Is your son or daughter about to enter his or her ninth decade? That means the hunt is on for the best toys for 8-year-old boys and 8-year-old girls. Thankfully they’re still a bit removed from the (dreaded) tween years, so the best gifts for 8-year-olds are really ones that encourage them to use their imaginations and simply let them have a great time playing with their friends. Getting them off their screens for a hot minute is an added bonus.
Here’s a little science to help inform your shopping. According to Stanford Children’s Health, 8-year-old boys and girls are still young enough to jump, skip, and chase each other around. They dress themselves and can groom themselves (sort of, but parents know better than to leave them totally unsupervised). They’re able to use tools, can count backwards, read to themselves and enjoy it, grasp the concept of space, draw and paint, and they love collecting things. They tell detailed stories, and engage in team sports.
Kids this age are learning how to relate to peers, adjust to social rules, and evolve from free play to more intricately structured interactions with their friends. And the games they engage in are elaborate fantasy role-playing games, in which they’ll work towards a shared goal. They want to be increasingly independent, even if they often can’t handle it.
And any parent knows that at this age, kids are more adept than lawyers at negotiating what they want, which is challenging at best. But on the flip side, being older means they are able to play for longer lengths of time, due to their heightened concentration skills. These are the toys they’ll love.
Best Toys for 8-Year-Old Boys and 8-Year-Old Girls
This five-in-one STEM toy is compatible with perpetually beloved Legos and is also voice-controlled.
Not only does this buggy work with Legos, making it endlessly inventive as a toy. But you get a base buggy that also turns into a sloth, a lady bug, a dodo bird and an alien. The Buggy is programmable in Scratch, Python or Arduino and is controllable over Bluetooth via the app.
Just when you think screens are unavoidable, your kid will surprise you with his or her love of drawing.
This art kit has everything your kid needs to draw superheroes, ninjas, animals, soccer players, or fantastical creatures. You’ll be pleasantly shocked by how much time they’ll devote to getting the details just right.
Speaking of art, kids use this kit to create their very own comic books or graphic novels.
Marvel, shmarvel. This kit includes a DIY blank comic book, markers, stencil templates, rubber stamps, ink pads, bottles of ink, and a storage box. The only thing missing is the superhero cape.
This magical, or magically evil, blaster transforms regular toilet paper into high-powered spitballs that shoot up to 50 feet.
Glitter is the nemesis of most parents. This crafting kit keeps glitter where it belongs.
Instead of it winding up in your bed, the crafting kit makes sure glitter stays on your kids’ artwork. You get 84 glitter dots, one roller, nine roller cutter attachments, and a slew of other stuff you need to run your own art studio.
A beginner acoustic guitar at a price that won't blow your eardrums.
This starter acoustic guitar looks like it belongs at Stagecoach. It’s made of spruce and basswood, and comes with extra strings, picks, a tuner, a strap for playing when standing, and a carrying case. For when your kid goes on tour.
Every self-respecting Avengers fan needs one of these to keep on his or her dresser.
Each of the six Infinity Stones throbs with its own glowing light, and there are straight-from-the-movie sound effects. The hand can also be locked in a clenched fist position, for a serious power pose.
Instead of hitting the local candy aisle, kids can make their own edible gummies. Yum.
The best gift ideas for 8-year-olds are ones they can share with friends—bonus points if they’re screen-free. With this culinary set, kids learn about chemistry while cooking up their own worm- and spider-themed gummies, which they can then consume. It’s a pretty delicious science concept.
It's the ultimate coding robot that's actually a tank-style all-terrain vehicle.
This programmable tank on wheels is drivable right out of the box, packed with sensors, and built for customization. Kids use the app to make the vehicle do whatever they want. It has enough torque to go fast, make that very fast, and it dodges obstacles with finesse.
Get kids to explore the magic of the night sky with this starter telescope, and prepare yourself for endless Uranus jokes.
Get kids interested in space with this fantastic telescope. It comes with an adjustable aluminum tripod. It’s portable and thanks to its all-coated glass optical components, the telescope provides clean, crisp views of the sky.
This game capitalizes on what all of us know to be true: That the Disney villains are way more complicated and interesting than the heroes.
Captain Hook, Maleficent, Jafar, Ursula, Queen of Hearts, and Prince John all star in this family-friendly board game. The object? Help your villain carry out his or her plotted scheme, but be careful not to get thwarted by cards in the fate deck.
Kids use play dough to learn the basics of electrical circuits in a hands-on way.
This great set teaches electrical circuits with conductive and insulating dough, letting kids squish, mold, and sculpt the dough while learning about engineering and tech.
This Harry Potter Lego set features glorious winged horses, no less.
This Lego set lets aspiring witches and wizards recreate the iconic scene from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where the Beauxbatons’ carriage arrives at Hogwarts, pulled by winged horses, no less.
Nerf's colossal motorized blaster holds a whopping 100 rounds.
This dope-ass battery-powered Nerf gun lets kids unleash rounds at a velocity of 100 feet per second.
By eight, your kid will be heavy into team sports, so get him or her this portable hockey set.
Games for 8-year-olds ideally encourage them to burn off energy. This set is stupid-easy to set up, and includes everything kids need to play street hockey and knee hockey. That means two adjustable plastic street hockey sticks, two ABS knee hockey sticks, one street hockey ball, and two foam knee hockey balls.
How dope is this: A keyboard can be held like a guitar and connects to your music library via the chord tracker app.
Once you connect the keyboard to your digital music library, your kid gets chord data transmitted via Bluetooth or MIDI. And this means your kid can play music like a (sort of) pro.
Yes, sure, you can order soap from Amazon. Or you can turn it into a whole chemistry lesson by making your own.
Gifts for 8-year-old girls can be tricky, but this kit will strike exactly the right balance of fun, engaging and (shhh!) educational. You get a complete kit for melting and molding 10 entire soaps from scratch. Kids can add fragrance, glitter, and then actually use it to wash their hands—an endless challenge for kids this age anyway.
Kids can work on their concentration with this light-up tracing kit.
The kit includes 10 sheets of traceable designs, 10 blank sheets, one graphite pencil, 12 full-size colored pencils, and of course, the LED-lit light-up pad.
You'll never strike out with this tabletop bowling game, which brings the alley to your house (minus the nasty shoes).
Personalized bowling shirts are optional with this tabletop game, which is compact and includes one bowling alley board, one launch ramp, two mini bowling balls, ten pins and a dry-erase scoreboard. The premium wood surface is a bonus. See, gifts for 8-year-olds don’t always have to be electronic.
Kids learn how their own body operates, and all about stuff that grows on the human body. Oh, and they can grow their own snot and slime with this science kit.
Kids this age love anything gross. Which is why they’ll be engrossed in this science kit, which explores such pressing topics as farts, bacteria, and molds.
Just about every kid we know likes or loves or adores Roblox. Hence, they will like or love or adore this play set, featuring four iconic characters and loads of accessories.
Best of all, this set comes with a redeemable code to unlock an exclusive virtual item on Roblox. So it’s a double win.
No, your furniture is not safe. Yes, slime is hella fun. And this set has everything your kids need to make a mountain of it.
This jumbo non-toxic slime-making includes 18 different colored slimes, three cutting/shaping utensils, two plastic straws, 12 vials of colored glitter, two bags of sugar paper, three bags of beads, and six bags of foam balls, for something we can only dub slime-a-palooza.
This smart Hot Wheels racetrack connects with the app and gives kids a real-world, next-level racing experience.
Toys for 8-year-old boys can sometimes be a bit too digital, but we honestly are hard-pressed to find a more intelligent blend of tech and old-school fun than this Hot Wheels set. When kids download the app, they can measure the racing performance of their cars. It’s a unique and totally connected racing experience. Kids can even scan cars using the app and then race them.
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