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The Best Gifts for 9-Year-Olds

We found great stuff for your third grader.

If you have a 9 year old, or know one, this isn’t news: Kids this age are capable of exhibiting shocking maturity, while also still having jaw-dropping meltdowns over travesties like splinters or lost Lego pieces. He or she is outspoken. Opinionated. Independent. And the best toys for 9 year olds tap into all those strengths. When buying the best gifts for 9 year olds, you want stuff that gets them off their devices and screens (good luck with that) while also pushing them to explore their interests in music, art, and science. 

If you want to win over your 9 year old, get them toys that encourage collaborative play, because they’ve formed strong and complex friendships. These relationships often manifest themselves in team sports, so soccer balls are always a good option. Plus, kids this age are dealing with greater academic challenges at school, becoming more self-reliant, and, have a stronger attention span, so more intricate board games or logic puzzles will hit the spot.

A 910-piece Lego set that will turn into third grader into a paleontologist and reawaken their love of dinos. It includes buildable, posable tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, and pteranodon skeleton models with display stands.

You could just buy a bag of candy at the CVS. Or, you can turn the art of sugary indulgence into a science lesson by letting kids make their own. They'll whip up gummies, rock candy, and lollipops; the set includes all the ingredients and tools they need. The toothbrush is all you.

The ultra-lightweight suction-cup arrows fly a pretty awesome 100 feet, and attach to anything. Bonus: The arrows make a whistling noise, so there won't be any accidental target practice using pets or siblings.

Kids use tweezers to dissect an alien, and best of all (or worst of al), there's reusable ooze inside every alien belly. Part surprise toy, part gross science kit, this alien dissection lets kids cut up weird creatures to unearth the treasures hidden in the ooze. It's gross, yes, but also hella fun.

The Rubik's cube remains ever-popular, but it's something that you used to only be able to play on your own. Not anymore. With this app-enabled Rubik’s cube, kids solve it, solve it some more, level up, keep solving it, and connect with an entire community of fellow gamers. It has 60 hours of play time on a single charge.

This logic game, designed by a Danish architect, teaches kids to think strategically and solve problems under pressure. Four players all go simultaneously, with the goals of stacking the spheres however each card dictates. Each player gets 15 spheres, pulls a card, and plays against the timer to complete the task. The person who gets it right, and thus gets the most points, wins.

Empower your visual artist with this dope-ass projector. Kids draw or copy something on the tracing pad, place the slide on the projector, and project their painting on the wall. Then they place the wall-friendly tape on the projected lines and create wall art. It's endlessly usable, because kids can peel off whatever they create and replace it with something else.

Players have a singular challenge here: To match the abstract tiles to images they see on 1 of 60 cards. The shapes are similar to Tangram pieces and help kids with spatial relationships and critical thinking. The game gets increasingly harder, so it levels up with the players.

Chances are, you already have a Messi or Rapinoe obsessive on your hands. If not, this soccer ball should do the (hat) trick.

It's a genius concept: Kids use interlocking colorful cubes to form the most complex marble maze they can dream up. And they can do so in the form of buildings, animals, cubes, what have you. The steel balls can travel in any direction because each cube is two-sided.

These next-level building blocks let kids construct the cities of their dreams. Using building blocks created by designer James Paulius, kids build towers, cities and dwellings, complete with terraces and pavilions.

Encourage self-expression with this endlessly creative journal kit. Kids decorate the cover to look how they want and once they're done, they use the blank pages inside to record their ideas, thoughts, and solutions to global problems.

Your kids create art, using actual pencils and paper, then slide the magic ring on it, and see the drawing come alive on the screen.

It's a dodgeball card game. Of course it is. The goal here is to collect matching sets of cards faster than your opponents while also not getting hit by airborne burritos. Honestly, this thing is a blast.

Kids excavate three real mineral specimens from a plaster block. They use actual tools to extract quartz, amethyst, and pyrite, and explore the very cool geological science of crystals, rocks, and minerals.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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