The biggest gift-giving challenge of my parenting years: buying gifts for Rob, this year when he is 11-almost-12. It took me a month to come up with even the paltry pitiful assortment of possibilities you see below, but a paltry pitiful assortment is better than no assortment at all. (All images are from Amazon.com.)
1. Hexbug Nano. My 11-year-old and 9-year-old boys were so excited about this, they joined forces and saved their money to buy the habitat set, despite me saying desperately, “Wait! Wait! Don’t you want to wait until after Christmas to spend your money?” There’s a battle set I think they would have liked even better if they’d known about it, and if you want to spend more like $75 (the other two sets I mentioned are around $30) there’s the super-awesome 3D Elevation Habitat Set.
2. Rubik’s puzzles. Rob likes difficult puzzles like the 4×4 and the 360. William (age 9) prefers the easier Twist. They both love the Magic. If you try the harder puzzles, may I also suggest getting a book to help solve them? One of our funniest moments last Christmas was when Rob opened the 5×5 Rubik’s, tried to solve it, said, “I’d need a BOOK to solve this one!”—and then his next gift was the book. This year we got him this kerazy one (it says it’s a Square One, but a reviewer says it’s a square Two)—it’s not a Rubik’s, but it’s similar.
3. MP3. This is the main gift we got Rob this year: the 2GB SanDisk Sansa Clip (the 4GB is only $5 more, but we thought 2GB was enough for him to get started), and a $15 Amazon MP3 gift card (that link brings you to all the gift cards; the green one is the one that says MP3 on it).
4. Phineas and Ferb. This show is SUCH a hit at our house: the kids think it’s hilarious, but SO DO WE. Unusual. We considered a DVD, a Christmas DVD, a transforming Perry toy, a joke book (heaven help us), wall stickers, the soundtrack….but we went with the MP3 player instead, and got the joke book as a stocking stuffer. (We got the transforming Perry toy for William.) I think I might get the soundtrack for the car sometime.
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. These are a pleasing hybrid of “book” and “comic book.” Rob and William have both been on the library waiting list for the newest one (The Ugly Truth), so I got it for them for Christmas. I see that the Do-It-Yourself Wimpy Kid book is all the way down to $4.78—that might be a good set with one of the novels. (Also, notice that boys do not keep DIARIES, heavens no. It is a do-it-yourself! Like a home improvement project!)
6. Perhaps it is not on every 11-year-old boy’s wish list, but I think this crochet book is going to be one of Rob’s favorite presents this year.