Christmas present for 10yo boy?
December 16, 2020 6:21 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a bit of inspiration for a Christmas present for a ten year old boy. -Big interest in audiobooks, drones, lego, relaxing and nerf guns. The usual stuff I guess. He's just not a reader yet due to dyslexia.

He's asked for a Hot Wheels set because a friend has a set but I'm thinking there's likely to be very limited actual mileage once Christmas morning is over and done with because he's already got a scalextric set he barely plays with.

So I guess I'm looking for left field suggestions I wouldn't necessarily find in 'Toys ᴙ Us' ? I'm not averse to making him something, either.

Ideally I'd like it to be something technical a bit like Lego Technics but something that doesn't cost the Earth. Top budget probably £100 $135

Thank you!
posted by dance to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe Hot Wires circuit builder kit?
posted by crocomancer at 6:31 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I got my marksman sling shot (like this) about that age and I've used it semi-regularly over the next ~30 yrs. Timeless and ageless fun!

It can be dangerous but also can help teach responsibility, ymmv.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:47 AM on December 16, 2020 [4 favorites]

Sounds like he would be the right age / interest set for an audio book copy of The Martian and/or a copy of the film.
posted by Captain_Science at 6:57 AM on December 16, 2020

Tinker Crates which are hands-on STEM/STEAM project subscription boxes have been a big hit with my kids/niblings who were very recently around that age. They come with detailed and visual (not too much reading) instructions, and a 10 yr old would be able to build the thing or do the experiment independently.

Maybe look for something UK based if Kiwi co doesn't offer free UK shipping? You would probably be able to buy him a 4-6 month subscription for that budget, a great way to make Christmas last a long, long time. And I'm sure his parents would appreciate this off-screen educational way to keep him occupied during all this extra indoor time we've been having.

Another idea is to get him Snap Circuits starter sets. Comes with over 200 projects even with the basic kit alone, and then my kids got add-ons for subsequent christmases. It's held both their attention for 5+ years! I think the beginning Snap Circuits Jr. set is only $20-ish. That's what my kid started with.
posted by MiraK at 7:18 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Model rockets!!!!!!!! Hours of inexpensive fun from now until he graduates HS! Look at Estes for a good starter kit.
posted by 8603 at 8:26 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Turing Tumble? (Building computers out of marble tracks.) I don’t have a kid the right age to buy one for, but I do kind of want one myself.
posted by LizardBreath at 8:42 AM on December 16, 2020 [3 favorites]

Cardboard box that previously contained a refrigerator. My best friend got one in sixth grade for her birthday and we were both so impressed.
posted by aniola at 9:14 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Stilts. Pogo stick. Jump rope.
posted by aniola at 9:15 AM on December 16, 2020

A box of Mr. McGroovy Box Rivets so he can turn all the boxes into forts for better Nerf fights, or targets for marksmanship practice

Maybe also a pocket knife or Stanley knife, if parents are OK with that.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:27 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I remember getting a microscope at that age, and looking at leaves and feathers, checking out all the wiggling things in ditch water, etc. It started a real interest in science for me.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ooooh seconding Turing Tumble!
posted by MiraK at 11:05 AM on December 16, 2020

A friend gave my kids a pair of Adafruit Circuit Playgrounds. They don't get played with constantly but every once in a while my kids will remember them and then try to make something.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:57 PM on December 16, 2020

Perhaps a telescope?
posted by Beholder at 10:22 PM on December 16, 2020

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