Gift Ideas for 10-13 Year Old Boys

2018-12-06_17-27-23_052 (2018-12-06T22_51_51.359)

Of course, these gifts could be for girls too. I just have 3 boys who were on my mind as I made this list. Since I can never remember all the ideas I think of throughout the year at the appropriate time, this year I kept a running list. I hope sharing them with you is helpful! In no particular order, here we go…

1. Carving Blocks, Carve, and a pocket knife – Pocket knives have been a favorite gift for years around here. Typically they whittle sticks with them, but I thought some blocks might make good stocking stuffers. And Carve is a beautiful book full of great, creative, and practical ideas.

2. Headphones – Sometimes spending so much time together requires ways to “get alone” while still in the same home. Noise canceling headphones have helped my boys who need space to concentrate on a tricky math lesson or just get a break from the busyness of our house to read a good book.

3. Little metal suitcase – All of my children fell in love with these during back to school shopping. We didn’t need them, so we didn’t get them then. I think they’d be a fun surprise for them at Christmas time. All of my children are like little “thing finders” collecting treasures they like to keep near, so these will be fun for that.

4. The Grommet – Truth be told, I’ll actually be putting this in my husband’s stocking, but I know that no matter whose it is, it’s going to be one of those games we all pass around to try.

5.  Drawing & Sketching Board – My oldest loves to draw. He goes through phases of what he likes to draw, but through the years it’s cycled through animals, cars, and houses. I think this would be a gift he’d never to think to ask for, but would love to use.

6. Axe – I have not found a brand I’m confident in yet. Who knows more about this than me? I think my oldest will especially love having this to bring into our woods.

7. Socks – These are the favorite socks of all of us, but they’re not cheap, so they’d make an excellent stocking stuffer. If you’re wondering why these are our favorites, they stay up, they stay on your toes, and they stay comfy even after lots of washing.

8. T-rex fingerling – I’m getting a different fingerling for each of my kiddos. I’ve found that getting them each 1 of something the same encourages group play, no matter how far apart their ages may be. (So, yes, my 4 year old will get one too.)

9. Snowboard & goggles  – These are backyard style supplies. Don’t plan on taking these to the resort, but they are just too much fun for big snow days. (Check the sizing for your kiddo before ordering this one.)

10. Gel pens – These pens in particular are the favorite of all the Challenge kids on our campus, so I’ll be placing some in stockings at our home this year.

11. Tiki Toss – We played this game at a friend’s home, and our whole family realllly enjoyed it. Theirs is hung outside. We may do that too or find a spot in our basement, at least for the winter. We’ll see!

12. Budha Board – All of my children love to draw, and I thought this could be a fun, reusable resource.

13. Ukulele – Not just an instrument, but a kit to learn how to play. How cool, right?

14. Hammock – In our backyard, on our travels, even for a long day at the ballfields, this could come in very handy! I have one son in particular who I think would love to use this for a good long read.

15. Ripstick – I’m not buying any of these this year, but it’s a favorite gift that still gets nearly daily use, so I thought you might like to know about it.

Now, please tell me what great ideas I’m missing! A friend recently suggested a metal detector, and I’m sure my boys would have so much fun with that in the woods around our property.



  1. Abigail Krieger says

    I just saw kids at a park with a Sole Skate. It’s a three wheeled, triangular mini skateboard. It’s currently out of stock at both Amazon and Walmart : (

    It’s only $20 at Walmart

  2. Lauren says

    Hi Beth! Thanks for all the suggestions. Two questions . . . 1.) Do your boys wear the headphones without something playing through them? And do they block out the outside noises in that case? I have a friend that used the noise canceling headphones that you see at car races, with no music coming from them. I loved the idea, but they were humongous and heavy. It looked like we would need chiropractic intervention within months of using them 🙂 I’d love an alternative though. 2.) Do you have any experience or have you done any research on the effects of higher energy music on concentration and productivity? My boys always want to listen to music while they work (like upbeat christian hip hop . . . not classical or instrumental). I almost always say no. Part of the reason for this surely involves the fact that I like a more mellow, peaceful environment. Another reason why I usually don’t allow it is that sometimes I feel like they are so quick to gravitate toward making EVERYTHING entertaining or turning everything into a game, and I want them to learn how to “work when they work, and play while they play”. And then of course there is the concern of wether or not they can truly give their best effort and stay undivided in their focus, when that kind of music is playing. Any thoughts?

    • Beth Watson says

      We have not used these headphones in particular. Just wishing for them! For now, my oldest son has borrowed my husband’s headphones. In general, I’d say these are more like noise reducing, not noise canceling. I think we’d have to pay a lot more for truly noise canceling. We have on occasion allowed my two older boys (13, 11) to listen to music while doing schoolwork, but I agree, that it’s generally been a distraction to them. For them, more so from the time spent setting things up, changing songs, etc. You could try it to see how it goes? Let your boys know that it’s a trial run & see how it goes, including getting their opinion. You could let them know how you can tell if they’re focusing (quality of the work, time used, etc.) and encourage them to pay attention to how they’re doing. I’d be curious to hear what you learn!

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