Oh, man. William has been invited to a birthday party this weekend. Furthermore, he got the invitation yesterday, which means there is not much time to think. And William is the sort of child who, if you ask him what his BEST FRIEND SINCE FIRST GRADE’s favorite color is, will say “……Humm. Maybe….blue?” And if you say, “Well, what does she like to do? Does she have any hobbies?,” will say “…..Humm. Uh….” So on the topic of this weekend’s birthday child, a classmate he has known only since school started this year, I feel very lucky that he happened to know whether the child was a boy or a girl.
And eleven is a tricky age to buy for. I don’t even know what to get my OWN children in that age range. Well, there is nothing for it but to dig up some candidates, which is something I had to do before Christmas anyway.
Crafting With Cat Hair (photo from Amazon.com). I realize this is odd. I realize this is the sort of item that may need some further explanation, or perhaps would have been better suited to the unusual miscellany list from last week. But this item is actually IN MY GIFT CUPBOARD RIGHT THIS MINUTE, because we have bought it for William for Christmas (he has already been experimenting on his own with making short pieces of yarn out of cat hair) (I know, but I don’t know whose genes to blame/credit), so I could have him give it to his friend and then buy him a new copy.
Talking Hands Animal Tattoos (photo from Amazon.com). These are on my gift-idea list for William. It seems like the sort of thing he might love, and so maybe his friend would also love them, and at $10 they’re right in my birthday-party-gift range. Plus, they’re fun but then they get used up and don’t create clutter.
AirZooka. I gave Paul one of these a few years ago and it was SO WEIRD. You “shoot” it at someone, and a second goes by and then they get PUFFED in the face with a surprising wallop of air. Like a SPHERE of AIR. Or if you aim it at a curtain, it looks like someone threw a beach ball at the curtain except the beach ball was invisible. Freaky.
Balloon-Powered Vehicle Kit (photo from Amazon.com). Considering how endlessly funny the children seem to find it to blow up a balloon and then release it and watch it splutter around the room, it seems like a pointless waste of money to pay more to get a little car and a little propeller. But…that’s exactly the kind of money that turns something into A Gift To Bring To A Party.
Magnetic Sculpture (photo from Amazon.com). The only tip William has been able to give us so far is that his friend “likes to fiddle around with stuff, like paperclips.” (In fact, William suggested a box of paperclips would be a good gift.) This is fiddly! But is it the kind of fiddly that ends up leaving tiny little pieces all over the house? We once received as a gift the kind with thin flat pieces (moon and stars) as a gift, and those sharp little suckers broke a vacuum cleaner. These shapes seem less dangerous.
Disc Shooters (photo from Amazon.com). William wants these himself. But I feel a little uneasy giving a gun-related toy when so many families have a policy about such things.
I also consulted my OWN POSTS on gifts for a 10-year-old (figuring not much has changed since then) and gifts for 9-12-year-old boys, and now I’m also considering the Create Anything With Clay book, the Hexbug Nano starter kit, a Rubik’s Twist, or the Crystal Mining Kit.