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OK, what am I going to get my 12yo DS?

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#1 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:57 PM

This is the problem I have.  I need to buy him things for christmas, closely followed by things for his birthday.

So far I have books.  Lots and lots of books.  About a dozen books.

I want to get him something that is non tech and will engage him as a solo pursuit for anything up to an hour at a time.  Something besides books.

He has no interest in arts and crafts.
He has no interest in jigsaw puzzles.
He has no interest in lego (except Mindstorms, which he has already)
He doesn't want to build models

Suggestions anyone?  I'm at a loss.

#2 jupiter71

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:04 PM

National geographic shop, think pretty sure I saw a metal detector there. Telescope. Microscope. (if by non tech you meant not games and gadgets)

Some good quality art supplies and a sketch book.

#3 katei

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:09 PM

I know it is a puzzle but a rubics cube?  DS (nearly 12) bought himself one, taught himself to solve it and is now trying to get his solving time faster.

#4 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:15 PM

We have a telescope and a rubik's cube.

I'd love to get him some art stuff but he just wouldn't use it.

A good microscope might interest him.  Must look into that and see what it would cost for a decent one.

Keep 'em coming. :)

#5 Mrs Z Feral

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:20 PM

Bingo? :p

#6 bebe99

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:21 PM

Basketball hoop, totem tennis? Grip ball or aerobie ring-2player, but pretty fun :)

One of those 20 questions games (is that tech?)

A musical instrument.

Remote control car.

#7 tamietamara

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:22 PM


#8 jupiter71

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:23 PM

whoops sorry, I didn't see the no arts and crafts bit. My DS isn't into bits and pieces arts and crafts, but loves looking up how to draw things online and has a "how to draw" book and goes from there.

Also thought a good quality swiss army knife, if he's into weather a weather station.

#9 Sheep

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:24 PM


#10 Bernard Woolley

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:24 PM

Damn, I had an awesome idea when I saw your title, but it's not solo - we're getting my 12 yo nephew Settlers of Catan (the board game).

Could you get Settlers of Catan and suggest he play against himself? :ninja:

#11 Sheep

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:25 PM

Go pro Camera

#12 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:27 PM

Oh god, a swiss army knife.  My furniture cringes in terror at the very notion.  There are holes in the curtains in his bedroom because he can't resist the temptation to see whether things are easy to cut... :rolleyes:

Microsopes of any quality are a bit more than I wanted to spend.  :(

He has meccano.

He wants a Ninja Warrior obstacle course in the backyard.  I'm planning to buy a giant scramble net and hang it horizontally about 7 feet off the ground which will be good for him to climb on in various ways.  Any other suggestions for obstacle course type things that I can do for under $100?

#13 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:29 PM

View Postsardines_for_tea, on 26 October 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:


The 18yo cat disagrees with your suggestion.

View Posts, on 26 October 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Damn, I had an awesome idea when I saw your title, but it's not solo - we're getting my 12 yo nephew Settlers of Catan (the board game).

Could you get Settlers of Catan and suggest he play against himself? :ninja:

We have Catan and all the expansions.  Well no, actually we're getting the most recent expansion for christmas.  

Great idea though.  We LOVE Catan.

#14 bebe99

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:29 PM

Tyre run for the obstacle course- can you get old used tyres for free perhaps?
Balance beam made out of old wood.

Edited by bebe99, 26 October 2013 - 09:31 PM.

#15 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

Crossword/sudoku puzzle book?  (I know it's more books, but, you know...)

#16 The 8th Plum

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:35 PM

Khet might be good for him. I've seen it at Australian Geographic but it's cheaper at thinkgeek.

Molecular gastronomy kit? Get him making dinner for you?

Obstacle course - rope to climb? paddling pool splashdown? race paper floor? You can get rock climbing grips on ebay.

#17 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:36 PM

View Postbebe99, on 26 October 2013 - 09:29 PM, said:

Tyre run for the obstacle course- can you get old used tyres for free perhaps?
Balance beam made out of old wood.

Oooh.  Balance beam is good.  Not sure I have the room for a decent tyre run but I'll think about it.  

Thanks.  :)

Puzzle books are more DD's thing unfortunately, and I have no trouble thinking of things for her.  She's getting one of these to keep her occupied.


The boy doesn't want one.  :(

#18 tamietamara

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:45 PM

A science type kit from national geographic.  One that grows crystals or something. A fossil digging type kit from there also.

Rubber band gun or a kit to make his own one.

Electric circuit type kit to make a little radio or other things. Lots of kits have multiple things to make from the one pack.  

Is he into cooking or baking or anything.


Hermit crab set up???

#19 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:49 PM

There are some seriously cool remote control helicopters around ATM.

Green tree frog?

#20 la di dah

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:51 PM


#21 Feral Madam Mim

Posted 26 October 2013 - 09:53 PM

Science kit
Magic kit
bball hoop
remote control car/plane/helicopter
yoho diablo
10 pin bowling set
slip n slide?

#22 treetree

Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

I was going to suggest metal detector, but someone already did!


Any other suggestions for obstacle course type things that I can do for under $100?
Can you go on Pinterest and get lots of ideas for do it yourself, buy the supplies for him and make up a guide as to how to make each part of the course? Then it's a present and challenge and activity all in one.

Or a toolkit? Go to Bunnings and get all manner of tools, again print up some plans, and then put it all together with some wood, nails, glue, rope, etc.??

#23 me-n-b

Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

a slackIine! DD loves ours. Takes a lot of practice but is lots of fun. Do you have two trees you could string it up between?

#24 BadCat

Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:01 PM

Oh wow.  Someone's suggestion of an electronics kit sent me in search of something suitable.

I want THIS for his birthday!  Now if I can just find it in Australia.


#25 tamietamara

Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:20 PM

So cool! Surely they would have an australian stockist.  I teach that age bracket and they all love the electronics units we do.  Glad to have helped some :)

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