The seminal book about being nine might be Judy Blume‘s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, but nothing just isn’t acceptable when a birthday rolls around. In lieu of coming empty-handed, we found the best gifts for 9-year-old boys and girls.
By age nine, reports the CDC, kids start to form strong and complex friendships. They become more aware of body image and peer pressure. They’re dealing with greater academic challenges at school, are becoming more independent, and, blessedly, have a stronger attention span.
See more: Best Toys For A 7-Year-Old
We did the research, and the best toys for 9-year-olds give them some independence, whether it’s in using their creativity or exploring the world around them. LEGOs are always a solid choice. And they may or may not feature poop, because poop is hilarious. Here are our favorites.
This sleek and fantastic scooter is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, meaning it won't break or fall apart.
This scooter is great for kids who are starting to get their bearings. It supports kids up to 143 pounds. And it has a rear fender brake for easy stops. Don’t forget to wear a helmet.
This LOL Surprise! doll is, as the name indicates, heavy on crystals and a true collector's item for the diehard LOL lover.
Crystal Star is no joke. She’s wearing a jumpsuit and a skirt. And of course, because bland is boring, she has her own light-up stage, a tiara, and a disco ball.
If your kid is the next Eric Clapton or Bonnie Raitt, get him or her this dope guitar.
Kids can start jamming on day one with this guitar, which uses regular guitar strings and standard guitar tuning. The accompanying app has video lessons, a tuner, and a digital songbook.
One of the coolest things we saw at Toy Fair was this Harry Potter invisibility cloak. You download the app, throw on the cloak, and get ready to disappear.
The set up takes less than a minute, and kids can create different backdrop and save shots of themselves disappearing to later show their friends.
Another clutch Harry Potter toy is, of course, the flying Snitch. It not only flies but it allows the player to customize its flight pattern from random directional flight to near vertical flight by adjusting the angles of the wings.
This is essentially Quidditch practice for aspiring players. Thanks to its proximity sensor technology, the Snitch will hover over the player’s hand and move in random directions in the air.
This toy is an interactive track system that lets kids design and build their own race tracks and experiment with gravity, magnetism, and kinetics.
This fully modular game lets kids create their own race tracks using tiles, levels, and features to control the speed of each ball.
Your kid will turn into a mad scientist with this very cool kit, which lets him or her conduct experiments in an actual lab.
Kids can choose from 20 different nontoxic experiments, which include making slime, of course.
Instead of letting gravity do all the work, this set has motorized boosters that speed cars through the central crash zone and through the four steeply banked curves.
There’s a lot of drama in this Amazon-exclusive set. Will your car make it through unscathed, or will it collide with another in a dramatic crash at one of the four intersections in this battery-powered set? Kids can try to time their cars for close calls or maximum destruction, but either way, this set is a ton of fun.
It's hard to go wrong with Legos, and this particular kit has even more to offer than traditional sets.
Kids can build five different models with this kit, everything from a cat to a guitar. Once everything’s snapped together, they can use the Lego Boost app to write basic computer programs that will make their new robot do whatever they want. Just note that the coding capabilities don’t come cheap, so if all your kid wants to do is build classic Legos this may not be the best value.
This kit comes with everything your kids will need to stage battles with these super popular spinning tops.
There’s something deeply satisfying about pulling the launcher as quickly as possible and watching, mesmerized, as two tops bang into each other for Beyblade supremacy.
This foam blaster is nice and compact, with a satisfying rotating drum that holds six darts and can fire them in rapid succession and hit targets up to 90 feet away.
You get three toys in one, because Gravity Maze is a combination logic game, marble run, and STEM toy.
The goal is simple, yet challenging: Kids need to create a maze that will carry a marble from the start position to the target tower. Which means they need to plan and think critically.
Even if your kid doesn't find any hidden treasure, she'll love sweeping the backyard, the park, and wherever else she wanders with this metal detector.
Although it’s aimed for kids, this metal detector is actually pretty powerful. It can detect metal objects up to 12 feet underground, and it has modes for iron, aluminum, rings, and coins. It also weighs just 2.3 pounds and collapses down to less than two feet long.
It's important to keep kids at this age active, and this hovering soccer disk has a novelty that won't soon wear out.
It’s a freaking floating soccer ball that lights up and comes with two goals. What’s not to love?
This football is designed to go further, and its whistling tail adds a satisfying sound to your kid's best heaves.
The tail on the end of this football and the hand grip make it fly further than a classic pigskin. Kids will love testing their arm and competing with their friends to see how high and far they can throw it.
Of course you could hit CVS and buy your kid some lip balm, but why would you when you can make your very own at home?
Budding beauty moguls can whip up their own lip balms with this kit, which includes lip balm containers, a balm mold, and four shapes.
We know, we know. This is a dumb toy. But it's also a fun toy, and isn't that what really matters?
The Poopsie is a surprise toy, which makes opening it up to to see what’s inside part of the fun of owning it. It’s also a slime toy, an enduring genre that goes all the way back to at least Silly Putty. And while this particular one is scatological, it’s also lots of fun to make the slime and then add in a mystery scent.
Behold your very own complete kit for melting and molding up to 10 soaps from scratch.
We really wish Klutz products weren’t so very pink and glittery in their packaging, because they’re a genius way to teach science to boys and girls, without them being the wiser. In this case, they make their own soaps and learn all about the process behind it.
If you don't mind the noise (and there is a lot of it), this laser tag set is a win-win for kids.
A stellar, albeit noisy, group activity for kids, this laser tag set comes with four guns, four vests, and endless amounts of running around.
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