Favorite Gifts for Our 8-11 Year Olds


Y’all, I love giving good gifts. It’s fun for me to have an idea and share it with someone with love. I’ve been talking with friends and we’ve all found it a little tricky to shop for this age. So I compiled a list of my favorite ideas. I think I could go on and on with ideas, but I’m just going to stick with the ones that I think my boys would (or do) really like. Of course, each of these ideas could appeal to girlies too.

1.       Scooter board & paddle – My crew was given the scooters last year and they love riding them around our basement. They’d work on smooth outside ground too. I’m excited to add the rowing paddles for even more fun (The link is for a pack of 6.) I’ve played with them a few times and these are a great workout!

 2.       Swurfer – In a matter of 2 days, I talked with 3 moms who had this on their son’s wish list. I think it’s because it checked all their boxes: fun, outdoor, active, and different.

3.       Garmin Vivofit Jr. – My kiddos were asking for Fitbits (which they totally don’t need), but I thought this was a much better alternative. It tracks steps and time of activity and has a watch, like a fitbit, but also has a one year battery that doesn’t need recharging (one of its best features in my opinion!) and slide-on wristband. Apparently the app also lets you track chores, it’s waterproof and it costs less money!

4.       CamelBak Hydration Pack – We’re a pretty active family and whenever we go on hikes, nature walks, etc., I or my husband end up carrying the bulk of the gear needed for our family of 7. I’m so excited for them to have their own small backpacks for water and little snacks. I think they’ll love the independence of this too!

5.       Walkie Talkies – Speaking of nature walks, my crew often sets out to explore our back woods without me and can get out of earshot. We got these for them to have fun around our property with each other and friends, and to keep in touch with me. I think these could come in handy in other situations too.

6.       Stopwatch – My boys are literally competitive with e v e r y t h i n g . “Mom, can we borrow your phone to time us running up the stairs and back?”  “Mom, set the timer, we’re racing around the house!” Finally I had an epiphany – these boys need a plain old fashioned stopwatch! I couldn’t find a link for the one we bought at Walmart, so I linked one of similar cost and with similar features.

7.       Nerf crossbow – Because Nerf gun battles are life in my family, among our friends, and in our neighborhood right now. A crossbow is a fun alternative to the traditional nerf gun, but these mini guns have also been a hit in our family.

8.       Remote Control Car – Here’s what I’ve learned – investing more in a good car makes for long term sense. You can build it, parts are replaceable, and it’s more sturdy to begin with. We have a friend whose husband passed his childhood remote control car down to his son, with only the battery needing replacing. Isn’t that cool?

9.       Sports Gear – We’re baseball people, so my boys love this net for pitching and this for hitting. But giving a sports lover any kind of cool training gear can be fun. One year for Christmas, we set up the extra attic space in our home to be a “ninja gym”.

10.   iHome docking station – We’ve given our kiddos our old iphones, which they want to use for listening to music and audiobooks in their rooms. Hooking the phones up to chargers and USB cords to speakers gets cumbersome and frankly, a little annoying to me. I’m self diagnosed as having bunches of cords aversion. I think this could help!

11.   Lionel train – Because trains are classic, and everyone loves them. Don’t they just make you think of Christmas too?  I’m sure there’s some kind of educational value in planning track layouts and hooking cars and all that, but we just really like them and they’ll make a great toy to keep for the grandkids one day.

12.   Osmos – Screen time while still encouraging the things I’d rather they be doing – like drawing and problem solving. We haven’t tried this yet, but it has great reviews and has won awards. If anyone has one, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

13.   littleBits Rule Your Room kit – One of my boys is always dreaming up some elaborate invention, so I think this toy could be just right for starting him understanding how things work and not too far out of his reach to discourage him. We couldn’t get it for Christmas though, so it’s still on our future wish list. If you get one, let me know what you think!

15.   Legos – Well, of course. We all love Legos. See how we have them set-up here. And remember to think outside the instructions. There are apps to expand on Lego play, like Stop Motion filming and How to Build Cool New Toys. My oldest is very much into architecture right now, so I think these’ll be the next set on his save-up-for list. Today he was asking me to print him architecture plans. 🙂

Please tell me all about the toys your kiddos return to again & again. I’d love to share your favorites on my FB page!


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