With Christmas right around the corner, now is probably the time to get serious and finish up your Christmas shopping. If you’re still looking for something to wow (or maybe just keep busy) that pre-teen kiddo in your life but feel overwhelmed by all of the gifts and toys for 11-year-old-boys out there, you’ve come to the right place. Young boys’ interests tend to be fleeting, so it might be difficult to find the best gift, but if you feel you know the child’s interests, there’s a chance you can surprise them with something personal.
We’re on hand with this guide to our best recommendations for cool Christmas gifts for 11-year-old boys. We’ve put together a list of great games, new tech, and popular toys for 11-year-old boys to help get you started.
Oh, and you’ll find our coverage of some frequently asked questions at the very end, as wading through all of the possible gifts for 11-year-olds can be quite tricky.
The Best Gifts & Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys
Nintendo Switch was all the rage over the summer, and it’s no wonder why. Gaming consoles have made something of a comeback this year. With games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons being so popular among young gamers, the Nintendo Switch is expected to be the most sought-after gift this year. It features three play styles: TV, tabletop, and handheld. The battery will last for over 9 hours when fully charges and can connect to WiFi to enable multiplayer gaming. As far as popular toys for 11-year-old boys go, this has to top the list!
9+ hours of battery life
Multi-capacitive touch screen
- Weight3.75 pounds
If you are looking for a gift that encourages activity but can also be used indoors, the Spalding Basketball Hoop might be the way to go. Mount it on the door, grab a small ball, and you’re good to play. The board is made of padded polycarbonate, which, while not the sturdiest of materials, will withstand a fair amount of abuse. The package includes the assembly tools required, as well as a small rubber ball to get you started. When it comes to cool toys for 11-year-old boys, this basketball hoop is a sure-fire winner.
mounts on a door
Includes a basketball
Sometimes gifts for boys can be fun; other times, they can be educational. This game is both, which is why we’ve handpicked it to feature today on our round-up of top gifts for 11-year-old boys. ThinkFun Word A Round Game is a game that aims to teach players new words with every round. The game encourages your child to develop their critical skills and build their vocabulary by up to 300 new words. The instructions are clear, and the game is easy to pick up.
Easy to learn
300 total words
- Weight5.3 ounces
Coding might seem like magic, but it’s all numbers. Kano’s Harry Potter-themed coding kit takes a more magical view of the art of coding. Your child will build a wand that responds entirely to his movements. Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit comes with a step-by-step book as well as the free Kano app. You will need a tablet in order to get this gift to function. It’s a fun, challenging coding toy that encourages critical and engineering skills and develops a respect for technology.
Ideal for beginners
Comes with wand parts
Improves motor skills
- Weight1.41 pounds
Sometimes kids want something they can use for any occasion. SGODDE is a leading manufacturer of high-quality skateboards. Reinforced with an aluminum alloy and a durable, anti-skid design, this skateboard can be used right out of the box and looks pretty cool with the LED light-up wheels, and can even be carried in a backpack. Give your child a smooth, steady skating experience with this cruiser skateboard. SGODDE Skateboard is a cool Christmas gift for a cool kid and one of the best toys for 11-year-old boys.
Smooth skating experience
Can be used immediately
Hours of fun
Keeping with the theme of activity-based gifts, the EzyRoller Classic Ride On is one of the most fun Christmas toys for 11-year-old boys. Not quite a scooter, but also not quite a bicycle, it moves like a snake, keeping your child low to the ground and powered by your child’s movements. You can get a few years out of it, as it’s adjustable and can ‘grow’ with your child. While this go-kart can be used indoors, for the best possible experience, we recommend using it outdoors.
Fun for all children
- Weight2.2 pounds
For the budding musician, consider an acoustic guitar. Music is always an excellent gift for music lovers, whether they’re an adult or child. The YMC Acoustic Guitar featured is right-handed, but you can find left-handed variants if needed. This set comes with picks as well as a spare set of steel strings.
Ideal for beginners
Comes with extra strings and picks
- Weight2.8 pounds
To complement the earlier basketball hoop, add a little light fun with the Glowcity Light-Up Basketball Uses! It features two bright LED lights, which offer a warm illumination, making it great for playing in the dark. It lights up on impact, encouraging further activity as your child is awed by the lights. The basketball is surprisingly durable, so you can have as much fun with it as you like! Batteries are included and will have to be replaced as needed.
- Weight1.41 pounds
While not a toy company, Aisuo produces some high-quality, high-tech lamps which can add a touch of personality to your child’s bedroom. In particular, Aisuo Night Light Lamp features a dimmable night light, speaker, and an MP3 player along with a digital alarm clock. Just the thing to help get your child into good habits! You can set the time and date as required, and the battery is rechargeable, although you can plug it in.
Built-in calendar and clock features
- Weight1.21 pounds
Put a spin on classic capture-the-flag games with Starlux Games Capture The Flag Redux. Featuring 25 pieces (each featuring up to 12 hours of battery life), you can now play this exciting game at night, with up to 20 players at any time. This is a great excuse to keep your phone, tablet, or other electronic devices to the side as you develop core teamwork skills and get some fun exercise while you’re at it.
Ideal for all ages
Includes all components
- BrandStarlux Games
- Weight1.4 pounds
For a game that features a cooperative aspect, we recommend Funko Last Defense! Board Game! Play together and win or lose together. The game is simple: there’s an invasion of some sort, and it’s up to the players to save the town and its population. The game is relatively easy to pick up. It may take a few rounds as you figure out how to beat the various attackers (including spiders and space aliens!) as you attempt to save everyone. If your child and family are interested in Dungeons and Dragons or similar tabletop RPGs, this board game is a gift to consider. A free companion app can be used to supplement the story and help guide players through their journey. You can finish this game in around in 20 minutes or less, and play several rounds after that if your family is up to it.
Ideal for all ages
Quick games, 20 minutes or less
- Weight1.52 pounds
For a slightly more competitive feel, give the gift of an exciting outdoor game that is fun for the whole family. GoSports Slammo Game Set is a volleyball-style game, which includes a target as well as balls, and a traveling case. Game rules are also included so you can make sure everything is kept fair and square. Not just a game for Christmas, you can pull it out at a variety of family events and let the fun begin.
Hours of fun
Includes everything you need
- Weight3.8 pounds
Slightly different from other cooperative games included on our list, The Pandasaurus Games The Mind is ideal for children and adults who might struggle with verbal communication. You can spend hours playing this game, developing your own secret, nonverbal language, and learning how to communicate as one unit. The Mind helps players develop nonverbal communication skills, as it relies entirely on body language and players’ ability to read each other. It encourages creative and abstract thinking to allow players to meld minds, making it ideal for large families.
Encourages communication skills
- BrandPandasaurus Games
- Weight0.01 ounces
Filmmaking and photography are wonderful forms of expression, but both are skills that take time to develop, so supporting your child’s interest in these areas is a good idea. PROGRACE Kids Camera is one of the best gifts for kids. The images and videos taken with this camera are professional-quality, and the camera features manual adjustments for pictures, film, as well as volume. Your child can get into filmmaking by recording everything, even underwater if they want, as the camera comes with a waterproof case. 12-year-old boys will also love it.
- Weight1.76 ounces
This Marky Sparky Doinkit Magnetic Dart Board has been reinforced with a kid-friendly design. Darts is a fun, family-oriented game focusing on friendly competition, which fosters close relationships among the family, and can provide hours of fun. The arrows, which are light and durable, fly straight and have magnets in the tip to ensure they stick to the dartboard. They fly directly every time and will land every time. Of course, the rules of darts stay the same, and your child will develop hand-eye coordination while having fun, and you will not have to worry about their safety – or your furniture!
Fun for all the family
- BrandMarky Sparky
- Weight1 ounce
If you want your child to keep active for the rest of the year and also want them to learn valuable coordination and reflexes, a TEKXYZ Boxing Reflex Ball might be something to consider. This is like a yo-yo that you attach to your head and is a good way to get exercise without noticing. It’s especially great if you want to keep your child off the video games for a bit! The learning curve isn’t that high, and as it’s pretty addictive, your child will hardly be able to stop.
Safe to use
Keeps kids active
Fun for everyone
May the bricks be with you…as you build and code a working droid from LEGO. LEGO is always a safe bet when it comes to gifts for children. There are so many different sets and collections that it’s hard to go wrong. Take, for instance, this LEGO Star Wars BOOST Droid Commander set. If your child is a Star Wars fan, this will be a winner of a Christmas gift. An interactive and educational STEM toy, your child will have hours of creative, engaging fun as they program their very own Star Wars droid. Your child will learn all about the different types of sensors and develop their critical and abstract thinking skills.
Introduces kids to coding
Ideal for boys and girls
- Weight2.2 pounds
Just for a bit of fun, if you want a nice little gag gift for your child, then get them this cool pair of lightweight, light-up gloves. Made from a breathable blend of polyester and cotton, the ATOPDREAM LED Flashing Finger Light Up Gloves stretch to fit, and the battery already comes pre-installed for immediate use. Light-up gifts are always a hit with kids, and this one is easy to use, and will keep them entertained for a few hours.
Hours of fun
- Weight4.66 ounces
Give your child the gift of practicality with a sports watch that is functional and durable. eYotto Kids Sports Watch is waterproof up to 50m, so it can be used while swimming in shallow water (although we advise not pressing any buttons while underwater), as well as a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking or climbing. The durable yet soft PU rubber band is bendy and breathable, which protects the wrist and provides a comfortable fit.
Waterproof up to 50m
Our final suggestion for a gift is probably the easiest to use and transport. The DoDoeleph RC Drone Helicopter has been built with a smooth design so it can slip right into your pocket without fear of being damaged. The small nature of this microdrone makes it great to use indoors, although we do recommend using it under supervision. It works just like an RC helicopter, and is great for children of 3 years and over. The X20 features a variety of modes, can perform stunts as directed, and stabilizes mid-air.
360 stunt flip
- Weight8 ounces
Gift & Toy for 11-Year-Old Boys Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in Gifts & Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys
Material - The gift ideas you'll see on this list cover a wide range of interests, so this isn't an easy factor to consider. A good rule of thumbs is that whatever the gift – be it technology, art supplies, or a toy – it should stand the test of time, regardless of the material.
Probably the easiest thing to do is pick a gift and spend a bit of time looking into different versions of it. For example, suppose your child is interested in photography, and they are always talking about different camera models. In that case, it might be worth investing in a good quality camera to encourage their interest. Look for high-quality materials that will not break easily, will last a while, and will show your 11-year-old that you understand their interests.
Interest - Interest will likely be the most important thing when it comes to buying gifts for your child, no matter their age. A child who is interested in skateboarding and physical activity will probably not be interested in something like a board game. That being said, there are ways around this if you want to encourage your child to explore new things. While everyone loves a surprise on Christmas day, sometimes the best course of action is to ask your 11-year-old what he likes to do, if there's anything specific that he wants.
Durability - If you have chosen a toy or piece of technology for your child, something like a basketball hoop or a camera, you have to make sure it will keep its shape and not break on the first go. Look at the materials used in its construction, what features it might have. A waterproof camera or sports watch will last longer than a regular camera or watch if accidentally submerged in the sink, just the same as a reinforced steel ring on a basketball hoop will stand up to more hits from a stray ball than a plastic hoop.
Quality - Going back to materials, you want to make sure that the gift you are getting is of the best possible quality without breaking the bank. Make sure you look into the company or manufacturer of whatever you're getting as a gift. Take note of the materials used, how it's reinforced, safety precautions included within the packaging. It may be the case that you have to get something brand specific to truly make sure that your gift will be appreciated and used throughout the year. A child interested in art, for example, might be more likely to use a set of reasonably priced name-brand watercolor paints than a cheap all-in-one art case.
Safety - Whatever you are buying as a gift, you should always make sure it's safe. Some things, like a mounted basketball hoop, can easily come detached, so make sure you read the installation instructions carefully. The same goes for items like waterproof sports watches – while they can work underwater, pressing buttons can cause a malfunction, which will break the watch. Ultimately, you should go with your best instinct when it comes to the safety of your gift.
Gift & Toy for 11-Year-Old Boys FAQ
Q: What is the best toy for an 11-year-old?
A: 11-year-olds are quite active and need a lot of physical and intellectual stimulation to keep them engaged. Toys with flashing lights and bright colors might be out of interest, but a handheld gaming console will net you points with the child in question. Toys that encourage communication and critical thinking skills are also good, especially if they're cooperative games.
Q: What do 11-year-olds do for fun?
A: Times are different than when we were 11-year-olds. While we remember spending hours playing board games with our families, today's youth prefer to play video games, get lost in sports, perhaps even engage in more artistic pursuits. Most 11-year-olds love playing video games, so something like a next-gen gaming console might be appealing.
Q: What games do 11-year-olds play?
A: There are a lot of games out there that appeal to 11-year-olds. The first step is to ask your 11-year-old what they enjoy. However, we understand that you might want to keep the mystery of Christmas going. A quick Google search will show that games like Fortnite and Minecraft remain popular among PC gamers, while Animal Crossing: New Horizons would be an ideal gift to pair with a Nintendo Switch. Pokémon has also stood the test of time regarding popularity.
Q: What is a good gift to get an 11-year-old boy?
A: Good gifts are a mix of factors, the two to focus on being: your boy's interests and the gift's longevity. Most 11-year-old boys are really into sports and video games. Gifts reflecting these interests could be a handheld gaming console, which can be used regularly throughout the year as games are periodically released. Alternatively, a new pair of sports shoes or a light-up basketball would show you've taken the time to research the child's interests. The best presents for 11-year-old boys are ones that show you understand and encourage their interests.
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