Gear

The Best Gifts for 10-Year-Olds

They're hard to shop for, but we've got you covered.

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The best gifts for 10 year olds, against a green backdrop

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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