A Fun Gift Idea

Middle school boys are notoriously difficult to buy presents for. When buying gifts for them, I want to find something that is fun, genuine, and inexpensive. I also want it to be a memorable gift. Video games and gift cards don’t count.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com/SydaProductions

Someone gave me a gift idea I have since exploited multiple times that works well when I need a present for a middle school boy. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Pick out the first letter of the first name of the guy you want to buy a present for
Step 2: Go to a big-box retailer such as Wal-Mart or Target. Super Wal-Marts and Super Targets work even better.
Step 3: Purchase multiple cheap items for the guy (I usually get 8-12 items). All purchased items must start with the same letter of his first name.
Step 4: Wrap up all items in tissue paper and place in a large bag.
Step 5: Include a card with a brief note—boys don’t need anything long or wordy.
Step 6: Deliver the gift package and card to the lucky recipient.
Step 7: As he opens the gift, make the guy guess what theme all the mini-gifts have in common. (Hopefully he’ll eventually realize they all start with the same letter—the first letter of his first name.)
Bonus: Make it a surprise delivery for added excitement and effect.

As an example, I recently heard of a student who was having a rough day. I wanted to brighten his day, so I went to a local Super Target. Let’s pretend his name was Brad. That means I was looking for items that started with the letter “B.” Here’s what I came up with: Batteries, Butterfingers, baseball cards, bubble gum, beef jerky, bagels, bacon, baked beans, banana, butter, vitamin B12 tablets, Burt’s Bees lip balm, and Band-Aids.

I picked out a generic card, wrote a few encouraging words, wrapped all the items in tissue paper, and placed everything in a cool superheroes gift bag before heading to Brad’s house. When I pulled into Brad’s driveway his face lit up. He opened the present and about halfway through he figured out the theme. It was a simple gesture on my part, but I think it meant a lot to him.

This type of gift for middle school boys works for many reasons:

  • It is relatively cheap. Most of the items I bought were under $3. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as possible.
  • It works for multiple occasions: Birthdays, Christmas, or other random occasions.
  • It is fun for the gift purchaser to go around the store trying to find the right items. It’s like a scavenger hunt.
  • The gift receiver gets to open multiple little presents.
  • The receiver also has the added challenge of figured out the theme.
  • You can usually include a lot of food items—which is a “win” with middle schoolers.
  • It is a random gift. Middle school boys are drawn to randomness.
  • It shows him that you as the gift giver put a lot of thought into it.

I hope you can use this idea sometime in the near future when you need to buy a present for a middle school boy. It will be a fun experience both for you and for him!

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