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A birthday present for my son - Help!

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I just can't think of anything.  He is going to be 11.  My fallback gift is legos, because he has often told me that you can never have enough.  But, I would like to get something not so predictable.   :tongue_smilie:

 

At first I thought something STEM related - he loves anything hands on.  Technical.  Engineering.  But everything seems too.... I don't know....educational?  (I did find a ton of ideas for next year school, but nothing really gift-y.)

 

Then I thought robotics - he likes coding.  But anything I found was either too "young" or too expensive.

 

A drone would have been the perfect present, but he saved for months and just bought himself one not too long ago.  

 

I also thought of something to do with stop motion, since he likes to create stories with his legos.  I have no experience with that though and wouldn't know where to start.

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

 

(Oh, btw, he is dyslexic, so nothing with a lot of reading which is still a real struggle for him)

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How about an experience, instead of a 'thing'? A STEM class? Robotics class? Animation class?

 

Once my oldest hit preteen, he really liked movie and sports tickets, or cash so he could buy himself *exactly* what he wanted.

 

Good luck!

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Well, my boys just turned 13 and all they ever want is LEGO. It's the age for it.

 

Alley

 

I know, I know.  But I keep thinking there has got to be more to life than LEGO.   :rolleyes:  But, if I can't think of anything else, I guess that's what its going to be.  

Love your avatar, btw.   :001_cool:

 

How about an experience, instead of a 'thing'? A STEM class? Robotics class? Animation class?

 

Once my oldest hit preteen, he really liked movie and sports tickets, or cash so he could buy himself *exactly* what he wanted.

 

Good luck!

 

That's a thought, but I am afraid we live too far out in the sticks to make classes practical.  I think the driving time would most likely make something like that impossible, but I am going to look into it.  Maybe I'll be surprised.   :001_smile:

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What's your target price range? Youth Digital does great classes - we never pay full price, always at least 50% off but even so - it's pricey.

 

Does he have a device to use for stop motion? iPad, iPhone to borrow? Lego has a stop motion app that's free!

 

There's also a $30 stop motion minecraft kit that's pretty cool, if he likes Minecraft.

 

A camera, for the above stop motion.

 

A well and heavily illustrated how to book? DS has a great love for a book called Every Trick In the Book. There are some with more illustrations than words. Give him that and stuff to, well, make things.

 

Lego Technic has some good sets.

 

Pranks? I hesitate to write that, but one of the best gifts ever was a basket full of pranks from Five Below.

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My DS10 is madly in love with his GoPro. Such a great gift! He also loves rocket kits, his favorite being the design-your-own set (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0084JTDOS/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1NY64RPVAOZ5D&coliid=I390BN0J1II38A, powered by the blast off flight pack of engines on the same page).

Edited by Alte Veste Academy

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What's your target price range? Youth Digital does great classes - we never pay full price, always at least 50% off but even so - it's pricey.

 

Does he have a device to use for stop motion? iPad, iPhone to borrow? Lego has a stop motion app that's free!

 

There's also a $30 stop motion minecraft kit that's pretty cool, if he likes Minecraft.

 

A camera, for the above stop motion.

 

A well and heavily illustrated how to book? DS has a great love for a book called Every Trick In the Book. There are some with more illustrations than words. Give him that and stuff to, well, make things.

 

Lego Technic has some good sets.

 

Pranks? I hesitate to write that, but one of the best gifts ever was a basket full of pranks from Five Below.

 

1.  We usually spend between 50-75$ on birthdays

2.  He has an ipad (which we bought to help him with his school)  I am definitely going to be checking into that stop motion app.

3.  Not into Minecraft

4.  Hmmm, a camera - I'll have to think on that.  He already has a GoPro....it was a combined Christmas gift for him and and his older brother a year ago.  The GoPro doesn't work very well for stop motion so maybe a cheaper camera would be just the thing.  

5.  I love those Technic sets - too bad I can't get him that 250$ Volvo remote-controlled wheel loader.   :drool5:

6.   Pranks!!  Shame on you.   :lol:

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I just can't think of anything.  He is going to be 11.  My fallback gift is legos, because he has often told me that you can never have enough.  But, I would like to get something not so predictable.   :tongue_smilie:

 

At first I thought something STEM related - he loves anything hands on.  Technical.  Engineering.  But everything seems too.... I don't know....educational?  (I did find a ton of ideas for next year school, but nothing really gift-y.)

 

Then I thought robotics - he likes coding.  But anything I found was either too "young" or too expensive.

 

A drone would have been the perfect present, but he saved for months and just bought himself one not too long ago.  

 

I also thought of something to do with stop motion, since he likes to create stories with his legos.  I have no experience with that though and wouldn't know where to start.

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

 

(Oh, btw, he is dyslexic, so nothing with a lot of reading which is still a real struggle for him)

 

 

CD player for audiobooks for his room?  (This is a game changer for my DS - also 11, also dyslexic, for when he does legos in his room.)

 

Do you have a boy scout store near you?

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You probably only have this year or one more that he will be interested in Legos, so I would go ahead and get him that, if that's something he would enjoy receiving. You have plenty of years to get him experience gifts, but not many left for toys.

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I just found this. Anyone have any ideas or advice about how fun or how easy it is to use?

 

http://stopmotionexplosion.com/products/stopmotion-explosion-animation-kit?gclid=CLuE5_-zuswCFZRlfgodfU4Igg

Never used that one, but my DS would be drooling! It looks great!

 

Wanted to say I love the idea of the audiobook player for his room. DS listens to audiobooks all day long, and carries around the Amazon Echo, so he can hear. If your son uses the iPad for audiobooks, maybe some wireless speakers? Or the CD player, if that's how you ingest audiobooks. Ours are mostly not on cd now. I just thought that was an excellent idea. My DS isn't dyslexic but had vision issues, so audiobooks are very important here. :)

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The computer stuff, camera/video stuff, legos  and don't forget a Ukelele !

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I am starting to think that my kiddo is a bit spoiled with the things that he already owns   :tongue_smilie:

 

DH is in construction.  Has a big shop with all the tools that he could ever want.  He helps out there a lot and just putters around in his free time.

 

BLSDMama, about the CD player.  Yeah, my son loves his.  He spends hours listening to dramatized stories while working/playing with his legos. No boy scout stores (that I know of).

 

 

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Never used that one, but my DS would be drooling! It looks great!

 

Wanted to say I love the idea of the audiobook player for his room. DS listens to audiobooks all day long, and carries around the Amazon Echo, so he can hear. If your son uses the iPad for audiobooks, maybe some wireless speakers? Or the CD player, if that's how you ingest audiobooks. Ours are mostly not on cd now. I just thought that was an excellent idea. My DS isn't dyslexic but had vision issues, so audiobooks are very important here. :)

The bolded part - yeah, here too.  He has audiobooks on his ipad and he and his brother have an ipod with tons more on there.  CD player with docking station in bedroom.

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Those look so interesting.  They are a bit more spendy than what we usually like to do for birthdays.  I am going to bookmark them, though, and think about getting them for part of science class next year.  Thanks for the link.

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Thanks everyone for the ideas, I should be able to settle on something.  His birthday is next week, so I have to make up my mind soon.

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I just found this. Anyone have any ideas or advice about how fun or how easy it is to use?

 

http://stopmotionexplosion.com/products/stopmotion-explosion-animation-kit?gclid=CLuE5_-zuswCFZRlfgodfU4Igg

The issue I had with this when I looked at it for my DS a while ago was that the camera had to be plugged into a computer while shooting. This would have been a pain in the rear because he uses our family desktop, not a laptop (which I think still would have been irritating, frankly) and he liked to set up elaborate scenes on the floor, other tables, anywhere he wanted to really. Honestly, I think that a decent regular camera with a huge memory card and a book on stop motion (Brick Flicks sounds perfect for him http://www.amazon.com/Brick-Flicks-Comprehensive-Making-Stop-Motion/dp/1629146498/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=518LJPpP7%2BL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR128%2C160_&refRID=0EKHCD9HPQY462VZAC0T) would be more flexible.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I know, I know.  But I keep thinking there has got to be more to life than LEGO.   :rolleyes:  But, if I can't think of anything else, I guess that's what its going to be.  

Love your avatar, btw.   :001_cool:

 

 

That's a thought, but I am afraid we live too far out in the sticks to make classes practical.  I think the driving time would most likely make something like that impossible, but I am going to look into it.  Maybe I'll be surprised.   :001_smile:

 

Is there a Bricks4Kidz? They have classes and/or camps. I understand, not always practical to drive.

 

Is there something that could go along with his drone? Does it come with a camera? I have no idea how that stuff works.

 

Does he like movies? Maybe just a movie pass or something. Who wouldn't want to see Captain America? :)

 

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Maybe microlegos type kits to sort of switch it up?

 

Maybe Lego robotic parts to DIY? A lot of the presume kits are just extra Legos, but a motor and eBay technic Legos could work if you got the computer program (maybe? I have no idea).

 

Eta - I don't know who makes the micro build kits, I thought it was Lego but I can't find them on Amazon so it's probably another company.

Edited by displace

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I just found this. Anyone have any ideas or advice about how fun or how easy it is to use?

 

http://stopmotionexplosion.com/products/stopmotion-explosion-animation-kit?gclid=CLuE5_-zuswCFZRlfgodfU4Igg

This looks fun and my son loved making these type of movies about that age. They have it on amazon for $63 with some reviews to read. They agree with the poster above that the downside is it has to be hooked to the computer so depending on where your computer is or if you have a laptop that may or may not work for you.

We just had a camera and imagination but he would have loved this. A camera is a fun gift.

At that age he was also really into origami. There are some fun books out there and the paper isn't too expensive.

Our Lego store is a couple hours away, so we went there for the day, let him pick out his kit and had a fun lunch.

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I just wanted to add that I bought my son the HUE Animation Software last summer when he turned 10.  He loves it and has been making lots of Lego videos.  His twin, who was not really into this type of stuff, has now taken an interest and makes videos now too!  I think it is perfect for this age. 

 

My boys were late bloomers to Legos in general.  Now that is mostly all that they want -- except for Minecraft, which I've held out in so far :-).  They will likely get it this summer for their b-day.

 

Hope he has a great day whatever you decide to get him :-)!!!

 

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I just wanted to add that I bought my son the HUE Animation Software last summer when he turned 10.  He loves it and has been making lots of Lego videos.  His twin, who was not really into this type of stuff, has now taken an interest and makes videos now too!  I think it is perfect for this age. 

 

My boys were late bloomers to Legos in general.  Now that is mostly all that they want -- except for Minecraft, which I've held out in so far :-).  They will likely get it this summer for their b-day.

 

Hope he has a great day whatever you decide to get him :-)!!!

Thank you for this information--this looks terrific!

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I just wanted to add that I bought my son the HUE Animation Software last summer when he turned 10.  He loves it and has been making lots of Lego videos.  His twin, who was not really into this type of stuff, has now taken an interest and makes videos now too!  I think it is perfect for this age. 

 

My boys were late bloomers to Legos in general.  Now that is mostly all that they want -- except for Minecraft, which I've held out in so far :-).  They will likely get it this summer for their b-day.

 

Hope he has a great day whatever you decide to get him :-)!!!

This looks amazing.  I love that it comes with " a mini stage with background and 'green screen' and stop motion software with sound effects, printable activities and backdrops."  How cool would that be!  :001_smile:

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STEM CENTER USA (featured and funded on SHARK TANK) sells a nice pi-bot ardino based robot kit. Their site has all the videos for assembly and programming.  If you are in the Pomona,CA area, they have a fantastic selection of entry level robotting class.  my 11 y.o.  realy enjoys them.

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So, everyone, thanks for your help. I ended up getting him the stopmotion explosion book that I linked upthread.  Just the book, not the camera.  I talked with tech support and they said that he could have access to the CD contents online.

 

I also got him some unusual lego bricks off of ebay.

 

I wish I had seen mkltwins post on the HUE animation software before I ordered.  I might have gone with that instead.  Or maybe its good that I didn't.  It would just have caused too much indecision.   :tongue_smilie: His birthday is on Saturday, so I needed to settle on something quick.

 

You all are great.   :thumbup1:

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