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They're not quite teens yet, but 11-year-olds are most definitely super opinionated on what they want and need. That can make buying a gift a bit tougher, but not impossible. Whether the tween boy in your life is into sports, tech, or anything in between, there's a present with his name on it.
To help you get started, here are the best gifts for 11-year-old boys.
If your 11-year-old loves to work with his hands, he will love this Snap Circuits Exploration Kit. It's like Legos but with (safe) electricity. Each kit comes with 100 electronics circuit projects and over 30 electronic parts so your kid can make everything from a flashing light to a siren with his own hands. It requires no soldering and is safe for children to do on their own.
"Despite having over 100 experiments, Snap Circuits Jr. actually takes up minimal space. The main circuit board is only slightly larger than a piece of loose leaf paper, and nearly all of the included components are about the size of a matchbox car."—Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester
If you want to splurge on your 11-year-old, consider the Nintendo Switch. This game console is on many kids' wishlists and for good reason. It can be used either solo in handheld mode or hooked up to a TV in single or multiplayer mode. It features a battery life of approximately five to nine hours (depending on the game) and you can easily set up parental controls to monitor games and purchases.
If you want to encourage your kid’s creative side, consider the Klutz LEGO Make Your Own Movie Activity Kit. This fun intro to animation allows your child to create his own stop-motion video using a tablet and 36 Lego pieces. A short video takes just an hour to create and can be easily shared across social media with friends and family. Reviewers love that this activity kit can be used again and again with any Lego set and is easy to set up and use.
Learning to collaborate is a skill all youngsters need to learn and that’s the goal behind this game. Each player is a Marvel hero and they have to work together to defeat the evil villain. Even after playing the game several times, the variety of challenge cards always keeps it fresh and new. This is suited for up to four players so kids can enjoy this together or make a family game night of it.
Ask any kid and they will tell you: Slime is incredibly popular. This National Geographic Mega Slime Kit is one of the best gifts for 11-year-old boys who want to get dirty (without making a mess in your kitchen). This kit comes with four types of slime and putty, including magnetic putty, fluffy slime, and a DIY glow-in-the-dark slime lab. Every jar is non-toxic and the set comes with an activity guide.
If your child is into science and dinosaurs, he’ll love this National Geographic Dino Dig Kit. Your child can dig up three dinosaur fossils, including a mosasaur tooth, bone, and stool. Plus, the kit comes complete with a colorful learning guide to spark your child’s curiosity and teach him everything he wanted to know about fossils.
A fun upgrade on a traditional soccer ball, the WizToyz Hover Soccer Ball is hours of fun, no matter the weather outside. This soccer ball uses air to hover slightly above the ground. Each set comes with two goals and a second, inflatable soccer ball and can be safely used in your living room or your backyard. A foam bumper around the ball protects your furniture from scuffing and LED lights make it safe and fun to play in the dark.
A tablet can be a great gift for an 11-year-old because it allows him to watch his favorite shows or play his favorite games, even on the go. The Fire HD 10 Tablet is available with 32 or 64 GB of storage and runs 30 percent faster than some previous models. Also, the longer battery life equals up to 12 hours of reading, gaming, and more. Also, the parental controls make it easy to set limits on all activities.
If the 11-year-old in your life loves music or video games, the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones are a great gift. These super trendy Beats headphones are perfect for long road trips or for the budding athlete who wants to listen to music while training. Beats don't come cheap but the quick charging time, long battery life, and crystal clear sound consistently rate high.
Remember just how fun building a fort was when you were a kid? Crazy Forts is like that, but better. This kit comes with 69 balls and 44 sticks that easily click together to create the craziest, wildest fort that can be covered with pillows and blankets when your child is done. It is perfect for siblings or sleepovers and is a great STEM gift to inspire an interest in designing and engineering.
Looking for a classic gift perfect for any child? This Spalding basketball comes in intermediate size (28.5 inches) or official size (29.5 inches) and looks and feels professional. It does require a pump (sold separately) to keep it inflated but comes fully inflated when you order it.
Perfect for the kid who loves solving puzzles, the Rubik's Race Game is a two-player game based on the classic Rubik’s Cube puzzle. To play, you shake the mini cube to create a new pattern. Then, each player races to recreate the pattern on his or her own Rubik’s cube.
The Educational Insights Kanoodle features 200 logical thinking puzzles to keep your child entertained for hours. Your child will create both 2D and 3D puzzles using 12 different pieces to match a range of challenges. It comes with a carrying case for on-the-go play and a 48-page guide for solving all of the brain teasers.
Curious teens will spend hours enjoying this science kit. This single bag has the necessary items for more than 65 science experiments. The hands-on experiments teach kids everything from electricity to gravity to fun tasks like launching a soda geyser. Also, the carrying case makes it easy to contain all of the items or take this science show on the road.
Capture the Flag REDUX is a great group activity to encourage outdoor play. It’s an updated take on the traditional capture the flag game where the goal is to steal the other team’s “orb” without getting tagged by the territory lights. Each game can accommodate between four and 20 players and the lights can be used across 12 different game modes.
Our reviewers spent 14 hours testing one of our readers’ favorite gifts for 11-year-old boys. To get the most comprehensive results, they used it several times over the course of a couple weeks. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this gift, from age appropriateness to entertainment value. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Age appropriateness Most 11-year-old boys probably think of themselves as teenagers, but they’re not quite there yet. It’s important to ensure the gift you pick is appropriate for a tween, as many teenage books, movies, and video games have mature themes that this age group isn’t ready for.
Individual interests Eleven-year-old boys have a wide variety of interests, ranging from sports to comic books to science. When shopping for a gift for a boy this age, you should definitely take his particular interests into account. When in doubt, you can always consult him (or his parents) to see what he’s into.
“Cool” factor During the tween years, kids start to develop opinions on things that are “cool.” Naturally, you’ll want to get an 11-year-old boy a gift he will think is trendy. Get an idea of what the kids are into these days by browsing social media or researching the best-selling toys of that year.