As I was wrapping gifts the other night I was thinking about this very old post of mine on gift ideas for boys and thought it was time for an UPDATE!
I talk about it a bit while mentioning various items – but second hand items are totally legit gifts for your kids. No shame in doing that!! I have sat down and talked to my boys about if they minded having something used. I explained that if I had $x to spend on Christmas gifts how it could stretch with second hand items versus new items and they were all about second hand items. Of course, the second hand items are in good condition and work – but it stretches my dollars way further than I otherwise could. This year God graciously led me to some brand new Lego sets and about a dozen nerf guns at yard sales – so those are their big gifts this year, for well under $10.This year I had a little fun with the boys gifts – each was wrapped in its own designated paper but they won’t find out until Christmas Eve which paper is whose. The gifts aren’t exactly spread out nicely under the tree – new puppy requires some measure of caution.
Boy are all sorts of wild and crazy and fun – which makes shopping for them both incredibly fun, rewarding and ridiculously challenging. I love watching what they cherish and hold dear – and essentially, that’s what this is. A list of my boys favorite things that will hopefully give you ideas for your own shopping needs.
This post has evolved over time and it is comprised of items my own boys have loved and enjoyed and still enjoy at ages 7.5 and almost 9.
Sound Machine Sound Effects – TJMaxx sells this for the same price as Amazon and it has been a HUGE hit with my oldest (who won it somewhere this year.) It is an annoying “noisy” toy, but is really rather hilarious to see how he uses it. There are a few variations of it, and I think one of the other sound machines may be making an appearance under our tree this year as a brother to brother gift.
Magic tricks and pranks – I found theirs at a cutesy little shop in Greenville, SC for $1-$3 a piece and can’t find anywhere online that beats that price. Whoopie cushions were included in the treasure trove of prank gifts, and they are getting new ones in their stocking this year. The older one in particular loves magic tricks and books on magic tricks.
Military Surplus items – thanks to Paul’s time in the service we have some of his old pieces, but we have also bought items at stores, yard sales, and online. The boys LOVE it, as do all those we have passed on his old uniforms to. Look for messenger style bags, WWII trunks and old badges. This year we are gifting one son an old military map holder. It’s pretty sweet.
Pocket Knife – this is something we have decided the boys will be given on their 8th birthday – so one has his already and the other covets it. It’s a hot item and dearly loved!
Lego – this is one toy we have decided to collect. Most of the items I buy second hand because they are so expensive and because the boys aren’t really into collecting sets yet. There is a really neat Lego line called Fabuland. I believe it is from the 1970’s. You can purchase them on Ebay and the animal minifigs are adorable. And the boys love them.
Nerf guns – their collection is going to grow MASSIVELY this Christmas thanks to some sweet yard sale deals. Amazon sells nerf darts in packs of 100 for $5 that have good ratings, so they are each getting a pack of those. Shooting each other – and their parents – is a favorite thing. Our rule is that you can’t shoot an unarmed person.
Blow dart gun – this blow dart gun has been a huge hit since we bought it 1.5 years ago. They have been very safe with it and still play with it with regular frequency.
Hammocks – we had two Eagles Nest Hammocks for years and they got weather damaged. I did a bit of research and found that this brand of hammocks is really good, so we switched as they are less than half the price. We have one and grandparents have bought more for us for this Christmas. We all love hammocks!
Good books – we love books and I try to keep on top of book lists. You can see a variety of book lists here. As you can see above, we don’t wrap the books we give them for Christmas but rather collect them in an open basket. It drives them NUTS seeing but not being able to touch. It’s adorable.
Games – our boys love playing games with us and we love discovering new ones. I need to write a post on our current favorite games as their skill levels have drastically increased since this list of favorite games to play together. Settlers of Catan is probably their most asked for game to play with us.
Slackline – this was Christmas 2012’s big gift. It is basically like a tightrope. It has provided hours of fun and entertainment!
Food – give a boy some food and you have won his heart. They love everything. From cool stuff like astronaut icecream to boxes of hot tea, to bags of popcorn – they just love being gifted their “own” food. This year I am thinking of making them each their own batch of grain free Cinnamon Toast Crunch for their stocking.
Thanks for reading – feel free to share this list if it was helpful, and please do leave your own favorite gift ideas for boys!