The 10 Best 10 Year Old Boy Gifts
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in September of 2015. As they get older, it becomes harder to find the right gifts for young men. Our varied assortment of options for 10-year-old boys will make the search for his next holiday or birthday present a lot easier. And, as most kids already spend way too much time in front of the TV, hunched over a smartphone, or playing video games, many of our options are designed to tax his brain or body instead. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 30, 2020:
The Lego Movie Maker set from our previous list has been discontinued by the company, so we sent it packing. We also removed the magic set and the metal detector, as they presented an interesting conundrum in their recommended age groups. When you're looking at recommended ages for a given gift, it's vital that you don't go for something that's far too low or potentially too high for your intended recipient.
While 10-year-olds aren't as likely to present the same susceptibility to choking hazards as toddlers would, a gift that's too old for them — like that magic set — would likely prove to difficult, as its tricks require a high degree of dexterity and thoughtfulness. The metal detector was on the other end of the spectrum, as its age range just barely made it into double digits, making it both too small and too rudimentary for many 10-year-olds.
New gifts to replace these include the Thames & Kosmos Mega Cyborg, which allows youngsters to build a highly adjustable and rather useful bionic hand. We also included the Nintendo Game & Watch, which may be the one exception to the age rules we just discussed. And for kids who either love to use their imaginations or could really use some practice with theirs, we added Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins as an introduction to what could become a lifelong gaming hobby.
March 31, 2019:
Promoted the Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Exploration Kit to the top spot because it's extremely fun and engaging while also teaching STEM principles that are likely to be in-demand job skills in the years to come. Not bad for a 10-year-old's toy.
Removed the Walkaroo Xtreme because they make it too easy for kids to injure themselves, and little boys don't need any help in that regard. It's unlikely that they represent a grave danger, but it seemed unwise to include a toy that represents a potential hazard when there are so many other fun and safe toys out there.
Similarly, the Dynasty Toys Laser Tag Set was axed due to concerns over what might happen if children misuse the lasers. There's little danger in these toys — provided they're handled correctly, of course. That said, subjecting the eyes or other body parts to prolonged exposure could potentially cause damage, and again, why take the chance?
Nintendo Switch Animal Crossing Edition This iteration of one of the most popular gaming devices in recent memory comes with a very cool set of pastel Joy-Con controllers and a decorated docking station in keeping with its theme. Among the major consoles, this is likely to have the best selection of games geared toward young children, with immersive titles like The Legend of Zelda series and fun sporting choices like Mario Tennis. It doesn't come with its namesake Animal Crossing game, however. nintendo.com
The Groove Of Growing Up
With so much in flux and so much setting itself seemingly in stone, it can be a challenge to find just the right gift for a 10-year-old boy.
Ten years marks the first true milestone in a boy's life. Sure, there are important moments of passage, from the first words to the first day of school, the first kiss to the first fight, but these aren't shared, measurable events in the lives of all boys the way simply turning 10 is.
At 10, a boy's personality has probably begun to round out, a collection of certain dreams for his future has also begun to manifest in daily activities, setting him off on the path toward what his life may someday become. Ten years old was when I started writing, and it's been my occupation in one way or another ever since.
While 10 is an age that, in many ways, marks the beginnings of a settling in, of a groove your child will likely sit in through high school, it also marks the beginning of a significant change. Undoubtedly, by 10, you may start to notice the early effects of puberty.
With so much in flux and so much setting itself seemingly in stone, it can be a challenge to find just the right gift for a 10-year-old boy. The gifts on our list are among the best bets you'll see throughout the market, offering you options that should appeal to the vast majority of boys' appetites for toys, games, and educational exploration of the world.
There are gifts here designed to unleash the inner artist, athlete, reader, scientist, engineer, explorer, and more, and the odds that the young man will tire or grow out of any of them in short order are remarkably slim.
Consult His Cranium
Getting older, we all get that feeling like we see the thing we want, whether it's a tangible object, a potential date, or even a lifestyle, but that it's just out of our reach. Around the age of 10, this becomes increasingly infuriating, as we've gained the ability to articulate what we want, to make a reasonable and an emotional case for its necessity, and even to participate in its acquisition, but we're still at the mercy of our caretakers.
This group is full of boys who like to take things apart to find out how they work.
If you can get inside the head of the 10-year-old for whom you're shopping, you'll find something on this list that'll help him ease that pressure which can build up to unhealthy levels in adolescence. Depending on the boy in question, getting in his head might be easier than you think. Once you get a bead on where he's at, you'll find that he falls into one of three pretty reliable categories.
First, there's the active extrovert. These boys play sports, eat like horses, and never seem to be around because they're always out in the world burning off all the calories they take in. While this group tends to be the most expensive at the grocery store, they're a little less expensive in the gift department. Items that require a lot of movement or pinpoint accuracy will engage this group for hours on end.
Second, there's the curious cat. This group is full of boys who like to take things apart to find out how they work. They're usually pretty good with math, and if you get them the right set of gifts throughout their lives, gifts that activate their inner scientist, they just might be the next Elon Musk. Just don't agree to be part of any test flights.
Finally, there's the intellectual introverts. These boys are your readers, your artists, etc. If the 10-year-old who's sent you to the internet in search of the perfect gift has for himself an extensive library of books and a lot of his own art hanging on the walls, you'd do well to look into art sets or book sets for him.
Fascinatingly, whatever group a boy falls into, all boys are interested in gadgets. It has as much to do with being a young boy as it has being a member of the current young generation of millennials. Anything that connects to a smartphone is an easy winner, even if you can't find your way into the boy's head.
Time For Leisure
Once a boy gets to be around 10, the gifts you buy for him could less and less be considered toys. Sure, there are gadgets and silly items that'll still please the average 10-year-old, but for the most part the gifts on our list serve physical, educational, or artistic purposes, all while still maintaining a certain degree of fun. Whatever you want to call them, these gifts and the market for them are all the result of an increase in leisure time.
Still, the children here were expected to work, and they did so until enough of them were mangled in enormous machines for the public to stand up and demand change.
For the majority of human history, by the time you were 10 you probably spent most of your day at work, helping out with the family business, which was most likely a farm. If kids these days had any toys to speak of they were the odd doll or the yo-yo, or some such tool of antiquity that's still with us today.
This model held up with few exceptions until the Industrial Revolution came along, took everyone off of the farm, and shoved them into factories and mines. Still, the children here were expected to work, and they did so until enough of them were mangled in enormous machines for the public to stand up and demand change.
Once the first couple of generations made it out of the factory system, they had enough wealth built up to allow their children more leisure time, and the market for toys and children's leisure activities grew to megalithic proportions.