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!
- If they are growing up (too) fast, check out our guide to the best gifts for teenage boys
- Get them out in the garden with our best outdoor kids’ toys
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Check out our guide to the best gifts for girls, too.