Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Help - what to get for a 7 year old boy?

Here's the thing: we have a lot of toys in our house. A lot less than many others I've seen but still waaaaay more than any children need.

We have games and puzzles a plenty, a billion colouring things, more alien shaped figurines than you could shake a stick at, weapons of many descriptions, enough lego and duplo to build a replica of our house, about 1 gasquillion soft toys, a pretend castle with knights and horses, a land of dinosaurs with plastic dinosaurs, toy animals, hot wheels, marble run, playmobil, planes/trains/automobiles including garage and mini town mat, tops, marbles, dress up, books and books and books. And they have a Nintendo DS each (which I despise and loathe and want to get rid of despite them only just having got them).

So now son 1 is about to turn 7. He could do with some sports training kit but that's not exactly going to put a smile on his face. That's sort of like saying he needs new underpants as a gift. He wants a Harry Potter robe, which I am getting him as part of his Harry Potter party (and there is a WHOLE blog post coming on this topic soon). And he's asked for some face paints and a diary he can lock.

Now the thing is, that's some new training kit, a robe, a diary and some face paints. That should be enough right? But there's nothing there that says whoop de doo it's my birthday! I know he wants something else - something he can actually play with - but he doesn't seem to know what. He's suggested a workbench but I have vetoed that on the basis that it will take up a huge amount of room and will never get used except to saw off his brother's fingers.

I did consider saying that I'd take him somewhere like Legoland in lieu of getting a present. But I'm not sure he'll understand that when he opens an envelope on his birthday.

But I hate buying STUFF for the sake of buying STUFF. I don't even like getting presents for myself unless they are something I really need and want. Consumerism has gone mad and I just can't take the clutter anymore. I yearn for the good old days when kids had one raggedy doll and a matchbox car and that was enough. That and a bit of imagination and an old cardboard box.

So suggestions please - what would make the ideal gift for a seven year old boy.


nappy valley girl said...

Well if you are going to move to the US, how's about a basketball and a hoop?

Other ideas - does he have a scooter?

Ellen Arnison said...

My middle boy is eight and Lego was always a hit with him.
How about a camera, my boy also loves his and there's lots of scope for doing slightly educational things with it too.

InvisibleWoman said...

I always went for science kit - microscope / telescope / some great spy kits around with hearing devices and room alarms or dare I say scalextric - he'll love it, you'll hate it!

Tara Cain said...

Invisible Woman stole my comment there! My son had a telescope and a microscope for Christmas this year (he's just turned 8) and he absolutely loves them.
Hubby also bought him some sparring gloves and pads for his 7th and it's 'their thing' to do together. They get a great workout too!

PantsWithNames said...

Nappy Valley Girl nabbed my scooter idea. Mini Micro have got some really great bigger ones for older (ie not 2yo) kids.

learningwoman said...

What about an indoor tent? something that folds up, so he can pop it out in the loungeroom, playroom, garden or anywhere else he fancies. He can hide in it, play in it, invite his friends into it.
Then it can get folded again and live in a tiny, quiet way under the bed, or somewhere equally unobtrusive.
Two tickets to the cinema, so he can choose a friend to take to a movie. You'll still have to buy an adult ticket and whatever sweets etc you want but he gets to have some autonomy, which my kids love.
Good luck. I know what you mean about clutter. Arrgghhh.....:-)

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

A money sorter was popular with my stepson at about that age (you know the type where you put the coins in and it sorts them into columns). He was into dinosaurs at that age so glow in the dark skeletons, the dig-for-fossil kits and model making kits were also popular. And I remember one of the fave toys about then was a remote control car.

Home Office Mum said...

Thanks to all for the ideas. Some fab stuff there! I think I like learningwomen's best but that may be because it involves the least amount of stuff :-)

This Mid 30s Life said...

You're into sailing, so I'm going to assume you're near water. I remember my nephew got his first proper boogie board at 7, that was in Sydney so not sure how much it would be used where you are - but it was a great present!

Hmmm that might have been really unhelpful.

Sally said...

Lego Harry Potter, the Micro scooters and telescopes are all good buys. My nephew also loves Playmobil - they have a great new 'spy' range coming out this year.

Or a guitar? It's a good age to start learning.

But if it was me, I'd want a boogie board and wetsuit.

Home Office Mum said...

sadly we're not near water....sniff

But we're sorted - husband got him scalextric and I got him a pop up camoflague tent (only £16 from Millets!) and lots of plastic soldiers to create a battle field

Iota said...

We've just spent two days clearing out stuff (kids off school for snow) and I SOOO agree. Way too much stuff. Modern life has become continual "stuff management".

I was going to suggest a day out somewhere, but I take your point about opening things on the day.

Money sorter is very imaginative, and yes, he'd love it!

There's something called an indo board (google it), which is great fun, and will help his balance, and prepare him for life as a surfer (since you're going to live by the sea). I really want one for my kids - but haven't bought one yet. They're quite expensive.