March 1, 2024

We’ve been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Trendy Toy

Nee Doh Nice Cube

Nee Doh Nice Cube

Trendy Toy

Nee Doh Nice Cube

Credit: Schylling

Nee Doh is the fidget toy that has taken social media by storm, and kids love to squish it like a globby stress ball. And while it comes in many colors and shapes, the “Nice Cube” keeps it cool, just like an ice cube. It’s perfect when you need just a little something. Ages 3+

For ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Fans

Fire-Breathing Bowser

Fire-Breathing Bowser

For ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Fans

Fire-Breathing Bowser

Credit: The Super Mario Bros. Movie

No, it doesn’t sing or play the piano, but this 7″ tall Bowser does the next best thing: It blows real smoke from its glowing, fire-breathing mouth. One Good Housekeeping parent tester says she was impressed with how much (cool to the touch) fog it was able to produce with just a few drops of water. Ages 3+

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

DoodleJamz BrightBoard

DoodleJamz BrightBoard

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

DoodleJamz BrightBoard

Now 24% Off

Credit: Sky Castle

Kids of all ages love pushing the beads around in the gel to decorate the background picture — it’s a great fidget toy. This one comes with a two-sided background (but you can always print more), and it also has a case that lights up so they can use it at night. Good Housekeeping testers loved using the included stylus to move the beads, since it gave them more control over the picture. Ages 6+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Best Overall Toy for 8-Year-Old Boys

BrainBolt

Amazon’s Choice

BrainBolt

Best Overall Toy for 8-Year-Old Boys

BrainBolt

Now 28% Off

Credit: Educational Insights

A new twist on the classic game Simon Says, this one is a fun memory booster that’s perfect for killing time on a long road trip, where kids can play solo or turn it into a two-player game. The challenge is to memorize the light sequence and follow along for as long as possible, without breaking the pattern! Bonus: Batteries are included so you can play ASAP. Ages 7+

For Kids Who Love to Perform

Professor Maxwell’s VR Magic

Professor Maxwell's VR Magic

For Kids Who Love to Perform

Professor Maxwell’s VR Magic

Credit: Abacus Brands

This kit comes with everything a budding magician could need, including a deck of cards, a fake thumb, a handkerchief, ropes, a magic wand and a hat. But the real magic is when kids don the VR goggles and learn how to do each trick in virtual and augmented reality. When they’ve gone through it all, they’ll have a repertoire of more than 30 tricks. Ages 8+

For Gamers

Among Us Crewmate Figures

Among Us Crewmate Figures

For Gamers

Among Us Crewmate Figures

Now 17% Off

Credit: PMI Trading & Enterprise

These toys? They’re anything but suss. This set comes with five Among Us crewmates that stand 2″ tall. Kids can swap their head accessories — and there are a couple of extras in the pack for them to rotate in and out as they see fit. Ages 3+

RELATED: The Best Gifts for Gamers

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Award Winner

My Must-Have Mom

My Must-Have Mom

Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Award Winner

My Must-Have Mom

Credit: Lantana Publishing

For a sweet, mother-son story, this book was a hit with Good Housekeeping Institute testers. It tells the tale of a mom who loves to upcycle things she finds in the trash. When her son is afraid she’d want to make upgrades to him, too, she tells him she loves him just the way he is. Testers also appreciated the fact that the mom is a wheelchair user, but it’s not the focus of the story — it’s just there and accepted. Ages 6 – 10

RELATED: The Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Awards

Best STEM Gift for 8-Year-Old Boys

Gravitrax Marble Run Starter Set

Best Seller

Gravitrax Marble Run Starter Set

Best STEM Gift for 8-Year-Old Boys

Gravitrax Marble Run Starter Set

Now 19% Off

Credit: Ravensburger

With this set, kids can design marble runs that use curves, drops and other cool tools. They’ll have to put their engineer hats on, and also experiment with concepts like gravity, velocity and cause-and-effect. It comes with more than 120 pieces, and expansion packs are also available with even more elaborate features. Ages 8+

For Comic Book Fans

Comic Book Kit

Comic Book Kit

For Comic Book Fans

Comic Book Kit

Credit: Kid Made Modern

If he’s taken in by adventures with Spider-Man, the Avengers, Batman and other comics, maybe it’s time for him to make his own. This kit comes with two, 24-page blank books with the panels already drawn in — all he has to do is fill in the adventure. To help him along, it also comes with colored pencils, ink pads and stamps that say “Pow!” and “Zoom!” Ages 6+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Useful Gift

Light Up Drawing T-Shirt

Light Up Drawing T-Shirt

Useful Gift

Light Up Drawing T-Shirt

Credit: Illuminated Apparel

Kids can make good use of their creative juices with this tee, which comes with a pen-sized UV flashlight that lets them draw their own designs that really glow! After about five minutes, the drawing fades and they can make something new. And yet, you can still put it in the washing machine (just not the dryer). Sizes 3T – XL

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

QuadDrive Interstellar Drop Battle Set

QuadDrive Interstellar Drop Battle Set

Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner

QuadDrive Interstellar Drop Battle Set

Now 11% Off

Credit: Beyblade

Beyblade collectors have never seen a stadium like this before: The action takes place on two levels, starting on the top and then falling through the Warp Hole! The set comes with two spinning tops, two right/left-spin launchers, and two extra armor tips. Ages 8+

Outdoor Toy

Kick Croquet Game Set

Kick Croquet Game Set

Outdoor Toy

Kick Croquet Game Set

Credit: Franklin Sports

Get them outside and get their blood pumping with this game, which is a combo of croquet and soccer. It’s played with oversized, inflatable croquet balls that kids have to kick through the wickets, so they also have to work on ball control. Ages 3+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Creative Craft for Pokémon Fans

Scholastic Pokemon Origami

Pokemon Origami

Creative Craft for Pokémon Fans

Scholastic Pokemon Origami

Credit: Scholastic

If the 8-year-old in your life is a Pokéfan, they’ll love getting creative and making their own Pokémon out of folded paper. The book takes them step-by-step through how to make 10 different origami Pokémon, and it comes with its own specially designed pieces of paper to use, too. Ages 7+

RELATED: The Best Pokémon Gifts for Fans of All Ages

Fun Family Game

Meltdown Game

Meltdown Game

Fun Family Game

Meltdown Game

Now 36% Off

Credit: PlayMonster

Your kid can help avoid a nuclear meltdown with this game meant to be played with two or more people. To play, they pack and roll goo cubes together, and use their critical-thinking skills to balance the squishy cubes on a platform that shifts unpredictably. If any cubes fall, you’ll have to re-stack it. The game is over when all the cubes are stacked! Ages 7+

Gift Under $10

Creativity for Kids Paper Airplane Squadron

Paper Airplane Squadron

Gift Under $10

Creativity for Kids Paper Airplane Squadron

Credit: Creativity for Kids

This box comes with enough supplies for kids to make 20 different paper airplanes. In addition, they’ll learn about different ways of folding paper airplanes (including standard style and “lion” style), and they’ll also get stickers so they can decorate their fleet before it takes off. Ages 6+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Unusual Building Toy for 8-Year-Old Boys

Snap Ships Gladius AC-75 Drop Ship

Snap Ships Gladius AC-75 Drop Ship

Unusual Building Toy for 8-Year-Old Boys

Snap Ships Gladius AC-75 Drop Ship

Now 55% Off

Credit: PlayMonster

If your 8-year-old boy is into vehicles, Snap Ships are a building toy line that uses interchangeable pieces to make different spacecraft. Each set can build multiple ships, and also comes with a surprise piece to give it extra “power.” Our toy testers loved changing up the designs, and parents found them to be sturdy. Ages 8+

Rainy Day Activity

Mini Pom-Pom Pets

Mini Pom-Pom Pets

Rainy Day Activity

Mini Pom-Pom Pets

Credit: Klutz

Crafty kids and 8-year-olds who love animals alike will enjoy this kit, which gives them the supplies to make more than 20 different pom pom animals. How he uses them afterward — to decorate a binder, or in imaginary play? — is up to him. Ages 8+

Fun Coding Toy

Dash Coding Robot

Dash Coding Robot

Fun Coding Toy

Dash Coding Robot

Now 20% Off

Credit: Wonder Workshop

Kids can get the foundations of coding with this robot, which lets kids control it with voice commands that explore loops, commands, events and sequences. Then, use the Wonder Workshop’s free apps to program Dash to sing, draw and move around. Ages 6+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

For the 8-Year-Old Boy Who Has Everything

Sleuth & Solve: Science

Sleuth & Solve: Science

For the 8-Year-Old Boy Who Has Everything

Sleuth & Solve: Science

Credit: Chronicle Books

He’s going to have to combine his STEM knowledge with his critical thinking skills to solve the 20 mysteries in this book. Each story comes with both an explanation of the mystery, and a look into the science behind it. For detectives who aren’t STEM fans, there’s also a historical version and a regular, non-themed version. Ages 8+

New Twist on a Retro Fave

Spirograph Animator

Spirograph Animator

New Twist on a Retro Fave

Spirograph Animator

Now 50% Off

Credit: PlayMonster

Get their creativity flowing with this next-gen spirograph. Rotating light effects give the spirograph designs the illusion of movement (though the images still look fridge-worthy even with the lights are off). Ages 8+

Headshot of Marisa LaScala

Senior Parenting & Relationships Editor

Marisa (she/her) has covered all things parenting, from the postpartum period through the empty nest, for Good Housekeeping since 2018; she previously wrote about parents and families at Parents and Working Mother. She lives with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, where she can be found dominating the audio round at her local bar trivia night or tweeting about movies.

Headshot of Rachel Rothman

Chief Technologist & Executive Technical Director

Rachel Rothman (she/her) is the chief technologist and executive technical director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she oversees testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs. She also manages GH’s growing research division and the analysis of applicants for the GH Seal and all other testing emblems. During her 15 years at Good Housekeeping, Rachel has had the opportunity to evaluate thousands of products, including toys and cars for GH’s annual awards programs and countless innovative breakthroughs in consumer tech and home improvement. 

 

preview for Featured Videos From Good Housekeeping US

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *