As part of the effort to start more threads (and because I need HELP!) I'm asking people to suggest out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas for the upcoming holidays.
To start it off, I need something for my grandson --- a slightly nerdy boy, just turned 11 years old. Too old for most toys, too young for clothing, and I really want to put off going to just money for a few more years.
If he is a video game guy then there are a number of popular Nintendo, Saga, and other games he may like.
You could go all out and go the IPAD or IPHONE route. Or even a laptop.
I gave my granddaughter an astronomical telescope for her eleventh birthday and she loves it. It is computer controlled and finds the stars, planets and galaxies by just aligning it with the North Star. Overall, it wasn't that expensive. Just over $300. She is at the point now where she is starting to know more than I do.
Just some ideas.
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Here is a gift I always enjoy getting. I live in Florida but was born and raised in Massachusetts. I spent the biggest part of my life in NH. My cousin finds local made items that she knows I love. Maple Syrup, Candies from favorite candy shoppe and other goodies. Soaps, candles. She shops all year and fills the box. I always look forward to that.
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My grandson is 11 also plus his birthday is in December...years ago my son and daughter in law laid down the law about presents...each grandparent (both sets are divorced) send $250 ($1000 total)...$500 goes into his college stock portfolio, the balance is splitbetween his birthday and Christmas presents that the parents pick for him...since my son is stationed in Hawaii, it makes sense
That being said, I really like Mike's idea about the telescope....there is no law about providing school supplies
My nephew is in that age range a bit older at 14. He loves Anime, comic books, and those card games. He attended an Anime Convention and loved it. I did a quick search and there is a cons on all different states I don't know which or good. But it "out of the box gift" that if he is a comic book nerd he will enjoy. Here is a link to the Con website. AnimeCons.com: Convention Schedule by State
Here is a site for comic book cons. Convention Scene | Comic Book Conventions
Also since you are in Halloween you could look for a haunted houses attractions in your area. Here is a listing for New Hampshire. This site also lists ghost tours and I had fun on one of those last year. New Hampshire Haunted Houses - 2013 Halloween Entertainment Guide
I hope that helps.
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The telescope idea is a good one, limited only by the fact that I've got other grandchildren, too! $300 times each really adds up, even assuming I'd find something comparable for the others.
An Ipad or Iphone would be a possibility except that they live in a corner of NH that gets no TV or cellphone service. They have a landline and internet over that, but it's a bit slow. Because of that they do have a wide selection of video games including the WII varieties.
Maple stuff would be a good idea if we lived somewhere else than New Hampshire. As it is, my son (this grandkid's father) runs a maple "bush" in his spare time. We send maple syrup and candy to people all over the country, plus he supplies the local country store with its stock.
I did want to pass along a very inexpensive idea for anyone who has a young but crafts-oriented child. When my granddaughter was 8 she tried to learn how to knit but could not manage the dexterity necessary to manipulate the needles and keep the yarn taut. I got her a set of knitting looms --- the kind where you wrap the yarn around some pegs and use a hook to lift previous loops over the new yarn. She mastered it in about 10 minutes and has cranked out caps and scarves for all of her friends. She's now working on a simple sweater.
Trip, thank you, a microscope is something I should have thought of; I also remember having one at about that age and being fascinated by how strange ordinary things looked.
Donna, he loves to build things, whether it's from Legos or helping to put together a post-and-beam barn. He's surprisingly good with tools. He also likes to cook. When he's still, he's reading. He romped through the Harry Potter books a couple of years ago, and then the Percy Jackson series. He's a whiz at math, and loves the Khan Academy.
Katlady, I have another grandson 5 months younger than this one, who is very much into anime.