The Toy Box


Educational Birthday Toys

Some Toys for Boys to Engage the Imagination

My son's birthday is one week away and I am once again left pondering what to get him.  At seven years-old all he wants are video games. But I think it is important to get him something educational.  He is now at the age where he wants to know how things work, so maybe an Elenco Snap Circuit set is the answer.

Sna Circuit is fun, educational, hands-on and kids actually get excited about all the different things they can make that actually work. These include an FM radio, motion detector, flying saucer, burglar alarm, doorbell and lots more! They can even play electronic games with their friends. All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. No tools required, just four AA batteries. Suggested Retail price is $74.99

Last year for his birthday I wanted to get something different from the usual, which has typically been Lego. I wanted something that required the use of imagination and creativity but still offered him the opportunity to build things, which he loves to do. 

On that occasion I got him Roylco’s Straws and Connectors. Why? Because it is a toy he first used in his classroom at school and he really took to playing with this. As well, I liked the open-ended play offered by Straws and Connectors. There are endless possibilities of what you can build with this toy.

My son could let his imagination run wild with Straws and Connectors, building a fort, boat, tower, tunnel or bridge or follow suggestions from the manufacturer. One of our favourites is the big rocket ship that he can actually stand in! You can have a closer look and get a better feel for this product at Straws and Connectors sets come in various sizes. The 400-piece set retails for approximately $24.99.

Another bonus to buying Straws and Connectors is that this product is made in Canada. I get a lot of requests for 'Made in Canada' at the store these days. Roylco, the manufacturer, is a true Canadian success story. Based in Waterloo ON, they have worked with teachers for over 40 years to produce some of the best educational materials for classrooms. They also produce a special arts and crafts kit each year that is available only through toy stores belonging to Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada (NETS), like us. More about that later!

Finally, I should add that both Elenco’s Snap Circuits and Straws and Connectors are products that have been awarded a ‘Gold Star’ by Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada (NETS) for ‘exceptional’ play value!  I like it when I can bring home toys that will continue to appeal to my son long after his birthday has passed and perhaps right up until his next birthday rolls around!

Melissa MaGee works (plays?) at Tag Along Toys in Kanata, a member of Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada (NETS). She considers herself lucky because she gets to see all the new products as they arrive and try out each new item. The real bonus is hearing the great customer feedback.

She is the mother of two fun boys, ages seven and one and a half.