The Best Toys for Teenage Boys in 2018
As children move into their teen years, they want more sophistication and use from their gifts. Today teens tend to like and use tech gifts more than non-tech ones. Because of this, we’ll be focusing on the next tech gifts for a teen, from the most popular games and gadgets.
It is, of course, your job as a parent or guardian to monitor your child’s safety and screen time. Too much screen time isn’t good for kids because it can harm social skills when interacting face to face.
Eachine E58 Drone with Camera
The Eachine E58 is lightweight and has decent battery life. It takes a full hour to charge the battery from empty to full.
- Simple to set up and use
- Versatile for beginners
- The battery doesn’t last as long as other models
- Shorter range than other models
Remote controlled drones are a hot gadget for teens to have. Whether they’re raving to through the sky, having a leisurely flight or being used for aerial photography, drones provide teens with months or years of fun. The Eachine Drone with Camera is a basic start to any would-be drone pilot’s career.
With an easy-to-use takeoff and landing key, a hover mode, and fully functional controls, your teen will feel like he’s able to take to the skies. This drone also has a 720p HD camera with a wide-angle field of view. At 120 degrees, it’s easy to see what’s in the drone’s periphery.
The drone has four propellers, which is the necessary number for full control. Not only can it maneuver freely in space, but it can also do a few stunts if the pilot is skilled enough.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 has multiple modes of gameplay like races, time trials, and battle mode wherein players use items to pop balloons around opponents.
- Simple, family-friendly game
- Variety of favorite Nintendo characters
- May not appeal to gamers who don’t like racing games
Mario Kart has been a competitive video game mainstay since the days of the Super Nintendo. The iconic go-kart racing franchise has featured on every subsequent console, with the Switch being the most recent.
Most of the characters in the Mario franchise are playable, as is a special guest star: Link from the Legend of Zelda series.
The biggest reason this game is a good gift for your teen is that it’s a game friendly title that still fills the desire for competition. Players can compete with other all over the world.
Overall, if you want to give your teen a game that he can pick up and play easily, Mario Kart 8 is one of the better choices. The fandom isn’t nearly as toxic as are those of some other game series that come to mind, so it’s less stressful.
This toy from Apple has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and 32 GB of internal storage. That’s plenty of room for your teen to store apps, pictures, and music.
- Versatile tablet
- Compact design easy for carrying around
- Can’t use third-party apps
The Apple iPad delivers pretty much all the function of a computer while remaining compact enough to carry in a backpack, with a good case of course. Its touchscreen layout gives easy access to apps and contacts, so it can still function as a mobile phone in a pinch.
Apple has always had the image of being a status symbol. Without getting into which is better between iOS and Android, well just say Apple has a reputation for being popular among artists and other creative types.
To get apps for Apple, you’ll need to download them from the Apple store. No third party apps are supported.
This pair of goggles offers complete eye overage to let the wearer fully dive info the VR experience.
- Easy to connect
- Works on a variety of platforms
- Does not offer audio stimulation the way higher-end VR headsets do
Virtual reality headsets let your teen experience world’s he wouldn’t be able to override. By connecting the VR headset to a smartphone with a supported app, the teen can use the fully immersed headset to play games or take virtual tours. The technology was popularized with the Oculus Rift, but other developers are catching up rapidly.
To use the goggles, simply open them and slip your smartphone into the compartment. The phone has to be about 4.5 inches long by 3 inches wide, and the display will split into two parts to acclimate to the reduced field of vision and give each eye a leper view of the image. These goggles work with almost any Google application, including the Street Level Tour on Google Earth.
Some beloved games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have gotten VR ports recently.
Acer Aspire E15 Laptop
The Acer Aspire E15 is among the lowest prices laptops you’ll find in a new condition.
- Good all-around capabilities
- Inexpensive for a starter laptop
- Contains some parts that aren’t exactly state-of-the-art
If you want to prepare your teen boy for school or give him a computer with enough power to browse the Internet or play some decent games, take a look at the Acer Aspire E15.
It has a 15.6-inch display, which isn’t the same as playing on a big screen but is still decent enough for a starter laptop. When coupled with Intel 620 HD graphics, the laptop can show some high-resolution images for its size and power.
This computer has some components known for steady performance, even though they aren’t blazing fast. The 4 GB of DDR4 RAM is fast enough to keep up with even intense graphics.
This isn’t a high-end gaming computer. However, it should be enough to get your teen through school for a couple of years. The average lifespan of a laptop is around two to three years anyway, so it performs at an average level for its price point.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
This game is the latest in the Assassin’s Creed series. This is not a game for younger players; save it for later teens (the game is rated Mature).
- Large game world to explore
- Potential for history education
- Focused on violence
- Some sexual content
As implied by the name there’s a lot of violence and death featured in this game. Assassins Creed: Origins takes place in Ancient Egypt and does more to teach the player about Egyptian history at the time of Cleopatra.
The game has a compelling narrative and main characters. Although there’s graphic violence, it serves the narrative, while wanton violence as you would find in other games is punished.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins includes a highly educational feature: The Discovery Tour. This is the first AC game in which such a mode has been featured. The player is free to wander Egypt at his leisure, getting interesting tidbits of information. He can also take a guided tour of landmarks like the pyramids of Giza, the city of Alexandria (now Cairo), or various other landmarks of Egypt.
PC USB Gaming Headset
This particular headset model has built-in bass for that extra hit of resonance.
- Controls are easy to reach and remember
- High-quality sound
- May be too bulky for some
Of course, with all these games and computer software, your teen likely wants to hear the game from something other than tinny laptop speakers. This is where a good PC USB gaming headset comes in.
This headset includes a retractable mic; all the better to keep the mic from getting in the way while he’s downing a healthy snack or drink during an intense gaming session. Perhaps the best benefit is that it is Plug and Play; being a USB device, there’s no need to install drivers.
How Developed are Teenage Boys?
The teenage years span from 13 to 19 years old, during which boys go through a lot of changes. Puberty isn’t as much of a force to be reckoned with; the teenage boy has begun to get used to his newly adult body and how it operates. The days of awkward fumbling with disproportionately-growing limbs are over.
At this time, the teenage boy’s interests have mostly solidified, and he likely has a strong need to engage with friends rather than family. Nothing wrong with this; it’s a normal part of teen development.
Physically, teen boys have even more muscle and are more self-conscious about their bodies. They may be interested in physical fitness regimens to develop their muscles and look good to people they see as potential romantic partners.
Intellectually, teens have more capacity for abstract thought and complex problem solving than they did as younger children, but still haven’t fully developed mentally. Full mental development, in fact, doesn’t take place until the late twenties. In the meantime, you should try to foster teen development.
Emotionally, teens value their independence from the family and value gifts that aren’t necessarily toys in the sense we think of them. They want gifts that can be used for self-improvement or the development of a hobby.
Teenage boys are prone to impulsive behavior and mood swings as hormones rush through his bloodstream. There can be a lot of emotional and aggressive energy; as a parent or someone else special in the teen boy’s life, you should try to give him gifts and toys that channel this extra energy and emotion in positive, constructive manners.
What Kinds of Toys do Teenage Boys Like?
If the teenage boy still has interest in the same hobbies he had in earlier years, it can be a good idea to give him fully adult versions of the tools used in those hobbies. Some ideas are full-sized high-quality musical instruments, new tech tools like a laptop or phone (these are also useful for school), a more in-depth video game, or sports equipment that’s designed to take full-strength use.
Teenage boys can be difficult, because they’re concerned about their image and may feel pressured to use or display the gifts you buy them, and if they think they’re ‘uncool’, they might hide them when friends are over. Have conversations with your teen to get a feel for his interests and the things he wants or look online for ideas.
Teens appreciate electronics like game consoles, games, laptops, and phones. Their competitive streak extends to video games. Teens like to have long game sessions with their friends or other players they meet online. Winning and getting game achievements gives them a sense of bragging rights.
The teenage years are a pretty impulsive time, especially for boys. If you give a lot of gifts that involve online activity like game consoles or laptops, you need to talk to the teen about Internet safety and etiquette.
Although society has largely moved on from the “everyone on the Internet is a dangerous person-in-waiting” phase, that fear isn’t without truth. Even gaming can lead to problems. Toxic or angry players have been known to wreak havoc on hapless players’ lives, even going so far as to call the police as a prank.
Talk to your teen about how to maintain some level of privacy online, such as not posting excessive data to social media. In general, it’s not a good idea to provide personal information if possible. The privacy that comes from owning his computer or mobile device capable of Internet access carries with it a risk that you need to mitigate.
Competitive online gaming can foster anger when the player isn’t doing well. Teach him what is and is not acceptable: a common stereotype is that toxic players will use harmful slurs and hateful language. Avoid allowing a teen to engage in this behavior.
Some games can also be extremely immersive. MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online can serve as a distraction from priorities like schoolwork. Even though these games foster a sense of teamwork and creativity, time spent playing them should be limited.
Moving away from electronic gaming, teen boys are still growing and can easily injure themselves if they play sports or engage in physical activity that’s too strenuous. Make sure your teen has the guidance of a coach or other instructor if he’s involved in sports.
Teenage boys are in the process of becoming grownups. They want their possessions to reflect this fact while still retaining a sense of ‘coolness’ that their older toys may not have for them anymore. As long as you know what the teen boy in your life likes, you can buy him a gift, he’ll enjoy and appreciate.