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Boy-Friendly Gift Guide–Elementary (5-8)

November 10, 2010


UPDATE: 2011 Edition Now Available for MORE IDEAS!

Welcome to the  second day of the 1st Annual Mobmom Boy-Friendly Gift Guide.

These toys and gifts are ones that I either have (***) or would buy for my sons personally. This list does not include the core “boy toys” of cars, trains, action figures and Legos because your house, like mine,  is probably full of those already. It also does not include any video games because we do not own any gaming systems so I don’t have much of an opinion on different ones.

You should probably know my basic toy-buying philosophy.

1) It has to be reasonably priced. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on things they aren’t going to play with. If it costs more, it has to be really awesome.

2) I prefer creativity-building toys that have multiple ways to play with them. You won’t see any “novelty” item toys like Tickle Me Elmo on my list. I, too, own a few, but they just don’t have the kind of “toy life” that puts them on my list.

3) I usually choose toys that do not require batteries.

These are in no particular order, and they are not all safe for young infants/children who eat toys, etc. Use your mama-sense.

Note: The prices are from Amazon unless otherwise noted (as of November 6, 2010). I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you click the picture of the toy to make your purchase, I receive a very small percentage of the sale, which helps fund our homeschool. Just FYI!

Boy-Friendly Gifts for Elementary (5-8)

***What’s in Ned’s Head


I’m generally not a fan of “gross out” games, but this one really hooked me. First it is a ginormous head (which folds away for easy storage!). You play by putting your hands in his ears and nose to find the item on the chosen card using only your sense of touch. Things like rats, used ear swabs and giant ants. Ewww . . .

Pop Bottle Science


This book of 79 science experiments comes with its own hard plastic pop bottle. Create a tornado-maker and see how twisters work. Make quicksand–is it solid or liquid? Observe photosynthesis in action. Plus, turn the bottle into a barometer, a thermometer, walkie-talkie, trombone, compass–or groovy lava lamp.



This is a step beyond a marble run. This enclosed ball features a challenging marble maze that will challenge and perplex all ages. It has 3 tracks and more than 100 challenges. Made for 6 and up I think this one has years of fun ahead.

Pick and Draw


This simple drawing game will help your little Picasso learn to draw cartoon faces. Using a unique step-by-step game, inventor Rick Davis encourages creativity and confidence. Even if you don’t want the game you should check out his blog for fun tips and tricks.

***Dado Cubes and Squares and Planks


Dado Squares and Planks (like the Dado Cubes I recommended for preschool) are colorful, creative building tools that can also spark imaginative play in other ways. The squares interlock and can be used with the Cubes as well.

Don’t Lose Your Marbles Game


I like the marble run for this age too, but this game is also a challenge. Kids have to use the knobs to turn the board to keep the marble from dropping into the black hole. It combines mazes and marbles, what’s not to love?


These are a little pricey, but gravity-defying building blocks and doing good could be worth it. These beautiful wooden blocks are embedded with powerful magnets to take your son’s building to new heights. Your purchase also helps provide jobs to men and women in Honduras and help replenish the rainforest. Win:Win!

Rummikub for Kids


Rummikub is a great strategy game for growing minds. This version is a good place to start. With 3 different levels of play, the game encourages number, shape and color recognition. When they are ready you can upgrade to the traditional version.

Learning Resources Science Kit


My son is dying for a science kit for Christmas. He wants a Mythbusters one
but they are geared for older kids (8 and up) like many of the ones I’ve found. This one is designed for little hands and has 10 double-sided activity cards for experiments you can conduct with parents.

Little Labs Engineering


I love the idea of this kit. It’s designed for little engineers (5 and up) to learn through 25 hands-on experiments and projects. Air, Wind, Water, Sound–it’s all in here.

***Wobble Deck


I love the idea of this balance board. It is a cross between a wobble board and Simon Says. The edges of the board have colored sound pads that the game commands you to tap on the ground in a certain order. My 5 year old is still a little young to use it right, but I think this year it will get more play.

Sturdy Birdy


This clever game encourages balance and coordination as your child helps little Reggie the Pigeon make his bird dreams come true.  We like Cat in the Hat I Can Do That! Game too but since my toddler ate the “thingamastik” I’m looking for something new to fill the void. This might be it!

Bow and Arrow

We love this suction cup bow and arrow. I keep it on a top shelf so arrow aren’t always flying through my house, but somehow visiting boys always find it :). It has great, realistic action and comes with a quiver of plastic arrows. It isn’t the best quality (like a metal or wooden one) but the price is right for little ones who are not ready for the bigger sets. The bow shoots great and is fun for the grown-ups, too. It also comes with a suction dart air shooter. Chip in for the extra 5 arrows ($5.99) as they are plastic and can break or bend.

If you missed the Preschool list, it has some ideas that would work for this age too. The Older Elementary List will be up this weekend or early next week.

What’s on your list? Leave a comment!


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