Whether you’re a parent, a beloved aunt or uncle, or simply a role model to a young boy, it can’t be denied that boys tend to be hard to shop for, especially when it comes to gifts. The ages of 6-8 can be challenging because they grow so quickly and are beginning to shape their own identities. The key to buying a great boy gift is to make it age-appropriate and related to their interests. If you are struggling to come up with the perfect gift for the elementary-aged boy in your life, here are 10 gift categories to inspire some ideas.
By this age, children have mastered large motor skills like running, kicking, throwing, and catching balls. Therefore, it’s the perfect age to introduce game sports to help further develop their muscles and interest in physical activity. Keep in mind that balls, bats, and any other handheld equipment should be child-sized to accommodate smaller hands and lifting abilities. Some great examples include a baseball and mitt, indoor basketball hoop, or skateboarding helmet.
This is also a great age to introduce age-appropriate board games. On their own, board games help children learn how to follow rules, take turns, and not be a sore loser. Board games are also a fun indoor activity that doesn’t involve an electronic screen. Family favorites like Monopoly and Yahtzee are usually too advanced for this age group. Instead, find board games that emphasize counting small numbers, matching pictures, or creating patterns. Some popular board games enjoyed by children 6 and up include Guess Who, Connect 4, and Hedbanz.
With the huge amount of video games available these days, a video game console makes a thoughtful gift for most people, let alone children. These days, the console du jour is the Nintendo Switch Lite, which is one of the best gifts for boys in this age group. It has a simple handheld design with an intuitive interface, so kids can easily learn how to operate it without adult help. It’s also portable and the perfect size to fit in the side pocket of a backpack, making it useful for long car rides, waiting rooms, and other moments where parents could use a distraction for their child.
At 6-8, boys enjoy playing with things they can actually use with their hands. Therefore, the perfect gift idea for boys might be something related to construction. Legos and connector sets have been part of boys’ childhoods for generations, so they are always a good choice. Any boy would also enjoy a set of play tools or a toy workbench to help them practice using hammers and screws.
Learning to tell time is just one of the skills that separate the “big kids” from the “babies,” so a wristwatch makes a thoughtful gift for the boy who wants to feel grown-up. These days, there are a variety of children’s watches to choose from, many of which feature bright colors or characters from their favorite cartoons and games. Try to find a traditional watch with hands to encourage their clock-reading skills. A rubber or woven band can also be useful because they’re more playground-durable than leather.
There’s no such thing as too many books! But Christmas books are extra special because they celebrate the highlight of every child’s year. A children’s Christmas book with vibrant illustrations and a beautiful cover is the perfect way to be festive during the holidays and make cherished memories to be passed down to the next generation. You can never go wrong with holiday classics like The Polar Express or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Illustrated versions of Christmas songs can also be a great way to get kids to sing along with the story or even try their hand at reading on their own.
Educational toys might not incite the same sort of excitement as a Nintendo Switch or a football, but they are a wonderful way to introduce a child to the world of research and science. STEM kits come in many varieties, such as crystal growing kits, electrical wiring kits, bottle rocket kits, and more. Future biologists would enjoy terrariums or a bug-catching kit, while any junior geologists would be overjoyed to be gifted a set of digging tools or a geode rock collection. In the digital age, you can even find programmable toy robots to encourage code-building skills.
With their growing sense of independence, boys who are 6-8 years old might begin to show interest in bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, or scooters. With gross motor skills like running and skipping already established, kids at this age have moved on to mastering their sense of balance, coordination, and stamina. Recreational wheels provide an opportunity to develop those strengths while serving as an age-appropriate mode of transportation at the same time.
Any parent knows that once a child learns how to spell their own name, they will try to write it on everything they own. Therefore, a custom toy or item personalized with the giftee’s name would be a truly unique gift for a boy aged 6-8. Backpacks, hats, shoes, and sweaters can be easily embroidered or printed with the boy’s name or nickname. Wooden goods like bats, wall art, and yo-yos can be laser-etched with the boy’s name, as well.
Children seem to collect things instinctively, from bottle caps to action figures. Research shows that this type of behavior stimulates cognitive development by facilitating organization and imaginative play. For a gift that will really be appreciated, contribute to the boy’s existing collection or help him get started on a new one. Some popular collectible toys for boys age 6-8 include superheroes, Lego figurines, video game characters, and trading cards.
Gift buying is a serious business, and it tends to get more complicated when children are involved. The boy who wanted dinosaurs for his birthday last year might have moved onto Nerf footballs this year, which will then change to hockey gear by Christmas. Fortunately, there are only three things you should keep in mind when selecting a gift for a boy. It should be age-appropriate, tuned to the boy’s interests, and absolutely not an item of clothing.
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