- Holidays and Celebrations
Top 10 Best Boys Gift Ideas 2015
Gifts for Boys Five to Eight Years Old
Are you on the hunt for birthday gifts that will be a big hit this year? It can be a challenge to come up with ideas, especially if you haven’t been that age for a while. But when you nail it and get that perfect present, it's great to see the smiling faces.
Boys five, six, seven, or eight years old come in all shapes and sizes, and they really do have a zest for life!
What are they like?
- They may be in kindergarten, first, second, or third grade.
- Many can read a picture book or chapter book with pleasure; almost all enjoy being read to.
- They increasingly enjoy playing games with others, both table games and sports, even when that involves following complicated rules.
- They may be interested in monsters, dinosaurs, sharks, other predators, or other fabulous creatures.
- They may be interested in cars, other vehicles, roads, and tracks.
- They may be interested in war games and shooting games (though their parents may not be).
- They may be interested in building and talking about model cities or structures.
- They may be interested in drawing, dressing up, playacting, music, or exploring nature.
The Ideal Gift
The ideal gift will give them something that helps them with an interest or inclination they already have. Observe them, or ask, and you may be able to guess what that interest or inclination might be.
Ten Gift Suggestions
If you want to give a gift, here are some ideas kids this age might like:
- An experience
- Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
- Stomp rocket
- Games like Spot-it
- Books: Grossology, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, or books by Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, or Louis Sachar
- A marble run set, or at least marbles
- Watercolor paint and watercolor paper
- A bicycle
1. An Experience
The ideal gift might not even be a thing: it might be an experience. Here are some good experiences to give younger boys.
- A visit to or membership in a science or natural history museum. The best ones, like San Francisco’s Exploratorium or San Jose’s Tech Museum, have a “hands-on” aspect; they have knobs to turn, kits to assemble, blocks to pile up, and wacky environments to explore. A kid or group of kids can be entertained all day here. Go with them, and you will find out what interests them.
- A visit to or membership in a zoo. There is much here to interest kids of all ages. A child this age may be particularly impressed by snakes and bugs.
- An outing to a pizza place or ice-cream parlor.
- A hike. A hike that kids will enjoy will be rather brief (just enough to experience a “trail” rather than a “road” for a few minutes); free from horrid extremes of heat, cold, sun, or rain; and leading to a clear destination: a pond or beach, a bridge, a berry patch or orchard, a small hilltop, a meadow with a guaranteed picnic.
- A trip to an amusement park (there is nothing like LEGOLAND) or water park. Boys this age are likely to find rides of all kinds fascinating; they will ride until they are exhausted and cranky.
- A week of lessons or camp in an area they already seem to be interested in. For example: science camp, nature camp, computer programming camp, or youth baseball or soccer clinic.
2. Hot Wheels or Matchbox Cars and Tracks
Hot Wheels were one of my favorite toys growing up. I guess that'll tell ya how long Hot Wheels have been around. We had a huge rec room in the basement and we would race our Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars on the orange track. Hot Wheels and Matchbox have merged, by the way; their cars are of similar size, about 1/64 the dimensions of a real car, and compatible with many other toys. If you don't have the official track to race them on, you can still roll them down cardboard or wooden ramps, park them in LEGO garages, or drive them off tabletops and crash them.
There are plenty of track sets available for purchase, of course, as well as inexpensive gift packs of four or five Hot Wheels cars.
3. The Stomp Rocket
The Stomp Rocket has been around for decades. It is exciting and teaches kids about ballistics. It's not electronic; it doesn't need batteries or fuel or fireworks; it's safe, cheap, and hours of fun. It just translates human power into vertical and horizontal acceleration. Can shoot a rocket 400 feet.
4. Games Like Spot It
Kids as young as 6 or so love Spot It, and all family members enjoy playing it. It comes recommended by GreatSchools.org and others. You race to identify matching symbols on the round cards.
Ask a room full of kids what their favorite toys are, and at least some boys will proclaim proudly that LEGOs are their favorite toy.
Often, when you give a gift, you are reluctant to give something with a hundred pieces, or something that's part of a set, but LEGOS are an exception to this rule. They are versatile (whole miniature cities have been made from them), scalable, and sturdy. Once a child is old enough to put them together and take them apart, they are fun for a lifetime. Small or "freeform" boxes of LEGOs are better for beginners than the kits where you assemble a Star Wars vehicle or a scene from some movie.
These versatile blocks are another exception to the rule about not buying toys with many pieces. They come in packs of 100 and can build freeform structures and walls.
7. Books Amusing to Boys
Of course any books that appeal to girls will most likely appeal to boys as well, but here are a few that boys seem to find especially amusing.
- Grossology by Sylvia Branzei and Jack Keely (yucky science about the human body)
- The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney
- The Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey
- Any books by Maurice Sendak, Doctor Seuss, or Louis Sachar
8. A Marble Run
Marbles themselves are great gifts; beautiful, versatile, fun to roll around in bathtubs or pools, or on pieces of model train track. Companies including Quercetti and Quadrilla now make wood or plastic "marble runs" that you can put together to suit yourself. They are highly educational toys for those kids who need to "put together" things, "fix" them, and make them "work." Here are some reviews.
9: Art Supplies: Watercolors
Your child may be a little tired of crayons and markers and want to try new ways of putting color on paper. Watercolors are great for that, but the cheap dry cakey ones are hard, and most paper gets soaked through when you paint on it. Stockmar watercolor paints are the best--you can make all the other colors out of red, yellow, and blue--and paper specificially for watercolors (140 lb) is best.
10. A Shiny New Bike
Quite possibly the best gift for boys is a brand new bicycle. Start out with the training wheels, and gradually you can take them off and he'll be riding around with a whole new sense of freedom.
Top Boys' Gift Ideas
Please vote below! If we've missed a great idea for a boy's gift, please let us know in the comments section.