Here are the best gifts for boys ages 6-12, none of which include a screen (healthy brains for the win!).
You can really never go wrong with anything Nerf. Even if you aren’t sure if they have a duplicate gun, if they’re anything like my boys, they’ll share with neighborhood friends and have a Nerf war in your house until bullets end up in the cake batter.
Extra Nerf bullets are always a good idea!
Magformers — My boys are now OBSESSED with these amazing magnets. They play with them for hours. We store all of our magnets in a plastic shoebox, so they definitely don’t take up a bunch of storage space. Here are the sets I suggest you start with:
- Magformers Rainbow 30 Piece Set — You really don’t need more than a 30 piece set. Look for squares and triangles.
- Magformers XL Cruisers Car Set — Basically you’re looking for two sets of wheels
- Magnets in Motion 20 Piece Accessory Set — This set is optional, but it doesn’t cost too much and your kids can make stuff move
Sports Illustrated Kids – Our 10-year old is on his third year of getting the magazine and he LOVES it. He hangs all the “posters” on his wall and pores through each edition. Love that it’s not all about mainstream sports, but talks to athletes all across the board. If you have a sports-obsessed kid (or just a kid who loves to play sports and read), this is a great option. Super fun!
Marshmallow Fun Co Bow and Mallow — I want this! These are so fun and fairly inexpensive.
Franklin Sports MLB Baseball Pop A Pitch — for the baseball fan. Inexpensive option for your kiddo to practice hitting in the back yard!
Basketball Hoop — Get those boys outside! We bought our 8-year old a similar hoop to the one linked below and he spends HOURS out there playing, by himself, with his brother, with the neighbors.
I like this Lifetime Pro Court Height-Adjustable Portable Basketball System with 44-Inch Backboard. Or why not one for inside — Skilz Pro Mini Basketball Hoop.
Looking for more board game recommendations for this age? Check out our full list of board games for school-aged kids.
Walkie Talkies — Big thumbs up from boys and dads alike and these get great reviews!
Ezy Roller — 5-star reviews and it has won tons of awards. Can’t really go wrong, right?
Remote control cars — These are fun for boys of any age. This Maisto R/C Rock Crawler is awesome.
LEGOs — Perfect because there are tons of options leaving something for every boy — Star Wars, Minecraft, Hero Factory, Castle, Chima, Super Heroes, Lone Ranger, SpongeBob, Indiana Jones, Ninjago. Make sure to also pick up the LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life for added inspiration.
If you’re in the Portland area, consider giving a gift certificate to the Bricks & Minifigs stores located in Canby, Beaverton, and Ridgefield, Washington. They have used LEGOs and almost every minifig known to man.
Spin Master Perplexus — This is the COOLEST maze-type game, with the maze completely encased in a plastic bubble. You turn the ball around and around to roll the ball through the maze. My boys have spent HOURS playing with this. The Original is a great option, but they also have a Harry Potter version and an Epic (super hard).
Rubik’s Twist — This is a “twist” on the traditional Rubik’s cube and can provide hours of play! My son uses it to keep his hands busy when we are reading together, but he also loves to watch tutorials on YouTube on how to arrange it in different shapes. The original Rubik’s Cube is super fun too. Tons of videos on YouTube on how to solve it.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good book! Christmas is a fun time to add to your home library. We have rounded up our favorite chapter books and series ideas for elementary-aged boys.
Looking for more gift ideas?
Find more Gift Guides here.
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