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There's a likelihood your 10-year-old has a wide range of interests. That's a great thing, but it can make shopping for a toy quite difficult. Luckily there are toys for the tech lover, the adventurer, the gamer, and everything in between.
Check out the best toys for a 10-year-old boy.
An award-winning electronics discovery kit is the perfect gift for a 10-year-old boy. With the toy, he will get more than 100 projects he can build with more than 30 color-coded circuit components, including wires, switches, an alarm circuit, speaker, and music-integrated circuit. Projects include cool things like making a photosensor, a flashing light, a voice-controlled lamp, and an adjustable volume siren. There’s no need for tools, as all of the parts snap together on the plastic grid.
"The pieces are well made, including the surprisingly sturdy plastic base, which seemed resilient enough to withstand some abuse. One downside is that the kit requires two AA batteries, which aren’t included. If you’re giving this as a gift, make sure you buy those before you start wrapping."—Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester
If you want to get them away from their devices and outside, a slackline is a smart toy. These kits are all the rage and will have your child perfecting their balancing skills from the comfort of your backyard. Think of these kits as a sort of tightrope that has a wider base. This kit has all you need to get started including a main and training lines as well as travel bag to take the act on the go.
"While slacklining, or walking along a suspended length of flat rope, takes time to master, the Flybold Slackline Kit is a comprehensive set that includes everything your family needs to get started: a smooth, 2-inch-wide lime green main line, a 1-inch-wide bright orange training line and arm trainer, ratchets for the main and training lines, a ratchet protector, dark green tree protectors, a tote to put it all in, and an instruction manual."—Sarah Vanbuskirk, Product Tester
Whether he is into Harry Potter, Legos, or both, this 878 piece building kit will pique his interests. He can bring Hogwarts Great Hall to life with this toy that includes 10 mini figures that will allow him to recreate his favorite scenes. When built the hall will measure 14 x 11 x 7-inches giving him plenty of space to play around with.
"From the tiny turrets to the moveable spiral staircase, this kit did a wonderful job of recreating the famous fictional School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Devout Harry Potter readers will immediately notice that the design seems like it was plucked right from the pages of the books, featuring everything from floating candles to a fireplace."—Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester
They may not be able to pronounce it (it’s joo-bee), but they’ll love to play it. There are no mitts in this game, but instead, each player gets a paddle that has both a launching hook and a catching net. Aim, pull back on one of the balls, which are attached to the launching hook via a loop, and fire. The other player then attempts to catch the ball in their net, and back and forth you go. The balls can fly up to 100 feet, so you can cover some serious space.
"The design for the Djubi SlingBall Classic is simple. All you need is a racket and a slingball. The set comes with two of each, which made it a perfect game for partners."—Sarah Wassner Flynn, Product Tester
This scaled-down gaming console works either with television for family fun or as a handheld device to be used solo. There are more than 2,000 games that work with the Switch, including Mario Kart, with its high-energy races, and problem-solving games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
If you're trying to keep an eye on your child's screen time, you can use the intuitive controls to set time limits, track minutes, and ensure that only age-appropriate games are being downloaded and played.
Just watch their face light up when you gift this hoverboard. And speaking of lights, the wheels on the board feature LED flashing lights. The tires are sturdy and there's an anti-slip mat to get off and on easily. Speeds can range up to 10 miles per hour and Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to play music.
Your 10-year-old may not be ready for an expensive DSLR camera just yet, but this option from VTech is a fun pick. Kids can created HD videos with this camera, which includes 20 animated backgrounds, like getting chased by a T-Rex. There's built-in editing software and the tripod makes it easy to set the camera on a table or flat surface while filming.
This is a new twist, literally, on the classic Rubik's Cube. The Perplexus has to be twisted and turned to align the tracks and have the small ball make it through the maze. With tons of barriers in the way, your kid will feel an amazing sense of accomplishment when they succeed.
The dilemma: Your kid wants to be able to chill out and listen to their own tunes, but you're not ready for them to have a smartphone just yet. This MP3 player is lightweight, wearable, and has up to 18 hours of battery life. The large, easy-to-navigate screen makes it easy for kids to move between songs and create playlists.
He shoots, he scores, and mom wins! This over-the-door basketball hoop is the cleanest game in town, and there are no losers. He has fun throwing his dirty clothing through the hoop instead of leaving it all over the floor to pile up, and mom marvels at the lack of mess-making this the perfect gift for a 10-year-old boy (and mom!). There’s a backboard to bounce items off of, and the bottom is a detachable laundry bag.
This is a board game the entire family can enjoy because it's all about team work. The players, or superheroes, must join together to defeat the Marvel villain. While some games can be boring as you play them repeatedly, this one offers a lot of variety based on the cards you choose.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, nope, it’s this cool little drone. It’s perfect for first-time operators, but also has enough cool features to make it fun for those with more experience. It’s easy to manipulate and can be flown up, down, forward, backward, and even do a 360-degree roll. The sky is truly the limit to what this thing can do. An automatic take-off-and-landing feature ensures the drone will return to the place it took off.
Kids have been making stop-motion animation LEGO movies for years, but this kit takes the guesswork out of the process for newbie filmmakers. It comes with several mini-figure actors (with different faces, outfits, and accessories like hats and wigs), props, backdrops, and an 80-page instruction book with different plot ideas for inspiration and even tips like how to build a homemade tripod.
This slick racetrack works with the compatible Hot Wheels app using Bluetooth. Players can compete by tracking their speed (it's scaled to reflect how fast you'd go in a real car), number of laps, distance, loops, jumps, and other stats. In free play mode, they can scan in new cars, measure their achievements, and build new track configurations (it's fun to watch what you're physically building appear on screen). In campaign mode, the pressure is on to beat challenges, which get increasingly harder, to earn rewards.
Go for a classic toy for a 10-year old with this Sonic Slider that will have him cruising down the hill on a snow day. The saucer is lightweight and the side handles make it easy to carry back home or up a hill. Besides letting him have hours of fun this will also get him outside and keep him active.
An alien has wolfed down a treasure hunter and it's your kid's job to dissect the creature and retrieve the hunter, weapon, and gem. The alien is, naturally, full of slime (squeezing its head and watching it ooze out is especially satisfying), and the gooey stuff can be stored and reused later. If the gift is a hit, there are 18 sets total to collect. And at this affordable price, it makes a great stocking stuffer.
If he loves the stretchy, can't-stop-messing-with-it substance known as Thinking Putty, this puzzle, which is a bit like Rush Hour without the cars, offers a creative way to use it. Using the included challenge cards (they get progressively trickier), kids will solve puzzles by building different paths through the grid, without crossing colors.
Doodling becomes a group sport with this fun game. Players pick a character and an action (example: Piglet and singing karaoke) which they have to draw and then pass along to another player to complete the drawing. Others have to guess exactly what the sketch is. Needless to say, there will be a lot of laughs and hours of playtime.
This comprehensive kit comes with eight different substances, all designed to teach about scientific principles. The putty properties include magnetic, glow-in-the-dark, and color-changing (activated by the heat of your hands or the chill of the freezer), as well as several types of slime. Run out of slime? This has the ingredients and instructions to make some more.
Up to six players can enjoy this fast-paced, strategy-heavy game, which is themed around the Big Apple and a follow-up to the popular King of Tokyo. It's meant to be played in about an hour, making it ideal for parties and game nights, and the object is to defeat the monsters and become ruler of the city.
We bought three of our readers’ favorite toys for 10-year-old boys that our reviewers tested for 21 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these toys, from their entertainment value to their skill-building potential. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Learning and development Choose toys that will expand your child’s mind and encourage curiosity, without becoming frustrating. Look for items that have clear, easy-to-read instructions or are already familiar activities. This will open a world of self-exploration without your 10-year-old needing assistance every step of the way.
Technology It’s no secret that 10-year-old boys are becoming increasingly fascinated with technology. The key is to channel it into productive outlets. The best technology toys are those that will teach useful and relevant skills, such as coding or basic principles of engineering.
Skill building Sharpening fine motor skills and honing more major motor skills will make your 10-year-old more adept at fixing small-scale items or scoring that game-winning basket. Look for toys that will encourage tinkering and assembling parts and pieces to train the hand and eye to work together. Or you can opt for more physically-intense activities that involve targets or nets to burn off some energy while improving coordination.
Test Results: Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit (Best Overall)
Good for STEM skills
Tons of projects to choose from
Some pieces are fragile
Our testers found this toy to be highly educational and entertaining for 10-year-old boys. “I like how kids feel successful after completing a project and that this is something that kids can do independently or with someone else,” one reviewer explained. Our testers loved the kit's emphasis on STEM skills, how easy it was to clean up, and the variety of included projects, which ensured kids didn’t get bored. While one tester mentioned that a few pieces seemed fragile, he still thought the kit would “last through years of usage.” Overall, the toy was a win for both parents and kids: “I like how educational the toy is, yet it doesn't feel like that to a kid,” one reviewer said.
Test Results: LEGO 75954 Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit (Best for Harry Potter fans)
Highly detailed pieces
Some flimsy pieces
Our testers found this LEGO set to be extremely entertaining and intriguing for 10-year-old boys, with one reviewer calling it “a stellar representation of a famous fictional spot.” The “exquisite detail” of the figurines and overall set were most impressive, according to our testers. Building the hall did require several hours of dedication, one of our reviewers mentioned, so it’s definitely geared toward advanced LEGO builders. Bottom line: “It invites imaginative play. As children put this set together, they can reenact their favorite scenes from the Harry Potter series,” one of our testers revealed.
Test Results: Djubi Classic - the Coolest New Twist on the Game of Catch! (Best Game)
Exciting outdoor game
Great for beach or pool
Requires high level of athleticism
Our testers found this to be an entertaining outdoor game for very active kids. “If executed correctly, the slingshot can launch balls up to 100 feet,” observed one of our reviewers. However, it’s not for everyone: “Setting up the Slingball requires strength, dexterity, and motor skills,” warned one of our testers, so it could easily become frustrating. Our reviewers loved that the balls float, making it perfect for the beach or pool, but one tester noted that the hard foam could inflict injury if a child was hit with a ball directly. According to one of our testers, this is the perfect game for “athletic, coordinated kids who are always looking for a new way to have fun outside.”