Gift Ideas for 9-Year-Old and 11-Year-Old Boys

I may never find a good way of titling these posts. I want to make them easy to find so you don’t have to sort through two hundred posts all titled “Gift Ideas” to find a gift for one particular age group, but I DON’T want to imply that the gift ideas are, for example, “boy toys” and not for girls, or that they are “girl toys” and not for boys, or that something is right for ANY 11-year-old when some 11-year-olds might be too young or too old for it. WELL WHATEVER. This is a post about what my 9-year-old boy (Henry) and 11-year-old boy (Edward) want and/or what they are getting.

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Pokémon Deluxe Essential Handbook. I wonder what vast number of children are receiving this for the holidays this year? At our house, it’s going to Edward, but others of us will also be interested in perusing it. I hope this is the newest version; I notice with concern that it was published in summer of 2015. There may be a hotter, more-recent version that I am unaware of.

We’re also getting him a Google Play card so he can buy a whole bunch of Pokéballs on the old Android phone that no longer works as a phone so the kids play games on it.

Do you already have Munchkin? I HATE this game, but Paul and the kids LOVE it. The house is FULL of shouting and laughing when they’re playing it. Anyway, Henry loves it more than anyone and will pitifully play it against himself if no one else can play it right then, so his aunt and uncle are buying him Munchkin Apocalypse, a stand-alone game that can also serve as an expansion pack for the original:

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Edward saw this “I may be nerdy but only periodically” shirt, and loves it with all of his little nerd heart:

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He also wants this SmartLab Toys programmable rover:

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Henry loves toy weapons, camouflage gear, soldier/knight costumes, etc. This is a category I have zero interest in discussing the pros/cons/whys/why-nots of, except to say that it is going to blow his mind that I finally let him having something camo:

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It’s thermal underwear, but the kids wear them as pajamas. He can also wear them while firing the Nerf guns my parents are getting him:

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Nerf N-Strike Modulus Blaster

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Nerf N-Strike Elite Rough Cut 2×4 Blaster

I am sorry to see those are both only available from third-party sellers, for considerably higher prices; I wonder if Target has them in stock? Or I would just search “Nerf gun” on Amazon and see what else pops up: they all look pretty much the same to me.


Henry wants this Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual, but I don’t think we’re going to get it for him:

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I like to get each kid a book at Christmas, but $30 is more than I like to spend on the book gift, and our library has this one. On the other hand, he has way fewer ideas on his wish list than Edward does, and he likes to use the Monster Manual to come up with ideas for stories and games, so maybe that could count as one book gift + one toy gift.

Paul suggests getting him Coding Games in Scratch, but really Edward and Elizabeth are the ones who use Scratch. Maybe this would get Henry interested too.

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And of course if we did not already own it, I would be buying them my friend’s book, which is perfect for this age group:

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(There, that is like six mentions out of a total planned ten thousand, so we are getting there!)


Edward wants a remote-controlled helicopter:

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My parents bought these a few years ago for Rob and William, and they were a huge success. You have to go into it assuming a limited life span: they are more durable than they seem like they could be, but they do eventually break if you keep crashing them into things, and you will inevitably keep crashing them into things. I considered the amount of play we got out of them before they broke to be well worth the price.


Edward also wants this Circuit Maze game:

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We will probably get it for him. I think of ThinkFun as a near-guaranteed-success brand.


And now a list of the video games Edward wants. Rob has recently allowed his old 3DS to be used by younger siblings, and so Edward wants a bunch of 3DS games:

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Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon

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Pokémon Omega Ruby

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Pokémon Sun

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MarioKart 7


I am getting each boy the same radio alarm clock I got for Elizabeth, but theirs are black instead of white like hers:

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Ever since getting one of those Origami Yoda books from a free-book fair at school, Edward has been patiently folding paper, so I got him this Money Origami kit and I hope it’s good:

I did not spend $15 on it; I found it at Marshalls for something like $7.99.

22 thoughts on “Gift Ideas for 9-Year-Old and 11-Year-Old Boys

  1. Suzanne

    Every time you mentioned Henry, I furrowed my brow. This was a post about your nine and eleven year old boys, not about your youngest, who must surely be at most a year or two older than my daughter. Five. Yes, that sounds right. Apparently I have stuck Henry back in time where he remains a teeny post-toddler for ever and ever.

    I love the Periodically t-shirt with all my heart. Adorable.

  2. Angela (@Aferg22)

    I have a 10-year-old boy, and as I went down the list, I kept saying “Yes, yup, has that, loves that, wants that.” Nicely done.

  3. Nicole Boyhouse

    I want that nerd t-shirt for myself!

    My kids have the older version of that Pokemon book. They bought it at a book fair and it is practically falling apart, they read it so much. I fail to see the appeal but life is a rich tapestry.

    1. Teej

      “but life is a rich tapestry” is my new favorite line to be used in many different situations. hahahaha

  4. Jenny Grace

    Your 11yo and my very nearly 11yo have very similar interests, I think.

    I also got him a kindle fire on black friday when it was $30 (our iPad is some ancient generation and we can no longer update the iOS so we can’t download or update our games, so, we were in need of a new Kid Device).
    And I got him some art supplies and how to draw manga books (but it was hard to find ones that weren’t too sexy, I feel like maybe you had this problem when one of your boys got into manga).

    I ALSO (this is his big present) got him a day of Warriors Basketball Camp, which includes two tickets to the home game that night, and while the camp is expensive, it is cheaper than the cost of one single ticket to a Warriors home game, so it feels like a steal.

  5. Devan

    My kids have that Pokemon book and it is very well loved! For my boys this year (8,9, 11) there are a lot of Pokemon cards, plus some other Pokemon stuff. Other gifts include some books – the Wimpy Kid one for ex – a hiking backpack, new kindle, mancala, baseball gear and some t-shirts.

  6. el-e-e

    I’m glad to see that Origami Money kit! I got something similar (sans DVD) at Barnes and Noble for my 12-y-o who read all the Origami Yoda books and went through A Phase — but I’ve been dithering on whether to give it to him or not. I’m hoping it will re-kindle some of his former paper-folding love and be a distraction from YouTube, for at least a half hour on Christmas Day. ;)

  7. Ruby

    I love the “I May Be Nerdy” shirt, and I love that Edward loves it!

    Those mini helicopters are so fun, and they really do make a great gift for a kid around that age. My parents recently bought one for a family member around that age, and after I saw how cool it is in action I almost went out and bought one for ME.

    I had a money-origami book when I was maybe ten or eleven. If Edward is the kind of kid who is patient enough for that kind of thing (which it sounds like he is), he’ll love it. Just make sure not to leave any spare dollar bills lying around anywhere, unless you want them to be helpfully folded into little birds and elephants for you.

    1. Ruby

      Oh, one more thing! I was substituted teaching a fifth-grade class yesterday, and the teacher specifically mentioned that that Pokémon book is banned from her classroom because the kids are so fascinated by it that it distracts them from their work. So I’d say it’s a perfect gift for a kid Edward/Elizabeth’s age. Just, you know, make sure it doesn’t end up at school or the teacher might lose his or her mind :)

  8. Alice

    I had the same reaction as Suzanne! You must have typed the wrong name – Henry is wee! He can’t be NINE!!

    Also I love these posts and have definitely gone back to reference various ages for christmas ideas MANY times in the past, so thank you as always :)

  9. Stimey

    I just purchased a Nerf gun myself for a kiddo. The one he wanted was only available from third parties on Amazon, but was in stock on Target online AND was like $10 cheaper SUPER AND was going to get here faster.

  10. CC Donna

    Swistle, I have no idea what you’re talking about! I will have to discuss this with my daughter. She must be up on all of this! OH! my husband and I read “Horus and the Curse of Everlasting Regret”. Though written for children, we enjoyed it immensely. My husband, an avid reader, read it first. When I asked him to describe it without giving it away, he said, “It’s about friendship, loyalty, kindness and the love of books.” I found the book very endearing and found the plot interesting. I’m going to read it with my grandchildren when I visit them for the holidays!

  11. Shawna

    My eight and a half year old boy asked for Apples to Apples (it’s a game) and a Latin-English dictionary (I think he likes the idea of being able to essentially speak in code, and got the idea when we were listening to the Penderwicks audiobook series). He gets the new Skylanders game from his uncle every year so his gifts are very game-piece heavy for that game, plus he’s getting a few new Lego Dimensions characters. I got him a Youth Digital Minecraft coding course last year and he has managed to work his way through the whole course to produce a mod, so that was a success – it was expensive even at 50% off, but it’s a great way for him to learn coding doing something he’s interested in, so I considered it partly educational.

    Every year he also gets new good glove/mitts (we live in Canada so they’re a must), socks, pyjamas, and a Christmas tree ornament. This year I’ve also added a couple of fun things – a “voice changer” and colourful kids’ travel neck pillow – to his haul, plus stocking stuffers from Santa (chocolate, a minecraft creeper figurine, a feather pen, a couple of battery-operated glow wristbands).

    1. Kristin H

      The coding thing is a great gift idea. Just wondering how you got it at 50% off? I’d do it in a heartbeat.

      1. Shawna

        I got it through a Groupon, but Black Friday weekend Youth Digital ran a sale of all their courses 50% off. They’re doing a 12 days of Christmas sale right now, putting select courses on sale – I’m not sure which ones are on sale which days, but I think the discounts are similar. Good luck!

  12. Angela

    If you’re not sold on that particular monster book, my husband (yes, I know, he’s 30 not 10!) wants the “Volos Guide to Monsters” which is unfortunately out of stock on Amazon but I’m hoping my local comic book shop will have one.

  13. Grace

    I *thought* I was finished Christmas shopping before you posted this. Several of the things on your list were already purchased, but I keep coming back to check and then add more things (that shirt kills me!) and then the comments have also had such fun ideas! Next year, I’m just going to not shop for anyone until you post!

  14. British American

    My Henry got that Pokemon book for his 9th birthday this fall. Big hit. Lots of his friends have it too. He took it to school to read and another kid has borrowed it and was supposed to give it back today. So I have to keep an eye on that now and make him bring it home and keep it here.

    For Christmas he is getting this Meccano Robot: I saw it at Fleet Farm and bought it for $40, only to come home and find that it’s $26 on Amazon. So I ended up returning it and getting the Target exclusive one instead.

    I also went to Build A Bear and got my son Charmander. You can’t get it online right now, and it may be sold out in stores – but he’s adorable!

  15. M.Amanda

    Had all my shopping done, including Pokemon Sun and Moon. Then today, two days before Christmas, my 8yo daughter begged me for the Pokemon book. Had to say no, but yelling at myself in my head, “Why didn’t you think of that?” It’s perfect for Pokemon fans.

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