Birthdays come and birthdays go, but kids always remember the birthday gifts they wanted but didn’t get. It’s why parents put so much damn pressure on themselves. But what about finding birthday gifts for 10-year-olds who don’t actually know what they want? Or finding the kid whose birthday wishlist adds up more than your monthly mortgage payment? Well, then it’s on you to find something else. Again, no pressure.
To help you out, we rounded up awesome birthday gifts that any 10-year-old boy or girl would love. They fit any number of budgets and hit everything from sporting goods and STEM toys, to Star Wars and space dolls.
Hasbro Poe Dameron Electronic X-Wing Pilot Helmet
Short of sneaking your kid onto the Star Wars set, it doesn’t get any more realistic than this collector-grade Poe helmet with three-internal speakers, built-in microphone, and retractable polarizing visor. Once on, they can activate X-wing aerial battle sounds or use voice commands to control Hasbro’s BB-8 droid (sold separately). It’s the perfect birthday gift for 10-year-old Jedis.
Forever ending the debate over whether a pitch was a ball or strike, BacKstop is five-foot wide and four-foot tall inflatable catcher that features a prominent strike zone ⏤ if the pitch doesn’t end up in the net, it’s not a strike. The patented system is designed for use with Wiffle balls and other hardball substitutes. It makes a great birthday gift for 10-year-olds — especially sports fanatics.
Part of Dart Zone’s Covert Ops series, the 40-shot Magnum features a massive rotating super-drum and an adjustable forearm tactical support rest to ensure full control. There are two blasting modes: the one-dart trigger fire for sniping and the unleash-the-fury “slamfire” ⏤ a pump-action setting that sprays three darts per second across the room. Neither mode requires batteries, which makes the Magnum’s 80-foot range even more impressive.
Piper is a DIY electronics kit for kids that includes everything they need ⏤ display, switches, mouse, a power source, Raspberry Pi 3 computer board ⏤ to both build a computer and program a custom version of Minecraft. The holistic STEM experience is intended to teach both hands-on building chops, as well as problem-solving, critical thinking, and coding skills.
Between the “studio-grade audio quality” and the noise-canceling design that drowns out 82 percent of background sounds, get ready to be frustrated every time you call your 10-year-old kid to dinner. There is good news: The volume has that 85 dB restrictor and the battery only lasts 18 hours. So they’ll definitely be down for breakfast.
ShotTracker’s a Klay Thompson-endorsed kids wearable that tracks basketball shot attempts, makes, and misses, as well as coaches 10-year-olds (and kids of all ages) up with elite-level drills and workouts. A wristband sensor worn by the player tracks shot attempts and position on the court while a second sensor in the net records whether the ball actually goes in. It’s all recorded on an accompanying app.
Ensure your kid’s not the one stuck dinging the triangle every day at the birthday party or in music class by teaching them how to play the guitar with ChordBuddy. Billed as an “innovative guitar-learning system” (rather than a way to cheat at playing “Smoke on the Water”), it attaches to the neck of most guitars and uses four colorful buttons to help teach students the basics of playing chords. Yes, just like Guitar Hero. As your 10-year-old improves, you can start taking away buttons. It also comes with lesson plans and an instructional DVD. Sadly, it does not come with a Slash-style top hat.
Schwinn has recently rolled out a limited-production (there are only 1,400 available) version of its iconic 1971 Grey Ghost, similar to the one Mike rides in the show Stranger Things. Based on the original steel Sting-Ray frame, the Ghost rocks rising ape handles, a sprawling banana seat, and 20-inch rear tire, not to mention coaster brakes, and anachronistically named “sissy bar” for the passenger backrest.
Science-obsessed and all about the STEM, Luciana is American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year. She’s an 18-inch-tall “natural-born” leader of Chilean descent who aspires to be the first person/doll to walk on Mars and who the company (and NASA) hopes will inspire young girls ⏤ including your 10-year-old birthday girl ⏤ to get excited about space and science.
MekaMon are 10-inch-tall, off-the-shelf robot warriors that use Pokemon-style augmented reality to do battle both in your house and on your smartphone screen. (What a great birthday gift, right?) They’re also modular, so 10-year-old kids can add smart weapons (avenger cannon, falcon rail gun) and shields (iron citadel, neutron shield) to increase the robot’s powers.