Shopping for boys isn’t easy— especially if you don’t happen to have one. And even if you do, kids’ interests change every day. One second, a toy is hot and the next it’s not — just like fashion. It can be difficult to figure out what boys would like for birthdays, graduations, or even for Christmas (no pressure!). Let’s face it, not all boys are into the same things. Some enjoy kicking a punching bag, Some boys enjoy creative projects and science kits while other boys enjoy tablets or videogames. When you have to buy a gift for a boy you don’t really know, the list becomes even more difficult to complete.
According to research from Michigan State University, sensory childhood play can actually make little minds grow big, healthy, and bright. So we narrowed our list of the best gifts for boys down to everything that will make kiddos of all ages and stages get their creative cognition going.
Generally, boys tend to be a little more go with the flow than girls. They can usually find fun in anything which makes the gift-buying process even smoother. It’s not always about what’s new, some of the best toys for boys are classic brands that remain undefeated on the gift list.
Chances are there’s something on this list that’s sure to make your little one smile. And if not, make sure to supply a gift receipt just in case. And you can never go wrong with an Amazon gift card. That way you look like the hero as they buy whatever it is they actually wanted!
If your budding artist has big goals to take their art to the next level, consider the 3Doodler Printing Pen. It’s the natural stepping stone between sketches and wild toy fantasies, helping him create three-dimensional toys and displays with the flick of his wrist. You’ve both been waiting for him to graduate from the finger painting stage, and this gift sparks all his joy with about 99% less risk of ruining your new white rug. One reviewer said, “I purchased this item for my 14-year-old for his birthday. By the end of the first day, he was creating like he had been born with it. Very user friendly, easy to manipulate, and control. Recommend this one (we own two other brands) to anyone just starting out.” With more than 70 colors, in more than 3 different types of materials, the creative possibilities are endless. The recipient of this gift will have the ability to make masks, figurines, modern jewelry, or even clothing.
What boy doesn’t like to smash, wreck, and break stuff together? These Wreck Royale Race Cars are perfect for the rowdy bunches. The Wreck Royale cars explode when they crash throwing their mix n’ match parts all over the place. Their spring-loaded bumpers make them flip and ‘kaboom’ parts go flying everwhere. The Wreck Royale Double Trouble vs. King Cra$h 2-[ack comes with two cars and 12 exclusives ‘exploding’ car parts that kids can rebuild onto their cars to create their own custom looks. Finally, a toy that kids are supposed to break. One reviewer said, “I received this Wreck Royale Exploding Crashing Ricky Rodder Race Car, and my son absolutely loves it !! I can’t get it away from him!! It’s the first thing he wants when he gets up, and the last thing he plays with before going to bed! So I very highly recommend this product!!”
There’s a lot of creativity packed in this little cube. Every brick easily connects to the next and creates a colorful flat mosaic or 3-D intricate build. This STEM activity empowers children to stretch their imagination through explorative play while encouraging fine motor skills and logic. The best part is that it gives the child a break from the screen. The tube makes it perfect for on-the-go activities and its size makes it easy to slip into a backpack to carry for playdates. The building set includes the tube filled with more than 70 pieces and instructions on how to build a Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur. One reviewer said, “Okay these are fun. The pieces are small but my almost 4-year-old loved them. We’ve made just about every animal she can think of and the fun and laughter is not in short supply. Cool part is, I can totally throw this tube of Plus Plus blocks in my purse or suitcase and we can play on the go (restaurant, hotel, ball field, etc).”
Foray into an obsession with Bumblebee, every little kid’s hero from Transformers. This 10.5″ tall Bumblebee robot is big enough to make them scream, small enough to toss in their toy bin, and rests on a “powerful core made of Energon.” Phew. But seriously, spin his chest and he charges up. How cool is that? Activate the ultimate battle mode and lower the figure’s battle mask to reveal the signature Stinger Sword battle gear inspired by the Bumblebee movie. The toy robot can change into the classic yellow Volkswagen Beetle toy car in 17 steps. “Make sure you put your thinking hat when trying to transform this guy! After a couple of tries it comes easy and we have a lot of fun playing with the toy. It is made of hard enough plastic and parts fit perfectly even under pressure of unaware adults,” said one reviewer.
Scoop up a few of these little-kid friendly binoculars (aptly called Kidnoculars) if he’s into backyard adventures, discovering natural wonders, or simply losing his stuff all the time. They’re built with easy-to-hold handles for little kids and also offer audio amplification so his other favorite excuse, “I didn’t hear that,” is also rendered invalid. “So these were pretty cool. They magnify really well and the speakers let you hear sounds too. I had to put in batteries but that was easy. They are also pretty durable. My girls dropped them a couple times. But once they started using the neck strap to keep them on, it was better. They loved the bright colors too. Definitely great for taking on walks. Now the walls aren’t so boring to them. Fun and educational. Definitely recommend,” said one reviewer. Warning, your explorer may never want to stay inside after using these binoculars on their outdoor adventures.
This blaster features the fastest blasting Nerf Rival system, so rev up the motor and rapid-fire up to 8 rounds per second! Wow, that sounds like a lot of Nerf pellets to pick up off the floor, doesn’t it? As long as they’re not aiming at your butt, right? One reviewer said, “We are a Nerf Family. Everyone gets a gun. But whoever is behind the trigger of this baby is smiling, and everyone else is running for cover. YouTube’d Nerf nerders for hours before picking this one. It does not disappoint. Awesome range, accuracy, and rate of fire. Even when throwing fire control to the wind, it does not empty the hopper “too quickly”. Downsides: It is neither small nor lightweight. At 28″ long and weighing in around 4 lbs fully loaded, it definitely fills the Nerf “heavy gunner” role. Difficult for anyone smaller than a strong 10 yr old to run-and-gun with it, but they could absolutely hold down a fort. For teenagers and older, it would be difficult to find a better foam thrower.“
If dissection is his main hobby and he finds himself using last night’s roasted chicken dinner as a biology lesson, this in-depth look at owl pellets is the grossly unexpected best gift ever. If you’re easily nauseated, look away and scoop up something more athletic — but if you’re raising a future scientist, click the “buy it now” button and don’t look back. This kit comes with 10 learning activities and 8 lab tools that will allow the recipient to learn the importance of small critters, nature, owls, and the food chain. The 20-page fact-filled lab guide is packed with information that will keep any child busy for hours. If this little guy wants a career in zoology or wildlife biology, this animal science kit is perfect for him. Each experiment comes with detailed step-by-step instructions that are super easy to follow. This kit also comes with a guide for adults on how to guide the child through the experiments by encouraging exploration, observation, and asking questions.
What boy doesn’t like videogames? I mean, I’m sure there are some that exist but even those guys will play a game every now and then. If you’re looking for a less-expensive on-the-go videogame option, the Nintendo Switch Lite is perfect. Whoever receives this gift will be over the moon because they’ll be able to play some of the hottest games of the year including Luigi’s Mansion 3, Animal Crossing, Super Smash Bros., and more. One reviewer said, “I’ve always wanted to play Switch games, but thought the original Nintendo Switch was too much for me. It was too expensive, too heavy, and too clunky. When I saw one in Target with different colors, I wanted one! In my opinion, it’s much lighter than the original one as well. I didn’t think the screen was that much smaller than the original either. It feels really good in my hands.”
Need other gifts? We’ve put together great lists with toys for kids.