When shopping for gifts, I like to think outside the box. When it comes to gifts for kids, especially 11-year-old boys, I like to buy items that will spark creativity, encourage learning, and be popular enough to not be tossed aside the second it’s opened. Having a 10-year-old son myself, I find us in the toy aisles of big box stores all too often, searching for that perfect gift to take to yet another birthday party. You can skip all that frustration and refer to this list when you find yourself needing to buy a toy for an 11-year-old boy! Any of the 25 items below are sure to be a hit with the recipient.
What to Look for in a Gift for an 11-Year-Old Boy
When buying a gift for an 11-year-old boy, you want to be sure to get something he will enjoy and use. How do you know what to choose? Here are some things to consider.
- Is it exciting? Boys have different personalities and interests, so choosing a gift that will engage the boy you are buying for will help ensure he will like it.
- Can it challenge him? A gift that will challenge a boy intellectually, physically, or socially can help to expand his horizons. Trying out something new can be fun and exciting.
- Will it last? There is nothing more disappointing than a gift that breaks or stops working prematurely. Look for a gift that is high-quality.
- Can he use it with his friends? With kids spending so much time in front of a screen these days, look for a gift boys can enjoy using together and build social skills while having fun.
Our Recommended Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys
|OUTDOOR TOY||ELECTRONIC TOY||CREATIVE TOY||RIDE---ON TOY|
Creative Learning Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) toys are so important to the development of the 11-year-old age group. These kids are the future of technology, and their knowledge of all things electronic is growing in leaps and bounds. The toys listed below are perfect for sparking their creative minds and helping them explore the STEM subjects that interest them most!
LEGO Technic Whack! Kit
If you think LEGOs are just for the under 10 set, think again. The LEGO Technic line of buildable, pull back cars have are loved by tween boys, and the cars are interchangeable too! At a low price point (especially for LEGO) per kit, you can afford to buy the “sister” set (LEGO Technic Bash! Kit) and combine both for one heck of a car or play them against each other. The set will stimulate those still developing fine motor skills, and any toy that doesn’t involve a screen is a win in my book!
A neat feature of this kit is that when the assembled car has a front impact, either with another Technic car or say, a wall, the engine is designed to dramatically pop off. Most 11-year-old boys I know love wreckage. The bigger the crash, the better the toy, and the more bang for your buck!
ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game
The ThinkFun Gravity Maze Logic Game is perfect for the boy who loves to tinker and solve puzzles. This STEM-ulating (see what I did there?) game brings spatial reasoning and planning skills to the forefront as plastic cubes are stacked in puzzling ways to achieve a marble maze that will carry a marble from “start” to “finish”. Guided cards from beginner to intermediate puzzles will keep your 11-year-old entertained for hours as the game comes with 60 different configurations!
The ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game is the winner of the 2015 Toy of the Year Award, Good Housekeeping Best Toy 2014 Award, as well as the Parents’ Choice Gold Award in 2014. This single-player game is perfect for the 11-year-old boy who isn’t afraid of a challenge!
Playz A+ Kids Chemistry Set
If you have a budding scientist on your hands, then this is a must-have toy! This fun chemistry set comes packed with enough materials for 32 different experiments. Detailed instructions walk your child through the experiments, teaching them about chemical reactions, acids and bases, measurements, pH scale, and more!
Children love the experiments and are able to perform them independently, which is a huge plus! This kit comes equipped with safety goggles, gloves, and even a lab coat. This is the perfect gift for any 11-year-old wanting to explore the world of science!
Ontel Magic Pad Light Up LED Board
The Ontel Magic Pad Light Up LED Board is the perfect gift for any budding artist. This kit includes a plastic light-up pad with 8 different light effects, three dual sided markers, and 30 stencils to trace. After drawing on the clear plastic screen of the board with the included markers using a stencil or their own design, kids can push a button to see their designs light up! After they’re done, kids can simply wipe the screen clean and start over. Three AAA batteries are needed, making this portable and perfect for long road trips, sleepovers, or any time you need a toy to spark your child’s creativity!
The included stencils have fun picture designs as well as mazes and educational sheets. These sheets tend to be for the younger crowd, but my son loves to use them to “teach” his younger brother different words. They also love this for tic-tac-toe, hangman, and any other game that requires writing. Attached suction cups also make it perfect for writing reminder notes or any other sign your child wants to display on a wall. This has become a staple in our command center! My sons will jot down what they want from the grocery store or just a sweet note of encouragement for the week.
Snap Circuits Arcade
The Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration kit is perfect for introducing electric circuitry to kids. An included instruction manual guides the user through several different circuit configurations. Thirty snap modules are included that can be configured into 200 different projects and over 20 exciting games. A programmable word fan allows users to create different sayings that are projected onto a fan that, when circuits are turned on, will spin and have their programmed saying come to life! This kit is sure to entertain any child who has shown interest in how electricity works and likes to see the results of experimentation!
MoChoog 4WD Robot
While the days of having robots do all our dirty work may seem decades away, you can be sure that today’s younger generation are busy thinking of ways to build them! Homemade robots are increasing in popularity, and the MoChoog 4WD mechanical robot is a great kit for the little engineers in your life.
The kit comes in sheets of plastic parts that when assembled together result in a car-type robot that can be configured to climb over rocks and has 3 different chassis angle settings. The wheels can move vertically, allowing the robot to move in ways a regular RC-type car can’t. For robot builds such as this, it’s suggested to use a muffin tin to keep small parts organized as they’re being assembled. One AA battery is required, but everything else you’ll need is included in the kit. After the robot is built, kids can have fun testing its climbing limits by building ramps and other obstacles for it to drive over. This is a great toy for any child who is fascinated with robots!
Dragonwood Dice Board Game
Few things bring families together like a good game night. Adding Dragonwood to family game night will ensure that your 11-year-old boy will be excited to play!
This game combines cards and dice to see who can collect the most adventurer cards and capture the dragons hidden within the deck. Enhancement cards keep the game interesting, and the varying ways to win will keep everyone on their toes. Designed for 2-4 players, the fantastical graphics and intriguing dragon theme make this a family and tween-friendly game. This game is in regular rotation for my own family nights, and my boys will pull it out and play between themselves as well. We have also used this game for youth group activities at church and it is always a hit!
Outdoor Toys for Preteen Boys
When it’s time to cut off the screens and turn off the video games, a stash of toys for using outside is required. The toys below are perfect for those days when your child just needs to play outside!
Marky Sparky Faux Bow Pro
Archery is becoming an increasingly popular sport, and this beginner set is perfect for kids interested in developing their bow and arrow skills. The advantage of this set is the soft-tipped arrows that protect kids from getting hit by actual arrow tips. This doesn’t affect performance, however, as these arrows can shoot over 200 feet in length!
Think of the fun your boys will have setting up towers of empty Coke cans, then knocking them down from a distance using this bow and arrow set! The set can also be used to shoot homemade targets, or even as part of a NERF war! Remember to wear eye protection, as these arrows do shoot fast and are very stealthy. This is the perfect toy for kids just starting in the sport of archery.
NERF Rampage N’ Strike Elite Blaster
No toy list would be complete without a NERF gun! The NERF Rampage N’ Strike Elite Blaster is a big hit with every 11-year-old I know! The 25-dart drum is the appeal of this blaster, along with the slam-fire action trigger. Just hold the trigger down as the barrel is pumped, and darts will shoot out at lightning fast speeds up to 90 feet away!
This model is perfect for those NERF wars when you’ve rounded a corner and are faced with an opponent. The rapid-fire action ensures that your child (or you!) will be able to win the battle. The Rampage N’ Strike comes with 25 Elite darts, designed for maximum speed, distance, and impact. Although if I were you, I would invest in a few extra packs of darts as we all know you can never have enough! The accuracy of this model is wonderful, as some people have even used it to keep pigeons off their roof! If you’re looking for a great upgrade in the Elite class of NERF guns, then the Rampage N’ Strike should be on your list.
Sumo Bumper Boppers
The Sumo Bumper Boppers (say that three times fast!) are perfect for getting outside and letting off built-up energy, which we all know 11-year-old boys have plenty of! These inflatable rings are designed to slip over players’ heads and secure around their torso. Once that is complete, let the bumping, bopping, rolling fun begin!
The air-cushioned inner tubes protect against injury, all while letting your kids have fun sumo “wrestling.” These bumper boppers are popular at kids’ parties, and some users have also used them at field day festivities. It should be noted that these come in packs of one, so purchasing two will be necessary to get the full effect! Also, while the Bumper Boppers do come with a patch kit, it’s recommended to reinforce with duct tape in the event of a hole.
Capture the Flag Redux
Capture the Flag is one of the oldest and most popular games. Teams scurry to beat their opponents in capturing the other team’s flag and proclaiming victory! This version of Capture the Flag brings a whole other challenge to the playing field with nighttime lights! Light-up bracelets identity team members, while the flags are glowing orbs that are hidden. There are also light-up territory lights, jail markers, and 12 game variation cards, adding hours of fun to this set.
This game builds teamwork and leadership skills, as well as offering fun for all ages. The game is designed for four to twenty players, so this is one the whole neighborhood can enjoy! Imagine setting this up for your next family reunion or church youth group activity. Just wait until nightfall to play outside, or even turn off all the lights in an indoor play area. Hot summer days usually lead to cooler summer nights, so this game is perfect for those waiting for the temps to drop in order to play outside as well!
Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Pitching Machine
The Franklin Sports MLB Electronic Baseball Pitching Machine is a must-have toy if your 11-year-old plays baseball. This height-adjustable machine pitches up to 9 balls at a time with 7 seconds between each pitch, perfect for allowing hitters to adjust as needed. The machine includes 6 plastic balls, and additional plastic baseballs can be purchased as well. It should be noted that real baseballs are not to be used in this machine and a plastic bat is recommended.
This pitching machine is perfect for developing hitters and works indoors as well as outdoors. Four D batteries are required and are sold separately.
Roller Derby Carver Boys Inline Skates
In-line skating is hugely popular with boys of all ages, thanks to the daring stunts, fast speed, and hours of fun they can have! These Roller Derby Carver Boys inline skates are perfect for the 11-year-old boy who is ready to roll! This set comes with a helmet, knee and elbow pads, making it the perfect addition to your child’s outdoor toy arsenal.
The adjustable size means the skates can grow with your child, resulting in years of use! Talk about getting your money’s worth! Carbon bearings on the wheels ensure pavement and the occasional rocks won’t be an issue for your skater.
NERF Super Soaker A9461 Microburst
When it comes to water gun play, there are few toys out there that can beat NERF Super Soakers in popularity. The A9461 Microburst is no exception! This powerful Super Soaker is perfect for your 11-year-old’s next water battle. After filling the 10-fluid ounce reservoir and locking the cap in place, kids simply pump and fire! A single stream of water shoots up to 33 feet away. You can run, but you can’t hide! A pair of these (each sold separately) will result in hours of fun for anyone. These are great for all ages and float in water making them perfect for the pool or lake. The Nerf Super Soaker Microburst will quickly become your 11-year-old’s favorite summertime toy!
Electronics for Tween Boys
In this era of all things electronic, kids love spending time playing on gadgets or exploring the world through them. While many parents are concerned with their children spending too much time in front of a screen, some electronic toys actually encourage active play. Remember to monitor your child’s activity on any electronic device!
The Nintendo Switch is an increasingly popular video gaming device. This console can be handheld for on-the-go playing or hooked up to a docking station and played on a television. The versatility of the Switch is what has made it so popular. One or more players can use the included joysticks to play a library of over a thousand games, including the popular Mario Brothers franchise (sold separately). The download time of games is exceptionally better than its competitors, and it has sufficient battery life when in handheld mode.
Jeemak 4k Action Camera
Action cameras are a popular gift choice for 11-year-old boys thanks to the popularity of YouTube and other video-streaming apps! Kids can capture their wildest adventures, no matter where they are, with this Jeemak 4k Action Camera.
This compact camera comes with an assortment of accessories, making it ideal for clipping onto helmets, placing on selfie sticks, attaching to bicycles, or taking underwater pictures thanks to a waterproof case. A two-inch touch screen means you can see the action you’re capturing, and a simple-to-navigate user interface ensures an 11-year-old will find it easy to operate. Images and video can be transferred wirelessly to an app on your phone, making editing and social media sharing a breeze. This action camera will be a hit with any 11-year-old interested in filming and photography!
Mpow 059 Wireless Headphones
Headphones have become a necessity to any tween. For those 11-year-old boys who want to play on their tablets in peace or watch a video on a road trip without disturbing the rest of the family, a good pair of headphones are a must-have accessory. The Mpow 059 Wireless Headphones are a great gift option!
With high-fidelity stereo sound, users can be fully immersed in whatever they are listening to. Thanks to passive noise isolating ability, environmental noise is dampened for optimal sound quality. Soft memory-protein ear cushions make these comfortable for long-wear ability. Available in a variety of color combinations, you’re sure to find a pair that match your 11-year-old boy’s favorite sports team colors! These also fold to a compact size and come with a carrying case, making it easy to stash these in a backpack for later use. The Mpow 059 headphones have wireless ability thanks to built-in Bluetooth, but also come with a head jack in the event users don’t want to have to worry about battery life. A fully charged battery lasts up to 20 hours!
VanKyo Matrix Pad
The Vankyo Matrix Pad is a highly rated, 32 GB tablet, powered by Android 8.1 Oreo Go. The 7” crisp and vivid display is perfect for simple gaming apps, as well as for watching a favorite show on Netflix or YouTube. A micro SD slot allows expandable memory (SD cards sold separately) up to 128 GB! A built-in camera offers 2 mega-pixel pictures and video, perfect for capturing all your child’s adventures.
The Vankyo Matrix Pad also features Google assist as well as easy access to the Google Playstore so that your children can find the games and apps they need. For under $100.00, this tablet is the perfect option for your tween!
Spacekey FPV Wi-Fi Drone
The Spacekey FPV Drone is perfect for the 11-year-old who wants to try out video and picture taking with a drone! This model comes equipped with a built-in 720p/30 frame per second camera that features a 120° wide angle lens for capturing all the action from above! The foldable structure makes it perfect for taking on the go to parties, vacations, or just down the street to an open field. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see for miles as the drone climbs higher.
This drone does require a phone be attached to an included remote control, so some adult supervision will be required. Very reasonably priced, this drone is sure to be a hit with any 11-year-old boy.
Betheaces Flying Ball Toy
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a Betheaces flying ball toy! This little helicopter ball is so much fun! The rechargeable helicopter ball features an infrared LED sensor, making this a great show stopping toy. Just press the on button and this little gem will lift off straight from an outstretched hand! Motion controls using your hand then guide the ball wherever your boy wants to take it. Flashing LED lights emit a rainbow of colors, making it perfect for nighttime fun as well! The wings are durable and not easy to break, so it can withstand many a rough landing. An included remote control also assists in getting the helicopter ball safely on the ground. Kids will love this fun and interactive little electronic toy!
Force1 Mini Drone for Kids
This quadcopter-style mini drone is perfect for the beginner drone user. This certain style does not come with a camera but is equipped with bright LED lights. The Force1 Mini Drone is made for the fun sport of drone racing! Multiple drones can be purchased and raced against each other as the remotes are programmable to operate on the same channel. The included remote controls provide easy steering and also offers full mid-air flipping ability! This drone is perfect for kids who want to race drones like they see on the ESPN Drone Racing League!
WesTayin Kids Walkie Talkies
Sometimes a toy comes along that proves to be beneficial for both the kids and parents! This is the case when it comes to the WesTayin Kids Walkie Talkie set. My own family has a set of walkie talkies and we use them for so many things! When my sons want to play throughout the neighborhood or a friend’s house nearby, they know to take a walkie talkie and give one to me so that I can call them back in when needed. We have used our walkie talkies on vacation to communicate with other families traveling with us, and on cruise ships where phones aren’t working. Kids will also find several uses for these, such as communicating during NERF battles and other games that require stealthy communication.
The WesTayin set is perfect for tweens. The included belt clip ensures it won’t get lost and the rugged design means it will withstand inevitable drops on the ground. Twenty-two available channels with an impressive 4-mile range means kids can pair these talkies with other models if they’re all on the same channel. These are worth investing in a few sets for all your needs!
Powered Ride-On Toys
Remember when Tonka Trucks and Big Wheels were all our boys needed to have fun on neighborhood roads? Now that they’re getting older, electric powered ride-on toys are the most popular option for getting around. Below are some of the best and most innovative ones available today!
Razor E100 Electric Scooter
The Razor E100 Electric Scooter is a popular ride-on choice for kids thanks to its simple design and outstanding battery life. Thanks to a high-powered charger and simple on/off switch, this electric-powered scooter is sure to bring hours of fun to kids of all ages. Available in a variety of colors and holding up to 120 pounds of weight, this scooter will last years. My two boys have orange and blue ones that they’re able to ride throughout our neighborhood. It’s nice to know whose house they’re at because I can spot their Razor electric scooters parked outside the door! These scooters are durable and growing in popularity.
Razor Drifting Crazy Cart
From the same brand that brought us the electric scooter comes another twist on an old favorite! The Razor Drifting Crazy Cart is for the dare devil in your home. Dubbed the “ultimate drifting machine”, this cart is designed to drift around turns thanks to a built-in drift bar. A variable speed foot pedal means total control of the cart that will impress all your boy’s friends with his new stunts! Anti-tip front caster wheels are also a great addition. This cart comes with a charger and flag as well so your child can stay visible no matter where he chooses to take his drifting crazy cart!
Hoverboards are very popular with kids of all ages, but 11-year-olds will find them to be most entertaining and easy to operate. This hoverboard features a sleek design and is available in several colors. Flashing LED lights make it great for use at night and a built-in Bluetooth speaker means your child can enjoy music-fueled fun without the risk of headphones getting caught up in the action. The Sisigad Hoverboard comes with a charger and the amount of riding time varies based on use and weight of the rider. This hoverboard can hold up to 260 pounds, which means even parents can try out the fun! The 6.5” wheel size makes it perfect for beginners.
Top Picks Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys
I have narrowed down my top choices for each category we explored, and my picks are as follows!
Creative Learning Toys: The ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game is my top pick for a creative learning toy for a tween boy. The versatility of this toy makes it a great mind bender and helps develop important engineering skills.
Outdoor Toys: The Capture the Flag Redux is my favorite pick for an outdoor toy. I love the idea of a game that can be catered to so many friends, and anything that encourages kids to play outside is a win in my book! The different games that can be played with this set is a plus as well!
Electronic Toys: The Jeemak 4k Action Camera is my pick for best electronic toy for an 11-year-old boy. This camera encourages kids to be active and social as they record themselves doing various activities and share their videos and photos with friends.
Powered Ride-On Toys: The Razor E100 Electric Scooter is my choice for best powered ride-on toy for a preteen boy! This upgrade from a non-electric scooter elevates this toy to the next level, making it perfect for a budding tween. This toy is excellent for getting around the neighborhood, or even city streets as popularized by the electric scooters now popping up for rent on every corner!
The market is flooded with toys for kids of all ages. As they get older into the tween years, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what they want! While this list is not exhaustive of everything available, there are several good options here the next time you need to narrow down what to get. Whether you’re shopping for a birthday gift, researching options for Christmas, or helping your 11-year-old decide what to save up their allowance money for, these options are sure to be a hit!
Gifts for Other Ages
Other Resources for Parents of 11-Year-Old Boys