The Best Toys for 11-Year-Old Boys – 2020 Gifts Ideas
An 11 year old boy can be hard to please with a gift. He’s at the stage between child and teen during which he thinks he’s too grown-up for kid toys but isn’t quite ready for more sophisticated ones. His interests likely change from week to week. That doesn’t make it impossible; the best gifts for eleven-year-old-boys are catch-all items that cater to many boys’ tastes.
See Our Picks For The Top Toys For 11 Year Old Boys in 2020
- SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab
- Kids 55-piece Science Set
- Nerf N-Strike Toy Dart Blaster
- Activ Flyer Kids’ Frisbee Rings
- Toysmith Get Outside Pro Ball Set
- Faux Bow 3 Archery Set from Marky Sparky
- LEGO Minecraft Zombie Cave
- Boy Craft Catapult Wars
- VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX
- Crescent MG38-NR 38″ Acoustic Guitar Starter Package
- Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
- The Mind
- ThinkFun Gravity Maze
- What’s Going on with an 11 Year Old Boy’s Development?
- What Types of Toys Do 11-Year-Olds Like?
- What About Toy Safety for an 11-Year-Old?
- All in All
SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games & Gadgets Electronics Lab
This child-friendly electronics lab is the perfect way to give your young would-be Tesla the introduction to electrical engineering.
- Plastic parts make electrical engineering safe
- Step-by-step manual easy to follow
- Small parts can get lost easily
- Microprocessor can be hard to fit into the breadboard
With over 50 projects from which to choose, you can clip together a variety of processors, servomotors, and other electrical parts to create a fun gadget that will teach the skills of putting something together by instruction. It’s just like Lego but with an added educational factor.
All the parts have a plastic casing, so there’s less risk of electrical shock. Still, you should encourage safe practices. The set comes with base boards, jumper switches, LEDs, and other parts. The 48-page booklet contains instructions on other builds.
Overall, this is a basic electronic engineering kit that shows kids the fundamentals of electricity in a fun, creative way by teaching him to make cool gadgets.
Kids 55-piece Science Set
Encourage boys’ curiosity about the natural world by gifting them this science set.
- Multiple scientific disciplines to learn
- Easy to follow instructions by manual or DVD
- May require extra items or equipment for some of the experiments
Because this science set contains experiments and information across a wide range of disciplines, there’s hardly a better way to encourage a love of science than with this set. It comes with over 55 experiments and an instructional DVD and full-color manual.
Your child can learn to grow crystals, create the classic science-fair volcano, grow a miniature garden, and try a host of other fun experiments any time during the year. The equipment included in the set has almost everything your child needs, altered for safety reasons. For example, the test tubes are made of plastic rather than breakable glass.
Nerf N-Strike Toy Dart Blaster
Get ready to have your home turn into a fun dart-filled warzone when your kid gets his hands on this dart blaster.
- Easy to use design
- Two different firing modes
- Long range
- Can be easy to lose darts
This revolver-like barrel holds six long-range darts that can be fired together or separately from other shots.
The toy dart blaster is a perfect toy for young boys, as it encourages imaginative and competitive play without being violent or overly dangerous. The spring mechanism for the darts allows you to fire darts individually or all at once. With up to 90 feet of range for the darts, you get plenty of distance and power out of a single shot.
Nerf guns are a pretty universal hit with young boys. They relish the idea of playing with toy guns and can do so safely without the risk of injury. The bright colors and the rotating barrel make the dart gun easy and fun to use.
Activ Flyer Kids’ Frisbee Rings
Want to play Frisbee with your boy but don’t relish the idea of getting hit in the face with a hard ring of plastic? Try out the Activ Flyer Frisbee Rings.
- Bright colors make it easy to see discs
- Softer construction makes it a safe, yet fun toy
- Flies straight and is easy to catch
- Can break easily
These hollow disks are made of lightweight, aerodynamic plastic that works just as well for a Frisbee as any standard model. Frisbee and other outdoor forms of catch hone a boy’s hand-eye coordination and ability to judge the trajectory of a moving object.
The lightweight plastic is more likely to compress and is softer. If it hits something, it will bounce off harmlessly rather than break it or cause an injury. Also, the bright neon colors make it easy to see even in lower-light conditions. It’s more aerodynamic shape makes it easier to catch and makes it fly straighter than similar toys.
Toysmith Get Outside Pro Ball Set
Your kids can enjoy practicing their favorite sports even with these smaller, easier to handle sports balls.
- Suitable for indoors and outdoors
- Work well for smaller hands
- Not the same size or weight as regulation sports balls
11 year old boys’ hands aren’t quite large enough usually to handle full-sized sports balls. This is why you should pick the Get Outside Pro Ball set. It comes with a basketball, a football, and a soccer ball. They’re all made of softer, lighter plastic material that can still stand up to vigorous play for both indoor and outdoor environments.
The only problem is that the lightness of these playballs might throw off your child’s perception of weight and muscle memory when they play with regulation-size basketballs, footballs, or soccer balls.
This game has become popular enough to get a line of merchandise like sword replicas, T-shirts, mugs, and more.
- Immersive gameplay in both creative and survival modes
- Can be expensive
If your boy is interested in video games and you want to be sure he has something relatively age-appropriate, give him a copy of Minecraft.
The game is available on all major game platforms (except mobile). Players travel through an imaginary world, mining for resources and using those resources to craft dwellings and items. If you’ve looked on YouTube at Minecraft gameplay, some truly astounding creations have been made in the game.
It appeals to the need for exploration and adventure without exposing the player to wanton violence and conflict. The survival mode of the game has you fighting zombies, but the violence isn’t graphic. Overall, it’s a relaxing game that’s suitable for all ages.
Faux Bow 3 Archery Set from Marky Sparky
- Complete archery set includes bow and six arrows
- Foam-tipped arrows prevent injury
- Sophisticated design launches arrows over 100 feet
- Works best in wind-free weather
Eleven-year-old boys love physical play. They’re also young enough to still want to play pretend. This foam bow and arrow set allows for both. Kids can pretend to be the Green Arrow, Link or any other bow-wielding hero.
The set includes Faux Bow 3.0 along with six durable foam-tipped arrows. The arrows fit into a Bow-Tip quiver for easy access. Kids load an arrow, pull back on the bow’s handle, and then release to send the arrow flying over 100 feet.
Overall, it’s a safe alternative to a traditional archery set. The arrows fly far and accurately but have a soft tip which poses no risk of accidental injury. Plus, it’s a great way for kids to stay active outside.
LEGO Minecraft Zombie Cave
- Perfect for fans of LEGO, Minecraft or both
- 241-piece sets are the perfect challenge for this age
- The completed set can be displayed
- Compatible with existing LEGO sets
- Set isn’t very visually exciting (minifigs are likely the main draw)
As mentioned above, 11 year old boys love Minecraft. Give a gift which goes beyond the game with this Minecraft-inspired LEGO set. It features a cave with coal, Redstone, gold, a furnace, a ladder, and other Minecraft-related items. The set includes four minifigs: Steve, a zombie, a baby zombie, and a bat.
With 241 pieces, the set is challenging enough to interest 11 year olds. They can recreate their favorite scenes from the game. Once built, the set can be played with or placed on a shelf for display. The set is four inches high, seven inches wide and five inches deep.
Boy Craft Catapult Wars
- Kit includes everything needed to make two working catapults
- Includes rules for a fun, competitive game
- Teaches kids engineering, construction, physics, and other STEM skills
- Included glue not very effective
- Instructions can be confusing
Ready, aim, fire! Get ready for Catapult Wars. This kit from Boy Craft has everything needed to build two fully-functional mini-catapults. You can even customize your catapults with decals and colors.
Two teams can compete in a fun catapult game. Each team takes turns aiming and firing mini bean bags. The first one to knock out the opposing catapult wins the “war.”
The kit includes 20 wooden pieces, two wooden dowels, two rubber bands, eight mini bean bags, two braided ropes, a sticker sheet, glue tube, and complete instructions. Play helps kids learn about engineering, good sportsmanship and more.
VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX
- A fun, kid-friendly alternative to smart devices
- Watch performs a wide range of functions
- Introduces kids to basic computer operation
- Requires USB connection to store photos permanently
Eleven can be a tricky age regarding electronics. Most kids are too young for unrestricted smart device use. But they’re old enough to be fascinated with tablets, phones, and other gear.
The Kidizoom Smartwatch is often a happy compromise. It features three activities, five games, three challenges, and a motion sensor. It takes pictures, captures video, records audio, performs calculations and tells time. All captured images and videos can be uploaded to a PC via a USB cable.
However, one thing this watch doesn’t do is connect to the internet. Kids are unable to use the watch to talk to strangers, spend money or otherwise surf the web. But they still get to wear a cool electronic device which performs a variety of functions.
Crescent MG38-NR 38″ Acoustic Guitar Starter Package
A guitar is a fun toy for kids at this age because it can allow them to look cool in front of their friends while also allowing them to learn and build an interest in music.
- Comes with carrying bag, two tuners, and guitar pick
- Great first step into music
- 100% wood construction
- Includes an extra set of steel strings
- Features lower quality decals instead of painted accents
- Can be difficult to tune
One of the best things you can buy a young boy is a musical instrument. Not only does a guitar give your son the chance to learn about music, but it can also help him to learn about science.
This guitar comes with everything your child will need to start out learning how to play. It’s not the highest quality product, but it’s excellent for beginners, especially if you aren’t sure they’ll stick with it.
Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
The instructions are simple to understand for kids ten and up, and the 70 plus creative challenges help kids to learn while having fun.
- Kids get to build and decorate their wand
- Includes access to the Kano app
- Teaches early coding skills
- Features more than 70 creative challenges
- The app can be glitchy
- Doesn’t work on all computers or tablets
Learning to code early in life is an excellent skill in today’s world. Mix coding with the magic of Harry Potter, and you’re likely to have a hit on your hands. This Harry Potter coding kit allows kids to build and decorate their wand with detailed instructions, and then use their wand to learn about coding using the app on a computer or tablet.
The game builds teamwork and concentration skills. It’s a great learning game for school or for environments where you need to be quieter.
- Builds social skills through interactive play
- Encourages hypothetical and critical thinking
- Promotes teamwork and concentration
- Challenging tasks, but easy to learn
- In bright light, you can see the numbers through the cards
- Can be frustrating for kids who aren’t able to focus
The Mind is a whole new kind of game. The goal is to lay down all of your cards in numerical order as a team. The problem is that you can’t speak, and you have no idea what cards your teammates have. There are some cards in the deck to reward you and help you move things along, but your team is largely on their own to figure it out.
You’ll need to be careful not to show your cards to your team in bright light, though, as you can sometimes see the numbers through them.
ThinkFun Gravity Maze
The box comes with 60 challenges for kids to try, and you can access even more online later on.
- Builds spatial reasoning skills and logic
- Encourages STEM learning in a playful way
- Includes 60 challenges ranging from beginner to expert levels
- Can play solo or with friends and family
- Puzzles are all one level so that it can be too tough or too easy depending on your child
- Pieces fit tightly and can be tough to get together and apart again
Puzzle games are always a great option for kids to help them learn through play. This gravity maze is a mix between a STEM toy and a marble run. It helps to teach kids about spatial relations, logic, and early engineering skills.
The puzzle also offers kids the opportunity to figure out their puzzles and challenges, which can be a fun way to get others involved in gameplay.
What’s Going on with an 11 Year Old Boy’s Development?
An 11 year old boy is making one of the most tumultuous transitions of his life: going through puberty. Physically, the boy is still a child. Sometimes, early developers might experience a growth spurt and the other bodily changes associated with puberty.
Mental and emotional development happens more often during late childhood – 9 to 11 years – than physical changes do.
Mentally, the boy should be gaining more abstract reasoning skills and the ability to engage in hypothetical thinking at the age of eleven. Boys’ curiosity and eagerness to learn about the world is in full swing, especially when it comes to discovering their expanding physical capabilities. Boys of this age have a stronger desire for friendships and interactions outside the family.
The spirit of competition is stronger than ever. The boy seeks to establish himself as a dominant member of his peer group; team sports or other avenues of competition like online video games or individual competitions like Laser Tag.
Young boys as a rule like to build things and solve puzzles to challenge themselves. Construction sets are generally good gift ideas. Boys of this age are also increasingly self-conscious about their appearance and possessions because of more complex relationships with friends. Peer pressure plays a strong role in your child’s development as he learns to navigate peer hierarchies.
What Types of Toys Do 11-Year-Olds Like?
Boys who are 11 years old are at a precocious time in their lives. They’re just beginning to pull away from enjoying “kid” toys and interests but are not quite ready for things suited to teens. As for interests, boys are likely at this point discovering all the different shows, games, movies, and activities that they enjoy, at least for a time. In the preteen stage, children’s interests frequently change so don’t be surprised if he’s into Marvel one month and Star Wars the next.
As we’ve said, boys at this age are even more keen to explore and test themselves. The best toys encourage physical activities without the high cost and potential danger of adult sports equipment. Shortened basketball goals, plastic field hockey equipment, foam footballs rather than leather, or other sports items are good choices.
Boys also like to build things at this age. Whether it’s a set of interlocking plastic blocks, a model kit, or even an RC drone, the process of sitting down with materials and instructions and coming out with a finished product can add to your boy’s sense of accomplishment and pride in a job well done.
Boys have likely developed the hand dexterity to handle basic tools, but make sure your boy understands the safe and proper use of tools if the building set doesn’t include its own set. Of course, toys like Lego sets are plastic bricks. Legos are safe, and will likely teach an important lesson about cleaning up, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego brick will attest.
Is your boy more interested in intellectual hobbies? If he is, try giving him a gift of something like a miniaturized chemistry set or telescope. Books, while not toys, are also a good idea. Check to make sure it’s of the appropriate reading level for your child based on what he can read.
What About Toy Safety for an 11-Year-Old?
Boys at 11 are naturally risk-takers and likely have a bit of bravado. You need to allow the child to engage in vigorous, but safe, play. Always make sure the child wears safety gear for things like bicycles or sports equipment; this lessens the likelihood of injury, and bike or skate helmets is often mandatory in many states.
For building kits, show your boy how to use tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and nails safely. This is also a good age to start teaching the basics of fire and electrical safety because some of the building kits you might encounter have electrical parts. The electric lab kit we found encases all its parts in plastic for added safety, which is a major positive in our book.
Boys also like video games. Be mindful of what games you buy and how your child reacts while playing them. The hottest games that an eleven-year-old boy might be interested in frequently have graphic violence and other themes he may not be emotionally ready to handle.
Many of these games have an ESRB rating of Mature for a very good reason: graphic depictions of war, explicit sexual content, and drug use. Try for something more family-friendly. Games rated Teen should be the most risqué games regarding content that you give your boy.
All in All
Just because the special young boy in your life is going through a lot of changes doesn’t mean you should simply let nature take its course with no interference from you. This is a time when love and affection have the most positive effect, and you can show it by providing age-appropriate gifts that challenge the mind, body, and senses.
Another good thing to consider when buying gifts is the opportunity to engage in play with him. Just because the boy wants to be more independent doesn’t mean you have to let him completely abandon you. By playing with him with his new toys, you can strengthen your relationship and weather the upcoming trials of the teenage years.
The closer the child is to a parent or guardian, the more likely he is to open up about potential problems in his life. Not only that, but it can be fun to take a break from the vagaries of adulthood and be a kid again.