Every time we are invited to a little boy’s birthday party, I always go through the same thought process – what would he like? Is it going to get thrown into another pile of toys or actually be used?
I don’t like the idea of buying presents that promote violence and I prefer gifts that can help a child learn and grow.
Based on what R and his buddies love playing with, I’ve found a few awesome gifts for boys that both kids and parents enjoy.
7 Perfect Gifts for Boys (plus one extra)
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R loves his Lego. He enjoys following the directions and putting everything together. Then he loves taking it all apart and making his own creations (and that’s why I don’t have any pictures of the completed sets!)
Lego helps build R’s imagination, improve his ability to follow instructions and develop his fine motor skills. You can also use it to teach a variety of subjects including math and language. This amazing post from Living Montessori Now provides a great list and free printables.
Some of my son’s favorite sets are:
Lego Firetruck play set
Lego City Space Port which includes an awesome airplane, mini truck and tractor trailer
Lego City Great Vehicles – Garbage Truck is fun because you can actually fill and tip the garbage truck
Lego City Utility Shuttle Building set, which includes a spaceship, satellite and two astronauts
Board games make great gifts for boys and girls because they are perfect for play dates or for a lazy morning at home. Some of our favorites are:
Sneaky Squirrel – the objective of this game is to get a wood stump full of different color acorns. At each turn, the player spins to find out if he gets an acorn, two acorns, looses all of his acorns or gets to be a sneaky squirrel and take away another player’s acorn.
It’s a great game for kids who aren’t fully reading yet since the instructions are simple and there are no cards to read.
Cat in the Hat I can do That! In this game, players need to complete a challenge based on images on cards. It’s a fun game to play because the players often end up in some pretty silly situations, which the kids love.
R also loves Rummikub, which is a counting game using tiles. It’s great for improving R’s math skills and developing his critical thinking abilities. I’m not the best at this game, but R really enjoys it especially because he can beat me!
Magna tiles are colored tiles with magnets on the edges. They come in various shapes and sizes. R uses them to build garages for his cars, airports for his mini planes etc. The options are endless. Since the tiles are bigger, they can be used by younger kids as well. Magna tiles are great for imaginative play and experimentation.
Playmobil Play Sets
R’s aunt bought him the Playmobil NHL Hockey Arena for the holidays last year and he could not have been happier. He loves pitting the Montreal Canadians against other NHL teams to create his own games and stories. R enjoys playing with this toy both on his own and with us.
His Bubbie bought him the Playmobil Knights Wolf Knight Castle which he has fun with as well. The set includes a large castle, knights and horses. R enjoys using his imagination to create new stories involving the all of the action figures.
R loves all sports and many of his friends are just like him. Kid sized sports equipment of any type is almost guaranteed to be a hit for both boys and girls.
I think all little kids enjoy dressing up. In our circle of friends, many girls like to dress as princesses while the boys like dressing up as Star Wars characters or superheroes. None of us suggested these roles but the kids just kind of fell into them.
To me it’s not important what a particular child dresses up as, but the imagination and the creative play that results is what is key. Playing together and making up stories are where the real magic happens.
From the time R was super small he’s enjoyed puzzles.
As R continues to grow, his puzzles are becoming more complex. Between big ones and small ones he has fun with all of them. Depending on the size of the puzzle they can also be great to take on trips or to restaurants to keep his little hands busy.
Puzzles help R enhance his problem solving capabilities and fine motor skills. I also find them helpful to teach R how to manage frustration and challenges. When he has difficulty getting a puzzle finished it’s an opportunity to encourage him and push him to complete the project despite these frustrations.
In addition, when kids finish a tough puzzle there’s such a sense of accomplishment. A complete puzzle shows kids that when they work to complete a task they get a reward at the end.
Buying gifts for boys (and girls) can be a real challenge. When buying presents you want the kids to like them, the parents not to hate you for buying an annoying gift and for the kids to use them.
I know I said I’d give you 7 suggestions but one more type of present is a never fail, make everyone happy type of gift – books! R loves books. He enjoys looking at the pictures, when we read together as a family and soon enough will be reading on his own. If all else fails in your search for the perfect gifts for boys – get them books 🙂
What are your go to gifts for boys?