My kids’ holiday gift lists are a lot smaller this year than in years past for a few reasons. First, they’re each asking for one big gift. Big is asking for a guitar and lessons and Middle would like to receive his own laptop computer so that he doesn’t have t keep watching his brother hog the computer. However, there are still several other things the boys would like to find wrapped under the tree. I’ve written this holiday gift list for boys ages six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.
First, we outlawed Lego’s. When the Rubbermaid under the bed sweater box became too heavy for me to lift off our shelf, we explained to the kids that they really did have enough Lego’s. They shared their interest in the different themes and models available, and we listened. But, in the end, our kids take those apart just as quickly as they build them, only adding to the overflowing and overweight box of pieces. For children who create models and leave them as is, Lego setscontinue to be a great gift. But for our boys who create from scratch and combine all the pieces… well, enough Legos is enough Legos.
Beyblades are a current trend in our area for boys, and I really think my kids were surprised when they learned that my students used to play with them, too. Initially, I rolled my eyes at the idea of investing in and collecting spinning tops. But once I saw how bladers can take apart the Blades and mix the pieces to create unique Blades, they took on a new meaning. This became a toy that teaches physical science, logic and strategy. The children battle using different strategies as they build the ultimate blade to beat their opponent. If your child is just starting to collect blades, I recommend gifting him a stadium or arenaand a few blades. (They’re sold individually as well as in packs which are, of course, money savers.) For the experienced Blader, check out this new product that the kids have been trying, the Beyblade IR Spin, which has an electronic launcher allowing the kids to control and boost their top as it spins, remotely. My kids love using it for the power of the spins and have learned to incorporate strategy into the timing with which they use their power boosts.*
For the science and how-to lovers, I’m recommending Snap Circuits, which Big added to his list. He loves to figure out how things work and to make them work as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Middle sees Snap Circuits in their glory and wishes he had some, too.
You really can’t go wrong with anything from Scientific Explorer. For the younger boys, we love introducing at-home science experiments with their My First Science Kit. After they’ve professed their obsession with science, select theme-specific kits such as Magic Science for Wizards Only. Last year, Big received the Toysmith 4M Tin Can Robotas a gift. He loved it and was so proud of his creation, which definitely required adult assistance in building.
For the boys who love crafting, I found Wind-Up Workshop Robots by Creativity for Kids. We’ve always loved their products that provide lots of fun mixed with left-brained function. And what boy doesn’t love robots, right?
Get up and move
If the boys are winter sports fans, then gear for the snow should always be on their list. And if you’re in warmer weather or gift things to last throughout the year, look for the Ezy Roller*. I love that this ride-on toy for big kids uses so many body parts to move and control. It’s a great way to sneak in real exercise and body “building.”
Memberships and subscriptions
There are a laundry list of websites to subscribe to for kids, so it’s best to find out which your child is most interested in if you want to gift a subscription online. But magazine subscriptions to Sport Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic for Kids and Boys Life are always well received. I’ve recently heard of Know: The Science Magazine for Kids (ages 6-9) but haven’t read it so I can’t recommend it. (Have you seen it? I’m dying to know if it’s worth the subscription.)
A great family gift that kids around age 8 really appreciate is membership to a place they love, like the local science museum or the zoo. We love receiving memberships from family.
And more gifts for boys…
Also on my boys’ lists this year are Pokemon trading cards, everything Angry Birds, DS games and the Crayola Crayon Maker.
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*Items received as samples.
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