22 Perfect Gift Ideas for Dudes of All Ages

best gift ideas for boys
Image via Amanda Rodriguez

Surrounded by girl kids and not sure what to get your friend's soon-to-be 12-year-old for his birthday? Or maybe you're a baby-less lady who has a new nephew turning one, or eight, or holy-how-old-is-that-kid-and-why-is-he-so-hard-to-shop-for?!

Don't worry, Girl. I got you.

{ MORE: Check Out These Safety Tips Before Purchasing Toddler Toys }

best gifts baby boys
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1. Cool Shirts. Face it. Baby kids don't especially care what they wear, but if you have a hip parent you want to give a kid gift to, there are a couple of kid shops I recommend. They're hardcore enough for little Dudes and funky enough for feisty little chicks, too. Hatch for Kids, Jamz Street Wear, and Ezra and Eli.

2. Baby Legwarmers. Legwarmers aren't just for girls. Dudes can rock them, too. In fact, my school-age Dude still wears the legwarmers as arm bands. Makes him look insanely cool (no kidding, all the kids at school asked their parents for them), and they extend his short-sleeve shirts into the colder months.

3. Soft Trucks. My Dudes were obsessed with pushing around trucks since they could crawl. Dude 3 would put his teeny hands on the back and push them around on his knees. Super ‘dorable. Until he fell and bloodied his lip when it smashed into his face. Soft trucks are the way to go for littles. Also, good for gumming. We had these Playskool Cushy Cruisers in all designs.

4. First Car. The Go Car is the perfect size and shape for pudgy Dude-baby hands. They can use this while they crawl, and it's light enough that teeny-baby muscles can lift it while they lay around and play.

5. Board Books for Boys. Cozy Classics has created these awesome board books inspired by classic works of literature. We dig that they have some titles in their arsenal that feature adventure stories Dudes enjoy, like Huck Finn and Moby Dick. Sure, those books have been known to have some hard-hitting themes and plot lines–maybe not the most baby-friendly topics. Don't get too worked up–they only tell parts of the tales (it's a 12-page board book, after all), and they are really just designed to evoke emotion and interest in the classics in young readers and their families.

best gifts for boys
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1. A Rocking Guitar. Dudes dig noisy, but parents, not so much. This acoustic guitar looks cool, creates sound, and is way better than a drum set.

2. Bug Collection Kit. The parents of the recipient might side eye you, but the Dude who unwraps this gift will put it to good use.

3. Playforever Toys. They may put a bit of a dent in your wallet but, like the name implies, you probably won't need to buy another … ever. These built-to-last toys are a great investment, and kids really do enjoy playing with them.

4. A Doll for a Dude. Any boy mama will tell you that Dudes don't have a thing against baby dolls. They probably don't want to tote around one in a princess dress and a tiara, but in a pinch, those will do, too. They don't have to be in a pinch though if you snag the dude on your shopping list a boy-flavored doll baby. This Blablakids doll is a good one to go with.

5. Outdoor Toys. Sleds for winter, water squirters (not guns, Dudes like them, but some parents don't so probably not the best gift idea, unless you ask first to get the OK) for summer, balls, bats, all of that is good.

6. Superhero in a Box. Dudes dig superheroes. And, contrary to popular belief, dress up. My guys used to spend every day in costume. This fun gift will be a hit with every Dude and his alter ego. Looking to save? You can DIY it. Here's my how-to-make-a-cape post so you can do this yourself (personalize it by spending some time decorating it for the little Dude in your life) for less than half the price.

7. Fresh wheels. When Dude 3 came along, he wanted nothing more than to be able to keep up with his brothers. We got him this Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter to give him a fighting chance. He still rides it sometimes, even though he's inherited Big Brother's Razor.

{ MORE: How to Stop Toddler Negativity }

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1. Sciencey Stuff. All kids enjoy science, but these kids science kits seem to be quite the hit with the Dude kid set. The polymer power one is a fave due in part or in whole to the sticky slime involved.

2. Something Sporty. If someone gave us a bucket full of Wiffle balls, we'd consider them awesome. Like, really, really awesome.

3. Snap Circuits Light. These toys are not super easy on the pocketbook, but man do my Dudes love them. They get hours of use out of them and, bonus, they're educational. Awesome STEM toy that will get brains engaged. Parents beg for these for their kids, and you will for sure be a hit at any party if you show up with one of these fun sets.

4. Zoobean Subscription. This monthly app and book-curation service for kids is perfect for parents with book lovers AND those with kids who give books the side eye. I have both in my family, and Zoobean is perfect for helping both kids find the perfect fit when it comes to books and apps that fit their personalities. Dude parents will love it because, as many Dude Moms know, sometimes finding a book your boy will love can be tough.

5. Potty Putty. Dude kids think farts are funny–they just do. Generate a few giggles with a DIY Gag Box featuring this item. Throw in a handshake buzzer, some funky glasses, AND MORE for an affordable, creative, Dude-friendly gift.

6. Minecraft Gifts. Because, yes, Minecraft is really this big thing that many school-age boys are gaga over. So, you can get them an iTunes card to buy it (if they've not yet been able to convince their parents to splurge on the full version), or you can get them something to rep it in real life. Think Geek has TONS of options.

kid gift ideas
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Try an experience instead. Here are some ideas …

Send them to the movies. Movie tickets for a family of four (or five, in our case) are insane these days. I can pay my Internet bill for a month for what it costs me to take my guys to see a movie. They love being gifted movie gift cards.

Buy them tickets for laser tag. If you have one in your town, the Dudes on your list would love to check it out. Offer to take them yourself, and you will be Mom and Dad's favorite person, too!

Donate to their athletic fund. Youth sports are extremely expensive. If you have a kid on your list who loves sports, talk to their parents about how you can gift them something. Maybe a month of karate lessons, or a pass for open gym at the gymnastics center, or a gift card for cleats would be a great way to help and spread some gifting awesome.

iTunes. Tech-savvy kids with devices can rack up quite the bill on apps, music and movie downloads, and in-app purchases. My Dudes LOVE getting iTunes gift cards, so my constant nos can turn to a yes every now and then. They really come in handy on road trips, too!

{ MORE: Want Your Child to Love Reading? Try These Tips! }

Check out 26 Amazing Gift Ideas that Empower Girls here!

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22 Perfect Gift Ideas for Dudes of All Ages

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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