Oh those tween years are fun, aren’t they? Finding the best gifts for 11 year old boys is next to impossible, especially when even the birthday boy has no idea what he wants! No longer a little kid but not yet a teen, 11 year olds are stuck in that awkward phase where they are figuring out themselves and their interests. Luckily I’ve found some of the most creative, unique, and coolest gifts for your 11-year-old boy that he will actually love getting for his birthday or Christmas!
(This list is not meant to be gender exclusive, as these gifts are likely a hit for 11 year old girls too! This list was just created with my own son in mind, as it is his 11th birthday. If you’re shopping for a girl, scroll through for some great ideas, and check out these best gift ideas for teen girls!)
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Useful Gifts for 11 Year Old Boys
Cool Backpack for Back To School
Eleven year olds are going to middle school, and that means character backpacks are no longer cool to have. But that doesn’t mean they can’t show their own style and individuality!
These Jansport backpacks are classic, and are still popular with older boys today. Available in many different colors, water resistant, durable, and easy to clean by wiping down, he will feel stylish and confident with this on his back!
For whatever reason, as they enter the teen years waking up in the morning becomes super difficult. Teen boys need lots of sleep as they grow, but they still have to wake up for school!
This sunrise alarm clock was the perfect present for my son, and was actually a Christmas gift that we gave him last year. It uses a warm LED light that gradually brightens before the alarm goes off, for a more gentle wakeup.
The light can be set to different colors and has various sound effects like birds or the ocean.
Personalized Docking Station
While not all big kids have their own cell phone, many have electronic devices of some sort – like an iPad or Fire HD. Keeping those things safely put away and organized (and charged!) needs an easy solution.
This personalized docking station is a great gift to help your kid keep up with their phone, tablet, or other rechargeable electronic device. It’s easy to set up and sturdy, and of course can be personalized with their name, initials, nickname, or whatever you can think of!
It has a slot for holding a watch or bracelet (or scrunchie) and a notched corner for hanging keys or a favorite necklace.
Once your 11 year old learns proper knife safety (and to NOT take them to school), he may be ready for his very own multi-tool. This gadget, named the Jack of All Trades, is the perfect gift for the rugged outdoorsman and will come in handy on his next camping trip.
Add his name with the personalization option and he will never have a good reason to use dad’s multi-tool again.
Fun & Toys for 11 Year Old Boys
Just because they are 11 years old doesn’t mean they are too old for toys! Their idea of toys are just a little different. Here are some of the best toys and a lot of fun gifts for 11 year old boys.
Building Toys and Board Games for Tween Boys
Our 11 year old loves to play strategy games, and his newest favorite is Kloak. Exercise your brains as you go undercover and try to beat your opponent by getting 3 colored pieces in a row.
Best for ages 8 and up, this can be played with 2-4 players.
Another fun strategy game for tweens is Catan. This one is a little more involved and takes some time to learn (and about an hour to play a game), but once you get into it you’ll be hooked. It’s the perfect game for older kids and family members to play on a family game night. It’s so much fun!
You’re really never too old for LEGO sets, and LEGO Technic building kits are perfect for older kids and adults. He can build lots of different models like this Fast & Furious Dodge Charger, a Porsche 911, or even an app-controlled CAT Bulldozer!
For the Marvel lovers, this LEGO Marvel Infinity Gauntlet is another really cool gift. My son also got this as a Christmas gift last year and had so much fun building it with his dad.
Science kits and STEM activities can actually be a lot of fun for kids. This set of Snap Circuits has over 500 projects for hours of exploration and educational fun. This National Geographic rocks and minerals kit was another birthday present that was a hit with my son, and one that I definitely recommend.
Pop It! Fidgets
These super cool fidget toys are the most popular item this year, and all the kids love to play with them! With their favorite characters like Olaf and Darth Vader, kids of all ages are going to love getting these Pop It!s this year.
While parents may think these are just another fun gadget, Pop It!s are actually great idea for kids who need sensory input to regulate or to help them with attention (it works great for my kiddos!).
Unique Mystery Boxes
My kids have loved blind bags and boxes for years (the element of surprise is the best part), but these mystery boxes are really cool – especially for tweens!
Fungisaurs are a genetically engineered, dinosaur-mushroom hybrid species. So far, only 8 species have been identified but we hope more will come. You can be surprised by getting the mystery boxes, or order a pack of 12 with the guarantee to get one of each!
Apple device owners can extend play and learning by downloading the free Fungisaurs AR App (not yet released for Androids). Young explorers unlock new characters using the Toy Scan and collect up to eight Fungisaurs. With each Fungisaur found, kids become experts on dinosaur data and spotting native mushrooms!
I’ll be totally honest – I fell in love with these Fungisaurs and wasn’t sure if my 11 year old would like them as much as I did. But to my heart’s delight, he tore into each box with pure excitement and even talked about letting his younger sister play with them too!
What he hasn’t realized is his grandpa is a super mushroom enthusiast, and he will want to join in on the Fungisaur fun along with them. These make great stocking stuffers and are a cool gift for younger kids too!
Nerf Gun Armory
If your tween is into all things Nerf as much as mine is, you may be tired of the never-ending Nerf mess everywhere! For the longest time, we just used a plastic tub to hold all of the nerf guns and foam darts – but that wasn’t a great solution. I needed a better way.
Then I built a Nerf armory for my kid. Bullseye!
Not only did he love his custom wall display to show off all of his favorite Nerf toys, but it motivated him to want to put everything back in its place instead of leaving them lying around. It was a win for both of us!
(Read my post on how I built this easy DIY Nerf armory for all the details.)
Science-Based Plush Toys
For the science-lover, Celestial Buddies make the perfect cuddly companion! Choose from a plush planet (all 8 planets available, plus Pluto!) or other fun space squishes like the sun or a black hole that can hold ALL the other Celestial Buddies!
Clearly I’m excited about these (the teacher in me just LOVES toys that are educational), but your 11 year old will love them too!
And if you think tweens are too old for plushies, you’re wrong. Even older kids (and some adults) love a fun stuffie to snuggle at times.
Drum Kit for Beginner Drummers
While I’d say a drum kit likely falls under the umbrella of those non-toy gifts for kids, my 11 year old son would consider this an amazing “toy” for a tween boy!
After taking drum lessons for a year, we decided to get a beginner drum set for our son. We went with a full size set since at 11 years old he is already 5 feet tall, and we didn’t want him outgrowing a child’s set in one year.
We were able to find a used set locally at a good price, but this drum set on Amazon is pretty affordable for beginners.
Video Games and Accessories
While I try to not feed into my kids’ video game obsession too much, there’s no denying that tweens typically love playing video games.
Tweens everywhere also love playing Roblox online, and my son always has Robux (a Roblox gift card) at the top of his wish list.
One of our favorite games that can be played with the whole family is Just Dance, and a new edition comes out every year. It’s a great opportunity to get your heart rate up and have lots of laughs while you let your competitive streak show!
Any teen kid who spends much time playing video games will tell you that a good gaming headset is a must. This HyperX gaming headset is my son’s favorite (and it has really good reviews online too).
It’s a good gift for both of you – because he can hear his game better and you don’t have to hear it at all!
If you want some popular gifts to encourage physical activity and reduce the amount of screen time for your kid, these top gifts are a great way to get him out and moving!
Capture the Flag Redux is a fun way to get your kids outside with their friends for hours of play! With 25 glow in the dark game pieces, kids and adults of all ages will enjoy working together to win this popular game.
Give him a new way to travel from your house to visit his new friend with an electric scooter! This one is a top seller, high quality, and can support a rider up to 220 pounds. He will have a good time rolling around the neighborhood on this fun gift!
If he’s into remote control toys, this RC Car is the real deal. No need for a flat surface, this bad boy goes off road and will run for up to 40 minutes at a time! It’s great for hand-eye coordination, and is basically like playing a video game but in the real world. I’m telling you this would be the best birthday gift ever.
Best Books for 11 Year Old Boys
Oh my goodness, I believe that dad jokes begin when boys are tweens. Am I right? The puns and cringe-worth jokes just never end over here.
So of course I have to keep the laughs coming with a joke book for my little comedian!
This great book of 101 STEM Jokes (that’s science, technology, engineering, and math) also comes with some fun facts and activities that any 11 year old would love.
You know how I know?
It was written by Orion Razat, a boy with the exact same birthday as my son! Nobody gets tween boy humor better than another tween boy, and this joke book is the perfect example of that.
Joke books are pretty universally enjoyed, but other types of books are something that you may want to be a little more careful when selecting. You’ll swing and miss if you attempt to surprise an 11 year old with a book about Babe Ruth when he’s really more interested in reading about Hamilton.
We recommend these books for middle grade boys if you want to encourage him to read.
Cool Clothes for 11 Year Old Boy’s Birthday
Your 11 year old may not ask for clothes for his birthday, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t be mad if he got these!
Level 11 Shirt
Your gamer kid will love this retro-style Level 11 shirt (available on Amazon). Prepare for him to wear it all year and want a level 12 shirt next year!
Speaking of Hamilton – encourage him to want to learn more history with this Hamilton-inspired t-shirt.
Square Root of 121 Shirt
If your boy loves math, or even a good math joke, he will love this square root of 121 tshirt. At the very least, he will get attention as people try to work out the math in their heads! (Spoiler alert: the answer is 11.)
Hopefully this list of gifts has been helpful for you! I try to make a new ultimate gift guide each year, as I know how difficult it can be for parents and family members to find the best gifts that kids at each age love. If you know of an awesome gift that I need to include, please drop a comment and let me know!
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.