Gift Ideas for Older Boys | On the Daily EXPRESS


Gift Ideas for Older Boys

In case you didn't know this already about me, I'm a mom of two boys. They're tweens now, and Holiday shopping for them is getting a little tougher each year! I haven't seen a lot of gift guides for this "older boy" demographic this year, so I decided to tackle it myself since I have a few good resources for this. I happen to have a lot of friends and family who are also boy moms of school-age boys through older teenagers, so I decided to poll them for ideas on what they're getting their sons for the holidays this year or some of their past favorites. Today's post includes all of their ideas plus a few of mine to help you shop for the boys in your life!

First let me say thanks to my contributors today! Collectively these ideas are coming from five moms of 15 boys altogether. I'm the least experienced boy mom of this group, but here's a little about how I know each of these moms and their sons:

Nicole - Mom of four boys ages 9 and up (my sister-in-law, married to my fourth brother)
Stacy - Mom of three boys ages 5 and up (my best friend for the past 20 years or so!)
Heidi- Mom of three boys ages 13 and up (my sister-in-law, married to my fifth brother)
Amy - Mom of three boys ages 7 and up (my Instagram friend)

1. Spectacular Magic Show
Amy: "My 7 yr old is obsessed with doing magic tricks! I picked up a great kit at Costco recently!" 

2. Lego Dimensions
Nicole: "This is my 9 year old's current favorite video game, and we'll probably get him some of the add ons this year." 

3 and 4 -  LEGO Sets:
3. Lego Star Wars
4. Lego Minecraft 
Stacy: "Lego Ninjago and Lego Star Wars are my 7 year old's favorite Lego sets this year."
Nicole: "My 9 year old is asking for some Lego Minecraft sets this year, specifically this Crafting Box and Waterfall set."

5. Dinosaurs
Amy: "Literally anything dinosaurs works for most boys in this age group: figurines, fossil teeth and/or bones, crafts, books etc. All three of my boys went thru a dino obsessed phase around this age."
Gina: My now 12-year-old collected dinosaur figurines from about age 8-11. He was also pretty particular that they had to be scientifically accurate, so it couldn't be just any toy. The more realistic, the better.

6. Ozobot
Nicole: "My 9 year old got this for his birthday earlier in the year and really liked it."

7. Art Supplies
Amy: "Never under estimate the power of paper and markers! I think we can forget sometimes as parents (I do anyways!) how the simple arts and crafts can build confidence in our kids! Just last week I bought a pack of new construction paper and markers. I laid it out on the table so when the boys got home from school, they would see it. My middle son (12) and my youngest (7) sat right down and started crafting away! Load up on packs of construction paper, markers, crayons and colored pencils, even stickers and watch the MAGIC happen!"

8. Secret Formula Lab Kit
Nicole: "Last Christmas my (then) 11 year old really liked this Science Kit."

9. Nerf Anything
Gina: Several moms in my poll mentioned this! For my 10 and 12 year old boys, this is their number one activity when they have friends over, so one Nerf gun isn't enough even if yo're only buying for one child! Make sure to have a spare (or two!) for friends plus extra darts!

1. Parrot Drone
Nicole: "My 15 year old loved his Parrot Drone and used it throughout the year."

2. Pro Scooters, Parts, etc.
Heidi: "My 17 year old wants things that are very specific to his interests, like pro scooter parts (from The Vault Pros), a guitar and amp, specialized bikes, helmets, etc." 

3. Razor Crazy Cart
Stacy: "These are a bit pricey but my 7 and 12 year old each have one and LOVE them."

4. Anki Overdrive
Nicole: "All of my boys (and my husband!) loved Anki Overdrive. My 9 year old was a little too young for it if he had to set it up himself, though. They used it all throughout the year. It's a really fun flat track where they control the race cars with tablets, phones, etc."

5. Hoverboard  and
6. Hoverboard Go Kart Attachment
Stacy: "This year, my 7 and 12 year old boys each want a hover board, and there is an attachment you can buy to make it a hoverboard go kart which is really popular here too."

Heidi: "From age 11 and up my boys have loved their hoverboards (although my baseboards hate them!). It's probably their most favorite and long-lasting gift that they use daily STILL. They also got the go kart attachments last year and go back and forth using them or not, but they still love having it."

7. Bluetooth Shower Speaker
Gina: JoLynne mentioned this one on her blog awhile back and I'm planning to get this for my kids. Not only do I think they'll enjoy having music in the shower, they tend to lose track of time in there so I'm hoping I can tell them they have a 2-3 song limit and then it's time to get out!

8. Light Up Gaming Keyboard and
9. LED iPhone Chargers
Gina: My kids tend to like anything cool and techie. My youngest just bought one of these light up gaming keyboards with some leftover birthday money and is loving it. I saw these light up iPhone chargers on Instagram and think those might be fun stocking stuffers too. 

All of the moms agreed that clothing preferences get very particular at these ages so you really have to know your audience when it comes to styles and brands! Comfort was a common theme, and here are a few more specifics on the recommendations for these items or categories.

1. Storm Trooper Robe
Heidi: "Our boys got roes like this (and a Darth Vader version) one year and still wear them often

2. Steelers Jersey
Amy: "My boys love hometown sports team gear - hat, socks, sweatshirt, track pants, jacket...pretty much anything black and gold...GO STEELERS!" 

3. Vancation T-Shirt
Both Heidi and Nicole listed Vans as a popular apparel brand for their teen boys (13 and older).

4. Storm Trooper Snuggie
Gina: I'm tempted to get Snuggies for my kids this year because they are always dragging blankets around the house when it's chilly in the morning. Only my oldest likes Star Wars so it would have to be something more generic for my youngest!

5. Fleece Blanket
Gina: When my boys were babies, a few different people made us fleece blankets like this. We love them and still use them around the house, but a couple of them are in bad shape now. It might be nice to replace them with themes more suited to their current tastes. This Etsy shop has lots of different custom options from sports teams to animal and more.

6. Pajama Jeans
Heidi: "My teen boys loved these pajama pants and wear them often. They're very soft and thin so they don't get too hot."

7. Nike Sneakers
Amy: "For my 15 year old, shoes are everything. And from my friends who have boys this age, it's across the board! I mean, these shoes are way more than mine! I can buy 5 pair of shoes at Target for the one pair he has on his list! So ask what shoes your teenager would like (Nike is my son's current favorite brand) and they will love you (even more!) forever!"
Gina: My boys are Under Armour fans when it comes to shoes (but they're also not quite teenagers!), but I posted this Nike Pair in the collage because it was rated the most popular Mens Shoe for 2017 by this site.

8. Slippers and 9. Shower Shoes
Amy: "Ok, so maybe it's just my boys? But probably not! Since we live in an area of the country where we have all four seasons, my boys are always needing different shoes they can just slip-on and run out the door in. ( I mean who has the time to shove their ever-growing (MAN FEET!) into tennis shoes and then TIE them?) I find myself buying countless Nike or Adidas shower type shoes. In the Winter I'm looking for a warmer alternative...slippers but with tough outdoor soles so they can wear them to a run to the store with me (yes, Target.) or out to their friends house for a fun evening."

And a few more random ideas!

Heidi: "For the last three years we've been doing something they 'Want, Need, Wear, Read.' For the read option, we've done things like a magazine subscription to Runners World (my son runs on the school cross country team) and Illustrated Harry Potter for my youngest. Portable chargers are also a must for teenagers around here!"

Stacy:  A few more things I've seen gaining interest around here: 
Fidget Stick
Thumb Chucks
39 Clues Book Series
Sphero (App-controlled robo-toys)

Amy: "I have been happily surprised at how much we have all enjoyed playing Classic Board Games (e.g. Uno, Clue, Risk) together as a family!"

Gina: In case you missed it, I shared a couple of other gift ideas (for boys and everyone else) in this post, with the specific video games and console my 12 year old wants this year. 

* * *

Well this was quite an undertaking but I got a lot of ideas and if you're shopping for someone in this age range, I hope you did too! Please note that unless specified, some items linked are not necessarily the exact items each of the moms purchased or recommended. It's simply what's in stock (with decent reviews) at Amazon right now. Happy Holiday shopping!

Linking up with:



  1. I'm sure this post will be helpful to a lot of people.


  2. wow, nice blog.thanks for sharing it.

  3. great idea.its very useful.thanks for sharing it.

  4. Wow! Very thorough and complete! My boys also got the same karts Stacy said were pricey! They and their friends have used the heck out of them. Also- I wish I had been more sassy in my comments- I was just leaving class. Hahaha. Great find on the web- I'm sure this will be very helpful to anyone who finds it!

    1. Thanks Heidi! And thanks for contributing! I didn't really know I was going to include the commentary until you all started adding it spontaneously. I found all of it helpful even just to know that it was a 12 year old who enjoyed the gift. Sassiness was just an added bonus! LOL!

  5. I really appreciate this post! My son is 11 and I'm really struggling with what to get him this year. We have decided to get him probably a Chrome Book (they use them in school, too, so he'll already know how to use it!)... but, I wanted to get him some other little things. I really like that shower speaker, he is always singing in the shower. I bet he'd love that!


  6. These are good ideas. Legos and remote control stuff are always good gifts for boys.

  7. It's SO tough to shop for boys, seriously. I have a few older boys to shop for and this guide is aces- so helpful!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  8. Great ideas! I obviously don't have kids but I've often struggled with what to gift my nephews so this helps!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!