Buying toys for kids is like trying to help a couple of strangers carry a couch up two flights of steps. While your assistance may be appreciated, in theory, you’re probably going to end up doing something wrong. To that end, we present five toys that are, in theory, amazing (and I like all of them and you should, if the child in question is old enough to handle them, buy them) but that will frustrate parents of most children to no end. I present a toy gift guide for the childless!
You: Oh, cool. The kids can learn electronics. The pieces are magnetic so they stick together and you can make some amazing little projects.
The Parents: Oh. More plastic things to swallow. My kids are far more interested in breaking Wii U disks by drawing on them with markers than creating Large Hadron Colliders with electronics parts. These will also go into the toilet. I literally just fished four Lightning McQueens out of the toilet this afternoon.
You: Oh, great. It’s an Android tablet for kids. It has a built-in camera and Wi-Fi.
The Parents: So now we have more electronic crap to put in the toy bin. And these kids need less screen time, not more.
You: The kids can learn about robotics with this fun little robot that jumps over a foot and can even record video!
The Parents: So now I have to give my kids my iPhone to control this thing and the kids will end up dropping it and the robot into the toilet. Always the toilet.
You: Wow! A super-fast, high torque racing cart that the kids can ride on and skid out. And it’s going to come in XL for adults! I may buy one and my niece and I can race (Note: this will never happen).
The Parents: Nice. A thing the kids can fly out of head-first and the youngest will be endlessly jealous of because they can’t reach the peddles. Oh, and this thing is bigger than a Weber grill so the Weber grill has to stay outside of the garage and rust and this gets a place of honor in the garage until we sell it at a garage sale for $10.
You: But she loves…
The Parents: Have you no soul? You are a demon sent here to Earth to torment us.
The Parents: God dammit. More LEGO.
Seriously, though? Just offer to babysit once or twice a year. Or bring over some whiskey and a box of wooden blocks.