For older kids who might benefit from the challenge of a more grown-up brain teaser, you may try introducing the hobby of lock picking. Believe it or not, this is a legitimate hobby that many enthusiasts enjoy and find fun to do. For the curious tinker type, lock-picking can be an engaging hobby with a bit of a brow-raising factor when the topic is mentioned (although it may be best to not mention it, more on that later). One just needs a few things to get started:
- A good starter lock picking set with a modest variety of tools. From the lockpickshop.com, this 14-piece beginners lock pick set ($28) is a good choice as a lock pick set for kids.
- Additionally, the lock picker hobbyist needs some practice locks. If you have some old key-driven padlocks, or an old piece of door hardware no longer needed, those can make a nice start to dabble with. Many hobbyists end up collecting a variety of practice locks as they go. As obviously you won’t want to practice on your, or your neighbor’s, front door. Which leads us to the next item…
- A set of rules. Lock picking can be a fun hobby, but requires some responsibility and boundaries. In addition to not doing something illegal, be clear that the practice locks are the only things that should be used, as locks can become damaged by the novice hobbyist. Also, it’s likely best not to brag too much about having such abilities, as it can understandably signal some alarms if parents of friends find out that this is your kid’s new hobby.
- A lock pick set is only good if you know how to use it, so a nice starter book like Practical Lock Picking would be a good complimentary item to round out the gift.
A lock pick set is a pretty unique gift – you can likely count on someone not already have one. Also, this type of gift shows the child that he is trusted, and is perceived as a responsible person, which is important to reinforce with younger teens. Obviously, you’d only want to give such a gift if you really do feel like the child can partake of the hobby in a responsible manner.
And yes, the skill may actually come in handy one day.
This particular Southord 14-piece lock picking set comes is a quality set for the price, and is a top seller at lockpickshop.com. It consists of 10 picks and 4 torsion wrenches, and a leather pouch to keep them in. We’ve personally given all things listed above to a 13-year-old in the family, and it was extremely well-received.