a toy gun. Kids will have a grand time playing their favorite scenes from a zombie apocalypse movie or computer game or even relive their gameplay on some famous first person shooter game online. Whatever the case, the N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is the perfect weapon for blasting imaginary enemies be it virtual soldiers or even zombies. This is the ideal tool for making these role playing activities more fun and really enjoyable.
What We Like about It – The N-Strike is your child’s best friend when it comes to roleplaying shooting games. This can help enhance their imagination, problem solving abilities, and creativity.
E100 Glow Electric Scooter by Razor
Age Range: At least 8 years old
Let your young boy go to school or even to the house of his friends in his own stylish ride. The Razor E100 Glow Electric Scooter is not your ordinary kick scooter as it comes with a powerful chain driven, high torque electric motor. Although it is motorized, you can bet the Razor E100 to be a lot more silent than the purr of a newborn kitten. This helps make sure your boy will be cruising around the neighborhood in virtual silence. The all-steel frame construction provides superb strength and durability that it is known to carry up to 120 pounds. The twist-grip acceleration is fully integrated into the cushiony handlebar. Best of all, the E100 emits a cool blue light to help provide for a more spectacular ride especially in the dark. The 10 miles per hour top speed may not be fast by today’s standards but, given the fact that your kid will not have to struggle with kicking with his feet and balancing at the same time, we’d say the 10 mph speed is just right. And speaking of balance, the deck of the E100 is spacious enough to accommodate both feet so your kid actually has all the chance to practice balancing on this two-wheeled wonder. Cruising on these wonderful wheels has never been more fun than with the E100 Glow.
What We Like about It – The E100 Glow is simply amazing in terms of helping kids learn to balance while enjoying the full benefits of this type of ride-on toy.
Dune Buggy by Razor
Age Range: At least 8 years old
If safety concerns are the major issue why you don’t want to buy your boy an electric scooter, maybe Razor’s Dune Buggy should appeal to you. With a 350 watt chain driven, variable speed, and high torque motor that delivers ample power to drive it to a top speed of 10 miles per hour, the Dune Buggy is the perfect ride-on toy for young aspiring drivers. Adding to the structural integrity of the Dune Buggy is a tubular frame that is almost similar to the roll cage in performance race cars. Eight-inch pneumatic tires and rear tires that are mated to excellent suspension system provide the Dune Buggy with a Cadillac-smooth ride. The racing bucket seats can make your kid feel like sitting behind the wheel of a NASCAR racer. Acceleration is made super easy with just a press of a button. With all these performance-grade features, who wouldn’t want to sit behind the wheel of the Razor Dune Buggy?
What We Like about It – The Dune Buggy is a marvelous piece of electric ride-on toy engineering that has superb safety features, modest speeds, and splendid structural integrity.
Magnetic Building Blocks and Letter Card Deluxe Building Set by GLOUE
Age Range: At least 3 years old
Unlike most building and construction play sets with pieces that snap onto place, the GLOUE Magnetic Building Blocks Set uses the power of magnetism to connect the 254 parts together to create fantastic objects. There are a variety of shapes as well as components like Ferris wheel parts, gears, chassis, and a whole lot more which can all be stored in a clear plastic carrying box. Kids will love exploring the infinite possibilities of using a variety of geometric shapes to create different models. And while GLOUE already includes an instruction manual, being a building playset, this can encourage the optimal use of children’s imagination in coming up with other splendid creations.
What We Like about It – The GLOUE is a different way of nurturing creativity and imagination among young kids. It’s also great for introducing concepts in geometry, magnetism, and architecture.
How We Chose the Really Cool Toys for Boys in Our List
How do you really pick the most amazing and the coolest boys’ playthings to include in a shortlist like this? While you may not really agree with everything that we have listed, we can guarantee you that these were carefully evaluated according to their developmental benefits to kids of a particular age group combined with other factors.
Toys are very important instruments for learning as well as for the optimum development of children. This has been our focus in the selection of really cool toys for boys. It did not really matter if it garnered superior customer satisfaction ratings or not. As long as it can help children grow and develop into better and more responsible adults, we included the product in the shortlist. Developmental appropriateness is a very important parameter in the selection of playthings for kids.
Another area of concern was product safety. Older children may already have a vague understanding of what toys are safe and which ones are not. Sadly, the same cannot be said of younger kids. That’s why it’s up to us to safeguard their well-being by choosing only toys that do not necessarily bring harm to children of any age. Safety features as well as product certifications can play a role in the establishment of a product’s safety profile.
The reputation and credibility of the toy manufacturer was also considered. While new industry players can still provide high quality products, it was quite difficult to establish reliability if they have only been in existence for a few years.
Tips to Choosing the Right Toys for Your Kids
Everyone knows that children play to learn more about themselves and the world around them. And because toys are one of the most important tools to make play more fun, enjoyable, and truly worthwhile, it is imperative that you know how to choose the right toy for your kids. Here’s how.
- Always make sure you understand the developmental needs of your kids. It is equally important to understand that there are subtle gender differences when it comes to developmental tasks. These should give you the direction on what type of toy you need to purchase depending on the developmental level of your child.
- As much as possible steer clear from the “real” thing as this no longer provide the opportunity for kids to use their imagination. For instance, instead of giving them a real-life replica of an M-16 rifle, a Nerf blaster is a much better option.
- If you have younger kids, go for the simpler toys as you would like your kids to grow and develop in a sequential manner. This is closely related to our first tip on understanding the developmental needs of your kids. Older children can already handle more complex tasks so you can also go for more complicated toys.
- If you have to choose electronic toys, especially video games, it is imperative to set certain rules and limits. This is to help address the growing concern on the sedentary lifestyles of modern children. You should always include toys that allow kids to be physically active.
- Never skimp on safety, especially if you have a child below 3 years of age as they are particularly vulnerable to health and accident hazards.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right toys for boys entails understanding their developmental needs as well as the safety of the products that we choose. With these 20 cool toys for boys in 2017 you can bet you are on the right track to helping your boys develop into responsible grownups.