If you have a boy in your life in the 10 to 13 year old age group, you probably know that they are not the easiest people to shop for! When you’re not quite a kid and not quite a teen, it can be tough to know what to do with yourself. Here are some ideas that will hopefully provide some inspiration for the young man in your life!
Obviously, electronics are big for this age group. For this list, I decided to focus on mostly non-technology related items since it’s probably easy to figure out what video games or devices are on your child’s list!
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Toys and Collections
Models – Aidan received this Maisto Ford Mustang last year. When shopping for models, keep in mind that some of them require painting and glue, while others don’t. This model is pre-painted and snaps together. Aidan was happy with it because he was interested in displaying the car, not necessarily in the building process. Some kids may enjoy painting a model, but he didn’t want to mess with it!
Hot Wheels/ Matchbox – Some kids enjoy collecting Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. At this stage, it’s about the makes and models of cars, not about driving them around on the floor. 🙂
Star Wars Collectibles
My older boys have been loving collecting the die cast Star Wars vehicles made by Hot Wheels. Here is Poe’s X-Wing, and there are many more! At about $4 each, these are great stocking stuffers.
We also love the Star Wars Black Series 6 inch figures. They are so detailed and posable! Amazon’s prices are all over the place since these are sought after by collectors, but the list price is $19.99 for most. I like to pay $15 on sale.
LEGO – Some kids never outgrow LEGO, so this may still be an option. LEGO Technic provide more of a building challenge for older kids, although Aidan still enjoys regular LEGOs because of the minifigures. He says that the Technic sets are more like models, but they also offer more engineering possibilities.
Aidan received the LEGO Architecture Studio for his 13th birthday, and it is really cool! This is a set that truly encourages creative building. The architecture studio comes with 1,210 white LEGO bricks that can be used to build all kinds of neat structures. It includes a book about principles of architecture and innovations in design, with photos of real buildings and ideas of things to make with all those LEGO bricks.
Here’s an example of what Aidan has been building. It’s a great boredom buster for a rainy day!
Even big kids can still play with Nerf! (Hey, even Dad likes Nerf!) The Strongarm Blaster and the Jolt are super fun and a great price. Aidan enjoys designing different types of targets for Nerf. Plastic cups make especially great targets!
Keva Planks – The box says ages 7+, but this building set is even better for ages 9+. My preschool boys like to build with these planks, but older kids can make some really amazing structures! Building requires patience and a steady hand.
We own the Keva Contraptions sets, but there are several other sets as well.
Skateboard – A good quality skateboard is worth spending a little more money on as the wheels roll soooo much better and the board is easier to control.
Ping Pong – No space to store a ping pong table? This Franklin table tennis net expands to fit any size table, and then clamps on. We enjoy using our ping pong set on dark winter nights!
Tools and Gadgets
Tool Set – Aidan enjoyed receiving his own tool box last year with a hammer, a wrench, a couple of screw drivers, and a tape measure. This is something that can be added to in the future.
Flashlight – My son’s opinion is that you can never own too many flashlights!
Pocketknife or Multi-Tool – Obviously this is something where you have to know your child and make a decision about what age is best to own a pocketknife. We gave Aidan one when he turned 10, and we have not had any problems with it.
Aidan’s first pocketknife was this Victorinox Swiss Army Classic. He loooooooves whipping out the scissors to cut tags off items when we’re out, and opening packages for me with the knife! Basically, any excuse to use it is great. Older kids may want to move up to a larger Leatherman Multi-Tool. You can get a nylon sheath for the Leatherman, which would be useful.
This hammer multi-tool is really cool too.
If your son is past the age of losing or breaking things (sigh), he might enjoy owning a quality watch. This Timex Camo Watch is pretty awesome! For guys on the younger end of this age group, this Timex kids camo watch might be a better option, and it’s a lot cheaper. We own two of these and they have held up well.
Survivor Dry Box – These waterproof lockable boxes are useful for storing gear on a camping trip, or even just in your bedroom if you happen to share a room with your toddler brother. We may get Aidan one of these for Christmas so that he can safely store his pocket knife and other valuables.
Aspiring photographers might enjoy owning their own digital camera (unless they own a phone with a camera – my child doesn’t!). I’m not sure which point-and-shoot model to recommend, as we only own a DSLR, plus the cameras in our phones. If you have a great camera to recommend, leave a comment on this post!
Tinkering Supplies – Create a kit for building or tinkering. Or, tuck a couple of these items in a stocking!
- Duct tape
- Zip ties
- PVC pipe cut into different lengths, joints
- Low temp glue gun
- Screws, bolts, nuts
- Nails and boards
- Tin foil
- Rolls of Scotch tape or masking tape
- Drawing paper/sketch book
- Colored pencils – For the serious artist, Prisma Colors are worth every penny!
Kids will love reading The Mysterious Benedict Society series! These books are full of exciting and quirky adventures involving logic, math, crazy machines, and villains to defeat.
This Star Wars Character Encyclopedia is perfect for the Star Wars fan. There are full color photos and loads of facts for just about every character!
Star Wars Folded Flyers is a fun book with paper Star Wars planes to make. One thing to note is that although it says “make 30 paper starfighters,” there are not 30 different designs. There are 6 designs with 5 copies of each. Still, it’s a fun book!
Another fun option: The World Record Paper Airplane Book. The benefit of this one is that you can keep going with your own paper.
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things is a favorite book at our house! This book is full of projects to make using materials from around the house. We used this book to make plastic out of milk – lots of fun!
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction shows how to build all kinds of contraptions out of office supplies. This book has some great projects! The catapult pictured on the front cover is a lot of fun. It also has some projects that could potentially be dangerous, so supervision is definitely needed.
Non-Stuff Type Gifts
A lot of guys don’t really need or want a lot of “stuff.” Here are some ideas for experience gifts:
- Drum or Guitar lessons
- Archery lessons
- Art classes
- Tae Kwon Do classes
- Movie Tickets
- Gift Card for Sonic, Starbucks, etc.
- iTunes Card
For more ideas, you might want to visit the J.M. Cremp’s website. Their store is full of amazing things for boys, and you can browse by age.
What gift suggestions can you add to this list?