Amy Clark

Great Gifts When You are Eight and a Boy

I find buying boy gifts to be quite a bit more challenging than girl gifts. As my children get older, the other challenge becomes finding a gift that they don’t already have and something that isn’t electronic-related.  This year I really tried to find games that would challenge Ethan to use his imagination. These are some of our favorite gifts to get our favorite eight year-old little man.

ZOOB 250-Piece Set

My son is a big fan of Legos and last year we bought a lot of Lego sets for him. The challenge with Lego sets has always been keeping all of the pieces together. This year we decided to try something a little different and got him a set of these ZOOB pieces that he could build with and both of the kids have been in heaven with these. The pieces fit together easily and you can create moving pieces that are three dimensional. The set came with a huge booklet of designs that you could create and 250 pieces was just the right amount of pieces to create just about anything. They are larger pieces than the Lego blocks so they are easy to clean up and find in the carpet.  Once our son got the hang of these, we were encouraging him to develop his own designs for creations, which further challenged his imagination. He plays with these almost every single day and they have been a great set to build with.

ZOOBMobile Car Designer

Ethan’s grandparent’s helped us add to Ethan’s ZOOB collection and purchased the car designer kit for him.  This added another fun layer to the building pieces and he could design his own cars to be built as well. There are 76 pieces in this kit and twelve car designs that could be created and Ethan loved these as much as the building pieces themselves. I would definitely recommend this as a great way to keep little boys busy on a rainy day!

The Boys’ Doodle Book

We are huge fans of doodle books and over the years I have bought five or six of these books for birthdays and Christmas in our house.  If you have not seen these doodle books before, you love the imagination that is involved in designing these books and how they foster imagination in your child.

Instead of having you simply color, each page tells you something that it would like you to draw. One page will tell him that the alligator is angry and have him fill in his face. Other pictures are exactly alike, but may request colors and patterns to make each of the pictures different. This book is specifically boy-driven and is filled with pictures of dinosaurs, cowboys, knights, pirates, robots, and more things that would be adored by a little boy in your life.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

I am so lucky because my son is a ferocious reader and I have no trouble getting him to read books at all. He will read anything from Pokemon comic books to the newspaper to The Hardy Boys. His favorite books over the past couple of years have been the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. Every little eight year-old boy I know has a love for this series and it is a fantastic series to encourage kids that don’t have a lot of ambition to read, into reading again.

If you haven’t seen the books before, the books are perfect for little boys filled with fun illustrations that help tell the story.  I find these books in his bed almost every night and he reads them over and over again. This book set that is featured above contains the first four books, but for Christmas this year, Ethan got the fifth book in the series, “The Ugly Truth.”

If your child likes Diary of a Wimpy Kid, we have found that the Bad Kitty, Big Nate, and Captain Underpants (although it has gross boy humor and I am not as big of a fan of those) are other great books to tackle for this age group!

Rush Hour Traffic Jam Game

We love board games in our family and have quite a collection of games since we try to buy one every year for the kids. Rush Hour is a very unique game because it is played alone and is intended for kids that are ages eight to adult.  The board game has squares that the cars can fit into. It comes with a set of cards and each card displays how the traffic jam is supposed to look and how to arrange the colored cars on the board. The object of the game is get the red car out through a small opening on the board, but the cars can only be moved up and down or side to side, depending on where the cars are located. There are forty different cards ranging from easy to advanced and the solutions for play are on the back of each of the cards.

This is a fun game to set up in the morning that can be worked on while my son is eating his cereal before school. He absolutely loves this game and I love that this is one that he can play on his own!

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Wii Game

Of course, I did want to include one electronic game that our son really loved! Ethan and I have been working our way through the Harry Potter book series (we are currently on the third book in the series) and we are loving it. Ethan’s aunt gave him this Harry Potter Wii game that he has absolutely loved, that brings to life the stories in books 1-4 through LEGO characters.  The best part about the LEGO games though is the lack of violence and the hilarious scenes that are written using the LEGO characters. He has had to fight for control of the Wii to play this one because it is just as much of a hit with his sister as it is for him.  I would definitely recommend this cute game for any of the Harry Potter fans in your life (including the grown-up ones)!

Search & Win

For Christmas and birthday gifts I do try to horde my Swagbucks rewards and use my points to buy Amazon gift cards. To begin earning rewards, all you need to do is use Swagbucks.com as your search engine tool instead of your usual route with Google. It pulls the same results, but when you are surfing, you can earn points just by making it your search engine tool. These points are then deposited into your account and can be redeemed for your rewards.

I put my points towards Amazon gift cards which has been a fantastic way to enjoy a little shopping without dipping into my bank account. Not only has it covered birthday gifts, but I also have ordered countless books for my Kindle and other fun little extras in my life.

I rarely use affiliate programs, but can’t recommend Swagbucks enough. If you start now, it is quite possible that you could have a free (or discounted)  Christmas in your future! Every little bit helps in this tough economy and the best part is that it is free tool to assist with your shopping needs.

Disclosure: All of the links above are affiliate links and are provided so you can locate the products quickly and easily. Feel free to order what you need, but we encourage wise spending & buying things you & your family will truly love and appreciate.  We promise though to only refer you to products that we are really loving and using. We also bought each of these fair and square- no one asked me to promote them or gave me anything. Don’t you like people who disclose far too much information? That is me! Enjoy!

Do you have any boy gifts that were a hit this Christmas? Please feel free to share your son’s favorite gifts!

Published February 08, 2011 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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