Ready for my favorite gift for 11 year old boys, including books, games, toys, and technology?
My daughters helped me write this list with what’s cool, plus I’ve done a lot of research with friends, in stores, and online.
ALSO VISIT: Best Books for 11-Year Olds
Cool Gifts for 11-Year-Old Boys
Fjallraven Kanken Backpack
These have been all the rage for years now according to my tweens. Tons of people love these, and they’re perfect for back to school because they’re cool and functional!
Ali Cross by James Patterson
ADVENTURE / MYSTERY
If you want an enthralling adventure & mystery that you can’t put down, read this one next. It’s Christmas Eve and Ali’s friend Gabe is missing, his FBI agent dad is falsely accused of murdering an old man, and someone broke into their house while they were at church and stole his dad’s service weapon. Ali knows he has to try to fix things, starting by finding his friend Gabe. Don’t miss book two, Like Father, Like Son.
Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen
This is a compelling, disturbing, and hopeful childhood story of hardship and survival with moments of kindness and time in nature that sustain the neglected, determined young boy. If you love Gary Paulsen’s stories or just enjoy survival and growing up stories, DON’T MISS this powerful book!
LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett’s Starship
From the Mandalorian season 2, build the airship of Boba Fett. Plus, get Boba and Mando with the ship so it’s a cool building option for under $50.
Brick x Brick by Adam Ward
I highly recommend this engaging book for any LEGO loving kid! Adam Ward of YouTube fame writes with so much personality and pizazz. Not only does this book show you cool, step-by-step builds, but it’s also filled with facts, tips, history, stories, & more.
LEGO Star Wars The Child
This is a detailed rendering of The Child from The Mandalorian with 1,073 pieces!
BENGOO Gaming Headset
Yes, another gaming item. I know not everyone’s sons are gamers but for those who are, this is a must have for the best gaming experience. They have several color options to choose from!
The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice book 1 by John A. Flanagan
Will is apprenticed to become a Ranger, a job he’s unsure about. But as he develops a relationship with his master and learns what being a Ranger is all about (spying for the kingdom), and comes to embrace his new life. When an old enemy of the kingdom sends out dangerous beasts to attack Will’s master, Will is instrumental in getting help and killing the creatures. Action, fantasy, adventure, friendship, excellent writing — this book has it all! Ranger’s Apprentice is a must-read, mesmerizing epic fantasy.
Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit
This is National Geographic’s first fictional STEM book series with full-color illustrations that hits the spot with an exciting mix of science, technology, adventure, and mystery. Newly accepted into the prestigious Explorer Academy for science and exploration, Cruz realizes that someone is trying to kill him; someone who doesn’t want him finding out about his mother’s mysterious research and untimely death. There’s tons of cool tech, amazing friendships, plot twists, plus an intriguing premise! It will make a great gift for any child who is reading chapter books.
Bluetooth Light Up Keyboard
These kinds of keyboard are fantastic gifts for 11 year old boys! They work for desktops, laptops, as well as phones, and tablets. I find these are much easier to type on and are honestly just fun.
These are sure to be a hit with any tween!
Words Over Easy
A family game with letter eggs for making words. The object of the game is to write as many words as you can. But here’s the twist. Put the eggs in the sorter. You must only use ALL the letters in the green section to write words — and none of the letters in the red section. Fun!
Awesome Achievers in Technology by Alan Katz, illustrated by Chris Judge
Kids will zip through this excellent middle-grade biography because the author makes the information relevant and relatable. The writing is conversational, the author is totally hilarious (especially when he talks about his own ridiculous inventions or the questions he asks Siri) plus there are illustrations, quizzes, fast facts, activities, and a wealth of fascinating information about each inventor’s life. Read about the inventors of video games, the television remote control, the cell phone, windshield wipers, the first web browser, and the microwave oven.
Crystal Growing Experimental Kit
Put those science skills to use by growing these amazing, eye-catching crystals that come with their own display cases!
If you’re like me and you don’t like how long the regular Monopoly game takes, try this new 20-minute game! It’s a card-flipping game of chance. You will get to own properties and build buildings (with colorful buildings) that will feel familiar but also fresh. Hooray for this new, quicker version!
LEGO Forest Machine
Build a durable Forest Machine with a motorized pneumatic crane boom and grabber with this advanced building set. This is a 2-in-1 model that can be rebuilt into a Log Loader both logging equipment toys are powered up with LEGO Power Functions.
Allies by Alan Gratz
Written from many different voices about one day in history, readers easily can see the massive amount of cooperation, planning. and troops from different countries involved in D-Day (when the Allies invaded France at Normandy.) We hear from an American teenager soldier who was born in Germany, a French Algerian girl whose mom is a recently captured spy, a Canadian paratrooper who lands in the wrong spot, and an American black medic. It’s violent and disheartening yet despite terrible losses, racism, and injuries, the fighters persist despite everything to accomplish their goal — to take back the area for the Allies. What an incredible retelling of this day, appropriate for middle grade readers.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
My kids LOVE their portable mini-speakers, and so will yours. Something about kids — they need their music, right? This speaker provides amazingly high-quality sound plus colorful flashing lights. Charge up to give yourself hours of play time on the go.
National Geographic 2024
The National Geographic Almanac is a must-own resource for families. Practice your nonfiction reading comprehension skills as you learn about animals, space, science, history, geography, and much more. Each page is designed to entertain and educate with stunning layouts and eye-popping photographs.
Haru Zombie Dog Hero by Ellen Oh
Edge-of-your-seat writing and action, the bond between a dog and boy (and family) grounds this paranormal adventure in love even though it’s also about evil scientists and zombies! Luke loves his dog, Haru, more than anything. So he’s devastated when their family’s mean landlord gets Haru taken away by the pound. But instead of going to the pound, Haru is sent to a sinister laboratory where scientists experiment on dogs. (This part is hard to read for us animal lovers — but hang in there, Haru will be okay.) Instead of dying like the other dogs, Haru wakes up changed. Violent. A stray cat named Penelope reminds Haru of his people, which helps his impulses. Then, the other more violent zombie dogs escape the lab — and Haru knows he must protect his people no matter what!
800 Pound Gorilla
In this fast and easy game by the makers of Cat Goat Cheese Pizza win points by being the fastest player to grab a banana or coconut or guess the correct size of the gorilla!
A Day in the Life of an Astronaut, Mars, and the Distant Stars by Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley
Learn about the solar system in this nonfiction comic book. The day in the life stories are first-person personified stories from the point of view of things like a Death Cloud, Meteorite, and Nebula. Packed full of information, the other story formats include bigger picture sections and secret diaries. For example, you’ll like reading the secret diary of a space monkey. Honestly, it’s amazing how much information this book teaches readers about space and how appealing it is!
Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Get ready for an exciting adventure filled with Latin American and Spanish mythology! (Which the author calls Hispanic mythology.) This story is immediately engaging with the perfect balance of action, dialogue, & description interspersed with Spanish words and phrases. Charlie Hernández’s house burns down, his parents go missing, and he is sent to a foster home. But it’s when he grows HORNS, the WINGS, and meets the MYTHS in real life — like calacas, mukis, and El Justo Juez — that he’s really freaked out. Fortunately, a persistent classmate Violet Rey (also his crush) helps Charlie follow the clues to find out what happened to his parents — and what it has to do with La Mano Peluda and the prophesied Morphling who is meant to save the world.
Built-in cellular lets you do it all on your watch — even while you’re away from your phone. It’s an amazing mini-computer on your wrist.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Bod lives in the graveyard with an assortment of ghosts and other cemetery creatures who raise him after his parents are killed when Bod is only a baby. Bod’s main guardian is Silas who cares for him, feeds him, and teaches him about the human world. The ending is bittersweet (my daughter yelled at me for making her read a sad story) but perfect. Despite the scary-sounding title, the scariest part is in the first chapter when Bod’s parents get murdered.
LEGO Chain Reactions Design & Build Amazing Moving Machines
Make machines that spin, swing, pivot, roll, lift, and drop and do these functions IN CHAIN REACTIONS! You’ll receive a 78 page book, 33 LEGO elements, 6 LEGO balls, 6 feet of string, 8 paper ramps, 2 paper pop-up signs, 1 paper funnel ramp, 1 paper flag, 1 paper bucket, and 1 platform.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
On his way to visit his dad, 13-year-old Brian’s plane crashes in the Canadian wild. All alone with only a hatchet, he’s forced to grow up quickly in order to survive each harrowing day. Readers will quickly imagine themselves in Brian’s perilous situation. Award-winning, compelling narrative.
The Settlers of Catan
Players must trade for resources to build roads, settlements, and cities for points. The first to ten points wins. It’s easy to learn but the strategy requires some practice but 11 year olds can master this with no problem. A very popular game for families and friend groups!
Christmas Light Charger
If you’re going to charge a device, why not make it cool?
The Monster Book of Sudoku for Kids by Will Shortz
Easy (number-based) sudoku puzzles for kids, starting with 4 x 4 grids. These will keep your 11 year old boys’ brains working hard — and maybe you, too, if you want!
Two players. Strategy. Logic. Enthralling! (This game was one of my favorites as a kid, too.)
The slackline stretches between two trees like a tightrope but is stretchy and bouncy. You can ratchet the line so it fits the distance. We also use the guided teaching line above so the kids can hold on when they lose their balance.
City Spies by James Ponti
When Sara, a foster kid and hacker, gets in trouble again, her new so-called lawyer recruits her to be an MI6 spy. Sara joins a team of other kids, trains quickly, and is immediately sent undercover to break open a big case in Paris. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I predict you’ll love every second of this action-packed story! It’s filled with great characters and an interesting twisty plot.
Get a Fitbit for your kids that will tell time and help you calculate steps, calories, distance, and sleep. It’s a great way to motivate healthy living.
One by Wacom Digital Drawing Tablet
The original Wacom tablets cost $500+ so this is a more affordable option at $60 for kids who want to get started with digital art. Plug into your computer and start drawing!