Children have the best imagination and have the ultimate freedom to let their creativity run free. According to a research done by Dr. Stephanie Carlson, a leading scientist in the field of cognitive development from the University of Minnesota, “kids spend as much as 2/3 of their time in non-reality—in imaginative play.” Being imaginative and creative lets children stimulate and develop their full cognitive potential. Therefore, it is important to supplement your children with the right tools and equipment to further their development; and the best tools and equipment for this are TOYS.
As your boy climbs the ladder of physical and cognitive development, you need to carefully choose the toys he plays with. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a professional membership organization focused on promoting high-quality early learning for children from birth through the age of 8. Moreover, toys can either be good toys or bad toys. Naturally, you want to introduce only good toys to your kid. To classify as a good toy for children of any age, it must match their stage of development.
Whether it be a gift for a birthday, a holiday present, or a prize for a job well done, toys are the number one choice for children. Some may argue that boys are easier to give toys to because they do not tend to give too much attention to the details. The widespread belief that a child’s toy preference and manner of play are driven by parents as well as social influences. These influences include media, personal biases, culture, religion, and even superstition. Altogether, they dismiss the idea that children do not have or cannot express their own preferences. So as parents, we need to pay very close attention to our kid’s – girl or boy – preferences in terms of play.
Development psychologists and sociologists are beginning to see a major push-back from parents in gender stereotypes. For years, the pink and blue divide controlled the toy industry. Toy manufacturers and experts were called in the White House for gender stereotypes conference to tackle this issue. The conference is grounded on the belief that children’s interests, skills, as well as ambitions are shaped at a very early age. They are influenced by the media they are exposed to and the toys they play with. With the purpose of breaking down gender stereotypes in both media and toys, researchers were happy with the result. Target, for instance, announced that it would stop using signs which expressly label toys for boys or girls. A similar response was seen in a UK campaign, Let Toys Be Toys. With this, we encourage parents to look beyond the traditional labels and explore your child’s learning potential and imagination.
Things to Consider
Choosing toys for boys is usually a no-brainer since most children can be entertained by basically any new and shiny toy. They tend to stay longer in the imaginative play environment compared to girls. However, it is imperative to provide children with toys that are not only entertaining but also helpful in enhancing their mental and physical development. Playsets are a good choice because they include multiple components that are designed to complement each other to enact a scene. In a way, the characters and the setting of a playset give the children the chance to broaden their creativity in imaginative play.
Age Range of the Child
The age of the child determines the best kind of playset that will maximize learning and enjoyment. It is recommended to pattern the items you give to children according to his or her developmental stage.
Babies still have a blurry vision so it is best to provide bright and colorful toys with sounds like a baby jungle mat. Toddlers, on the other hand, are more inclined to use their motor skills. Giving toys that mirror the everyday things that people use will help toddlers learn the basics of how to operate them. Meanwhile, when the child gets closer to the age of starting school, it is recommended to introduce interactive and educational toys. Children in the elementary school age range tend to be curious and adventurous. This is the peak of imaginative play and the age where kids begin to develop their personality. Playsets with action figures and puzzles are the best examples to hone their creativity.
Price, Promotion, and Sales
In a survey done by Field Agent, it was found out that a toy’s price, promotion, and sales are one of the top considerations of parents of 5-12-year-old children when they buy toys for their kids. More and more parents are getting the help of technology to guide them to the best purchases that would give value for their money. Playset prices can vary depending on the season – there is no doubt that toy prices hike during the holidays. In the same way, promotion and advertisement greatly influence the decision of buyers. Advertisers would often take advantage of the emotional attachment of both parents and children. The more people are made aware of a certain toy, the more that they would most likely purchase.
Of the number of influencers that affect the decision-making process of parents in buying toys for their children, the child’s preference and interest top the list. It is a well-known fact that “kids greatly influence their parents’ buying decisions.” Parents want to make their children happy and they believe they can achieve this by buying their children what they want or what they ask for.
The popularity of a toy oftentimes leaves parents disappointed upon finding that the toy that they want to get their children is sold out or no longer available. While there are parents who prefer going to the store to physically check the product, there are those who rely on the reviews that they read online. Many stores nowadays have online shops where people can skip the line and buy the product in the comfort of their own homes. This is especially true for those parents with little children and has no time to go to the store. An advantage of going to the store is having to personally inspect the toy, while buying the toy online gives the opportunity for parents to reserve the toy and have it delivered on their own doorsteps.
One of the characteristics of playsets is that there are several toys included in the box. Depending on the type and age-range of the toy, the size of the components in the playset vary. Do not give toys that are mostly made with small parts, especially to toddlers and small children. We all know that these youngsters love putting things in their mouths. This alone increases the risk of choking. Choking hazards are those objects that when accidentally swallowed, can be caught in your child’s throat. This will cause the blocking of the airway, making it hard or even impossible to breathe.
Some playsets include losable parts, others may have batteries that could become toxic to kids if not replaced when they should. The best way of making sure that the toy is not a choking hazard or made of hazardous materials is standard compliance. Look for the ASTM seal. ASTM International is an international standards organization that lays down voluntary consensus technical standards for various products, including toys. ASTM International’s Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety (F963) is the international “gold standard” in relation to toy safety. It is constantly being updated and reviewed by ASTM International members. With this label on a toy, you are assured that it meets the national safety standards. You can be at peace while your little boy plays.
Now that you have an idea of what to consider when choosing the best playset your kid, here is a list of the Top 5 Best Playsets for Boys. The list consists of playsets that are targeted to different age groups. The playsets are compared based on the Targeted Age-Range of the Set, Price, Popularity – boys’ preference, and the Hazards that may be considered risks when the toys are given to the boys, among others.
These features are given a star rating betweento . An overall rating will be provided for each brand the highest being .
The chart below highlights and makes a comparison of the different playsets we hand-picked for you. A detailed review will be provided to help you choose the first step towards making your kid’s playtime even better.
Comparison Review Chart: 5 Best Playsets for Boys
|Brand||VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset||Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone||iPlay iLearn™ Engineering Construction Site Vehicles Toy Set||Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage||Lego Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon|
|Dimensions||3.9 x 5.1 x 7.9 inches||34.5 x 14.5 x 24.5 inches||13.5 x 7.5 x 7 inches||8 x 30 x 34 inches||22.9 x 14.9 x 3.4 inches|
|Weight||2.09 lbs||7 lbs||3.5 lbs||2.2 lbs||0.22 lbs|
|Manufacturer Recommended Age||1-5 years old||2-3 years old||3-8 years old||5-9 years old||9-14 years old|
|Popularity (Best Sellers Rank) – AMAZON||#8,890 in Toys & Games |
#6 in Toddler Playsets
#9 in Toddler Electronic Learning Systems
#23 in Toddler Car, Truck, Boat & Plane Toys
|#2,555 in Toys & Games |
#188 in Baby & Toddler Toys
#1,389 in Pre-Kindergarten Toys
|#1,237 in Toys & Games |
#13 in Toy Vehicle Playsets
#675 in Pre-Kindergarten Toys
|#2,299 in Toys & Games |
#23 in Toy Vehicle Playsets
|#10,706 in Toys & Games |
#722 in Building Toys
|Hazards||Battery-operated||Battery-operated||Small pieces||Small Pieces; Battery- operated||Small Pieces|
|Availability||Online (Amazon) Retail Toy Stores||Online (Amazon) Retail Toy Stores||Online (Amazon) Retail Toy Stores||Online (Amazon) Retail Toy Stores||Online (Amazon) Retail Toy Stores|
|Remarkable Feature||* SmartPoint™ locations along the tracks which play music and imaginative phrases|
* Languages include English, German, French, etc.
|* Three games in one toy|
* Interactive sounds and phrases
* Foldable for easy storage
|* Pieces simulate the real construction site environment|
* Interchangeable clip attachments
* Comes with a multi-use storage crate
|* BIGGEST Hot Wheels® playsetCan house up to 140+ Hot Wheels® toy cars |
* Children can bond and play together
|Collector’s edition includes six minifigures of Star Wars characters|
This toy will make your kid feel like a little conductor. As early as one year old, boys can enjoy VTech’s Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Train Station Playset. Vtech is an award-winning toy manufacturer, dedicated to children’s play and learning. Designed to enhance your child’s creativity as they build the train track and push cars in different directions. The box includes bright and colorful toys that could instantly grab the attention of your baby. If you are planning to give this playset to an older boy, the playset lets children assemble the 32-piece interchangeable train track pieces. Because the set contains multiple components, children will not outgrow the toys that fast. These toys can be played with individually or as a set.
Watch: VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels
The Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Train Station Playset also includes a battery-powered train and an educational cargo car toy that plays sing-along songs while it passes through different locations. A unique feature of this train set is the SmartPoint Locations. There is a tunnel, a bridge, and a conveyor belt hill. These are interactive stops across the tracks that trigger the SmartPoint vehicles to play fun phrases, music, and sound effects. Apart from the SmartPoint vehicles, there are also piano buttons that teach colors and other foreign language responses. The interchangeable train tracks allow kids to create different track layouts. Not only does this stimulate creativity but it also encourages movement.
Apart from the SmartPoint vehicles, there are also piano buttons that teach colors and other foreign language responses. Watch as your child is greeted in English, Spanish, French, and German at the train station. The concept of time is seamlessly integrated into the design with colorful and playful phrases and light flashes that turns on along the sounds. The interchangeable train tracks give kids the opportunity to create different track layouts. Not only does this stimulate creativity but it also encourages movement by developing motor skills as they pull, press, and crank parts of the track. Your son can let his imagination and creativity wander as he creates multiple track configurations while strengthening his motor skills.
|Bright and colorful||Individual cars do not move on their own – need to be on the track|
|Right size for baby to toddler age||Cars use up battery fast|
|Compatible with other sets|
One playset that will definitely give value for your money is Light ‘n Go 3-in-1 Sports Zone™. Let your kid dunk, kick, and bowl. This playset set includes three modes of play for your child’s favorite sports: basketball, bowling, and soccer. You can triple the play with just one playset. A basketball, a bowling ball, and a soccer ball are provided along with hoop, the goal, and the bowling pins. Basketball features an adjustable height which will come in handy while your boy grows. There are three modes on the backboard that grows with your child: Learn, Move, and Games. The Learn mode teaches colors, numbers, and shapes. While the Move mode lights up and plays sounds which help with the child’s motor skills. Lastly, the Game mode encourages the child to follow instructions.
Little Tikes Light ‘n Go 3-in-1 Sports Zone™ has over 75 recorded sounds and phrases. The battery-operated interactive backboard lights up and makes sounds when the child shoots the ball. These rewarding sounds were added to the design to motivate children as they play. Another bonus feature of this playset is that it is very easy to put together and is collapsible which is perfect for storage. Feel assured that your kid will have a high-quality play session because the Little Tikes Light ‘n Go 3-in-1 Sports Zone™ is a certified Parent Tested Parent Approved winner.
|Easy storage||Uses up battery fast|
|Not complicated to use||Material not sturdy|
|Interactive backboard||Assembly required|
|Over 75 sounds and phrases||Requires 3 “AA” alkaline batteries; not included|
|Comes with 3 balls|
The iPlay iLearn™ Engineering Construction Site Vehicles Toy Set is expertly designed to imitate real-life construction equipment. iPlay, iLearn was expertly created by an Early Childhood Teacher and mother who was driven by the desire to provide children with fun, education, and safe toys. Designed to provide the first steps towards learning and success, iPlay, iLearn toys help children develop learning and social skills. As your boy plays with Engineering Construction Site Vehicles Toy Set, he will learn collaboration, teamwork, creativity, as well as imagination. With the highly intuitive interactive play, he will also develop critical thinking and problem-solving skill, and most importantly, his motor skills. This toy will maximize your little boy’s imagination where he can pretend to build things on his own. The setup of the toys is also perfect for kids to interact and play with other children.
iPlay, iLearn founders firmly believe that play is an integral part of a child’s development and education. With 52 pieces in the playset, kids can let their creativity run free. The set comes with square plates that can be assembled together to build a crate which can then store all the pieces in one box. He is free to create his own construction site with the six different types of vehicles. The complete set includes construction vehicles and interchangeable clip attachments for the truck like a scoop, a fork loader, and a bulldozer clip. You can let him play in the sand, and watch him enjoy carry sand and other materials to simulate the environment of a construction site.
Depending on the preference of the child, these attachments can turn the trucks into a crane, excavator, steamroller, dump truck, tractor, cement truck, or a fuel truck. There are also tools, safety barriers, safety cones, and signs. All these components are made of child and environmentally safe plastic materials, and because of this, it can be played with both indoors and outdoors.
|Budget -friendly||Small pieces can be hazardous and can be easily lost|
|Made with ABS plastic construction|
|Has storage crate|
|Has interchangeable parts|
|No batteries needed|
|All-weather; can be played outdoors|
Hot Wheels® is one of the most popular playsets there is. The company is best known for its die-cast toy cars and they eventually ventured to create playsets to make their products more interactive. Automobile manufacturers even licensed Hot Wheels® to make scale models of their cars. Originally targeted for children, these toy cars have become popular with adults especially toy collectors.
The Hot Wheels® Super Ultimate Garage is considered the biggest Hot Wheels® playset. It is over three-feet tall and can store over 140 toy cars. This type of playset provides endless opportunities for kids to create stories and let their imagination run free. Featuring different play zones such us the drive-up diner, the carwash, the lock-away police station, interactive tune-up shop, which even includes a jet plane that has a penthouse landing pad. The set comes to life with the dual corkscrew track which allows kids to race their friends from the penthouse. Your kids can challenge their friends on who can outwit the menacing gorilla who is determined to wipe the cars out of the elevator.
The Super Ultimate Garage can be connected to other Hot Wheels® playsets allowing the kids to customize their play. The box includes four toy cars and one Jetplane, while the other components can be added by buying them separately. As it is battery-operated, you need four D batteries to power up the entire playset.
|Different components can be played with individually||Uses up battery fast|
|Compatible with other sets||Size can be too large|
|Can be played by many because of its size||Corkscrew motor can get loud|
A popular book and movie franchise partnering up with the world’s most valuable toy company is a match made in heaven. Lego® has been known to first work with Star Wars in1999 and since then they have released various models of ships and scenes from the movies. Among the models is the iconic Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon is a fictional starship in the Star Wars franchise which is commanded by Han Solo. Arguably, it is the most iconic symbol that defined the entire Star Wars franchise.
In 2018, the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story came out. Lego® teamed up once again with Star Wars to add to their Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) – the Lego Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon. The UCS models are large, detailed models that would challenge the puzzle-solving skills of children. There are 1414 pieces of Lego® bricks with 6 Minifigures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, Lando Calrissian, Quay Tolsite, a Kessel Operations Droid, and a DD-BD droid, complete with Star Wars blaster weapons, and electro binoculars. Other accessories and detachable parts make the toy more interactive. Aside from the 6 mini-figures, the set comes with a 2-mini-figure cockpit with a detachable canopy.
Get to enjoy time with your son as you meticulously assemble every piece. Power up the Millennium Falcon with the 2-spring-loaded shooters, sensor dish, ramp, rotating top, and bottom laser turrets. The two mini-figure gunner seats complete the entire Star Wars experience. Parents who are Star Wars fans should consider getting this playset and turn to build it into a bonding, learning experience with their children.
|Accurate model||Small pieces can get lost|
|Enjoyed by both children and adults|