Ask any 1o year old boys or girls what toys they want, and you’ll be met with a disgusted eye roll, a huff, and a demand for the latest iPhone. Choosing toys for 10 year old boys and girls that actually pass muster is no easy feat because the very word (toy) is a huge turnoff. The best gifts for 10 year old boys and girls treat them less like solitary children in need of entertainment and more like socially adept mini-adults, which is what they should be becoming as they enter what developmental experts call “middle childhood.”
The notion is to empower 10-year-olds to create and share, ideally with their friends, while celebrating their newfound agency. Is that as tricky as it sounds? Not really. There are great birthday gift options, even for 10-year-olds who seem to have everything.
The main caveat to be aware of with 10-year-olds is that these pre-pre-teens are often developing specific interests (or obsessions) and starting to focus on defined strengths. Given that, it’s critical to meet these kids where they live rather than just getting them a new and shiny toy, which may be of no particular interest despite the novelty factor. Given that, our list of best gifts for 10-year-olds should be filtered through an understanding of an individual child’s interests. Which means: You need to cater to your audience.
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The Best Gamer Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
So the Rubik’s cube has been deemed too simple, has it? Here’s an upgrade. This app-enabled Rubik’s cube tracks your kids’ moves in real time, and lets him or her connect with a community to compete against other cubers. It’s the ultimate brain-teasing game that levels up, so kids don’t get bored.
The more affordable, less tricked out sibling of the Switch: The Lite was created specifically for personal, handheld play.
Between remote learning and gaming, your tween needs a proper headset. This one is top notch. Thanks to its 7.1 surround sound, it’s truly immersive. It’s PC- and Mac-compatible, truly comfortable, and has a detachable, noise-cancelling microphone.
For gamers. For artists. A kit that does it call. They use colored markers and paper to turn hand-drawn concepts into instantly playable video games. How? They draw the game, take a picture of it, and play an animated version on a phone or tablet.
The ultimate screen-free brain twister: A smart cube that is tricked out with a microprocessor, accelerometer, Bluetooth LE, sound, and LED lights. Kids scramble it however they want, and helpful guiding LED lights on each side will help them solve the puzzle. If they’d rather do it on their own, they can turn off the LED lights.
The Best Creative Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
Snap Ships is a building system for building aircrafts of various shapes and sizes, and all sets and pieces are interchangeable. This specific battleship is armed with CL-ARM rockets, a stealth drive for secret missions, and a railgun with hyper velocity. Because of course you need hyper velocity.
This time, kids can build something they can actually use: A desk organizer. They wind up with a funky box with two compartments, a photo holder, and an opening drawer. It’s next-level crafting.
Between its bombing elements and spring-loaded shooters, this is one helluva collectible missile-firing warship.
Here’s a great jewelry kit that lets designers make their own personalized necklaces, rings, or bracelets. It includes everything they need to spell out names, words, quotes, and phrases.
We do everything on our devices. And this digital crayon is best in class. It works on all iPads (2018 and later) and lets kids mark up PDFs, take handwritten notes, or draw a masterpiece. It weighs less than an ounce, works on tons of apps, and gets up to 7.5 hours of active writing time.
Fully loaded with multiple shades of hand-rolled Karatasi beads, raffia tassels, and stretch cord, it’s the ultimate personalized letter bead bangle kit. For total self-expression.
Thanks to the handy color-coded chart, kids wrap, tie, and snip the colorful yarn into tiny animal pom-poms. They add noses and ears. It’s oddly gratifying and actually really fun.
This USB-operated thought cloud message board lights up and illuminates what’s written on it, whether it’s an inspirational quote, a reminder, or just whatever comes to mind.
Kids this age love to journal. So encourage self-expression with this endlessly creative kit. Kids personalize a 70-sheet spiral journal with stickers, frames, and gems, and use they use the blank pages inside to record their ideas, thoughts, and solutions to world problems.
This awesome 3D pen is a revelation. It has an adjustable feed that lets artists regulate speed and flow for optimal control. Tween designers can crank up the extrusion speed for larger fill in areas and turn it down slow to create highly detailed works.
A Lego kit for the ages, quite literally. This is an intricate 910-piece set that allows kids to create buildable, posable tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, and pteranodon skeleton models with displays stands. And it’s a set that requires concentration, focus, and dedication, all skills that 10 year olds should be able to master.
Because of this kit’s spinning loom, kids make unique bracelets and can change the thickness, looping style, thread quantity, and color combinations ad nauseam. Meaning, they can get as creative as they want. And friendship bracelets never, and we do mean never, get old.
Yes, this can be used for remote learning or note-taking. But it’s also a pretty fantastic drawing pad for artists. It’s a 32 page dotted grid notebook that can be used endlessly; you just wipe it clean when you’re done. As for what’s in it? Save it forever using cloud services like Google drive, Dropbox, Evernote, box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, or email using the free Rocketbook app.
So your kid dreams of working at Pixar? Get him or her ready with this insanely cool kit, which has everything kids need to create and share their own animated movies. They can animate using LEGO bricks, clay, paper or random toys. The kit includes a great HD USB camera with microphone; a 60-page animation activity book with printable activities; a mini stage with background; and stop-motion software with time-lapse features, sound effects and backdrops.
A wonderful kit for rainy days. Or really, any days. Kids just push pins right into the pre-patterned foam bases and get to work on their string art kit. It’s fulfilling and gratifying.
Get her a keepsake now that she’s in the double digits: You can customize this delicate plate necklace with initials, a significant date, or a quote.
Kids can upload their own custom designs to personalize these classic kicks and make them uniquely their own. Creativity coupled with practicality is a win-win. Choose between the beloved slip-ons, or whatever other style works for your child.
The Best STEM Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
As with Legos, kids can create endless robotic objects with this one single kit. They build robots with 10 challenge cards, wood, electric motors, and hardware.
We’d never encourage kids to play with fire just for fun, but this chemistry set teaches them stuff like how to extinguish a flame with invisible gas. So yes, it’s fun. Plus they make bubbling lava or have chemicals change colors. It comes with a beaker, test tubes, a graduated cylinder, lab glasses, dropper, funnel, and stirring rod.
The next time your kid declares that biology is boring, sit him or her down in front of this microscope and have them look at a drop of juice with 20x and 50x magnification. The set comes with 10 prepared slides, and everything kids need to create their own with the included blank slides and covers, tweezers, and eye-dropper.
Builders create more than 100 different electronic circuit projects with just 30 pieces that click together. That includes a working photo sensor, a flashing light, and an adjustable-volume siren. Engineering at its finest and most accessible.
Chemistry comes to life, quite literally, as kids build molecules from plastic atom models that connect using magnets. Then, kids use the app to scan in their creation and identify the molecule using image recognition technology. Kids build propane, acetone, formaldehyde, and table salt molecules, among many others.
These deceptively simple yet uniquely challenging sets are made up of interlocking bricks. This set lets kids build, quite literally, whatever they want. In 3D.
Kids put their problem-solving skills to work by using blocks with snaps to build and understand electrical circuits, home security, overhead lights, and an infrared controlled lighting system. It’s quite literally a home-run: All 53 projects are based on the stuff that happens in the home. Kids use the color- and number-coded blocks to learn how power gets to your home, how power travels inside the walls, and what happen when you flip on the living room lights.
The Best Collaborative Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
The ever-popular board game gets a superhero twist. This time, Thanos, Hela, Ultron, Taskmaster, and Killmonger face off against Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Black Panther, and Captain America. The goal: To fulfill one’s dark destiny.
Hive is a two-player game that develops strategic thinking skills. The goal is deceptively simple: To surround your opponent’s queen bee while trying to block your opponents from doing the same to you. Hence, planning, plotting, and critical thinking.
One of the most insanely fun games we’ve ever played. It’s competitive dodgeball, coupled with a matching game. The goal is to collect matching sets of oversized cards while also dodging three-foot tall inflatable burritos. If you get hit, you lose points. Up to six people can play.
The point of this game is to colonize the island of Catan. Kids do so by acquiring resources through trades, cards, or lucky dice. It’s a strategy game requiring planning, critical thinking, and deductive reasoning. Plus, it’s fun and great for group engagement.
The Best Tech Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
None of the extraneous bells and whistles. All of the retro cool. The new Polaroid has autofocus, which makes for much better photos. And they’re keepsakes.
Yeah, your child will be thrilled with the ability to speak with his or her friends via the wrist. And there are the myriad apps and games accessible with the swipe of a finger. But you’ve got the ultimate trump card: parental controls, screentime-limiting features, and military-grade GPS. Point, set, match.
It’s nearly impossible to go wrong with a Bluetooth speaker, and this one comes in a variety of tween-approved colors. The fully integrated metal carabiner attaches right to their backpacks. It’s got 10 hours of playtime and is actually waterproof.
A great gift for music lovers: An easy to use smart controller that teaches kids how to DJ. They can play tracks from smartphones or PC/Mac using a variety of DJ apps, or they can can mix music stored in iTunes. There’s even a Transition FX functionality to help them match phrases and smoothly transition between songs.
Speaking of birds, this drone has 13 minutes of flying time, and a powerful-enough camera to capture 5MP photos and 720p HD videos. Because of its EZ Shots functionality, it’s great for beginners just figuring out how the camera works. Plus, it’s a coding toy: Kids use the Scratch programming language via the app to program the drone to perform stunts.
What goes around, always comes back around. Such is the case with the lava lamp. Yellow wax flats in the liquid, and creates a very chill vibe for your tween’s bedroom. The silver base is a sizable 16 inches.
The Best Active Gifts for 10-Year-Olds
Yes, this is a remote-controlled bird with a 200 foot range. And she’s hardy, this bird, because she has a smart obstacle-avoiding module that uses infrared sensors to avoid running into things.
Sometimes the best toys are the simplest. This pogo stick has a weight limit of 160 pounds. It’s foam-covered for extra grippiness.
If you’re trying to get your kid to be more active, here’s a best in class fitness tracker. It has up to one year of battery life, and this interface actually includes chore management, so parents can assign tasks, schedule alerts and alarms, and reward kids for good behavior. Plus, there’s sleep and activity tracking galore.
It’s time your child ditches that scooter and steps up to the skate park with a skateboard. Toy Machine is a legendary brand, and its complete will get your child started with a 7.75-inch seven-ply deck. We also like the ABEC-5 bearings, a marked upgrade from the industry standard, that will have him or her zooming through the bowl and bombing hills at mach five.
For the kid who loves basketball, here’s a weighted regulation-size ball made specifically to strengthen fingers, wrists, and forearms, thereby improving dribbling and passing skills.
At last, the Nerf Halo line is out. This motorized blaster is inspired by the one in Halo Infinite. It includes a 10-dart clip and 10 Nerf Elite foam darts to take out your enemies.