This winter has been pretty brutal for most of the country, and the endless snow days and no-school days have made a lot of families claustrophobic and, frankly, bored. So even though the worst of the polar vortex is (hopefully) behind us, here are some great boredom busters that will bring a smile to even the most jaded kids’ faces.
Power Rangers Mega Force Giant 31” Red Ranger Action Figure (Jakks Pacific Inc.)
This Power Ranger figure is more than half the size of an average 6-year-old and features seven points of articulation, meaning he can be twisted and bent into a ton of different poses. The Ranger’s giant size makes him an ideal companion for eating, playing games, snuggling up on the couch, reading and jumping out from behind doors to scare Mom and Dad (that’ll get old for you rather quickly but will keep your child in giggles for a lot longer). The Ranger can stand on his own two feet, which makes him the perfect Godzilla-like destroyer of block cities and crusher of other action figures. And if you do manage to make it outside, he’s so big that there’s no chance of losing him in the snow. Available online, at Wal-Mart, or Toy ‘R’ Us for about $30.
Battroborg 3-In-1 Battle Arena (TOMY)
Think of Battroborg as a modern-day “Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Robot” that, like the original, will keep everyone entertained for hours and hours. Once your kids (and/or you or your spouse) break it open, cancel your plans for the rest of the evening. The set comes with two bots and an arena where they’ll duke it out. It doesn’t, however, come with the batteries you’ll need to make the bots work. Players control their robots using a small handheld remote that captures and transmits their hand movements, which the bots mimic. Each Battroborg can battle in three different competitive game modes. What’s especially cool about Battroborg’s technology is that it allows up to 20 robots to pound each other in a full-on battle royal at the same time. Available on Amazon.com and at other retailers for $80.
Galaxy Tab 3 Kids (Samsung)
Although the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is aimed at kids, what separates it from other tablets in the kids’ category is its speed and power. Parents can pick the apps they want to allow and then restrict access to anything and everything else. Adding new apps to the list requires a parent’s password, a four-digit code you input when first setting up the tablet. The kids’ menu itself is brightly colored, easy to personalize and even easier to navigate. The tablet also sports a foam/rubber case that will survive basic tumbles. Ready for the coolest feature? Once the kiddies are in bed (or at school or on a play date, or even in the bathtub), all it takes is a few clicks and a password and you’ve got yourself a fully functional Galaxy Tab 7.0 device that you won’t be embarrassed to be seen using. The biggest challenge is just waiting your turn. Retails everywhere for about $230.