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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 looking for 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. Standout 9 year old birthday gifts encourage collaborative play, because by the time they enter third grade, they’ve formed strong and complex friendships.

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 express themselves. And don’t forget that gross things never lose their luster, so slime is a winner. Always.

You're never too old for a killer lightsaber. And this black-bladed one is a symbol of Mandalorian power. It makes authentic battle sounds when kids (or you) play with it.

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

This handy slime kit includes three containers of washable Elmer's glue, plus three activators: Metallic, glow in the dark, and confetti.

Kids this age don't like to shower. So make cleanliness more appealing by installing a waterproof speaker. This one comes in a slew of colors, has Bluetooth streaming and five hours of playtime.

Journaling is a wonderful way for 9 year olds to express their feelings in a safe space. This kit includes a 70-page journal, plus stickers, gems, and glitter frames to personalize it. And there's room to store ticket stubs, cards, and other memorabilia.

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.

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.

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.

While making bath bombs, soaps, and lip balms, kids learn about chemical reactions. The step by step instructions are easy to follow, and the set makes chemistry fun.

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.

Foster their love of reading with a sweet gift box. This one includes 'Grandpa's Great Escape,' 'George's Secret Key to the Universe,' 'Puzzlelopedia,' 'The Misadventures of Max Crumbly,' and 'The Dark Lord Clementine,' as well as personalized stickers.

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.

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.

No one is doing much globetrotting these days, so bring the travel to you with this intricate Lego 547-piece set. It pays tribute to the Tokyo skyline, including the Cocoon Tower and Shibuya Crossing.

Skip the pottery studio: This kit is ready to use out of the box. Kids simply paint the stone, bake it, and place it outdoors or in their rooms. The stones are weather-resistant once baked.

Inspired by the mysterious bounty hunter known only as the Mandalorian, this Nerf gauntlet shoots darts. And looks damn fine doing it.

Mechanical engineering goes to the next level: Kids can build six mechanical arms, including grabber claws, and of course, use them in real life to grab stuff.

Air hockey. That can be played on any surface. And is quiet. And ultra-fast. The frame is portable, works on carpets, and the set comes with goalie mallets, pucks, and surface protector pads.

The folks who gave us the Roomba are now tackling STEM toys. This coding robot responds to touch, avoids obstacles, and be programmed to drive, turn, draw, erase, light-up, play music, and vertically climb whiteboards. It works with the corresponding app and levels up, as your kid becomes more comfortable with coding.

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.

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 eight of own bath bombs. They learn about chemistry and color-mixing, and the set includes everything they need, from beakers to measuring spoons.

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.

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 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.

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