10 awesome gifts for boys

Gifts for boys
Whether you’re shopping for the winter holidays or an upcoming birthday, we’ve got you covered with this curated list of favorites from Amazon and more. kate_sept2004/Getty Images

A son, a nephew, your best friend’s oldest — and maybe even a younger brother: If there’s no shortage of boys in your life, then you probably know there’s no shortage of occasions for gifts. 

Whether you’re shopping for Christmas, the winter holidays, an upcoming birthday or another special day, here’s a curated list of 10 good gifts for the boy tykes in your life. 

Our recommendations are roughly geared toward children ages 5-12, and largely culled from gift guides from Amazon, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Target. You’ll find everything from hot entries by the usual suspects (Hot Wheels, Lego and Nerf) to a fossil dig kit — and more.  

Prices and availability are current as of publication.

Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash track set 

Hot Wheels Criss Cross
Hot Wheels via Amazon

In the kid world, gift buyers rarely go wrong with Hot Wheels toys. The Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash track set features 16 feet of track — enough to create plenty of twists and turns for speedy fun. One Hot Wheels car is included. 

The set is recommended for ages 5-9. It’s featured in Amazon’s “Toys We Love” list, and is an editors’ pick of AutoGuide.com.  

Hot Wheels Criss Cross Crash track set, $50


National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit

National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit
National Geographic via Amazon

Another entry in Amazon’s “Toys We Love” guide, the National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit is for the budding paleontologist on your list. 

The main feature of the kit is a slab (or, brick) that, once chipped away at, reveals what are billed as 15 real fossils. A chisel, brush and magnifying glass help complete the set. A 16-page fossil guide is also included.

The Mega Fossil Dig Kit is recommended for ages 8 and up. 

National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit, $20


Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store play set

Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store
Melissa and Doug via Macy’s

The Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store play set allows pint-sized foodies to practice running their own shop — or shopping at one. 

Featured in the Macy’s gift guide, the wooden set (with plastic and metal) features a hand-crank-operated conveyor belt, an item scanner (that, yes, beeps), a cash drawer and a (toy) card-swipe machine.

The assembly-required set is recommended for ages 3 and up. Young grade-schoolers, especially kindergarteners, should be both old enough and young enough to enjoy. 

Pretend food items, such as faux boxes of granola bars and pancake mix, may be purchased separately as a 10-box, Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House Grocery Shelf Boxes set ($14)  

Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store play set, $248


Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot blaster 

Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot
Nerf via Amazon

Like Hot Wheels, Nerf is another go-to brand. But which Nerf blaster? According to Reviewed.com, this Nerf blaster: the Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot

The five-dart, front-loading blaster was rated by the site as the No. 1 Nerf gun of 2021. The toy won praise for being easy to load, and easy to shoot.   

The Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Make the gift even cooler, and more potent, by adding a pack of Nerf Zombie Strike refill bullets to your shopping cart. (Talk about bang for your buck: You get 30 bullets for $9.) 

Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot blaster, $19


“Bad Sister”

Bad Sister
Macmillan

You could write a book about all the great children’s books that make great gifts. For this list, we’ll give the spotlight to a brand-new title: “Bad Sister.” It’s an autobiographical graphic novel about a brother-and-sister duo from author Charise Mericle Harper and illustrator Rory Lucey. 

An Amazon editors’ pick for readers ages 9-12, “Bad Sister” was praised by Kirkus as “[c]athartic proof that childhood provides lessons for a lifetime and that change is possible.” 

“Bad Sister,” $20 (hardcover)


Fuzion Pro X-3 two-wheel kick scooter

Fuzion Pro X-3
Fuzion via Target

One of Target’s “gifts that wow,” the Fuzion Pro X-3 is billed as a durable, aluminum-framed, two-wheel kick scooter that weighs in at less than seven pounds. For grownups, the most compelling pitch may be the scooter’s so-called “effortless assembly”: Fuzion says only three bolts need tightening before the Pro X-3 is good to go. 

Recommended for ages 7 and up.

On Target’s website, the Pro X-3 is available in four colors; prices vary. The purple-tinged neochrome model is pictured.  

Fuzion X-3 two-wheel kick scooter, $100 (neochrome) 


Lego Star Wars Resistance I-TS Transport building kit

Lego Star Wars Resistance I-TS
Lego via Target

If you’ve ever been on the grade-school version of the birthday-party circuit, you knew something Lego and something Star Wars had to be on this list — and you were right. Another of Target’s “gifts that wow,” the Lego Star Wars Resistance I-TS Transport is a 932-piece kit that, when built, produces a toy version of the shuttle seen in the Disney theme-park attraction, “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.” Four Lego minifigures are included: Lieutenant Bek and Vi Moradi, plus two droids. 

Recommended for ages 9 and up. 

Lego Star Wars Resistance I-TS Transport building kit, $88


Dayo the Dinosaur two-in-one, stuffed animal and hoodie

Dayo the Dinosaur
Cubcoats via Nordstrom

Can you have too many dinosaur-themed items on a gift list for a child? The answer is, of course, never. And so we present this dino-themed, plushie-hoodie combo from Cubcoats, and featured in Nordtrom’s “Gifts for Kids” guide.

Dayo the Dinosaur is a zippered stuffed animal that, when unzipped and unrolled, converts into a wearable hoodie. The cotton-polyester item is available at Nordstrom.com in sizes ranging from toddler to an 8 (for older children). 

Dayo the Dinosaur two-in-one, stuffed animal and hoodie, $35


Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch 

Tobi 2
Little Tikes via Amazon

The Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch from Little Tikes is featured on Amazon’s “Toys We Love” list, and is billed as being sold exclusively through the ecommerce giant. 

Features of the touchscreen-operated wearable include a camera, pedometer, calculator, games — and more then 100 “facial” expressions from its titular robot character. The smartwatch can be connected, and used as a remote control for (sold-separately) accessories such as the Tobi 2 Director’s Camera ($73). 

Recommended for ages 6-10. 

Little Tikes Tobi 2 Robot Smartwatch, $68


Rubik’s Impossible puzzle cube

Rubik's Impossible
Rubik’s via Target

This 3-inch by 3-inch puzzle cube is a next-level Rubik’s Cube. Thanks to its color-changing tiles, the Rubik’s Impossible features two solutions. 

Spotlighted in Target’s “Gift Ideas for Kids” guide, the cube is recommended for ages 8 and up.  

Rubik’s Impossible puzzle cube, $12


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