21 of our favorite gifts for 10-year-old boys, including games, buildings sets, arts, and crafts

two elementary-age boys and a feminine looking adult playing with tinker toys crate from kiwico which makes some of the best gifts for 10-year-olds
If you're shopping for a 10-year-old boy this holiday, consider one of KiwiCo's subscription kits, like the STEM-themed Tinker Crate.

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Age 10 can be tricky for gift-givers. Ten-year-old boys may begin focusing more on hobbies than toys, but play is still essential. Child psychologist Roberta Golinkoff, PhD, author of "Becoming Brilliant," suggests that all ages benefit from gifts that build six skills: collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence.

"You want the toy to be 90% child and 10% percent toy," Golinkoff says. "Avoid toys that ask kids to fill in the blanks. Toys should release creativity, not determine it."  The best gift, she emphasizes, is time with the adults in their life, whether that's a ski or zoo pass or a game.

The best gifts for 10-year-old boys will encourage age-appropriate development and meet the interests of that individual child. Because interests extend beyond outdated masculine stereotypes, our favorite gifts include everything from sports to arts. And while the newest trending toys are great, some classic toys and games shouldn't be overlooked either.

Here are 21 of the best gifts for 10-year-old boys:

A game that's different every time

Family Scavenger Hunt game box with sets of indoor and outdoor hunt cards beside it

Outset Media Family Scavenger Hunt, available at Amazon, $15.16

Family Scavenger Hunt uses two decks of cards — one for adults and one for kids. That gets families searching in a way that's still challenging for grown-ups. There's a set of cards for an outdoor hunt too.

A challenge for Pokemon fans

assembled Pokemon Eevee Evolutions Jigsaw Puzzle with pokemon characters

Buffalo Games Pokemon Eevee Evolutions Jigsaw Puzzle (500 pieces), available at Amazon and Walmart, from $7.59

Puzzles are both fun and skill building for this age group. This Pokemon Eevee Evolutions Puzzle is a budget-friendly gift idea for a 10-year-old boy. It features a popular Pokemon character and a rainbow of colors that will offer clues on which piece goes where. 

A creative comic book kit

a partially created comic book with hand-drawn images of superheroes

Mondo Llama Create-Your-Own Superhero Comic Books Kit, available at Target, $15

A great way to encourage creativity, this comic book kit has everything kids need to make three books. The set includes three blank books as well as stickers and markers. There are instructions with tips for creating comics as well.

A hard-to-put-down graphic novel

cover of "New Kid" book with boy wearing a backpack looking down anxiously at school book

"New Kid" by Jerry Craft, available at Amazon, Target, and Bookshop, from $8.64

Funny graphic novels turned my son from a reluctant reader to an avid reader. "New Kid" by Jerry Craft is a humorous illustrated middle grade novel, yet it tackles some important topics for 10-year-olds. The book follows a seventh-grader in a new prestigious private school, as one of the only students of color. The book received the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature.

A puzzle that can become anything

child putting together a green robot using jixel miniature puzzle pieces, finished grey and pink robot off to the side

Fat Brain Toys Jixels Roving Robots (700-piece set), available at Amazon and Fat Brain Toys, $9.95

Jixels are mini puzzle pieces that can be used to create an image one pixel at a time. This 700-piece set includes instructions to make two robots. Jixels is also an open-ended toy and the pieces can fit together to create whatever the child imagines.

A card game with action

two children with long hair and feminine looking person playing uno attack card game

Mattel Uno Attack, available at Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, from $17.97

Ten years old is a good age for card games. Uno Attack takes a classic game and kicks it up a notch, spitting out any number of cards at random. Kids will love pushing the button and the added suspense of waiting to see how many cards fly out. Classic games are a great gift — and 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Uno.

A mosaic craft kit

child's hand shown building a unicorn mosaic, unicorn is white with brown and yellow mane
Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys Make A Real Mosaic Panda, available at Fat Brain Toys and Walmart, $24.95

Mosaics are like puzzles and crafts in one. This mosaic kit uses real stone tile. Kids can follow a pattern to turn the blocks into a unicorn — though there are other kits available too, including an owl, tiger, and panda.

A building kit with multiple possibilities

elementary age child playing with assembled lego dragon

Lego Creator 3-in-1 Fire Dragon, available at Target, Amazon, and Kohl's, from $16

Lego Creator 3-in-1 kits allow kits to choose the design to build — and, of course, they can still create their own designs. These smaller kits are also easier to put together in a few hours and reasonably priced. Lego has several options from lions to sharks, but we're partial to this fire-breathing dragon.

A gift that gives back

two brown sloth plush stuffed animals from World Wildlife Foundation Symbolic Species Adoption
World Wildlife Foundation

World Wildlife Foundation Symbolic Species Adoption

Stuffed animals have long been a great gift idea, but the World Wildlife Foundation's Symbolic Species Adoption is more than just a plush — this program helps fund the WWF's work to preserve endangered species and their habitats. In return for a $60 donation, you'll be able to gift a plush and a few extras. The program includes popular animals like sloths, lions, and elephants, as well as lesser known animals like a blue-footed bobby and a capybara.

Turn toys into movie characters

three lego mini figures including a jewel thief, police officer, and figure carrying skateboard

Klutz Lego Make Your Own Movie Kit, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Macy's, and Lego, from $20.19

This Klutz Lego kit encourages kids not to just build and play with mini figures, but to create a story and share that story too. The kit includes mini figures, backgrounds, and scenery, but kids will need a tablet or smartphone to record the stop motion videos. Golinkhoff says that screen time gifts are okay if there's a social and nonscreen aspect, like creating these videos and sharing them with friends. "There are some apps that can be enjoyed if there are social interactions around the app and it's not a shooting game," she said.

A backyard ropes obstacle course

child holding onto ropes as they cross a rope slackline

Slackers Ninjaline 36' Intro Kit with Obstacles, available at Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Nordstrom, from $69.98

Inspired by the TV show, this Ninjaline is a suspended obstacle course for kids. The set includes several different types of rings to grab and a slackline to hang it all on. Gifters beware, though, the backyard will need two sturdy trees that are no farther than 36 feet apart.

A book that combines science and cooking

cover of book that reads Science Experiments You Can Eat

Science Experiments You Can Eat by Vicki Cobb, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, $9.99

Ten can be a good age to start developing lifelong hobbies, like cooking. This cookbook brings science into the kitchen, making it a perfect gift option both for boys who like science and boys interested in cooking. Reviewers have a lot of good things to say about this gift for older kids, which is an updated version of a book that's been around for more than 40 years.

A Monopoly city to build and play together

three elementary-age kids and a feminine looking adult playing monopoly game at coffee table

Hasbro Monopoly Builder, available at Amazon and Target, from $19.82

"There's a reason Monopoly has been around as long as it has," Golinkhoff said. In the latest rendition of the classic Monopoly game, players build skyscrapers as they make their way around the board. The game adds construction tokens and building levels to the basic real estate spaces of the original.

A Mandalorian set for advanced builders

Lego Star Wars The Mandalorian The Razer Crest assembled on coffee table with mini figures positioned around it

Lego Star Wars The Mandalorian The Razer Crest, available at Amazon and Lego, $129.99

This large Lego set allows kids to build and play with "The Mandalorian" characters including The Child — better known as "Baby Yoda" — and The Razer Crest starship. Rated for ages 10 years and up, this is a kit for more advanced builders or for kids and a grownup to work on together. While there are a lot of great Lego sets, this one earned the TOYA award for building kits this year.

A motorized building toy

older child holding colorful toy built from knex sticks, other assembled toys spread out on table in front

K'nex Imagine Power and Play Motorized Building Set Construction, available at Amazon and Walmart, $49.97

Adding a motor adds another level of play to a classic building toy. The K'nex Imagine Power and Play allows kids to motorize their creations, from helicopters to a robot. It comes with a reusable case — a big plus when purchasing anything with lots of little pieces.

A monthly subscription box

a craft kit with supplies to make a leather portfolio, finished brown leather portfolio also in image

KiwiCo Doodle Crate, available at KiwiCo, from $17.50

Kids tend to love subscription boxes because they love getting mail — I've gifted KiwiCo crates before and they were a big hit. Doodle Crate sends monthly craft projects. There are other options that may better suit a 10-year-old with different interests, like a crate for building, cooking, or even geography.

A snow scooter that works on hills and flat ground

elementary age child riding red and green snow scooter on snow-covered hill

Airhead Scoot Snow Scooter, available at Amazon and Best Buy, $29.99

Unlike a sled, the Airhead Scoot Snow Scooter works on both hills and flat ground, which means kids without hills around can still play with this toy. A snow scooter is like a snowboard with a handle. It could be considered a stepping stone to help learn snowboarding in the future.

A box full of science experiments

closeup of child using magnifying glass to look at gems from National Geographic Earth Science Kit

National Geographic Earth Science Kit, available at Target and Amazon, from $24.99

Many science kits are one-and-done, but this one from National Geographic has 15 experiments. That's a lot of rainy days it could fill with a volcano, digs, tornadoes, and crystals. The experiments can be conducted with one child or with friends.

A set of adjustable beginner-friendly rollerblades

closeup of older child wearing green and gray K2 rollerblades

K2 Youth Raider Inline Skates, available at K2 Skates and Amazon, from $68.95

Rollerblading can be a great hobby for older kids. These beginner skates from K2 aren't flimsy plastic, yet they still offer kid-friendly features like adjustable sizes. Be sure to gift these with safety gear, like a helmet and knee pads.

An arcade they can build

assembled Elenco Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit showing blue, green, yellow circuits and a clock set to zero

Elenco Snap Circuits Arcade Electronics Exploration Kit, available at Amazon, Staples, Kohl's, and Macy's, from $44.97

Snap Circuits allows kids to build their own electric creations — this kit includes the pieces for a few different arcade games. STEM toys like this one are an excellent alternative to a video game. The 30 different circuits just snap together, making it appropriate for this age group. The set includes a mini LED screen and a controller.

A classic game made modern

two older boys sitting at a coffee table with Hasbro Electronic Battleship on top

Hasbro Electronic Battleship, available at Amazon and Target, $20.99

The electronic version of Battleship takes a classic board game and levels up the excitement a notch. Kids can play solo or with a friend to try to sink the opponent's ships and even an airplane. Rated for ages 8 and up, it makes a fun but affordable gift for this age group.

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