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Toys For the Young Adventurer

Toys For the Young Adventurer

If you’re lucky enough to have been blessed with a child with an adventurer’s heart, the first thing you need to do is encourage them to sit down and watch all of the Indiana Jones and Mad Max films.

Next, you can take a look online and check out all the great educational toys available for adventure kids.

Dora the Explorer and Indiana Jones toys are great for playing indoors, but a real young adventurer is more interested in mounting exploration missions outdoors. If you live in a rural area, you’re at a great advantage. There are few childhood memories as treasured as exploring the woods. Drawing maps, using string and a stick to make a bow and arrow, imagining that you’re Robin Hood hiding from Sheriff Nottingham, life doesn’t get much better.

Sadly, these rural neighbourhoods are slowly giving way to urban development. City kids are forced to take camping trips every time they want to so much as look for weird bugs under rocks, and so, it’s not uncommon for most kids to retreat to video games and DVDs for their adventure. Ironically, The Legend of Zelda video games are based on the creator’s memories of playing in the woods as a child. He was inspired to create these games by his lament that there are fewer exploration opportunities for kids today than there were all those years ago. The Zelda games are fun, but they don’t match the real thing.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that National Geographic has a toy line. For starters, one of their best ideas so far has been the National Geographic Explorer Kit. This kit comes with real working binoculars, a flashlight, a compass, and a manual full of helpful information. If you live in the city and hate camping, we can’t really recommend this one, of course, because your kids will be begging you to take them out into the wilderness every weekend.

If your kids are more of the treasure hunter type, National Geographic also makes a real working metal detector at under AU $50.00. Yes, a real working metal detector, not a hunk of useless plastic in the shape of a metal detector.

And then of course there’s the astronomer kids. National Geographic’s 30ML Ultra Compact 30MM-30X Telescope is a great, basic telescope, featuring a tabletop tripod, 30X magnification, and an optical tube (which can be removed, allowing the telescope to be used as an explorer’s spyglass). It’s not the most top of the line telescope out there, but as a beginner’s scope, and at just over thirty bucks, it’s an excellent way to test the waters before dropping a few hundred on some fancy high tech scope.

A lot of adults think it’s gross, so finding funny looking bugs is one of the great pleasures reserved for young explorers. A lot of the funniest looking bugs only come out at night. National Geographic Night Vision Goggles allow for night time exploration via a bright LED “torch”. What puts these goggles a step or two above other kids night vision is that this isn’t just a pair of glasses with a flashlight attached, it also includes a sonic ear listening device, allowing the wearer to hear distant or small sounds. This means that you’ll have to sit in the car with the radio turned up really loud before discussing what you’re getting your kids for Christmas this year with anyone, but it’s a small price to pay.