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2011 Boy-Friendly Gift Guide–Elementary (5-8)

November 21, 2011


Welcome to the  2nd 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 October 28, 2011). 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)

***Snap Circuits Jr.


My son got this set last Christmas from his electrical engineer grandfather and it is probably his most-used Christmas gift. It is super easy–clicks to a grid like legos and has easy-to-follow directions. Kids can build more than 100 projects such as simple lights, fans and sound machines.  There are also extension kits and special project versions such a alternative energy or rovers.



I reviewed these a few months ago, but I think this simple toy would make a great stocking stuffer. It is a simple concept that gives kids lots of freedom for creativity. This set has pieces for 3, but they have simpler sets for 1 child or for specific projects such as a robot. Makedo is a set of connectors that can be combined with repurposed items around the house to invent whatever you can imagine.

***Playing Cards from Heritage


These card sets come in dozens of varieties with everything from trees to birds to mushrooms, dinosaurs, and even kings and queens.  Each set of cards features 52 different items, each beautifully drawn and informative.  A great stocking stuffer!

***PVC Pipe


My sons inherited some rather long pieces of light PVC piping and they have had more fun with it than just about any other outdoor toy they have. It has been the wings of an airplane, the oars of a boat, a path for berries to roll down, a ninja’s weapon, jousting tools, and much more.  Another idea of PVC piping is to buy short pieces and a bunch of connectors and see what comes together. Add a little hosing and bring on the water play. The ideas are endless. A great open-ended toy.

***No Stress Chess


This is a fantastic game to teach your son how to play chess (and you too!) It has multiple levels of play with each one giving the players more freedom to employ strategy. To begin with you just draw cards and move the piece indicated in the way indicated. As you proceed you can select from more and more cards until you are playing as a true chess player would.

OgoSport OgoBild


This hybrid of active and construction toy lets kids build their own contraptions using balls and attachable loops, springs, wings and more. Bounce, roll, kick, throw or spin your creations.  All pieces are interchangeable so you can combine with other Ogobild sets for even larger contraptions.

 Engino Mechanical Science Kits


Engino’s mechanical science sets offer kids the opportunity to discover tools like levers, cams, gears and more by building multiple models and learning about energy and more.  They also have a few sets that combine multiple concepts. Worth a look for your budding engineer.

Looking for more toys for Elementary age boys? Click here.

What’s on your list? Leave a comment!

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