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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, as well as toys that let them get creative. And don’t forget that gross things never lose their luster, so slime is a winner. Always.

Yes, of course this set includes a baby Yoda minifigure. But that aside, kids build an ultra-detailed Razor Crest starship with spring-loaded shooters and carbonite bounty elements plus a detachable escape pod; the set includes Mandalorian, Greef Karga, and Scout Trooper minifigs.

Intrepid slime creators get everything they need to make eight varieties of slime and putty, including glow in the dark putty, color-changing putty, and slime that looks like snot. Because of course it does.

It's one construction set in four: Kids build a light-up 3D model of a squirrel, cat, mouse house, or teddy bear.

Inspired by the weapons from Fornite, this blaster shoots foam rockets; it's easy to use and doesn't require any batteries, because you just load, prime, and fire.

Give your budding artist the ultimate 3D drawing experience with this heat-free pen. Kids can either use the app for inspiration, or freestyle to work on their creative, design, planning, building, and spatial understanding skills. In other words, make tons of cool art.

First, kids build the glorious unicorn bot, which is one helluva great STEM toy. Then, they program it using Blockly coding. Kids use the app to control the purple unicorn, and follow simple coding instructions.

This wonderful science kit lets kids make their eight of own bath bombs.

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

Great headphones are must, both for watching videos and for remote learning, which remains a reality for most kids. These Bluetooth ones have 40 hours' worth of battery life and ultra-clear immersive sound.

An essential kit for drawing, painting, coloring, or sketching, this one includes 24 colored pencils, 8 watercolor pencils, 18 oil pastels, 12 washable DuoTip markers, a sharpener, paint brush, and artist paper of course.

Unlike previous models, this new Kindle doesn't have that tiny momentary glitch when you switch pages, making for a much smoother reading experience. It has a 7-inch 300 ppi flush-front Paperwhite display and an adjustable warm light to that switches from white to amber.

With this monthly subscription service, kids get crafting sets that teach them about imaging, embroidery, and woodworking. For example, one month they can create an entire intricate garden out of felt.

Yes, this hardy microscope actually makes science fun. It has a forward-facing rotating turret that provides 120x, 240x, 300x, 480x, 600x, and 1200x magnifications. Which means kids can see blades of grass, specks of dirt, and bits of leaves in exquisite detail.

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.

A starter guitar that looks Clapton-worthy, this one is engineered so kids can crank out tunes from day one. It's made of sustainably sourced basswood and maple plywood, looks dope as hell, and features steel strings that are easy for kid hands to work.

Self-expression at its finest: Scribes write and illustrate their own full-color, 20 page story, complete with an 'about the author' page.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yes, your kid will likely need a parental assist in putting together this 3898 piece set. But we can't think of a cooler tribute to soccer than the stadium where David Beckham honed his craft.

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Fatherly IQ
  1. Are you and your family playing more board games in recent months?
    Not really We've always been a board game family.
    No, we don't really play board games.
    Yes, we play at least once a week.
    Yes, we play as often as we can.
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