This post is the Ultimate Gift Guide for 10 to 13 year old boys! We’ve got more than 35 gift ideas to help you get your shopping done.
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. I currently have boys that are 16, 13, 10, and almost 8. We’ve compiled a list of our best suggestions for gifts that boys will love!
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!
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through the links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.
This post was originally published in November 2014 and updated in December 2019.
Toys and Collections
Models – When shopping for models, keep in mind that some of them require painting and glue, while others don’t. We’ve had good success with the Maisto Assembly Line models. These models are pre-painted and snap together. My son 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 sets provide more of a building challenge for older kids, although Aidan still enjoys regular LEGOs because of the minifigures. The LEGO Technic sets have moving parts, and some of the sets have gears. I have been impressed at how the mechanisms are similar to real machines!
Here’s a fun LEGO Technic Truck with a pull-back motor.
I would also love to recommend our book, Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have. This book is perfect for tweens and teens. Every project has moving parts, and there is science and engineering information included throughout the book. Build a candy machine, various robots with moving parts, a working crane, a transforming car, and more!
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!
Our family also enjoys the Settlers of Catan board game.
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.
We just recently discovered Gravitrax! This marble run set is really amazing, and fun for older kids. My 16 year old son enjoys setting up different marble courses, even if no one younger is playing with it. It’s very well designed! We recommend the Gravitrax Starter Set.
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
Walkie-Talkies – Get some that are real, not toys, and that have a decent range. My 10 year old loves taking walkie talkies to our homeschool co-op so he can use them with friends.
These walkie-talkies are for kids, but are a good price and have good reviews.
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 Expedition Watch is pretty cool, and a good size for kids this age. 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.
Two years ago, I bought my then 11 year old (child #2) a Canon Rebel T6, which is their entry level DSLR. They now have a T7, but the reviews on that aren’t as strong as on the T6, so I’d still recommend that one. It has been well worth the money spent! He loves nature photography, and just sold several calendars with his bird photos.
I highly recommend the Canon Rebel T6.
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
What gift suggestions can you add to this list?