Help me to be a cool auntie!
January 24, 2017 9:57 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a gift that both a 5-year-old boy and a 9-year-old boy can enjoy and play together. Or, is there some kind of recommendation/gift guide/review site for kids?

It cannot be anything too bulky or too heavy or requires understanding of English language (they live in a different country). Their parents prefer that they get two same gifts or one big gift they can play together with. Oh, and no more Legos. Last time I got them a pair of remote control bumper cars and they had a lot of fun with it. This time, I'm out of ideas and browsing through Amazon toy section got a little overwhelming (and too many "I received this product at a discount..." reviews these days!).

Also, is there a good review/guide/recommendation site for toys or gifts for kids by age group? I have no problem picking out gifts for girls but I'm always at a loss when it comes to boys. I've looked through a couple of holiday gift guides from last year but didn't find anything particularly interesting or appropriate.
posted by Sparkling Natural Mineral Water to Shopping (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Nerf guns are all the rage in our crowd (you can get smaller non-bulky ones), but that's definitely something to ask the parents about first. Maybe small walkie-talkies?
posted by girlhacker at 10:15 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Water rockets, nerf rockets, other types of rockets...
posted by Toddles at 10:25 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fatbraintoys has a good search filter.
posted by bq at 10:31 PM on January 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Laser Maze, Jr!

Science! Lasers! Trajectories!

Basically, there are cards that tell you how to set up the board, and you have to figure out how to place the mirrors in order to light up the target.

My 5 year old girl and my 8 year old boy love it. It's not a play-against-each-other game. It's a solve-a-problem game, so they can play alone or with others.
posted by zizzle at 3:50 AM on January 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

I enthusiastically Obstacles. In my experience, it's a game that kids of very different ages can enjoy playing together.
posted by yankeefog at 5:10 AM on January 25, 2017

Marble runs. The wooden block ones are cooler but stupid expensive.
posted by metasarah at 6:37 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

We got Ice Cool for Christmas and my kids love it. Set up is easy, rules are easy. It's a very simple game involving flicking penguins through doors but is super fun (bonus: adults like it too!)
posted by LKWorking at 7:33 AM on January 25, 2017

Magformers or similar.
posted by amro at 7:44 AM on January 25, 2017

Seconding Laser Maze, Jr! I play with it all the time, and kids love it too!
posted by james33 at 8:10 AM on January 25, 2017

Stomp Rockets! Low-tech and such a hit, every time.
posted by R a c h e l at 8:11 AM on January 25, 2017

My kid received Pie Face as a present and everyone has fun playing it.
It also comes with a sponge which you can wet and place on the hand, if you don't want to use whipped cream.
Personally we use shaving cream, since whipped cream will probably get sticky and to me it's wasting food, but since the shaving cream is heavier, you need to put the shaving cream on the sponge and put those two together onto the hand.
posted by bitteroldman at 10:02 AM on January 25, 2017

Marble run, yeah. Stomp rockets are also super fun if they have outdoor space.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 12:46 PM on January 25, 2017

The game, sorry. Big kid can help with reading the game cards, anyone can win. My grandson beat me last night.
posted by Oyéah at 6:10 PM on January 25, 2017

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