A Gift Guide for Boys (12 Days of Christmas Family Fun)

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Wondering what to get for that young man in your life? As the mom of FOUR boys, I got you covered with this gift guide for boys, aged 5 to 15.

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Let’s face it. Part of the fun of Christmas is the presents. There, I said it.

I’ve said it before, Jesus is the best present. And I stand by that. We have more than enough in Him.

But, at the same time, it’s cool to give and get presents. And as a child, that’s part of the fun. It should never be the sole focus or the most important part of the fun, but it’s fun, nonetheless.

As the mother of four boys, aged 14, 11, 9, and 7, I kind of pride myself on being an expert at boy gifts. I’ve been giving them for a long time. And really, shopping for my boys is quite easy. Determining a budget and sticking to it is the hard part.

And quite honestly, as I look at this gift guide, I think the men in your life might enjoy these gifts, too!

Here are some FishBoy favorites:

Dart guns

Four years ago my sister sent the boys each dart guns for Christmas. What fun they had running about the house on Christmas morning shooting one another. The video is great fun to watch!

My kids have an entire arsenal of dart weapons as well as foam swords and shields. Nerf is the brand of choice as it is a quality product that is pretty soft upon impact.

And while I’ve grown pretty lenient about the scope and intensity of their battles, usually they’re fought during date night when I’m gone. I like that part. My brother referees and they have a blast together.

Good friends of ours have pointed out that good eye protection and some rules about targets are in good order. I agree, so I’ve started investing in goggles as well.


What young man doesn’t love Legos? We caught my brother playing with them over Thanksgiving. He’s 25. So, apparently, grown men like them, too.

It’s amazing how much fun legos can be for kids. My guys know which sets will be discontinued, which ones are coming back, when the sales are going to be held, etc. Surely they can remember their mother’s birthdate!

At least one of my guys dreams of being a Lego designer one day, so I’m more than happy to encourage his dreams. I love this huge starter set to get the creative juices flowing.

Sports equipment

Last year we gave each boy a “gift certificate” for sports equipment. It was great fun to watch where their interests led them. Roller skates, skateboards, and disc golf equipment made their way into the carts along with the appropriate safety gear. It was a wonderful experience to “let go” and let the kids choose a way to be outside and active.

Since then they’ve all been fitted for roller blades, and I’ve become a hockey mom! Even hubs can be seen out there skating and shooting the puck. It’s been a great way to increase our family’s physical education.


We are a family of book worms, having worked our way through a number of series over the past year or two. While my oldest ones might prefer to read on their own, they’ll still stop and listen if I’m reading a chapter book to the younger set.

Some of my favorites include:

:: The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North! Or Be Eaten, and The Monster in the Hollows

:: The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

:: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein

:: The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling


My boys have some very favorite movies, like Star Wars, that they enjoy owning for themselves. The younger ones still appreciate Disney and Pixar movies. So do the others, actually, though they might not ask for one as a Christmas present.

Since we’ve upgraded to a Blu-ray player, we’re starting to invest in the movies that we really love on Blu-ray, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Character T-shirts

You can’t go wrong getting a graphic tee with your kid’s favorite character. I typically find these on clearance at Target and stock up for upcoming birthdays and Christmas. And FishChick is always excited when the brother up from her outgrows one so that she can inherit the shirt!

Video games and gaming systems

We’ve rarely bought a gaming system for our kids, mainly due to the expense. But, they’ve diligently saved their money to purchase almost everything that they’ve ever wanted. (We did buy the Wii years ago.) Our boys have bought their personal systems as well as the archaic Game Cube and Nintendo 64. What savvy little eBayers I’m raising! They are currently each saving to buy a Nintendo 3DS. More power to ’em!

That said, we typically will pick out a game or two each year to give them as a group gift. And hubs enjoys playing it with them as much as they do.

Remember: You’re the best part.

One caveat about these gifts. Most of these are more fun if you, the parent, participate.

OK, the one-person game player is hard to share, as is the character t-shirt, but your boys would love if you built Legos, read stories, watched movies, played sports, or had a dart gun fight with them. A toy is just a toy.

But a parent + a toy? That’s a memory in the making.

12 Days of Christmas

I’m participating in 12 Days of Christmas, a collaboration to bring you all kinds of great ideas from around the web.

Be sure to visit these blogs for more Christmas inspiration on a variety of topics.

What’s a preferred gift of the boy in your life?

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  1. Although we don’t own any of the personal gaming things (DS, or whatever), I recently went on a field trip with my 6th grade son. A bunch of kids brought their gaming systems and somehow they can be connected– wirelessly, and they played each other. I didn’t know that they could do that. That’s one way to play together on the personal gaming systems, I would guess. It was quite entertaining to watch.

    1. Yes, they do have a wireless function. Forgot about that. Thanks for pointing that out.

    1. I don’t think it’s strummable. But, it was about $10 at ToysRUs. I think it said Kawasaki on it. We’ve had two that lasted forever — and one that we had to return the next day because it was defective.

      1. Thank you… it looked like it had actual strings. I did see one that is little kid friendly and has 4 strummable strings at Barnes and Noble, but, of course, it’s $40!

  2. Wow talk about hitting the nail on the head with your list! As a mom of to lil men I can vouch for the whole list! My oldest (10) is getting a kindle for Christmas. Anything Star wars is what I tell ppl who need to buy for a boy. You just cant go wrong their.

  3. You nailed it, Jessica! My oldest just got the Light Strike laser tag gun for his 9th birthday and it is SUPER fun (albeit loud) and you don’t find those pesky darts everywhere. 🙂 Highly recommend.

    1. I bought the Nerf ball guns one year, thinking they’d be easier to pick up. They were so loud, I couldn’t stand it!

  4. As a mom of 5 boys (14,12,11,6,3), I can totally agree with your list. I would add bikes, scooters, skateboards, anything from Air Hogs, and tents. They all love the Nerf guns, but they end up ALL over the house. Merry Christmas.

    1. I tell them that they will have to buy back their darts if I have to pick them up. 🙂

  5. Great list! We love Legos and Nerf guns too! My son is also obsessed with the Imaginext line. We have a castle, a submarine and the rocket ship. They are kind of bulky but they get constant use of play and are indestructible.

  6. Thank you so much for this list! My husband (26 years old) still loves all of those things : ) I was a little intimidated when the nurse announced “it’s a boy” because I feel like I have no clue about boys, but it has been a blast having a little boy, and I’m excited to see what interests he develops as he gets older!

  7. Thank you for this! I am going to save this list for when my boys get bigger (I have two under two). Growing up, I never really pictured myself having boys, and so now I’m a little bit at a loss. I wander around the store looking at things like Barbies and Easy Bake ovens and wondering what in the world is a good gift for a little boy. I will keep all of these ideas in mind in the years to come.

  8. I am a mom to Many boys as well.. ages, 14, 13, 12,9 , and 4…. nerf guns are always on the list… as well as new games for the Wii or their Nintendo DS… 2 of them have Ipod touch, soI tunes gift cards are always great. I also give them each a 12 pack of their favorite soda, since soda is a rare treat in this house… Also, PJ pants with their favorite characters and always new board games! Also, we give 2 of the boys baseball tickets to a St Louis cardinals game in the spring time.. they are big fans! Then there is also DVD’s of their favorite movies.. or gift cards to go to McDonald’s (another rare treat) or the movies!!! Something I would not normally splurge on, but they want to go often. Thanks for the post Jessica… Great ideas!

  9. I have three boys – 5, 3 and 1. I will have to tuck this away for later 🙂 We let my oldest save up for his Leapster Explorer too. He just gets a small allowance now, but he saved for six months and then we decided to pay for half. He was so excited that he bought it himself. He now saves up for new games and other toys we don’t want to get.

  10. As a mom to two boys (and possibly another on the way? We’ll find out in January) I’m pretty sure the 6 year old will get or has all of these things. Perfect list!

  11. My almost-two-year-old son’s “big gift” this year will be Elmo Rocks, plus the instruments that go with it. Some of his other favorite toys are his Fisher Price house and people to go with it, Duplos, puzzles, outdoor toys, sports equipment, and anything he can ride on. Also, strangely, mugs. He loves mugs. So any time I can get him a shatter proof mug, I do!

  12. Ok, I have a question for a seasoned boy mom. I got my 4-year-old a Nerf gun for his birthday last year. He’s almost 5…. and he still can’t cock the thing. I end up having to pull it back and cock it every. single. time. Are there any Nerf guns out there made for little kids without the hard cocking mechanism?

    1. All the ones we have in our house are the same-our boys are big enough to do it themselves now, but it took awhile. I got really tired of cocking those guns! That and transforming those Transformers-I’m convinced it requires an engineering degree!

    2. If you don’t mind the mess and the kids eating the “ammunition”, a length of PVC pipe from the hardware store and a bad of mini-marshmallows. One year we got our boys Marshmallow Blaster kits. They decided that the plain PVC pipe was to their liking. It also works with peanut M&Ms and Nerf darts. Please be mindful of choking hazards though, especially with the M&Ms.

  13. Books by G.A. Henty and R.M. Ballantyne have always been Christmas gift favorites at our house. I would also recommend books written by Douglas Bond. Not only do these authors provide pleasurable reading, but teach character and history as well.

  14. Great list! My son is a bit different, though, and requested a Nook! We are getting one for less than half price, used.

    1. I would count that under the books. 🙂 I have a Kindle that my sons borrow.

  15. As another mom 4 boys, I’ve given all of your gift ideas at one time or another. My boys are now 28, 20, 15 & 13. Your ideas work for most of them still! Most of the gifts we’re giving them this year fall into one of your categories.

    Another thing I would add to your list is remote-cntrolled anything–cars, trucks, boats, helicopters. These have always been been big hits with my boys over the years. (Ssshhh, 13 yr. old son is getting a RC helicopter this year!)