When I was a kid, we always had whistles around the house. They were handy for signaling the start of races or when playing cops and robbers. But the tiny cheap plastic whistles we had inevitably broke after a while (which is undoubtedly why my parents bought that variety). If you want to get someone a whistle that just won't break, get 'em an ACME Thunderer, a high-quality metal whistle of the variety that's used in NCAA and NBA tournaments. And maybe get some earplugs, too. $6.75 USD.