November 6, 2013

Gift Ideas for Preschool Boys

Christmas and Birthday Ideas for Preschool Boys

image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I've been sharing my favorite gifts for kids including stocking stuffers for boys, gift ideas for babies, and gift ideas for toddlers.  Today I am sharing my favorite gift ideas for preschool boys.  I'm sure I will get negative comments for suggesting that these are "boy toys".  I assure you I think children of either gender can and do play with every single item on this list.  I am writing from my own experience as a mother of four boys and going by what they gravitate towards.

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25 Toys for Preschool Boys

Magna Tiles - If I only put one toy on this list it would be Magna Tiles.  These are hands down the favorite toy of all four of my boys, ages 6, 4, and 2 year old twins.  They also have a starter set, but we went ahead and purchased the classroom set since we knew all four boys would want to play together.  We are considering purchasing a second set this year since my older two boys build elaborate cities with sky scrapers.  We might get this DX set.

Bicycle - Preschool is the age when most kids start to learn to ride a bike with training wheels and then without.  These balance bikes are also really cool.  

Tent - These play tents make great reading nooks, indoor clubhouses, or whatever your little one's imagination takes him.

Hot Wheels - It's amazing that no matter how many big trucks my kids have, they all seem to prefer Hot Wheels.  Tank (2) can pretty much always be found walking around with at least one Hot Wheels car in his hands.

Play Set - We bought a play set for our boys this summer, and they have spend countless hours outdoors swinging, climbing, sliding and just being kids.

Work Bench - All four of my little guys want to be Daddy's helper and "work" just like him.  We had a toy work bench for many years, so they could work even when Daddy wasn't in the middle of a project.

Floor Puzzles - Preschool is the age of puzzles, isn't it?  J-Bug (4) asks me almost every single day to put together a puzzle with him.  Floor puzzles are his current favorites.

Star Wars Fighter Pods - We bought J-Bug this set last year, and I exaggerate not when I tell you that he plays with it every single day.

Trampoline - When JZ was 2.5 we bought a small trampoline for him to jump on and burn energy indoors when the weather didn't permit outdoor play.  We chose a simple work out trampoline.  There are several made just for kids with bars to hold onto while jumping, and of course you could always go for a large, outdoor version.

Monster Jam Monster Trucks - These trucks are the perfect size, not too big, not too small.  They are surprisingly durable, and the wheels make cool tracks in paint, dirt, slime, and playdough.

Playdough Accessories - Anything that makes prints, shapes, or cuts playdough is a hit around here.  Tools and cookie cutters are other fun options.

Dress Up Clothes - We keep all our old Halloween costumes for dress up play.  Since before Halloween this year JZ and J-Bug have been running around the house as Captain America and Ironman.  I'm thinking of adding another member of the Avengers to the collection this Christmas.

Roller Coaster -  My mom had one of these in her classroom when she taught motor development, and, as you can imagine, it was every child's favorite toy.  We bought one for our boys when JZ was 3, and J-Bug was 1.5, and they still get a thrill riding on it now at 6 and 4.5.  Their are ramps for Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars on the big ramp.  My kids and their playgroup friends have also turned this into a water slide.

Geo Trax - My cousin bought JZ his first Geo Trax set, and I have to admit that my first thought was that we didn't need another train set.  We have a nice collection of wooden Thomas trains, and I didn't intend to start another collection.  After seeing Geo Trax in action I realized how cool they are!  They are very durable.  They snap together firmly, so little brothers can't pull apart tracks which frequently happens with our Thomas sets.  My only complaint is that many of the trains and cars are remote controlled, and I prefer non electric toys.

Leapster Explorer GS or Leapad - I am not one who thinks children need video games or electronic learning toys, but if you are going to buy one I suggest Leapsters.  We have one for each of our older boys, and they are great for road trips and rainy afternoons.  May I suggest you also purchase the rechargeable battery pack and storage case.  (The ones linked are for the Leapster Explorer GS.)

Magnetic Letters, Numbers, Animals - We own several of these magnetic Melissa & Doug sets, and we love them!  Our boys enjoy moving around the animals on our magnetic board, and I like using the letters and numbers for hands on learning activities.  If you don't have a magnetic board, a cookie sheet works great!  We bought several from Dollar Tree.

Lincoln Logs - These were one of my very favorites when I was a kid!  We plan to buy our boys a set this year.  We are going with the classic set with wooden roof pieces instead of plastic roofs, since those are more opened ended.  The great thing is that whichever set you choose, they are all compatible.

T-Ball Set - I'm a big of any sports set or active toy.  My parents got J-Bug this T-ball set last Christmas, and he loves being able to work on his hand eye coordination with it.  Of course, we enjoy playing ball together as a family.

Imaginext Toys - I am not a huge fan of all the plastic toys on the market these days, and I typically lean towards wooden toys, especially those that are open ended.  I have to say, like Geo Trax, Imaginext toys are high on my list of favorites for kids.  My boys have the Toy Story Landfill set and the Sky Racers Carrier, and both sets are well loved.  The plastic is solid and durable, and these set promote imagination and creativity.

Tall Stacker Pegs - By now you've probably figured out that building blocks are popular in our house.  We have many sets, and they all truly get used.  These stacker pegs are wonderful for creativity and are also perfect for learning through play.

Tinker Toys - I prefer the old school style of Tinker Toys to the modern ones.  The originals were wooden and solid and beneficial for building fine motor skills.

Board Games - Like puzzles, preschool is the age when children begin to love playing board games.  Our favorites include Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, and Jake's Never Land Challenge.

Hula Hoops - We love hula hoops and make all sorts of obstacle courses and games with ours.

Play Kitchen - We don't actually own a play kitchen, mainly because we have too many toys as it is.  Each of my boys gravitates towards play kitchens at church, in the gym day care, and at friend's houses.  If we had the space, we would love to own one of these.

Stepping Domes - These domes are an amazing took for building gross motor skills and developing balance.

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More gifts ideas for kids:

  20 Gift ideas for toddlers


  1. Great list! We LOVE Imaginext at our house too! It seems like every birthday and Christmas we get another set. We've even found a couple at Consignment sales that were in great condition. This is one of the best lists I've found for Preschool gift ideas.

  2. Do you know what the name is of the red riding toy your toddler is riding on, and have you been happy with it? I've been trying to find something like that for our soon to be 2 year old, but everything I see on Amazon has bad reviews -- the front wheels don't turn, it's too hard to stay on, etc... Thanks for any help you can give!

    1. Hi Anna, it's the one I linked:

      We LOVE ours. The wheels turn great. We bought it for our older two boys three years ago, and it's still holding up strong for all four boys.

  3. The list was great..but i wouldnt say any of that is just for "boys" I would say for any preschooler, I worry with list like this go around that some may think that girls wouldn't like these things. I am a mom of Three girls and my middle one is 4 and she loves super heroes and often pretends to be Captain American. She loves cars and camping and building and constructing. I did like that you included a kitchen and dress up clothing. i get the idea..this is a list of things boys tend to gravitate too...I'm just saying..some girls do too. It's a great preschool list-S

    1. I agree with you 100% and wrote just that in my first paragraph. :) I appreciate your feedback and that you liked the list. Thank you!


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