Whether you’re shopping for a son, brother, nephew, or friend for his birthday, Christmas, or just because, there are plenty of reasons to look for gifts for a boy. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing more significant than seeing his eyes fill with wonder when he unwraps his gift.
To help you on your search, we’ve gathered this list of 55 of our favorite gifts for the boys in your life. From out-of-the-box non-toy ideas and experiences to fun games and backpacks for school, you’re sure to find something perfect for the little man on your shopping list. We’ve got gifts for every budget, whether you need to stick with $20 gifts or the sky’s the limit.
1. Play Dress-Up
Studies have shown that kids who play dress-up tend to work harder and concentrate more on tasks. When given the freedom to use their imaginations, they start to believe they can be or do anything they set their minds to. They also learn empathy and the ability to see different points of view. So, let your boy wear a cape if he wants, or dress as his favorite superhero or movie character. Not only is it fun, but it’s great for his social and emotional development.
2. Tickets To An Event
While toys are always fun gifts for kids to receive, experiences—like going to a game with mom or checking out a new play with dad—are some of the most memorable presents you can give. You’ll give the gift of memories that last a lifetime by presenting him with tickets to an event he’s interested in. Great examples include tickets to a ballgame, the carnival, an indoor trampoline park, or a concert for their favorite music act.
3. Magazine Subscription
Give him a gift that keeps on giving with a year-long subscription to a magazine. Find a publication that’s geared toward his interests and he’ll look forward to each new issue. You can find magazines that cover just about any topic, for any age group. From magazines that help babies learn the alphabet to digests about tech, photography, science, food, video games, and everything in between, he’s sure to enjoy fueling his passions and learning new things.
4. Annual Pass
If he loves going to the local wildlife rescue, museum, or a local theme park, he can enjoy it over and over again all year long if you gift him with an annual pass or membership. Wrap his new membership card up and present it to him along with a t-shirt from the theme park, a stuffed animal from the rescue, or a souvenir from his favorite museum. He’ll think of you every time he uses it.
5. Cooking Class
If he’s adventurous when it comes to food, gift him with skills he’ll use for the rest of his life by taking him to a cooking class. He will learn new cooking techniques and get exposed to exciting tastes and flavors. Then he can have fun trying out his new skills at home. Who knows, you may have a hand in creating the next generation’s celebrity chef!
6. Photo Album
Kids love being the center of attention, so why not give him a photo album with him as the star? Turn your favorite photos into memories that will last a lifetime by compiling them into a photo book just for him. Create a collection that documents where he came from and includes a sonogram image, baby photos, and pictures from every birthday and big event up until now. He’ll love flipping through the pages and reliving fun memories.
7. Musical Instrument
Musical toys might be annoying for parents, but making music is extremely beneficial for kids. Besides the fact that they just love to make noise, playing musical instruments enhances their fine motor skills and helps them with language and listening. Foster his natural talent for making music by giving the boy on your shopping list a musical instrument. Toy drums, xylophones, maracas, and mini pianos are best for baby boys. If you’re shopping for gifts for a teen boy, he’ll love a drum set, a guitar, a keyboard, or a violin.
Anyone who remembers something they read from their childhood knows the power of a good book. Books make ideal gifts for boys of any age. They’re educational, they can be enjoyed over and over again, they’re quiet, and they don’t require any batteries! Some books can even be personalized with a child’s name, to make a truly unique gift that will inspire their imaginations.
9. Go Bowling
If you’re looking for a way to give the little lad some indoor fun, look no further than a day at the bowling alley. Not only is it a great form of low-impact exercise, but bowling is also a fantastic group activity the entire family can enjoy together. He’ll have fun throwing the ball and knocking down pins, but he’ll also learn about healthy competition and how to win or lose with a good attitude.
10. Painting Class
It’s no secret that little boys like to get messy. Instead of making mud pies, let him get his hands dirty with a kid’s painting class. Not only is making art fun, but it also fosters creativity, improves motor skills, boosts confidence, teaches focus and perseverance, and even improves their academic performance. A painting class will teach him skills that will prepare him to take on the world with passion and creativity.
11. His Own Tools
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your little helper, why not give him his very own set of tools? If he’s at that young age where he wants to copy everything he sees, a kid-sized workbench or tool belt packed with pretend tools will let him safely work alongside mom or dad in the garage. Or, if he’s older, present him with his very own set of real tools, like a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, measuring tape, and level. Don’t forget the toolbox to keep them all in!
12. Go Camping
Boys today are born into a world where technology is all around. They don’t know what it’s like without the internet, cable, smartphones, or video games. While technology has enhanced our daily lives, your boy will benefit from a family camping trip—unplugged and enjoying a day or two under the stars. Camping is a great confidence builder, good exercise, fun for family bonding, and it teaches him to respect nature.
13. Theme Park
It’s no secret that kids love theme parks—and for good reason. Besides the thrill rides and exciting characters, they transport kids into a magical world packed full of fun. A trip to a theme park isn’t just about going on rides, but it’s also a way for friends and family to spend quality time together. Gifts that help make family memories are some of the best gifts you can give.
14. About Time
Boys as young as five should understand what the time on a digital clock means, while those who are eight or nine should easily be able to read a clock. One of the best ways to help a little lad learn how to tell time—and really feel like he’s growing up—is by giving him his very own wristwatch. These days, you can find watches that are designed with their favorite movie characters or superheroes and also include a host of features like a stopwatch, alarm, and backlight.
15. Make A Donation
Give him a gift that gives back and teach him the value of helping others by making a donation in his name to a charity that’s important to him. If he’s an animal lover, donate to a local shelter or wildlife sanctuary. If he loves nature and the great outdoors, how about a donation to a conservation group? Teach him to care about those who are less fortunate with a donation to a charity that feeds the homeless or gives school supplies to underprivileged kids.
16. College Fund
Instead of buying him another toy or clothes that he’ll outgrow, invest in his future. The cost of a college education is steadily on the rise and, for some families, it makes getting a degree next to impossible. Help him get a head start by making a contribution to a college savings plan in his name.
17. Art Supplies
Creating art is far more productive for young minds than playing video games or watching television. Foster his creativity and inspire a love of art by giving him a set of art supplies as a gift. Whether it’s a drawing set, markers, modeling clay, painting supplies, or macaroni and googly eyes, age-appropriate art supplies make great gifts for growing boys. Through making art, he will learn how to express himself and build confidence.
18. Bean Bag
To a kid, few things are more fun to sit on than a bean bag chair. Comfy, durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and portable, they’re the perfect style of seating for a rough-and-tumble little boy. They’re perfect for his pals to hang out on in his room. They are also great for when you need extra seating on the fly and wonderful for lounging in front of the TV. You can find them in nearly any style to match his room—from a space-themed rocket ship design to one that looks like a giant, cozy baseball.
19. Kids Coupons
Here’s a small gift that will make a big impact! Make a set of coupons that entitle the holder to any number of cool things. Some great examples include “No chores for one day” or “Stay up late an extra hour.” Or, create coupons that let him choose what’s for dinner, have a movie night or enjoy an ice cream party. They make great stocking stuffers, rewards, or pick-me-ups. When the time comes, he’ll love cashing in for something special.
20. Remote Control Car
It’s a classic! A remote control car is a great and entertaining toy that also helps teach boys hand-eye coordination. From little zippy cars to hefty monster trucks, there are lots of options for playing indoors and out in the yard.
21. Board Games
Board games are great gifts for boys of any age. They’re fun for the whole family and are a perfect gift to get your kiddo away from his electronics for a while. Look for games that are geared toward his age group. Younger boys will love classic games like Checkers, Candy Land, or Chutes and Ladders. Older kids will enjoy playing Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble, or logic games.
22. Airplane Ride
Give him an experience he’ll never forget, introduce him to the thrill of flying and inspire a love of aviation. Sign him up for an introductory flight at your local small airport. He’ll sit next to the pilot and learn all about safety checks, see how airplanes work, and then go up in the air for the ride of his life.
23. Alarm Clock
Teach him healthy sleep habits while he’s young by giving him the gift of an alarm clock. If you need a baby gift for a boy, an okay-to-wake clock can make a world of difference in teaching him when it’s okay to get out of bed by using a number of colors and sounds. If your little man is older and needs to keep to a school schedule, an alarm clock is a practical gift that can help teach him responsibility and how to tell time.
24. Piggy Bank
It’s important for kids to learn the value of money while they’re young. Help him learn all about saving, spending, and budgeting by giving him a piggy bank. Instead of leaving coins in his pockets and cash crumpled in the corner, he’ll have a safe place to store his money—and watch it grow. You can find anything from a classic piggy bank, perfect for baby boys, to an electronic, robotic coin-counting bank for older kids. Add a small contribution to the bank when you present him with it and he’ll be excited about adding to it.
25. Brain Teasers
In a world where screen-time has become the norm, give him the gift of brain teasers, memory games, or puzzles that will get him away from his electronics and engage his mind. Brain teaser games will foster his critical thinking skills and help him learn invaluable skills, like problem-solving and logic. You can find brain teasers that are suitable for any age boy, from tiny toddlers to teenagers.
26. Say Cheese
A camera can encourage a boy’s creativity and teach him to see the world through an artistic lens. If you’re buying for a toddler, look for a kid-sized point-and-shoot camera with big buttons for his little fingers. A traditional entry-level DSLR camera will help your older boy learn the basics of photography and exposure. If he’s an adrenaline junkie, he’ll love a waterproof, rough-and-tumble action camera to document his adventures.
27. Decorate His Room
Kids love having their own space to decorate, personalize, and make their own. Your little boy is no exception! Find a theme that he’ll love, whether it’s jungle animals, the circus, dinosaurs, or outer space, and design a room that’s as unique as he is. Look for furniture, bedding, and decor that matches the theme. If you really want to get him excited about his space, get him involved in the project by letting him help paint, pick colors, or choose where to put everything.
28. Bug Hunter
If you’re looking for the perfect present for a young adventurer who loves to catch bugs, look no further than a bug hunting kit. Complete with a net, magnifying glass, tongs, bug keeper, and more, your little entomologist will have hours of educational entertainment looking for and learning about the bugs in your backyard. Be sure to also teach him about being kind to all creatures and the importance of gentle catch and release.
Kids are curious by nature, and what better way to feed that curiosity than by giving your little lad his very own microscope? Seeing things magnified will open up a fascinating new world and foster a love of science and exploring the world around him. Look for a microscope that’s designed for his age group, is durable, includes lots of fun accessories, and provides good images.
30. Science Kit
More than just educational, science kits are also a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Through safe experiments, they teach kids to explore, create, and learn. To make your little scientist smile, look for a science kit that was created for his age group. Very young boys will enjoy kits that explore bubbles, magnets, and colors. Older kids will love science kits that teach chemistry through experiments like growing crystals, causing eruptions, and growing plants. Tweens and teens will prefer to explore the world by looking through a microscope or learn technology by assembling a computer.
31. Pretend Play
Kids do most of their early learning through play. Play areas, like a toy kitchen, a tiny workbench, a dollhouse or a miniature desk, are great for inspiring your little boy’s imagination and creativity. Pretend play helps little ones learn language and social skills. Whether he’s whipping up something delicious in his little kitchen or tinkering with his collection of kid-sized tools, he’ll also develop skills that will last through his lifetime.
32. Toy Box
If you don’t want to give him any more toys, how about giving him a great place to neatly store them all instead? By teaching him to put his toys away into a toy box, you’ll teach him the value of keeping his things neat and tidy and he’ll keep clutter contained. When it comes to choosing a toy box, you can get one that doubles as a piece of furniture, like a classic wooden bench with storage inside or pick one that looks like a toy itself, like a chubby, brightly colored plastic toy box.
33. Activity Tracker
Are you looking for a way to get your youngster to be more active? Why not get him a kid-friendly activity tracker that will keep count of his steps, track his movements and sleep, and encourage him to keep going. Some of them will even remind your boy to do his chores! Activity trackers for kids are a lot like their adult-sized counterparts, but they are smaller and come in cool colors and patterns kids love.
Give your little guy the gift of comfort with a new set of pajamas. Festive plaid PJ’s make great Christmas gifts for kids while cuddly fleece pajamas are perfect for cold winter nights. Celebrating a birthday or other milestone? Bedtime will be a blast when you give him a super-comfy set of sleepwear made with soft fabrics and fun patterns.
35. Train Set
If you’re looking for a gift that helps your little boy develop creativity, imagination, dexterity, cognitive function, and motor skills, then consider getting him a toy train set. Train sets aren’t just for development, though—they’re also fun to play with! Look for a train set that’s built for your boy’s age group. Push-and-go wooden train sets are durable and have smooth pieces, perfect for little hands. An older boy will love putting together an electric train set and motoring his locomotive around the tracks.
36. Metal Detector
Turn your boy into a modern-day treasure hunter by giving him his very own kid-sized metal detector. He’ll have hours of fun combing the beach for coins or searching for buried treasure in the backyard. Not only does it help get your boy outside and away from the screen, but metal detecting is also full of exciting surprises. Watch his eyes fill with wonder when he gets a signal on the metal detector and gets to digging for treasure!
37. Collecting Things
Kids have a natural tendency to collect things, and when they build their collections, they build a collection of life skills along the way. They develop organizational skills when they categorize things and put them in order. They learn personal responsibility by taking extra special care of their collections. Whether he’s interested in stamps, coins, stuffed animals, trading cards, or a pile of rocks, he’ll appreciate when you add to his collection.
38. It’s Fun To Travel
If he hasn’t had the opportunity to get a real passport stamped, here’s a fun idea that will encourage your little boy to explore the world around him. Create a pretend passport that he can take to school or bring on local trips around town. He will enjoy adding stickers and stamps he picks up at each place he visits. If your family travels a lot, give him a map of your state, the country, or the world and let him stick a pin in each location you travel to.
39. Bath Bliss
If you’re shopping for a toddler, bath toys are a great gift that will make him look forward to tub time. From rubber duckies to wind-up penguins, swimming submarines and floaty boats, bath toys are not only fun, but they also teach little ones cause and effect and help them build motor skills. The right bath toys can transform your boy’s bath time experience by providing a distraction from anxiety and encouraging parent and child bonding.
40. Life’s A Beach
Whether it’s bath time, beach day, or a dip in the pool, it seems like kids are always finding a way to get wet—and that means they need a way to dry off. Help the boy on your shopping list stay dry and look cool with his very own beach towel. You can even have it personalized with his name so he’ll always know which towel belongs to him.
41. On The Web
If your little man has spent any amount of time on the internet, he’s probably thought about having his own website. His very own place within the world wide web where he can post photos, write stories, and link to his social media pages. So why not help him build his first website? Gift him with his own URL, with his name in the title, and set him up with website-building software.
42. Something Handmade
If you’re a crafter or a do-it-yourselfer, you likely prefer making gifts over purchasing them. When it comes to handmade gifts, the options are endless and the end result is something thoughtful and made with love. Some great ideas for handmade gifts for boys include a crocheted blanket, pool noodle lightsaber, dinosaur tail, or a Make-Your-Own-Fort kit, complete with sheets, clothespins, clamps, rope, a flashlight, suction cups, and a bag to store it all in.
43. Ice Cream Party
It’s no secret that kids love ice cream. So if you’ve got a reason to celebrate, why not throw your little one an ice cream party? From ice cream cone-shaped balloons and candy-coated decor to an overflowing toppings bar and silly party games, when you give your boy a day to indulge it’ll be a sweet day to remember.
44. Personalized Stationery
Communicating in writing is becoming a lost art these days. But, a great way to encourage your little fellow to sit down and write a letter is to gift him with his very own set of personalized stationery. Whether it’s decorated with his favorite character or superhero or is simply personalized with his name, he’ll be proud to put pen to paper. Don’t forget to include postage stamps!
45. Scavenger Hunt
Here’s another fun way to get your little boy exploring the outdoors and thinking creatively to beat the boredom blues—a scavenger hunt! When it comes to executing the game, think of an interesting angle or theme. For example, create a nature-inspired scavenger hunt, with a list of things found in nature. It will get them looking at the outdoors in a whole new way. Older boys will love solving puzzles, so create riddles or clues that lead them to their next stop.
46. Face Paint
If you’re on the hunt for a rainy day activity or something to do at your boy’s next birthday party, try face painting. Kids don’t care if you’re not a great artist, so don’t worry about wobbly lines—just have fun! You can start easy by using face painting stencils, or go for broke by painting him to look like his favorite superhero, cool cartoon character, tough pirate, adorable animal, or creepy zombie.
47. Indoor Rock Climbing
Rock wall climbing is an awesome sport for kids, teaching them problem-solving skills and promoting strength and exercise. It doesn’t matter what his skill level is, your little lad would love to go to a kid-friendly indoor rock wall gym and try his hand at climbing. When it comes to indoor rock climbing, he’ll have a safe place to challenge himself in an environment that encourages him.
48. Every Boy Needs A Backpack
Every boy needs a backpack—whether it’s to carry toys to grandma’s house, carry textbooks to and from school, or carry video games to a friend’s house. When he’s older, he’ll use it to carry gym clothes and high school supplies. Whatever age boy you’re shopping for, you’ll find a backpack that will meet his needs. For little boys, look for fun characters and bright colors. If he’s older, opt for a low-key fashionable design.
49. Kid-Sized Suitcase
If your family likes to travel, gift your little guy with his very own kid-sized rolling suitcase. He’ll feel all grown up as he wheels his bag through the airport or train station and he’ll love having all his things packed together. You’ll love that his suitcase is small enough to stuff in an overhead bin.
50. Your Birth Year
Here’s a unique gift idea for a boy of any age. Give him a set of uncirculated coins that were minted in the year he was born. Include a half-dollar, quarter, nickel, dime, and penny. Sweeten the gift by including a few bills that were minted that year, too. The gift will become a treasured memento.
51. On Two Wheels
No gift list for little boys would be complete if it didn’t suggest giving him a bicycle! Whether he’s a toddler who needs training wheels or a big kid ready to pedal on his own, a bike is a classic gift that never goes out of style. Make sure you choose a bicycle that’s built to fit your boy’s age and height. Don’t forget to outfit him with the proper safety accessories, like a helmet and elbow pads in case he takes a spill.
52. Model Kit
Not only is building a model kit creative, fun, constructive, and artistic, but it will also help a boy develop valuable life skills. He’ll learn patience, how to follow instructions, attention to detail, and a strong sense of accomplishment. Whether he prefers cars, motorcycles, airplanes, or pirate ships, young boys will enjoy plastic, snap-together model kits while older guys can work with glue and paint more intricate models. As they get older, they can shift to more complex model kits.
53. Swing Set
A swing set is a perfect gift for mind and body. Instead of a video game that keeps him inside, encourage your little guy to get up and get outdoors. A swing set will encourage physical activity, promote health, and foster hand-eye coordination and agility. He’ll learn the value of friendship, the importance of taking turns, and the meaning of teamwork by playing alongside his siblings or friends, rather than keeping his eyes glued to a TV or tablet.
54. Pottery Wheel
Let your little guy express his artistic side by giving him a kid’s pottery wheel and supply of clay. Boys love getting their hands dirty and crafting spinning clay into vases, bowls, cups, and other creations. Throwing pottery is a relaxing activity that will inspire his creativity and keep him entertained.
55. Making Magic
Sure, magic tricks are fun for kids to perform, but making magic is also extremely beneficial for your boy. Learning a trick that baffles and entertains family and friends is a great way to build confidence in a shy kid. Performing magic tricks will build his public speaking skills and enable him to make valuable social connections. What’s more, with practice and perseverance, anyone can do magic!
Whatever you choose to give, boys will always appreciate a gift that’s given from the heart. Remember to wrap it in fun wrapping paper and always present your gift along with a handwritten card. If you want to see even more great ideas, check out our pick of the best gifts for a six-year-old boy and girl.