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The Best Gifts for 10-Year-Olds

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

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 stuff for 10 year olds that actually passes muster is no easy feat. 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.

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.

It's foosball, but hockey. This set includes 3D players clad in Maple Leaf and Red Wing uniforms; the control rods are easy to move, and there are puck ejectors in each goal. The goalies move from side to side.

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.

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.

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.

Once your kid outgrows the scooter, get him or her this skateboard. It's a cruiser-style skateboard, so it's easier to balance on it, and the 62mm x 51mm poured urethane wheels and ABEC 5-speed bearings provide a smooth ride. The weight limit is 110 pounds.

These next-level building blocks let kids construct the cities or towns or neighborhoods of their dreams. Using blocks created by designer James Paulius, they build towers, cities and dwellings, complete with terraces and pavilions.

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.

Between its bombing elements and spring-loaded shooters, this is one helluva collectible missile-firing warship.

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.

Connect this blinged-out microphone to any karaoke app and let your kids sing their hearts out. It works with a smartphone, tablet, or computer and is compatible with Android and Apple operating systems. It comes with an SD card slot, echo function, earphone jack, volume control, and LED lights.

Paracord bracelets, by virtue of how they're made, are durable and can be used as survival bracelets during hikes or campouts. We're not saying these particular bracelets will save your life during an emergency. But the set is pretty damn cool. It includes 50 feet of type III survival grade 550 paracord, which is enough to make eight unique bracelets. Kids choose between multiple colors and five charms.

This programmable robot ball comes equipped with a gyroscope, accelerometer, and colorful LED lights, and lets kids drive, play games, and code using the brand's free apps. It comes with three traffic cones and six bowling pins for an obstacle course, and can be used as a game controller for arcade-style games.

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.

They may act like they're way too mature for magic tricks but trust us: It's an act. Criss Angel's kit teaches them over 550 tricks including the cups-and-balls, considered by many to be the oldest magic trick in existence. The props are high quality and the directions are thorough.

Choose 3-6 letters to spell out your kid's name, or a word that's meaningful to him or her. The bracelet is made from brass and artisan metals, with a hook and catch closure. And you can choose between regular, petite, or large sizes, and a silver or brass finish.

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.

Now with an updated battery life of up to nine hours, the Nintendo Switch is pretty much the ultimate portable console. A Switch coupled with the most addictive game you can play? Sold.

The more affordable, less tricked out sibling of the Switch: The Lite was created specifically for personal, handheld play.

If they'd rather skip the experiments and go right into the bath, these bath bombs come in a wide variety of scents and colors, to cater to the most picky of 10 year olds.

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.

These deceptively simple yet uniquely challenging sets are made up of interlocking bricks. This set lets kids build a football field, a hockey rink, a soccer field (of course, given that the brand hails from Denmark), and a basketball court. It comes with 380 bricks and two base plates.

One of the coolest toys we've seen: This kit of 28 pieces, in seven shapes, with two spinners, let's kids build anything and everything they dream up. The magnets connect, and the shapes are flexible enough to be twisted into a slew of shapes.

Not ready to give your kid an actual iPhone? Here's the answer. Not only is the newest Apple watch affordable. But it works with Apple's Family Setup feature, which keeps your kids connected to you at all times. Plus, you monitor their screen time, and can set the watch up so they're not distracted when they need to be doing schoolwork. And because it's attached to them, they won't lose it. In theory.

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.

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.

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.

Here's an idea: Watch the classic comedy with the kids and then build this time-traveling car together. After all, we can all agree that 2020 pretty much sucks. The set includes the DeLorean, Marty McFly, Dr. Emmett Brown, Einstein the dog, the skateboard, and of course the flux capacitor.

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 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.

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.

A gorgeous, modular two-in-one tablet and laptop, this one is built by kids. Once they have it set up, they learn to code using logic, Python, Javascript, and terminal commands. And best of all, it levels up with them, so they never get bored.

Sometimes the best toys are the simplest. This pogo stick has a weight limit of 160 pounds. It's foam-covered for extra grippiness.

A perfect starter drone, this one is easy to fly while also shooting beautiful photos and videos. Its camera shoots 5MP (2592x1936) photos and HD720 videos at a maximum flight time of 13 minutes.The flight controller powered by industry leader DJI, so kids can perform cool tricks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The challenge: Beat your opponents at collecting cards while dodging burritos being hurled at you. Hours of fun. No seriously. This is a blast.

Quite possibly one of the best and most innovative rainy-day crafting kits we've ever seen. If your kids prefers another critter, there's plenty to choose from. He or she pushes pins right into the pre-patterned foam bases and creates their own string masterpiece, either based on the pattern one pictured or something else entirely.

Folks, if all else fails, give them a gift card so they can buy Nintendo games and download them.

Fatherly IQ
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