13 January 2017

Gifts for 11-year-old boy

Gabriel's birthday is at the end of this month, so I'm going to tell you about his birthday party and gifts.

First, his party: We are doing it at the indoor climbing gym. He's inviting 6 friends (mix of cousins and school friends). The party is formatted with an hour in party room, and two hours climbing. My plan is to order pizzas to be delivered there, and additionally have drinks, cake, fruit and chips.
No party favors, because I feel uninspired about favors.
I will probably buy some balloons. Maybe some other decorations (tablecloth? party napkins?) but Gabriel is at an age where thematic 'kid' stuff is no longer cool. So y'know, no minecraft table runners or anything.

Next, presents! Here is what I bought my own particular brand of nearly-11-year-old, whose interests include fiddling with things, reading, and things that will get him killed.

A subscription to Tinker Crate ($20/mo). I will give him his first box on his birthday (it shipped today). We used to get Kiwi Crate, and Gabriel was a fan, but then I canceled for the summer while he was at his dad's and then I never re-subscribed, and then he was a bit old for Kiwi Crate. Mail is very exciting, so I was looking for a subscription box that he'd like. I also considered an art box, and a survival box. Ultimately I decided that we are up to our eyeballs in art supplies, and while I think he would be SUPER INTO a weird prepper survival box, maybe I don't want to get my 11yo fire starters (for instance). He likes building things, and he likes following directions/a plan, so I am hopeful about Tinker Crate. If he hates it, I can cancel! I can also cancel if I get tired of junk in my house.

Miscellaneous clothes that he needs masquerading as gifts. He needs new pants, new socks, new underwear, a sweatshirt. I am calling these items gifts!

Pogo Stick, $40.

Slingshot, $7
I also got him this ammo, which is also around $7. It says all over the description that this is not a toy, and I know it is not a toy, but I also know that Gabriel will love it. Will I regret getting my son weaponry? Probably. I can always confiscate it if he is being too dumb.
The Chronicles of Prydain, $21 for 5 book set
These are The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, etc. I don't know if you read these when you were a kid, but I did, and I have been meaning to get them for Gabriel. They're right up his alley, and I think he's a good age for them.
The Ruins of Gorlan, $7
So one of my coworkers reads similar books to Gabriel, and he recommended this series to him the last time Gabe visited me at work. So, I'm getting him the first book!

There were many, MANY other books that I wanted to get him, but I had to cut it off somewhere.

For Christmas he got tickets to a Warriors game (and a day at Warriors basketball camp), a Kindle Fire, a manga drawing book, colored pencils, paper, an obnoxious flying thing, and a couple pairs of pants.


  1. These are great ideas. As I said on Twitter, Eli is loving the Lloyd Alexander books e got for Christmas. He also got a slingshot from his uncle last year and has been very good about only using it in the woods. Scouting, martial arts, video games...I feel like our boys could be friends. :)

  2. I am adding the pogo stick to my Amazon cart for my 9-year-old boy's 10th birthday, because he is energetic and I think this would be a good outlet. I had a pogo stick as a pre-teen, and got quite good at it despite not being particularly athletic or coordinated. (I was trying to impress a cute boy.)