When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

20+ Great Gift Ideas for Boys (2013 Edition)

During the holiday season, I love watching excited children opening up and appreciating gifts that someone has chosen for them with care and love.  I have a lot of fun each year choosing gifts for my own two boys -- it's exciting for me to try and find interesting games, books, activities, and gadgets that will delight Noah and Will and keep their busy minds and bodies happily engaged long after Christmas morning has come and gone. 

Last year in December, I published a holiday gift guide for boys, highlighting some of my guys' favourite things, in the hopes of helping others who wanted to choose a well-received gift for a special boy they knew. I thought I'd share a new list this year, filled with more of our family's favourites, and some new things that my boys are either wishing for, or that we've seen somewhere and think are really cool.  As I mentioned last year, while I say this is a list of gift ideas for boys (because I've seen the positive reactions my two have given to these items), I'm sure many girls would also very much enjoy them!

For construction fun


Build replicas of famous landmarks and objects (or kids can come up with creative designs of their own) with these teeny, tiny building blocks.


Brightly coloured ball and rod building pieces snap together in various ways to create anything kids can imagine.

Hexbug Nano v2

The newest version of Hexbug nanos are able to defy gravity:  they climb up tubes and through loops in habitats kids build themselves.

For inventing and creating

Frames 5 software

My guys have spent hours creating scenes out of Lego, taking hundreds of pictures of them with their digital cameras, and then using this software to make entertaining animated movies out of their photos.


littleBits kits come with various electronic modules that click together with magnets to form circuits, allowing kids to experiment creatively and bring their inventions to life.  

The World Record Paper Airplane Book

This book is full of interesting information about paper airplane flight, and includes paper and instructions for building twenty different models.

For game night


For kids who love visual challenges, Q*bitz is a fun game that involves arranging cubes into a pattern that matches the picture on a card.  Each game includes three different rounds, to test speed, luck, and memory.

Settlers of Catan

This strategy game has kids building opposing settlements on a newly discovered land and trying to gain supremacy through clever trading of resources.

For listening enjoyment

Monster DNA headphones

This is Noah's top wish list item this year.  With pure sound, noise isolation, and sleek looks, he thinks these headphones will elevate his music listening experiences.

mini Bluetooth speaker

Kids can connect a mobile device (iPod, smartphone, tablet) to this device wirelessly to play their music virtually anywhere.  This speaker delivers great sound for such a small item.

For active adventures

Carpet slides

Turn carpets into skating rinks with these fun slides that strap easily onto feet.


Bilibo can be used for almost anything, and is a great motivator for open-ended imaginative and active play.  Small children can sit in it and rock, turn it upside down and climb over it, put it on their head as an interesting hat, wear it on their back like a turtle, put things in it, or use it for playing in water or snow. 

SKLZ pro mini hoop

This is a mini sized basketball net for indoor use, though it looks and feels just like an outdoor net.  It mounts easily over the back of a door.

For thinking and problem solving

Ball of Whacks

The colourful magnetic shapes in this ball come apart and can be rearranged in endless ways.  This is  a wonderful toy to stimulate creativity -- there is no wrong way to play with it!

Mirror Cube

The mirror cube is similar to a Rubik's cube, but the different sized blocks add a whole new twist!  Once you fiddle with the cube, it looks like this:

It's an excellent challenge for kids who enjoy solving puzzles.

For the love of reading

Seven Wonders:  The Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

You'll find other titles that are great reads for boys in A bookworm's breakfast.

For artistic expression

3D drawing pad

When kids draw on this special paper with black ink and then put on the glasses, their drawings seem to pop off the page in three dimensions.

Putty Peeps

This metallic putty comes with a pair of eyes, so kids can make all sorts of fun creatures.  Will loves leaving his putty critters on my computer desk, where they slowly morph into different shapes on their own over several days while they stare at me!

For small surprises

Bug Light

Kids can take these mini LED lights with them wherever they go; the legs of these bugs will wrap around objects for hands-free lighting.

Pocket Microscope

Perfect for curious kids, this pocket-size microscope lets them examine up close whatever they find in their daily adventures.

Minecraft Creeper wallet

Give kids a place to safely hold their money with this leather wallet designed after one of their favourite characters.

Vanilla Candy Cane lip butter

This all-natural lip balm from Rocky Mountain Soap Company will help soothe and protect kids' lips from the harsh effects of cold winter air (and it smells good enough to eat!)

If you're still looking for more great gift ideas for boys, you might find something you like in our list from last year.  Or, just wrap up a little sweater that your mom knit for your boy Cabbage Patch Kid when you were a child and give it to an imaginative young fella you know -- I'm sure he'll find lots of ways to have fun with it.  ;)


  1. Thanks Lisa...I have two boys (10, 9) and these are great ideas! :)

    1. Thanks, Liz -- I'm glad to hear that! I hope something on this list will be a perfect gift for each of them. Boys are so much fun. :)