As I sat in the kitchen mulling over a gift guide for the holidays, I heard a sweet familiar voice calling my name. I turned toward my son – but he took my breath away for a minute. He took my breath away because he’s growing into a fine young man. YES! A young man. Have you had that moment yet? Here’s what I did about it…
As we prepared for our visit to Santa, my seven year old young man said his list was really simple – every LEGO set ever made. And then gifts for his brother and parents – so I was thankful for that. But I had that momentary mommy stomach clench – oh no! My child isn’t a little boy anymore and he has completely lost his mind to LEGOs!
So I had to rethink gifts for this young man. I had him help me write this post for everyone who has a young man who hasn’t taken a moment to look beyond the LEGO. I guarantee if you are looking beyond LEGO for your young man – you’ll find it here; plus some ultra cool LEGO ideas too! I’ve divided everything up into: STEM Activities, LEGO, Outside Play,Gifts to Share with friends and family, and good reads.
STEM | Gift Guide for Boys
MiPosaur Meet MiPosaur! The intelligent robot dinosaur that responds to you! Whether it’s with your hands, his Trackball, or with an app, MiPosaur is smart enough to take on your every command- and mischievous enough not to! MiPosaur has three different moods (curious, excited, and annoyed) and ten different commands. Depending on what mood he’s in, his responses to your commands will change. Train, tame and game with multiple game modes within the Trackball and free app, available on iOS or Android devices.
Snap Circuits – watch and be amazed at what your music can do with the new Snap Circuits Lights. Connect your iPod or any MP3 player and enjoy your music as the lights change to the beat. Features: Infrared Detector, Strobe Light, Color Changing LED, Lighted and Glow-in-the-Dark Fans, Strobe integrated circuit (IC), Fiber Optic communication, Color organ controlled by iPod or other MP3 player, voice or finger.
Thames and Kosmos Remote Control Machines let you build your own machines and control them with a wireless remote control unit. A unique six-button infrared remote allows you to control three different motors simultaneously, moving each of them forward or in reverse, with easy-to-activate touch sensors. The three motors can be combined to make complex vehicles and machines in numerous configurations limited only by your imagination. Assemble 10 models demonstrating different ways in which the motors can be used including a bulldozer, car, three-wheeler, crane, antique car, plow, folding car, formula one racer, three-blade dozer, and robotic arm. After you have built the models in the instructions, you can design your own remote control creations.
K’NEX Education – Intro to Simple Machines: Gears Sprocket Gears! Spur Gears! Rack & Pinion! And More! The K’NEX® Education Gears set is designed to introduce students to the scientific concepts associated with gears. Students are provided with the opportunity to acquire skills using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to information and concepts as they build, investigate, discuss, and evaluate scientific principles in action. Set includes 198 K’NEX® parts – enough to build 7 fully-functioning replicas of real-world machines, one at a time. Packaged in a strong storage tray with Snap-on lid. K’NEX® models offer hands-on learning opportunities that encourage scientific inquiry, investigation and experimentation. Our inquiry-based lessons challenge students as they build, investigate, problem solve, discuss, and evaluate scientific and design principles in action. K’NEX® Education also has an Intro to Simple Machines: Levers and Pulleys and Intro to Simple Machines: Wheels & Axles and Inclined Planes, and Simple Machines Deluxe for grades 3-5.
Gravity Maze is as fun for kids as for parents! The towers in this game can be arranged in a variety of structures but, for each challenge, you’ll have to to build a path that will carry your marble to its target. This game is just as fun for a single player as it is for small groups.
LEGO|Gift Guide for Boys
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313 is the ultimate set for engineers and programmers-in-training. Create and command robots that walk, talk, think and do anything you can imagine. Follow the step-by-step 3D building instructions to bring your creation to life with an easy, intuitive and icon-based programming interface.
At this age, many boys are not only into LEGO, but also into Minecraft. You can have the best of both worlds with LEGO Minecraft: The Mine. Enter The Mine at your own risk! You’ll need to don your iron armor for this dangerous expedition. Grab your iron pickaxe and venture into the darkness, keeping an eye out for hostile mobs that lurk deep in the mine. Plant the TNT and activate the explosion function to blast away the rock face. Then load up the precious ores, jump aboard the mine cart and hurtle past the Creeper, zombie and skeleton, using the iron sword to keep them at bay until you’re safely above ground. Includes a Steve with weapons and accessories, plus a skeleton, zombie, spider and a Creeper.
LEGO Minecraft: The Village: Every Minecraft world has a village hidden somewhere. Create and customize your own, all with LEGO bricks. In this LEGO micro-world you can build your houses and grow the crops, but watch out for the aggressive Zombies that menace the Villagers. Below the village is a mine, so beware of the TNT when you go wandering, as the walls can explode. Comes with 3 buildable Micromob figures: the Pig, the Villager and the Zombie.
My favorite LEGO creations are those that my boys create in their minds before they create them with blocks. LEGO Awesome Ideas gives just the nudge for them to move from sets to making their own creations! LEGO Awesome Ideas takes a journey through five incredible worlds bursting with hundreds of new LEGO approved fan ideas and building tips! Learn how to make a wild west train, outer space aliens, a realistic-looking cell phone, and much, much more. Create your own amazing models with step-by-step guides that unlock the secrets of great LEGO building. Worlds include: outer space, modern metropolis, the wild west, fantasyland, and the real world.
LEGO Kids Emmet Figurine Alarm Clock Meet Emmet, the latest hero of the LEGO(R) Universe. He has no idea what is going on. At all. The LEGO(R) Universe is under attack and unbeknown to Emmet, it is his destiny to save it from the evil grip of Lord Business. Celebrate his amazing adventure with this official LEGO(R) Movie Emmet clock.
OUTSIDE PLAY | Gift Guide for Boys
Classic Training Slack Line – A perfect way for kids of all ages to hone balancing skills while building strength and confidence! The two-inch-wide nylon webbing extends up to 50 feet; an extra training line to hold on to makes it ideal for slackliners of various sizes and skill levels. Ratchet tensioning is simple to use and to set up. Attaches easily to trees-no additional tools or rigging are needed. Includes protective tree pads, instruction manual and carrying bag. For up to 800 lbs. total weight. Adult assembly required; adult supervision recommended. Size: 2″ wide nylon webbing extends up to 50′.
The Deluxe Platform Swing is equal parts floating play space and swinging fun, this platform swing is the perfect place for hanging out with a friend. It features rope and a sturdy padded steel frame in four pieces that assemble into a 40″ x 30″ hanging platform; holds up to 250 lbs. Requires two adults for assembly (hanging hardware not included). Hang it in a snap with our set of Two Easy Tree Hangers, sold separately.
Skytric Trampoline brings bouncing fun to your own backyard with this new 15 ft trampoline with Top Ring Enclosure System equipped with the “EASY ASSEMBLE FEATURE”. This “SKYTRIC” trampoline will let you reach the sky for maximum fun and fitness. Special features include: Special Rust-resistant Galvanized Durable powder coated steel frame, Top Flex Pole Enclosure System offering amazing stability and durability verses regular poles, which enables the net to stand tall and straight. Get this SKYTRIC trampoline and you’re in for the bouncing experience of your life.
Nerf Mega Thunder Bow Blaster gives you realistic bow action with the first Nerf Mega bow. The ThunderBow blaster in this Nerf archery set has flexing bow arms and fires 5 Mega darts in a row without reloading, as you pull and release the string on this Mega series N-Strike Elite bow! Comes with 10 Mega darts
Quadrone Elite can explore and more with the Elite-Cam Explore and record with the awesome Elite-Cam 2.4GHz 4.5CH RC Quadrone. This drone has a built-in 2MP picture and video camera which you can store and save data in a 2GB memory card! The body is of durable plastic and conveniently lightweight. It also has 4 channel controls so you can fly up/down, forward/backward, strafe left/right and rotate left/right. The internal gyro means you’ll always get a smooth flight, and it also comes with a 2.4GHz transmitter, so radio interference won’t be a problem! Enjoy recording fun times with friends from the sky above! Includes Drone Remote 2 sets of Crash Guards 2 sets of propellers screwdriver charger cord rechargeable drone battery
GAMES TO SHARE | Gift Guide for Boys
Laser Maze uses lights and mirrors that may make it feel like magic, but science and a good dose of brain power is all you need to direct the laser beam through this series of mind challenging mazes. Your task? Arrange the tokens to reflect and split the laser beam to hit the targets. This logic game is perfect for kids 8 and up.
Science Wiz Cool Circuits was voted PUZZLE of the YEAR for 2013!! 40 challenges from tutorial to practically impossible Cool Circuits really does live up to its name. COOL! Created by Harry L. Nelson and Hiroshi Yamamoto, this puzzle emphasizes spatial reasoning and abstract thinking. Lay down a puzzle card, solve the challenge by making a loop, and watch the board light up! Cool Circuits has 40 different challenges ranging from student to expert. Can you solve them all? Comes with light up board, 8 fluorescent, 3-D puzzle pieces and 40 challenge cards.
Bounce-Off game is simple for everyone to understand and play, but don’t be fooled by the easy instructions – the competition is fierce! Whether you’re playing against others by bouncing balls in a frenzied race to match the card or the (slightly) more civilized turn-based play, Bounce-Off game brings the action and the results are wild!
GOOD READS | Gift Guide for Boys
My boys both love to read! The best books, and most of our family favorites, come from either Usborne Books or Barefoot Books. Here’s a great video showing some great Usborne books for older children. Their books are beautiful, long lasting, and I think of them as heirloom quality books with beautiful appropriate subject matter that you will never have to worry about!
We also love Barefoot Books and they are definitely on to something! If you want to expose your children to a lot of multicultural images and stories – Barefoot Books is the place to look! Many of their books are tales, folktales, and myths from around the world. Images are lovely and they are definitely attention getters! Again, Barefoot Books contain subject matter that is always age appropriate and shouldn’t cause you any worry when your son is in his room reading for hours!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this gift guide for your 7-10 year old young man. I know that I enjoyed creating it and I also can promise that my 7 year old boy has personally approved everything on this list! He has now officially revised his list to include these choices!