You can't go wrong with remote control helicopters.
Bean bugged me about getting one for a long time after he played with one at a friend's house ages ago. I would see them in the stores and they were usually rather pricey ($50?) Last Christmas I was shopping on Amazon and I found one that was $20 that got decent reviews. I decided to buy it for Bean.
That little thing was the absolutely funnest thing about our Christmas Day. The boys played and played with it all day and we all got a kick out of it. But the best part was Prince Charming: whenever he would see the helicopter start to fly around, he would get all excited and say, "hoooooo! hoooooo!" It was utterly adorable and will go down in our family history forever. I tried to get it on video and of course it didn't work. But it made for a wonderful Christmas Day.
Anyway, the boys crashed that helicopter into the walls and ceiling and furniture so many times that by the end of Christmas Day it was pretty much ruined. I was disappointed it hadn't lasted very long, but we had so much fun with it for that day that we all agreed it was worth the $20 we spent.
When the Badger was shopping for birthday presents for the boys, he saw that the same helicopter was going for $15 on Amazon. He decided to buy them each one, and we would know to be more careful with them so they would last longer.
The boys were both over the moon when they opened them. They have been playing with them constantly ever since. They take a lot of time to charge and then run only a short time (Bean thinks it's about 15 minutes of flying for 45 minutes of charging) but what do you expect for $15?
The boys are getting very skilled at flying them, and it really does require quite a bit of skill. They hardly ever crash them into things anymore. The spatial management skills are fabulous for them to develop, especially since their dad's a pilot and if they follow in his footsteps this will actually help them with that. I love watching those little critters buzzing around my living room with my boys concentrating on them so carefully.
I think the Badger likes the helicopters just as much as the boys do. He gets a big kick out of grabbing them out of the air as they fly past him.
And of course he likes to fly them himself.
Alas, Prince Charming doesn't say "hoooooo!" when he sees them anymore, but they were still money very well spent!