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Boy-Friendly Gift Guide–Older Elementary (9-12)

November 19, 2010

PRESCHOOL  (2-4) |      ELEMENTARY (5-8) |    OLDER ELEMENTARY (9-12)

UPDATE: Looking for more ideas? Subscribe or Join Mobmom on Facebook to know when our 2011 edition posts in the next few weeks.

Welcome to the third 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 can read more about my basic toy-buying philosophy here.

Note: The prices are from Amazon unless otherwise noted (as of November 17, 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!

Paper Jamz

$19.99

I saw these at my local Walmart and later read about them online. I think this is pretty ingenious and a great way for your child to play with music. There are six different styles, each preloaded with three songs that children can learn to play (kind of like Guitar Hero, but without the video game). There are also other modes such as freestyle where your son can make up his own music. They use circuit embedded paper to make the sounds come to life. Drum kits and amps are also available.

Starter sets of series books

This idea is from Let’s Explore and it’s genius! The gift is the first book from 3-5 different series of novels.  You could go with a theme like mystery or sci-fi or mix it up.  Below is a list of ideas (not all books are appropriate for all ages):

Anthony Horowitz’s Raven’s Gate (The Gatekeepers)

Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero
or The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
) or The 39 Clues Book 1:The Maze of Bones

Susan Cooper’s Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising Sequence)

C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
(It’s not the first book, but still the best to start with)

Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three (The Chronicles of Prydain Book 1)

Brian Jacques’ Redwall (Redwall, Book 1)

Cool 4-in-1 Tool

$84.98 (via Hearth Song)
This one is a little pricier than my usual gifts, but it looks so awesome. My husband is a carpenter by trade, and this little tool would be a great thing for our sons to learn on. It is a combination jigsaw, lathe, drill press, and sander that differs from real carpentry equipment mainly in the number of built-in safety features that protect kids from the possibility of injury. If your son has any interest in woodworking, this would be an affordable and exciting way to start.

Seeing Outside the Box Game

$19.99 (via Museum of Modern Art)

This game of visual perception is a real creativity builder. The idea is to look at the cards from different directions and describe what you see (kind of like cloud-watching). Great for a car trip or waiting room.

Loopz

$23.00

This upgrade to the old Simon Says idea is hands-on and helps with listening skills and motor response. You follow the pattern of the machine by putting your hands in the lit areas in the pre-set sequence. There are seven modes of play including the traditional repeat the beat, a speed game called reflex master, and music studio where you play the Loopz like an instrument using its 10 different tones. I also like that it can be played alone or with up to 4 players.

UCreate Music

$16.79
For your little DJ, this music mixer is a great place to start. It allows kids to mix music just like a music producer. You can record songs, mix and match loops, and share their creations with family and friends. There is also free content on myucreate.com to enhance their experience. From the reviews, this looks to be a hit with dads too!

Snap Circuits Jr

$22.24

This looks fun and easy to use. The circuit parts snap on and off like LEGOS. You can make AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells 97 more projects.

Speed Stacks Cups

$21.99

These are the official stacking cups for the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA). They are available in 13 different colors and come with a training DVD. If you have never seen sport stackers, it is really something to behold. Who knows, maybe your son is a budding champion?

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