Santa might make a list and check it twice, but you don’t have time for such nonsense. You need to make a list and start checking things off as quickly as possible – and if that means you can knock out a bunch of items on your list in one place, that’s the best way to go.
Now if you’re shopping for boys, we know it can get tricky. And when you layer in the parents’ preferences it can get even trickier. The kids love gadgets but the parents prefer their kids to avoid technology. The kids love Legos but the parents say they have too many.
Well, we’ve got enough gift ideas here that you’re bound to find one to fit all the boys on your list – from the baby all the way up to the teen.
Read on to start knocking out people on your list. Gift shopping has never been so easy.
- Hands-on play for childhood development
- Quick clean-up
- Award-winning set of 80 blocks
- 11 piece real tool set
- Great quality
- Easy to carry toolbag
- Realistic sound effects
- Tested safe for kids
- Highest quality plastic
- Powerful quad-core processor
- Shatter safe touchscreen
- Robust parental tools
- Safe game with endless fun
- Durable LED hover soccer
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Quick conversion
- Perfect for every kid or collector
- Easily-activated knight armor
- 2-in-1 over-the-door basketball hoop
- High quality construction
- Fits on any door
- Comes with specially-designed origami paper
- For origami and Star Wars lovers
- Unique and knowledgeable book
- Easy to follow tutorials
- Innovative video game creation platform
- Digitize your creations
- 40 hours of battery life
- Award-winning sound and design
- Multifunction on-ear controls
What Types of Toys Do Boys Like?
There’s a lot of discussions these days about stereotypically-gendered toys and the message that they’re sending to children. However, research has shown that babies as young as three months gravitate toward toys and colors that are typically associated with their assigned sex (1).
That doesn’t mean that you can’t think outside the box or that boys won’t ever play with “girl” toys.
- Active games
- Cars and trucks
- Dress-up police or firefighter
- Electronic toys
- Building activities (such as Legos or Duplos)
- Graphic novels
Can’t I Just Send Money?
Sometimes it just seems easier to send money. However, that’s not necessarily the best course of action.
Gifts cards often go unused. In fact, there over $44 billion in gift cards that have been unredeemed since 2008 (2). So while you might be thinking that a gift card will allow them to purchase something they really want, the risk is that they never even use it and your money goes to waste.
Finally, a well-thought-out gift is not only fun for the recipient to open, but also sends them a clear message that you were thinking about them and found them important enough to put effort into choosing the right present. It’s a much more personal message than money.
How Can I Be Sure They’ll Like the Gift?
There’s always a bit of risk in gift-buying – especially when you purchase something to surprise and please the recipient that isn’t on their pre-made list. However, a quick call to their parents can give you some ideas of their interests, and then you can go from there.
How Can I Make Sure My Gift is Age-Appropriate?
Kids develop differently, but unless you hear differently from their parents, here are some general guidelines to follow.
- Do not buy electronics, DVDs, or anything with screens for children under the age of 2 (3).
- Avoid toys and games with small pieces for children under the age of 3.
- If in doubt about a child’s abilities, always choose a toy that is above their ability. A parent can always put it away for the future – but if you buy a gift that is too young, it will be quickly cast aside.
- Do not buy video games or books with a violent theme for any age (unless it has been pre-approved by their parents).
Things to Keep In Mind When Gift-Giving
Here are some other guidelines for gift-giving:
- Do not buy exceptionally large gifts as space is an issue in some homes, unless a parent has given the go-ahead.
- Avoid loud toys. Not only can they harm small sensitive ears, but they can be a nuisance to parents.
- If you buy a gift that requires batteries, include a replacement set with your gift.
- Always include a gift receipt.
The Best Gifts for Boys in 2020
Here are our gifts for boys broken down into each age group.
One-year-olds are just learning how to explore their world. Choose a toy with bright colors to grab their attention, but no small parts that can pose a potential choking hazard. And since the AAP doesn’t recommend that children be exposed to screens until after 18 months, avoid tech-based toys.
1. Mega Bloks 80-Piece Building Bag
These bright and colorful blocks are built for little hands to assemble and exercise their creativity. They are large blocks that don’t pose a choking hazard for the younger set, and they can build both large or small creations. They even come with a storage bag for easy clean-up.
2. 4-Piece Push and Go Car Set
What little boy doesn’t love anything construction-related? This push-friction system contains a cement mixer, bulldozer, dumper, and tractor with detachable trailer. They are durable for a little boy’s rough play and require no batteries to operate.
3. VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
Some kids are walking by their first birthday, but many aren’t. For a late walker this is a perfect present because it will keep them entertained while they’re still primarily a sitter, help them develop the skills to walk, and capture their attention even after they’re a pro. Between all the buttons and lights, it’s a great option for an early toddler.
4. VTech Touch and Teach Elephant Book
This tech-enhanced toy has 16 interactive pages and over 150 songs, sounds, and phrases to teach a toddler letters, shapes, and colors. It has light-up and sound-based buttons that keep little ones entertained, and also tests a child’s comprehension once they get older, making it a toy that will grow with the child. And because the pages of this “book” are laminated and heavy-duty, it can even hold up to a toddler’s propensity to chew on them.
5. Radio Flyer Stroll ‘N Trike
Toddlers love exerting their independence, and after awhile a stroller will no longer do. This trike with three-point harness will make them feel like a big kid while keeping them safe, and the stroller handles will let mom remain in control. It will also last for years as it’s convertible to a standard trike when the child is ready to roll solo.
6. Bouncy Inflatable Hopping Horse
This is a ball hopper that’s shaped like a horse and sized just right for a toddler. It will help them develop a better sense of balance and provide opportunities for imaginative play since it’s designed to feel like a real horse. It also comes with a two-way hand pump to help keep it fully inflated.
7. Kiddey Knight’s Castle Play Tent
In, out, in, out…any toddler will practically wear themselves out with the fun of an indoor play tent. Made to look like a castle, the pop-up construction make this fort easy to assemble and the included carrying case make it simple to store. Plus, it comes with a bonus sword and shield for hours of imaginative play.
8. Radio Flyer 2-in-1 Wagon
Toddlers love pulling things around. This pint-sized wagon will let a little one collect all their treasures and pull them proudly around the house or yard. Plus, the handle snaps up so it can double as a walker, too, for the kiddo who’s still learning to walk.
9. Animal Learning Sound Book
This interactive book will help a child learn the animal sounds of 30 different animals. It’s got additional sounds and melodies, and three different learning modes that will also teach animal names and facts so the book will still be relevant as a child’s abilities expand. And since it doesn’t have any extra parts or pieces to lose, it’s easy to store and keep track of.
10. ThinkFun Roll and Play Board Game
Kids as young as 18 months can start learning the fun of family games in this game designed for parent and child. They roll the oversized, plush die and then perform an action that corresponds to the color rolled. It helps to develop gross motor skills, and encourages creativity and active play.
Toddlers are notoriously busy, and their brains are still expanding at an alarming rate. Buy toys that will stimulate their senses and keep them busy so maybe – just maybe – their mom can get a break.
1. KaZAM v2e Balance Bike
Training wheels are totally a thing of the past since balance bikes not only let even the littlest of children power it themselves, but they also help them learn balance and transition to a two-wheel pedal bike earlier. This one even has a footrest to help them learn to coast and manage their center of balance, and it comes in a variety of colors to match anyone’s style.
2. Fisher Price Loops ‘n Swoops Amusement Set
This “Little People” branded set will provide hours of entertainment. Kids can launch the cars down the ramp and watch them fly through the loop or coast down the ramp. It is easy enough to operate for independent play, and comes with two vehicles included.
3. Obuby Aqua Magic Doodle Mat
Creative fun with art without the typical preschool mess? Yes, please! The Aqua Magic Doodle Mat allows kids to color using pens filled with nothing but water, eliminating the risk of accidents. This set includes six magic pens, four stamps, drawing booklet and template, and a large painting area sized at 39.5” X 31.5”. And it’s completely reusable – after ten minutes, when the mat dries, the ink disappears and is ready for your little one’s next artistic inspiration.
4. My First Tool Set by DIYjr
These toys look just like daddy’s – only smaller. Made of durable plastic, they’re safe for a little one to “fix” and “build” stuff alongside their parent to feel like they’re hanging with the adults. It comes with a hammer, plier, screwdriver with interchangeable bits, wrench, level, bolts, and screws. It also comes in a carrying case so keep the toys from being strewn all over the house.
5. Hide n Slide Kids Ball Pit Tents and Tunnels
There’s no need to go to a germ-infested public play place to get the wiggles out if a kiddo has one at home. Kids love crawling through tunnels and playing in ball pits, and this one is easy to set up thanks to the pop-up design, and easy to store with its zippered case. It’s double-sewn and made of polyester to enhance durability, and is even washable to withstand toddler messes.
6. Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Set
Make bathtime even more fun with this kids’ fishing set. It comes with an easy-to-operate fishing pole and three magnetic bobbers. Kids will work on their hand-eye coordination by trying to line up the fish with the bobbers. The fish float on top of the water and are completely sealed to prevent mold and mildew growth.
7. My Very First Orchard Game
There aren’t many family games that two-year-olds can play, but this game was designed specifically with toddlers in mind. The game encourages shape and color recognition and play lasts only about ten minutes so little ones don’t get bored. There are also play options for free play so kids can play by themselves, too.
8. Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? Book
This sweet story is available as either a hardcover or board book to be more durable for young kids who may be hard on traditional pages. It combines a boy’s favorite things – construction vehicles, monster trucks, and fire engines – with the bedtime routines they’re familiar with.
9. Little Tikes Easy Score Soccer Set
Any budding soccer star would love this. It’s pint-sized and perfect for toddlers, and comes with a (rubber) soccer ball and pump. They can spend hours in the backyard (or basement) shooting goals and running off all of that excess energy.
10. Electronic Pet Dog Harry
No need to get a real dog when you’ve got Harry. This electronic dog walks, barks, and makes other dog sounds. It has sensors that respond to touch, and can sing and dance for additional entertainment. Your little one can even play chase, and with the “bump-n-go” feature it will change directions if it runs into a blocked route.
Most three-year-olds are still in the ultra-busy mode, so attention-grabbing toys are a hit. They’re also working on fine motor development so art supplies are great, as are pre-reading and letter recognition activities.
1. Disney Story Reader
These books are great because the enclosed tablet actually reads the books to the child. It helps build a love of reading in the pre-reader, gives mom a break, and helps the child practice their budding independence. Matching audio tones and symbols help the child navigate through the book so they can “read” it themselves.
2. 36” Portable & Foldable Trampoline
Have you ever met a three-year-old who didn’t have an abundance of energy? Didn’t think so. This individual-sized trampoline for ages 3+ has a built-in handle for stability and is foldable so it won’t take up permanent real estate in the living room. Plus, it will provide a great way for kids to burn off energy (and have fun) even if they can’t go outside.
3. Imagination Magnets
These colorful magnets come with cards that have designs in varying degrees of difficulty. Children must arrange the magnets on the built-in magnetic board to match the design on the card. Kids have fun while working on fine motor and matching skills while parents are happy that it comes in its own carrying case for easy clean-up and storage.
4. Pretex 2-Pack R/C Cars
These durable hard plastic remote-control cars let the little kids race like the big boys. They have realistic sounds and lights, and easy-to-operate remotes meant for little hands. Plus, the two cars in the pack operate on different frequencies meaning they can be raced by two different drivers.
5. 52-Piece Wooden Train Set
Boys + trains = love. This set includes tracks, a bridge, a railroad crossing, a train station, buildings, trees and four train cars. It’s also compatible with other train and track brands, and can be made bigger with a multitude of expansion pack options.
6. Theo Klein Weber Kettle Grill
What little boy doesn’t want to be just like his daddy? This grill will let them “cook” side-by-side. This authentic-looking toy grill comes with two grates and a set of toy tongs, and the charcoal even lights up to look like it’s lit. The set also comes with a toy lighter and plastic food.
7. Micro Mini Original Kick Scooter
Most three-year-olds aren’t ready for a 2-wheel bicycle, and traditional scooters still pose a balancing challenge, too. This scooter is low to the ground and has a third wheel for stability, allowing young preschoolers to wheel along like the big kids. The wheels are non-marking in the event of indoor use and this “mini” version is constructed with a small child’s stature in mind. Don’t forget to buy a helmet to go with it!
8. Playskool Heroes Optimus Prime Playset
9. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Family time can be fun for all with this no-reading-required board game. Simply spin the spinner and follow the photographic instructions. This game teaches social skills, colors, fine motor skills, matching skills, strategic thinking, and turn-taking. It’s simple enough for young players, but engaging enough for older kids, too.
10. Take Apart Toy Racing Car Kit for Kids
This is perfect for the future mechanic. With a battery-operated drill that really removes the car’s tires and other parts, this gift is great for the kid who is curious about everything – and it will also help them work on their hand-eye coordination. To increase the toy’s appeal, it has realistic lights and sound.
Puzzles are a great activity for this age – they engage their brain but are also a quieter, less boisterous activity. Pre-reading and fine motor gifts are also good choices, as are sports-related gifts. After all, what preschool-age boy doesn’t love to run around and chase a ball?
1. LeapFrog Ultimate Kids’ Learning Tablet
A four-year-old might not be ready for their own iPad, but this is the next best thing. It’s got kid-friendly wi-fi and access to learning-based and age-appropriate apps and games, all in a rugged piece of tech that can survive a preschool-aged boy. It also has a built-in camera, along with parental controls that can be customized.
2. NextX Educational Building Set
This 300-piece STEM learning set allows for imaginative three-dimensional play. It helps to get children interested in STEM activities and develops their creativity in unique ways. It’s made of food-grade plastic to ensure optimal safety, and also comes with a storage bag to help keep all the pieces in one place.
3. The Learning Journey USA Map Puzzle
This 40-piece puzzle will not only help teach fine motor skills, but will be useful for years to come as the child learns the 50 states. The raised pieces make them easy to lift and place properly. The difficulty level is perfect to prevent frustration, but also challenge them to develop appropriate problem-solving skills.
4. Fisher-Price Think-and-Learn Code-a-Pillar
This gift is both tech and tactile. The child can put segments of the caterpillar together (each with a unique directional instruction), press the button, and it follows the instructions in the order your child gave them. It helps develop early coding, programming, and problem-solving skills. Plus, it’s fun with bright lights, so almost any kid will be instantly attracted to it.
5. Fire Chief Dress-Up Set
A firefighter is basically the coolest job ever when you’re four. This dress-up set comes with a jacket and many different accessories, and is even machine washable (which isn’t necessarily the case with a lot of dress-up clothes). It can also be personalized with your future fireman’s name if you’d like.
6. Step 2 Shootin’ Hoops Junior Basketball Set
This basketball set grows with the child, adjusting in height from 30” to 48”. It has a real net and sturdy backboard, and its stability can be increased by filling the bottom with sand or water. It also comes with a six-inch basketball that’s the perfect size for small hands.
7. Pete the Cat: 7 Groovy Stories
Pete the Cat has taken the preschool world by storm with his colorful pictures, whimsical rhyming stories, and positive messages. This collection bundles seven stories together for one price. It includes “Play Ball!”, “Construction Destruction,” “Pete’s Big Lunch,” “Cavecat Pete,” “Pete at the Beach,” “Robo-Pete,” and “Too Cool for School.”
8. ETI Toys Engineering Blocks Set
This 93-piece set can be used to engineer buildings, bridges, vehicles…the possibilities are endless. With two wrenches so kids don’t need to fight over the tool, this toy not only ignites creativity but also helps with fine motor development and hand-eye coordination. It’s interesting enough the kids will use it for years, but the pieces are big enough that a preschooler will be able to maneuver them independently.
9. Big Dig Ride-On Working Crane
This toy lets any boy operate the construction site of their dreams. The child sits on the pivoting seat and operates the two working levers to guide the excavator and dig a monster hole. It’s appropriate for use with sand, dirt, and snow. It helps improve manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and encourages outdoor play.
10. Razy Chefs Children's Game
This fun board game teaches kids about different foods, and encourages young children to have fun in the kitchen. It’s simple enough that children can play on their own without an adult, and helps to facilitate matching and recognition skills, and logical thinking with the ultimate goal of putting together a dish with the correct ingredients.
Most 5-year-old boys are still pretty wild but have enough skills to navigate more complex toys like remote control cars (just make sure they’re durable to endure frequent crashes). They’re also probably still in the pre-reading stage so stay away from difficult books. They enjoy a mix of active, outdoor activities and quiet, low-key indoor fun.
1. Ravensburger Disney Cars Puzzles
This three-pack of Disney “Cars” themed puzzles will help your five-year-old develop problem-solving skills while developing confidence as they learn to put them together independently. The backs of the puzzles are coded so they won’t be confused if mixed together, and the 49-piece design will pose a challenge without being too frustrating.
2. Veatree Magnetic Building Blocks
This set of 110 magnetic rods and 40 non-magnetic balls will provide endless hours of imaginative play. Kids can use them for building, counting, color recognition, 3D modeling, or 2D play. It’s even a fun activity for parents and children to build and create together.
3. Mario Kart Wii
Parents and kids can play this game together for hours on end – or it can be played independently. This game is suitable for multiple skill levels and helps to develop quick reflexes. It’s also safe for everyone since it’s rated “E” by the ERSB. Just make sure the family has a Wii console to play it on before buying this for them.
4. Hot Wheels Crash Track Set
Hot wheels cars are a classic gift for any age – and most boys have quite the collection. This track will let them enjoy their cars in a new way, launching, racing and crashing them on the 16+ feet of twisting track. It also has parking for lots of car storage and is easy to set up and take down so it doesn’t take up too much real estate in their room.
5. VTech Kidizoom Camera Pix
The budding photographer will be thrilled with this gift, and their parents will breathe a sigh of relief at its durable casing. This fully functional digital camera features a 4x zoom and video functionality, and also includes fun editing effects and creative apps. It has built-in memory, but also a microSD card slot for memory expansion.
6. Kidirace RC Bumper Cars
Little boys love crashing their cars anyway, so why not buy a toy that was designed just for that? This set of two remote-controlled bumper cars can even be expanded to play with up to six cars at once. The remote control is easy to operate for young children, and since it comes with two rechargeable battery packs (rechargeable via USB port), these cars won’t cost an additional fortune in replacement batteries.
7. Bonwayer Hover Soccer Set
This set turns any hardwood, tile, or linoleum floor into a soccer stadium. It even works on low-pile carpet. With two goals and a magical “hover” ball that can be kicked just like the real thing, it’s a safer way for kids to practice their soccer skills indoors with less damage.
8. Diggin Active Dodge Tag
This is a version of dodgeball that’s safer for the kids and can even be played indoors. It comes with two vests and six balls – so kids automatically know whether they’ve been hit (no more faking!). It encourages an active lifestyle and helps develop throwing and dodging techniques. This game can help kids get exercise without even realizing it because it’s so fun.
9. Dragons Love Tacos
Boys love dragons, and boys love tacos. Turns out, dragons love tacos, too. This colorful and illustrated book will walk the child through the silly mishaps of dragons who unfortunately ate tacos that were too spicy. It will become a regular bedtime favorite.
10. Nature Bound Bug Catcher Set
See bugs up close and personal with this catching and observation kit that also includes an activity booklet. For kids that aren’t keen on touching bugs, they don’t even have to – all the tools allow them to capture the bugs without getting too close. It comes with a net, bug tongs, tweezers, a magnifying glass, and a storage bucket.
There are lots of options for the school-aged boy. You can buy things related to school attendance or the sports they participate in. They’re getting old enough to participate in family games, and may be starting to get interested in video games. And if you’re completely stuck? Just buy Legos. There’s not much else that matters when you’re 6.
1. Boys Sports Watch
Here’s a gadget that’s both cool-looking and useful. The digital watch is rugged and water-resistant, and is also perfect for this age as kids are becoming more accustomed to living within the concept of time. The band is designed to be child-sized, and the watch comes with a whole bunch of bells and whistles including an alarm, stopwatch, and nightlight.
2. Activ Lites for Bike Wheels
Safety and style are combined into one product with these bike wheel lights. Most six-year-old boys love the freedom and independence brought about by their ability to ride around on two wheels, so the ability to up the coolness quotient with custom lighting will probably be well-received. These lights fit bikes from 12” to 29” and come in several colors. Don’t forget to buy a second set for the back wheel.
3. Obuby Fort Building Kit
Nearly every kid loves building child-sized hideouts with blankets and furniture, but this kit will increase the creative opportunities with 85 pieces of fort-building fun. Kids assemble the various pieces in whatever design they’d like, throw a sheet over the top, and – viola! – instant fort.
4. Fayogoo Kids Walkie Talkies
These walkie talkies were designed with kids in mind. The operation is simple, the design is rugged, and the colors are bright. They have a range of up to four miles and 22 channels to choose from. Plus, they have a built-in flashlight, display backlight, and are small and lightweight.
5. Magic Tree House Boxed Set
Nearly every new reader gets hooked on The Magic Treehouse. With the mystery and adventure set in easy-to-read historical fiction books, they’re not only interesting, but educational, too. Even if the child you’re buying for isn’t proficient at reading yet, you can still buy them the entire collection – because as soon as they get the hang of it, they’ll devour the whole thing.
6. Transformers Megatron Action Figure
Whether they’re into transformers or not, few boys can resist gravitating to these transforming figures. They convert between a robot/machine and vehicle, making them versatile for imaginative play. They transform fairly easily and will likely provide hours of entertainment.
7. Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board
Here’s a dart board that’s safe for your budding enthusiast – and won’t pose a safety hazard to other children in the home, the walls, or the furniture. It’s sized to match a real dart board, the magnets are strong, and the darts were built to fly like the traditional ones, helping to develop hand-eye coordination, dart skills, and sportsmanship.
8. Planetbox Rover Stainless Steel Lunch Box
This lunchbox is so unique, shiny, and out-of-the-ordinary that any school-ager will be excited to open it. The mix-and-match magnets allow it to be customized to the student’s taste, and the high-quality stainless steel construction means that it might hold up for their entire elementary school career.
9. Classic Operation Skill Game
This classic is just as tricky and exciting as it was when we were kids. Remove the ailments from the patient’s body without touching the tweezers to the sides lest you get buzzed out of a turn. It facilitates fine motor skills and turn-taking, but the loud buzzing is uproarious fun and will get a gaggle of boys going wild once someone makes a wrong move.
10. Infrared Induction Helicopter Ball
This flying toy has an induction receiver underneath, so when your child puts its hands underneath it will magically rise. It also comes with a remote control for wireless flying, and has LED lights to make it shine in the darkness. This is a unique remote-control flying machine made specifically for younger elementary kids so it’s easier to operate.
Two words for you: Minecraft and Pokemon. Buy anything related to either of these brands and your gift is bound to be a hit. Still, don’t discount the thrill of a new Lego set, or anything with a remote control.
1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Of course a book about a silly superhero in his underwear would be popular among seven-year-old boys. Get them hooked on this series with the first book in the franchise that’s good for both beginning readers or chapter-book lovers, which is great since the reading levels of 7-year-old can vary widely. It is available in hardcover, paperback, or a Kindle edition.
2. Razor A4 Kick Scooter
This scooter is fully foldable for easy transport, and the handlebars are adjustable to accommodate a number of heights. It has a rear brake for easy stopping and foam handles for comfort. And since it only weighs eight pounds, it’s a super portable mode of transportation.
3. The Lego Batman Movie
The LEGO Batman Movie was a hit in theaters in 2017, and any elementary-aged boy would love to have it available to watch over and over again. It’s a fun combination of children’s beloved LEGOs and their favorite superheroes, and parents will even be entertained with this movie. It’s available on DVD, Blu-Ray or digital format.
4. Minecraft Online Game Code
If they don’t already have Minecraft, you’ll make their entire year by buying it for them. Instead of simply giving them a gift card to buy it on their own, this option allows you to purchase a unique download code. Simply give them a card with download instructions and the access code, and watch their eyes light up as they read.
5. The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book
There are so many ways to get boys excited about the world around them – and the best way is to make it messy and fun. This collection of simple science experiments will help them explore scientific phenomena and learn why different things happen in ways that kids will understand.
6. Lego Minecraft Jungle Tree House
What’s better than Minecraft or Legos? Minecraft AND Legos. This licensed Minecraft-themed set has many of the accessories that are found in the online game including Steve and Alex, a Creeper, and a sheep. You might not know what any of those things are, but trust me – your little Minecraft fan does.
7. Ultra Pro Pokemon Binder
The Pokemon lover in your life needs a place to store all their trading cards and keep them safe. Give them an awesome gift bundle with this Pokemon-themed binder, then throw in some card storage sheets and a few packs of cards and they’ll spend hours organizing (and re-organizing) their precious collection.
8. Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster
What elementary-aged boy doesn’t love a good nerf battle? This nerf gun holds up to 6 darts for rapid-fire action, and loads the next round easily. The nerf darts are harmless and aren’t likely to cause damage around house, and it’s all manually powered – no batteries required. Make sure to buy a bunch of darts to go with the gift so they can play for hours and not run out.
9. The Noodley Flashing LED Finger Light Gloves
The seven-year-old in your life probably isn’t headed to a rave, but they are definitely headed to the bus stop. Help keep their fingers warm and stylin’ with these novel light-up finger gloves. They are stretchy to accommodate different hand sizes and the fingertips can change colors in six different modes. They’ll also be great for New Year’s Eve, outdoor sporting events, and night time imaginative play.
The 8-year-old in your life is probably reading fairly well – and if not, they will be soon. Graphic novels are fun for readers still developing fluency thanks to the accompanying pictures, and more complex toys and games are possible with their extended attention spans and increased fine motor abilities.
1. Klutz Lego Chain Reaction Craft Kit
Most eight-year-olds already have quite the collection of Legos, and this book will allow them to teach their bricks new tricks. It’s a compilation of instructions to use their existing Legos to build moving machines with chain-reaction fun. It also comes with a few new Lego pieces, balls, and strings to complete their Rube Goldberg-like creations.
2. Pokemon Classic Chapter Book Collection
Pokemon is still pretty big at this age, and this chapter book set is great even for the reluctant reader because they’ll be drawn into the characters and stories. With good messages of teamwork, parents will also be happy with the content of these books. This set includes eight chapter books.
3. 200-Piece Bucket of Dominos
No tech here, but the kids won’t even notice. There are few things more mesmerizing than setting up a giant row of dominos and watching them cascade. Plus, you can bet that they’ll find other ways to use them besides the traditional way. And with 200 dominos in a number of bright colors, the opportunities for fun are endless.
4. Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids
Knock, knock. Who’s there? This hilarious book! Young kids love ridiculous and pun-ny jokes, and they love it even more then they’re the ones telling them. This collection of silly yet kid-appropriate jokes will keep kids laughing for hours (while their parents endlessly roll their eyes, and maybe even chuckle a time or two).
5. Air Hogs Wall Climbing Car
Now that the kid is old enough to drive an RC car without crashing it into anything, it’s time to up the ante. This trick car can even drive up walls and windows. It’s got front and rear lights and has a built-in rechargeable battery that’s not accessible so it’s safe for kids. The battery is charged via USB or the included charging cable.
6. Activ Flyer Frisbee Rings
Some boys are more athletic than others – but this gift can be enjoyed by all. These frisbees are 80% more lightweight than regular ones, making them easier to catch (and harder to be afraid of). They’re still durable and fly straight, but are great for a family activity or to be thrown around with friends.
7. Blast Pad Missile Launcher
Rockets are amazingly good fun, and this kid-powered one will let them see how far they can make it blast off. With a “stomp pad” connected to the launcher, kids hop on to see what kind of launch they can create. It comes with three rockets and all the parts fit neatly in the base for easy storage.
8. The Hardy Boys Starter Set
With 190 volumes in this classic series, this starter set of the first five books will get them hooked. The family-friendly mysteries are easy to read and thrilling to follow. These books can help instill a lifelong love of reading in the active, adventurous boy.
9. MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
This innovative pen allows kids to bring their creative dreams to life. It releases plastic that hardens immediately, allowing kids to literally “write” in 3D. It heats up in seconds and automatically shuts off if left idle for 5 minutes. There are many different-colored filaments that can be used to make lots of different creations.
10. Pacearth Flying Saucer Tree Swing
Help a kiddo to upgrade their swingset or backyard tree with this fun, unique swing. While regular swings feel juvenile after a certain age, this flying saucer design will let kids swing wildly with their friends – and it holds up to 660 pounds. Plus, it’s water-permeable so water won’t pool in the seat and cause premature wear and tear.
This age is hard – because sometimes they still love little-kid things, while other times they seem mature beyond their years. Focus on things that appeal to a wide array of maturity levels and abilities, and that will draw in their attention and hold it for hours.
1. Snap Circuits 203 Electronics Exploration Kit
This gift is part toy, part science lesson. With an innovative snap-together design, it teaches kids about electronics circuits and walks them through building 200+ different projects. Kids build a photo sensor, flashing light, and water alarm while learning about electrical engineering – all without the need for soldering or wires.
2. Electric RC Off-Road Car
This buggy-style car with oversized wheels will easily navigate off-road terrain. The transmitter is easy to operate and allows full control of the vehicle which can travel at speeds up to 10 miles per hour. Plus, it comes with two batteries that are rechargeable via USB charger so you won’t have to worry about buying tons of replacement batteries to keep the fun going.
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series is all the rage among the nine-year-old boy set, and the newest one is being released November 7th. Help them get their hands on the latest edition of this franchise that has both age-appropriate humor and plenty of illustrations to keep the story moving.
4. Basketball Hoop Hamper
Getting a child to keep their room clean is no easy feat, but it becomes a little more manageable with this bedroom accessory. The over-the-door basket doesn’t take up any precious floor space, and kids can hone their hoop skills by tossing their laundry into the bag. A zipper at the bottom of the bag allows parents to quickly empty it into the laundry basket when it’s time to wash clothes.
5. Best of Mad Libs
Boys LOVE silly humor, and with Mad Libs they get to make it up themselves. This paperback collection of the best of the past 50 years of Mad Libs comes packed with over 125 different fill-in-the-blank stories. It’s also a great way to facilitate laughs and conversations between family members.
6. Rush Hour Logic Game
This single-player tech-free game forces kids to use logic and problem-solving skills to get their car out of a “traffic jam.” They line up the cars in the pattern shown on one of the included game cards, and need to figure out how to move the vehicles strategically in order to drive their car off the board. It’s quiet and intense all at the same time. Adults just might find themselves sneaking away to play it by themselves when it’s not in use.
7. Nerf N-Strike Elite Precision Target Set
With a blaster, target, and 10 suction-cup nerf darts this toy will let a child play either independently or have a fun competition with his friends. It has a light beam for extra help with targeting and the target itself can either stand up or be hung on a door. This is a great toy option for this age as they’re improving their fine motor skills and are better able to aim accurately.
8. Blitzu Gator Rechargeable Bike Light Set
Boys love customizing their bikes, and this light set will not only keep them safe but will make their bike look ultra-cool, too. This set is a good value with both a headlight and tail light – and it’s rechargeable. It’s also got a quick-release feature so it can be used as a flashlight in case of emergency or after-dark adventuring.
9. Sports Illustrated for Kids Big Book of Why
For the young sports enthusiast, this book will rock their world. Containing over 500 sports facts, this book gives answers to sports questions they didn’t even know they had. It’s divided into varying levels of difficulty so it’s suitable for anyone from the rookie to the professional, and at 128 pages this gift will keep their nose in a book for days.
10. Gskyer Telescope
This entry-level telescope comes with three different magnification eyepieces and is manufactured with high-quality, low-dispersion glass for optimal viewing clarity. It can be used to view the moon and other bodies, or for wildlife viewing. It was designed with young astronomers in mind so the size and complexity are compatible with their skill levels.
Books, games, and electronics – oh, my! Any of these will be a winner with the tween set. Their interests are varied but they love activity, problem-solving, and anything that might be “cool” in front of their friends.
1. Harry Potter: The Complete Collection
Once you get hooked on the Harry Potter series, it’s impossible to stop. Keep kids from having to wait for the next book to be available at the library by buying the the whole series all at once. Available in Hardcover, Paperback, or via Kindle, this gift will keep them lost in the story for months.
2. Drograce Kids Waterproof Digital Video Camera
We get why you probably don’t want to buy them a GoPro quite yet. But kids at this age LOVE making videos – whether it’s of their latest bike trick, the latest dominos creation cascading down, or just being silly with their friends. This camera is durable, waterproof, and affordable – so you can let them go have their fun and not worry about whether they’re going to damage expensive technology.
3. K’NEX Roller Coaster Building Set
This open-ended, unique building set allows kids to craft their own roller coaster ride and then put it to the test – having fun while learning about STEM fields. It includes 639 pieces including a chain lift, a motor, and roller coaster car. This set can be built up to 2.7 feet in height for a lot of roller coaster fun.
4. Ultimate DIY Slime Kit
Seriously WHAT is the deal with slime? It’s like the trend that won’t quit. Help the tween in your life make their coolest batch yet with this DIY kit that has everything they need to make glow-in-the-dark slime, gross and clear goo, and color-changing slime. It’s all the grossness boys love combined with the current trend – and a little bit of science, too.
5. Electronic Piggy Bank ATM
This will help kids develop the healthy habit of saving money and combine it with a fun electronic toy. Kids choose their own ATM passcode and it accepts both coins and bills – even electronically grabbing and storing the bills just like a real ATM.
6. Star Wars Origami
Sometimes a nice, low-key gift is just what kids (or their parents) need. This combines the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding with the classic characters and vehicles of Star Wars. With varying degrees of difficulty, this book also includes specially-designed origami paper with art from the movies.
7. Mongoose Youth Street Bike Hardshell Helmet
By this age, kids are bound to start out-maturing their juvenile or character-themed bike helmets. This sleek, effective helmet may help them “remember” to wear it every time they ride since both the design and shape are much cooler-looking than their old one.
8. Folding Canvas NFL Chair
Kids are loyal to their team through-and-through. If you’re shopping for a football enthusiast, surprise them with a novelty camp chair emblazoned with the logo of their favorite team. They can either use it for extra seating in their room when their friends come over, or save it for summer camping trips.
9. The Lego Ninjago Videogame
The Lego Ninjago Movie just came out this fall, and of course the videogame isn’t far behind. This action-packed game is made for anyone ten and older, so you know the content will be appropriate. Plus, it’s just plain fun for any boy to see his favorite Legos come to life. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, or Switch and also has a two-player mode for fun with friends.
10. Ragnarok Hulk Smash FX Fists
Sometimes kids need toys that have no educational value and are simply meant to play. They’ll have tons of fun putting on these oversized green Hulk gloves. One is even electronic and makes accompanying Hulk sounds as they play.
Eleven-year-olds love spending time hanging out with their friends, so toys and games they can play with as a group will work well. They still love being outside and they also are exercising increased independence, so items that reinforce their newfound autonomy should also be well-received.
1. Klutz Lego Make Your Own Movie Kit
Combine a child’s love of all things tech with their tactile creativity in this make-your-own movie set. It includes sets and props and walks kids through some DIY stop-motion movies using free apps and a tablet or smartphone. Kids can also write their own scripts and create their own movies using other Lego sets and accessories they may have.
2. Way of the Warrior Kid
This 192-page novel by a real Navy SEAL will not only get your kid’s nose in a book, but will instill fantastic messages about perseverance and overcoming tremendous challenges. In a world where the school scene seems to get more challenging every day, this engaging book shows how the same principles used by Navy SEALs can help kids get through middle school, too.
3. Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit
Ah, Star Wars…the timeless classic. This toy lets kids put together their own Droid and then teach it new tricks and complete Star Wars-themed missions through a downloadable app. It’s also versatile in that the components can be re-used, and after they’ve created their very own R2, they can reconfigure the parts into an all-new custom creation. This will help foster creativity along with teaching a multitude of engineering skills.
4. 100-Trick Magic Show Suitcase
Any showman will be thrilled to get this collection of magic tricks. Whether performing for family or impressing their friends on the playground, they can easily learn the tricks of the trade by watching the included instructional DVD. The storage suitcase also doubles as a performance table so all of the accessories can stay confined to one place instead of taking up residence throughout the entire house.
5. 3-Movie Despicable Me Collection
These fun movies are filled with action, adventure, mishaps, and jokes that will still appeal to the tween-age crowd. The third installment just came out this summer, but the home version is now available – and it’s even better packaged with the first two movies. It’s available in either DVD or Blu-Ray, and the 6-disc set includes deleted scenes, mini-movies, and lots of extras.
6. Bloxels: Build Your Own Video Game
Do you have a video game lover on your hands? This award-winning toy will let them build their own! It uses both physical and digital tools, and the video game creation platform can be used on any Apple IOS, Android, or Kindle Fire device.
The classic Battleship game is fun for any age and is super engaging for tween boys. It’s quiet, low-key play but also mind-engaging and a great way to spend an afternoon with a friend. The portable cases keep all of the pieces contained, and this version contains two additional plastic planes for extra battleship excitement.
8. Callaway Boys Junior Golf Club Set
Not all boys are into football or baseball – some prefer a different kind of athletics. Smaller-statured kids need special golf clubs to be able to play well, and these were made specifically with 9-12 year old boys in mind. It comes with seven different appropriately-sized clubs and a stand bag to carry them in.
9. Rawlings Official Major League Baseball
How excited will a baseball lover be when they get an official MLB baseball – just like they use in the big leagues? It comes in its own display case to keep as baseball-themed room decor – or to display the ball if they’re ever able to meet their sports idol and have them sign it.
10. SKLZ Flag Football Set
Active boys need to get outside and play. This flag football set will help bring some organization to their pick-up game with cones to mark the end zones and 10 flags to keep them safe so there’s no need to tackle. It also comes with a bag for easy storage. Don’t forget to give them a football, too.
Gadgets are great for this age. They’re unique and easy to show off. After all, middle school is all about image these days and you can help your 12-year-old recipient boost theirs with the right gift. Stay away from heavily-branded items as those will likely be viewed as “too juvenile” by this age group.
1. Figrol Light Up Fidget Spinner
I don’t get the whole fidget spinner thing, and you probably don’t either – but kids LOVE them. This light-up one takes the novelty up a notch, crafted of transparent acrylic that lets kids put on a fun fidget-spinner show in the dark. The LED lights should last practically forever and will enhance any tricks that the user performs.
2. Ozobot 2.0 Bit Starter Pack
This award-winning toy is an easy introduction to programming. Touted as the smallest robot toy, this petite 1-inch-wide robot follows drawn commands so there’s no need to learn frustrating code and it can be played with by a variety of ages. It can be played with in-app games, but does not necessarily need a mobile device to be used.
3. ThinkFun Adams Cube
This game is six challenging puzzles in one. Each side of the cube is a different puzzle, and while it’s designed to be an independent activity it can certainly be solved in a group, too. The cube design even stores all the extra pieces so they don’t get lost.
4. Oh, Yikes! History’s Grossest, Wackiest Moments
Boys love gross things. This encyclopedia-style book will help get them interested in history, too, as it spills the details about actual historical events and the real, surprising (and sometimes disgusting) details surrounding them
5. Lego Creator Winter Holiday Train
It’s nearly impossible to outgrow Legos, and this expert set will be a great addition to any enthusiast’s collection. You can even buy additional accessories to mechanically power the train once assembled. There are other sets in the Christmas collection, too, so this might just be the first gift in what becomes a tradition – each year, you buy them more of the Christmas village.
6. XtremepowerUS Gas Powered Pocket Motorcycle
This mini-motorcycle is perfect for playing around in the driveway or parking lots. It doesn’t require a driver’s license or license plates, and goes around 25-30 miles per hour. What 12-year-old wouldn’t love to show his friends his very own motorcycle that he got for Christmas?
7. Gag Chewing Gum Prank Pack
What 12-year-old doesn’t love having a good laugh at the expense of his friends? This three-pack of trick gum will either give them a shock, a squirt, or a quick snap. They resemble actual gum packs to trick friends or family, and deliver safe and harmless fun – and chuckles.
8. Professional Yo-Yo Gift Package
This isn’t a kid’s toy – this yo-yo is professional grade. It “sleeps” (stays at the bottom and spins) for an extended time, making it a good choice for performing tricks and impressing your friends. The gift pack also comes with several strings and a glove. Add a book of yo-yo tricks to make the gift complete.
9. National Geographic Kids Brain Games
This book designed for kids takes them through brain teasers and games – and also walks them through activities that will give their brain a rest. Not only is it fun and promotes problem-solving skills, but can also give them tips on how to relax in the midst of their rigorous middle-school curriculum.
10. Star Wars Stormtrooper Voice Changer Helmet
Let’s be honest – there are a lot of grown MEN who haven’t outgrown Star Wars. It’s timeless. This gift is great because it can either be used as a toy for those 12-year-olds who have a lower maturity level, or as cool room decor for those who don’t necessarily want to play dress-up.
Best Gifts for Teenage Boys
It’s easy to want to default to the gift card once you’re buying for a boy this age. But hang in there – this is your chance to introduce the teen in your life to something amazing and fun that they probably wouldn’t have bought for themselves.
1. Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
Few things are more important to a teen boy than their music. These top-of-the-line wireless headphones are compatible with their wireless device for easy listening and also come with a RemoteTalk cable to keep them connected with their phone at all times. There are even buttons on the side of the headphones that allow them to control their phones. Even better – the battery lasts 40 hours per charge.
2. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver
Teen boys deserve to know what a good shave feels like, too. This lithium-ion rechargeable razor is effective, easy to use, and still affordable. Plus, it’s safe to run under the tap and rinse off. And the four-directional flex heads allow them to safely shave over the curves of their face, avoiding accidental cuts.
3. Ravensburger The Earth 3D Puzzle
A teen can build their very own globe with this 540-piece 3D puzzle. Pieces snap together so there’s no need for glue, and there’s even a metal stand included for display. This gift will morph from a challenging, mind-bending puzzle to a novel, conversation-starting, decorative piece in their room.
4. Teens Cook Book
Cooking is a life skill that everyone needs to learn – and for the teen who’s looking at independent living in the near future, this book could be a lifesaver. One of the authors was actually a teen when it was written and the 75 recipes not only cater to the standard teen diet and cooking abilities, but also educate them on how to be successful in the kitchen. With this gift you’re not just helping them learn to cook, but you’re helping them explore a new hobby as well.
5. Capture the Flag Redux
Not all after-dark fun needs to be trouble when you’re a teen. This fun group game turns traditional Capture the Flag into glow-in-the-dark madness. It’s a great way for teens to hang out with their friends and have active, safe, and memorable fun together.
6. Wilson NCAA Replica Game Basketball
Teens love to go out and shoot hoops with their friends. This NCAA replica game ball will keep them from having to use flat, rubber, or just plain worn-out balls when they head to the court. Not to mention having a brand-new ball might up their game and impress their friends, too.
7. Holy Stone Shadow Drone
Wanna blow their mind this Christmas? With a built-in HD camera, this drone won’t disappoint. Its foldable and flexible blades make it more durable, and its palm-sized stature make storage a breeze. Plus, it comes with a bonus battery for extra flying-time fun.
8. Moboard Classic 27” Skateboard
These skateboards come in a number of colors and designs – there’s sure to be one to suit any teen boy’s tastes. This skateboard is sized just right for the larger rider, and performs well for either a beginner or pro. It has premium metal bearings to hold up with heavy use. And at just over 5 pounds, it’s not too heavy to haul around.
9. Dave Stott’s Ultimate Prank Kit
This is a great gift idea for the prankster or class clown. This starter prank kit has lots of classic pranks along with new tricks – and they’re suitable for people of all ages. There are also instructional videos and tutorials for additional prank ideas.
10. National Geographic Pro Series Metal Detector
This metal detector is fully functional but packaged in a travel-friendly design. It is collapsible and weighs only 2.3 pounds. For the teen who loves adventure or exploration, this is a way to turn a trip to any local park into a full-on treasure hunt.
11. Coolife 2-Piece Spinner Suitcase Set
If the teen in your life is approaching adulthood (or if they have a class trip in their near future), a luggage set is both a cool and useful gift. These spinners have multi-directional wheels that will glide easily, and the durable yet lightweight material will keep them from becoming too heavy. Plus, they come with a two-year warranty.