The 9 Best Gifts to Buy for 11-Year-Old Boys in 2018

These picks will keep him engaged and active

Portrait smiling boy friends with bicycles in park
Hero Images / Getty Images

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Everyone knows that boys can be a bit difficult to buy for and when they’re pre-teenager, well, now you’re talking about a true gift giving conundrum. Tween boys are no longer little boys but they’re not really ready for teen interests quite yet. So, what does one give an 11-year old boy for their birthday, a holiday or special occasion? Well, we have come up with a few ideas that are just the right amount of cool to put a smile on the face of the big-kid on your list. We’ve found something for the prankster, the science enthusiast and the athlete, as well as a few things that are trend worthy, parent-approved and kid-favorited.

  • 01 of 09

    Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronic Discovery Kit

    STEM-loving kids can build over 100 different projects that light up, spin, and make sound with the award-winning Snap Circuits Jr. Electronic Discovery kit. Kids ages seven and up can learn all about working circuits as they power up their cool creations. Over 30 color-coded pieces are included in the kit for multiple configurations. A detailed instruction book with over 100 projects will guide young engineers through various working models. And once kids have mastered the foundations of circuits they can ramp it up by creating custom circuits and devices. Some of the things kids can create are a sound-activated switch, a musical doorbell, a voice-controlled lamp, a flying saucer and much, much more.

  • 02 of 09

    LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon

    The Star Wars Millennium Falcon is one of the most impressive LEGO sets we’ve seen. It’s both cool and well-designed, so it’s sure to WOW any 11-year-old recipient. Garnering over 600 reviews and five full stars, this is one of the best- loved LEGO sets among Star Wars and LEGO fans alike. The force has awoken with this newly redesigned LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon. With additions like rotating laser turrets with hatch and minifig space, dual spring-loaded shooters, a sensor dish, a detachable cockpit with space for 2 minfigs, a fully-hinged ramp and entrance hatch, the newly streamlined Falcon is fully-loaded with interactive features to hyper drive into imaginative play. And the Millennium Falcon wouldn’t be complete without its captain Han Solo and co-pilot Chewbacca. Other minifigures included with the set are Kanjiklub Gang Member, Tasu Leech, Finn, Rey and of course, trusty droid BB-8. This 1,329 piece set is ideal for kids ages 9 to 14 years old.

  • 03 of 09

    Spalding NBA Slam Jam Over-the-Door Mini Basketball Hoop

    Aspiring athletes can work off some of that excess energy while safely indoors with the NBA Slam Jam Over-the-Door Mini Basketball Hoop by Spalding. Priced right, this is one gift that is sure to be a slam dunk. The 18” x 10.5” polycarbonate backboard easily fits over a standard door for effortless assembly and installation. Included are padded foam door brackets and foam padding for the backboard to protect doors from scuffs and scratches. Also included is a 4” Spalding rubber basketball complete with NBA and Spalding logos. The breakaway spring rim lets kids safely take it to the hoop for a slam dunk. Any active 11-year-old would love to get this gift and bring the court indoors.

  • 04 of 09

    Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Enabled Droid

    Looking for a cool tech gift to give your favorite 11 year old? Well, “this IS the droid you've been looking for.” This out-of-this-world app-controlled droid is built for adventure (and the resistance). The BB-8 droid is easily controlled via any smart device. Kids can send their trusty sidekick out on its own for explorative scout patrols or they can use their smart device to transmit holographic message videos. BB-8 is the perfect spy to record covert conversations or check the perimeter. BB-8 will respond to its owner's voice commands with increasingly adaptive behaviors. The more kids interact with BB-8, the more the droid will adapt its actions and attitude, becoming increasingly intuitive and responsive. BB-8 is recommended for kids ages 8 to 14.

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  • 05 of 09

    PRANK-LOPEDiA: The Funniest, Grossest, Craziest, Not-Mean Pranks on the Planet!

    What 11-year-old boy doesn’t need recipes for fake snot, fake vomit or fake ice cream? OK, so maybe they don’t need these recipes, but we know they sure will love having access to these and over 70 different fun-loving, side-splitting pranks. Pranklopedia was written by long-time Editor in Chief of Nickelodeon Magazine, Julie Winterbottom. This complete encyclopedia of pranks is sure to be a hit with the 11-year-old in your life. Classic pranks like short sheeting the bed and edible dog poop never go out of style with the tween crowd. The book includes step-by-step instructions, a full-color 16-page insert of supplementary materials (essential to pulling off the perfect prank) and props like a “winning” lotto ticket, a soup can label for Cream of Sparrow Soup and prank-worthy recipes. The easy-to-read and simple-to-follow instructions are geared for kids ages seven to 12 years old.

  • 06 of 09

    AMSCOPE- KIDS Microscope Kit

    The AMSCOPE KIDS Microscope is designed for kids ages eight and up. This microscope is simple to use, yet chock-full-of features to enhance the young scientist’s experience as they explore the hidden world of things like the included brine shrimp eggs, corn root and more. The AMSCOPE is a compound microscope with a forward-facing turret that has 300x, 600x and 1200x magnification capabilities. The metal base houses an all-glass eyepiece, an LED light and mirror for illumination, and a built-in color-filter wheel to help highlight light colored objects for optimal viewing. This microscope comes with a 52-piece accessory kit all neatly packed into a hard plastic carrying case. This is one gift that’s ready for use right out of the box. Some of the things included are a shrimp hatchery, brine shrimp eggs, a specimen slicer, plastic tweezers, a petri dish, seven blank slides, five prepared slides, collection vials, two AA batteries and a spare LED bulb. Mom and dad are sure to love the educational qualities this gift affords and budding scientists will love all of the cool features and accessories included with this kit for exploration and discovery.

  • 07 of 09

    Capture the Flag REDUX

    Give a gift that promotes physical activity and good-old-fashioned fun. Capture the Flag REDUX takes this classic game and gives it a twenty-first century spin. This hot new version of the iconic game comes with 33 light-up pieces and 12 different, exciting game variations to take play to whole new level. Easy setup and simple rules have made Capture the Flag a favorite for generations. And with additional game variations like Wizard freeze action, Werewolves vs. Hunters and Traitor REDUX, this version of the classic game lets kids’ imagination run free. Promoting outdoor play while building teamwork and camaraderie, this uber cool remake of a classic game will never go out of style. This set includes 16 glow bracelets, 2 glowing orbs, 8 jail makers, 12 game variation cards and 1 set of instructions. It’s designed for 4 to 16 players ages 10 and up.

  • 08 of 09

    Suede Mini Rocker Speaker Chair

    Suede Mini Rocker Speaker Chair
    Courtesy of PBTeen

    One thing tween (and teen) boys do a lot of is gaming! Giving a kickin’ gaming chair is sure to be a hit with any 11-year-old boy on your list. This comfy chair is compatible with their favorite smart device or gaming system. Complete with built-in speakers for stereo sound (you know, to fully immerse themselves in game play) and constructed from hardwood and soft cotton plush foam we know that this chair will be their movie-watching, video-gaming go-to spot. The Suede Mini Rocker is available in Navy blue, Grey or Pool (teal). Kids will love that they can plug in their headset to the control panel and adapter ports and that it is compatible with their MP3/CD/DVD, PSP or Apple devices and Windows. Audio input and output jacks are also included so kids can link their chairs together for group play. The Mini Rocker measures 22.25” x 20.25” x  23.5”. 

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  • 09 of 09

    Bit by Ozobot, Black

    This award-winning, teacher-recommended, STEM-loving, programmable robot is sure to be a hit with inquisitive technophiles. The free-wheeling Bit by Ozobot challenges kids to explore the world of simple coding. Kids can get started in as little as two steps. Kids ages eight and up can create epic cityscapes and  coded mazes for Bit using paper and specially-designed markers. Or for more advanced coders kids can go to to fully program Bit with easy to use drag and drop coding. Bit uses optical sensors to respond to coded commands like spinning, speeding up, slowing down, making turns and other special moves. Young coders can create challenges for Bit, DIY activities or design their own games to share with friends and the Ozobot community. Ozobot provides free programming and STEM-inspired lesson plans for all ages. Included are one Ozobot Bit (1” in diameter), a USB charging cable, one OzoSkin, a Bit carrying pod and OzoCards for hours of interactive play.