What to give a kid who’s interested in space exploration

kavin24 asks: My younger brother’s 7th b’day is on coming up, but I don’t have an idea for what to give him. Can you choose it for me? I’ll tell you his interests: 1) He likes astronomy and mechanics but I don’t think he knows anything about it. 2) He’s trying to create things. 3) Sometimes he plans space ships. 4) He wants to work in NASA when he is 20 years old. 5) He’s also interested in mathematics. 6) He’s trying to dig tunnels in the house, and to add a swimming pool to our home. 7) He also likes detective stories, and has a detective tool set, laboratory tools and a telescope to watch planets. (note: I just have only a little pocket money!)

Hi kavin24 –



We dogs aren’t very good with gifts.  The nicest present I ever gave Handsome was a squirrel I’d just caught.  I dropped it at his feet as he was stepping out of the shower.  The huge yell he gave made me think he was really excited and appreciative, but he then threw it out in the garbage, so I have a feeling it wasn’t a total success.


So I have no suggestions at all.  In my experience, what people appreciate the most from me is love, play, warmth, protection… and shutting up when they yell for it.  But those are for all year, not a special occasion like a birthday.


But then, I do remember Handsome telling me about something.  When he was young, he and his brother were given a large model of the rocket ship that first sent humans to the moon.  It didn’t ‘do’ anything; it was just one of those plastic models you paint and glue together.  But when they finished it, it was really cool, and they loved having it around.


Now I don’t know exactly what’s out there today, and I don’t know precisely what you mean by “pocket money.”  But I would think that if you could find one of those models, and give it to him, along with the glue and paints he’d need, your brother might really appreciate that.  The one Handsome and his brother built is probably too detailed for a 7-year-old, but I’ll bet there are ones out there that are more simple.  And once he’s built it, maybe your brother could hang it in his room, so it always looks like a rocket ship or space station is flying there.  That’d be really cool!  (and if you have a cat, it’ll drive it crazy trying to jump at it, which of course I think is a fine idea!).


One other thought, if that’s too much, is those glow-in-the-dark stickers that look like stars, that he could put on his ceiling.  With those, every night he could go to sleep pretending he’s in outer space, flying around in a space ship he’s built at NASA, exploring the universe.  That might be a lot of fun too.


But kavin24, I do have to say – you are already giving him the best present there is.  How many siblings go to this much trouble for coming up with a birthday present for their brother.  You are GREAT!  And it’s that thoughtfulness and care that will truly make his life great – not just on his seventh birthday, but for the rest of his life.


Great work!



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