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
Eleven year olds are going to middle school, and that usually means it’s time for a new backpack. Why not gift them one that lets them show their own style and individuality?!
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.
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.
Our 11 year old loves to play strategy games, and his newest favorite is Kloak.
If your family likes games, you've got to consider Kloak for a gift! It's this super cool strategy game that's perfect for a kid's growing mind. It's all about outsmarting your opponent by hiding your pieces, kind of like a modern twist on classics like chess or checkers. Exercise your brains as you go undercover and try to beat your opponent by getting 3 colored pieces in a row.
It's great for sharpening those critical thinking skills, plus it's a ton of fun and gets really competitive, which boys that age usually love!
Best for ages 8 and up, this can be played with 2-4 players.
Another fun strategy game for tweens is Catan. This game is a little more involved than others 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!
If your son is aspiring to create the perfect chill space for his crew and him to hang, you can’t go wrong with this magnetic dart board as a gift to add to the ambience. Great for a solo game to practice his aim, and of course he's sure to have a great time playing a game of darts with his best friend.
We have this one and it works really well - the magnets actually stick and don't easily bounce back off. (Unless my 5 year old son tries to play... but even he has pretty good luck!)
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. Occasionally he feels rebellious and uses the gauntlet to display a not-so-nice finger placement (*insert eyeroll here*) but I easily change it when that happens haha.
Science kits and STEM activities can actually be a lot of fun for kids. If you like more educational gifts, you should definitely think about the Snap Circuits Pro SC-500 Electronics Exploration Kit. It's perfect for sparking curiosity in how things work.
The kit lets kids build all sorts of cool electronics without any complicated tools – it's all snap-together, super user-friendly.
Don't tell them, but it's a stealthy way to get them into science and engineering, and ...you know... it's so satisfying for them to see their creations actually work. It's educational but in that fun, hands-on way that keeps them engaged for hours!
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.)
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.
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.
(Update - 3 years after buying this drum kit, my son joined the high school marching band as a percussionist!)
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!
Gifts for Outdoor Play
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.
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!
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.