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The best gifts for boys

The best gifts for boys

Whether they’re toddler, teen, or anything in between, all little boys are created differently, but with a mix of toys for imaginative play, outdoor adventure, techy fun and more, we think our list might spark some gifting inspiration no matter what he’s into. Whilst our guide to the best gifts for boys aims to tick the boxes when it comes to purchasing presents for your son, nephew, brother or grandson, it's worth noting that you might see some of our picks and think they’re perfect for your favourite girl too!

From self-driving supercars (think a souped-up Scaletrix) to a child-sized car they can drive themselves, buildable dinosaurs to interactive robot friends, there are some pretty cool toys on offer right now. The Toyrific Mercedes ride-on toy is our favourite overall for its undeniable cool-factor and just-like-the-grown-ups features, but there are plenty of inexpensive options too, like the Chad Valley Double Slide for hot-weather fun and LEGO Creator Sets to stimulate their imagination. 

Toyrific Mercedes SLS Electric Ride On

1. Toyrific Mercedes SLS Electric Ride On

This drivable toy car is what would happen if Xzibit got his hands on the Cozy Coupe

Best for: Excitement
Type: Ride-on car
Maximum user weight: 30kg
Power: 6V
Top speed: 2.5km/h
Reasons to buy
+Realistic lights and features+Mp3 connection

Remember the red and yellow Little Tikes car you, or someone you know, more than likely had as a child? Well, while we have fond memories of what was once the height of vehicular cool, this Mercedes SLS ride-on definitely takes the top spot these days. Reviewers raved about its realistic features, including great-looking lights, working steering wheel, pedal and horn, as well as an mp3 connection to bump their favourite tunes while they cruise around the garden. With a reverse function, they can even practice their three-point turns. 

Nintendo Switch

2. Nintendo Switch

Switch things up with this sociable console, great for solo or family-wide play

Best for: Home and away
Type: Console
Display: 6.2”
Resolution: 1280 x 720
Battery life: Up to 6 hours
Reasons to buy
+Play solo or multiplayer+Three different play modes

A little less flashy than a scale SLS perhaps, but no less awesome. The Nintendo Switch is the most versatile handheld games console you can imagine, with three different play modes that allow your game to be beamed to the TV, played co-op on the tabletop, or in handheld mode just like a DS, and online as well as local multiplayer. As something that’ll keep them happy and occupied on long journeys, or as a more sociable form of gaming that can include any member of the family, it’s a great investment. 

Plum Climbing Cube Wooden Play Centre

3. Plum Climbing Cube Wooden Play Centre

Aspiring stunt performers can hone their skills on this cool-looking garden play centre

Best for: Outdoor play
Type: Outdoor play centre
Maximum user weight: 50kg
Material: Solid wood
Weight: 140kg
Reasons to buy
+Loads of activities in one play centre+Integrated den with shade

Give them a garden setup that Action Man would be proud of with this wooden play centre by Plum. While it’s certainly one for bigger gardens, it really earns the space it takes up, with the potential for action-packed activities on all sides. There are climbing platforms, trapezes, ladders, a climbing net, the all-important slide, and even a climbing rock wall with colour-coded grips – everything an aspiring international man of mystery needs to keep them on top form. Finally, when they want to chill, they can roll down the cool camo fabric to make a den. 

Anki Cozmo

4. Anki Cozmo

Chatty, playful and teachable, this cute little robot makes a great pal

Best for: Versatile fun
Type: Robot
Suitable for: 8+ years
App required?: Yes
Batteries: Rechargeable
Reasons to buy
+Prompts play+Learns and recognises faces

Kids been begging you night and day for a pet, conveniently forgetting about the walkies and vet bills? Meet them in the middle with Cozmo, a real-life robot with a unique personality who learns and evolves the more you hang out with him. Unlike a puppy, he won’t leave little presents all over the house, but very much like one, he’ll nudge you to play, recognise you on sight, and is thoroughly charming. Reviewers fell instantly for his Wall-E-like air, and found him easy to set up and hours of fun. 

Anki Overdrive Starter Kit

5. Anki Overdrive Starter Kit

For a cool new twist on the matchbox car, look no further

Best for: Playing with friends
Type: Scalextrics
Suitable for: 8+ years
App required?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great inbuilt AI+Play against system or with friends

Another offering from Anki, and another showing of how far robotics has come since the millennium (looking at you, Poo-Chi) this racing set is great for car-mad kids. In a rather large step up from Hot Wheels, each Supercar in the set is a self-aware robot primed for battle, and the lucky recipient can race one-on-one against their friends or even against the clever in-built AI. The only potentially tricky thing is that they’ll need an iOS or Android-enabled device to get the whole thing going, so you might have to be happy giving a lend of your phone. 

Hokku Designs Play Teepee

6. Hokku Designs Play Teepee

Give them a space to call their very own with these sweet-as-can-be teepee

Best for: Imaginative play
Material: Cotton, wood
Colours: Black, blue, grey, mint, pink
Reasons to buy
+Great range of colours+Well-built, authentic design

It’s no secret that kids love dens, and while we’ve all made a few dining table hideaways or blanket forts in our time, sometimes you want something a little bit special. This gorgeous teepee is beautifully designed and sturdily built for just such a purpose, and gives them a place to call their own when they’re after some quiet time. Ideal for imaginative play, secret meetings with friends, or just settling in with a good book, its authentic look and range of colours, from pared-back grey to sweet pink, is sure to appeal to all tastes. 

Lego Creators Mighty Dinosaurs

7. Lego Creators Mighty Dinosaurs

A roarsome creative gift for dino enthusiasts and LEGO lovers alike

Best for: Creativity
Type: LEGO
Material: Plastic
Suitable for: 7+ years
Reasons to buy
+One kit makes three different dinosaurs+Very inexpensive

Is there a kid in the world who doesn’t love LEGO? Or dinosaurs, for that matter? This LEGO Creator Set brings the two perennial favourites together in a very clever configuration – well, three different configurations, to be precise – that allows them to build three different dinosaurs, a triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex and pterodactyl, from the same set of bricks. Reviewers found the arms and legs very poseable, so they can play with their figures when they’re done building, and the great value of these sets means you can afford to grab a few at once for even more variety. 

Chad Valley Double Slide

8. Chad Valley Double Slide

They can race friends or simply cool off on hot days with this classic outdoor toy

Best for: Summer
Type: Waterslide
Suitable for: 5+ years
Material: PVC
Reasons to buy
+Great for hot days+Two different-colour sides for racing

If your giftee has a summer birthday, why not treat them to the ultimate garden toy with this Double Slide from Chad Valley? The Slip ‘n’ Slide is an enduring favourite in the long, hot days of the summer holidays, and while it’s a step above simply employing the services of the cleanest tarpaulin in the garage, it’s still awesomely simple, and very inexpensive. If you’re looking for a gift under £20, this is one that’ll provide hours of fun – with two different coloured lanes, they can set up races with their friends, and see who can get into the drench pool at the bottom first. 

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Check out our guide to the best gifts for girls, too.