February 26, 2024

The best toys for 8-year-olds highlight individuality, encourage their hobbies and support budding dreams. “Eight-year-olds are in the transition between being a ‘little’ kid and a ‘big’ kid, and it is an exciting time,” says Krupa Playforth, MD, board-certified pediatrician and founder of The Pediatrician Mom. They have more developed personalities, thoughtful opinions and perspectives and are becoming unique little people with their own interests.”

If you’re wondering what toys and gifts will most delight the 8-year-old on your list, Dr. Playforth says to follow their lead by seeing how they most like to spend their time. “At this age, you may find that 8-year-olds have passions they are willing to tell you about—and if you can, selecting gifts that honor and develop those passions is a great way to help connect with them,” she says.

As the mom of a son and daughter for whom I have bought countless toys for at all stages, I selected the following best gifts for 8-year-olds knowing that kids this age would love them. I also considered Dr. Playforth’s expert opinion, and researched the best, most popular toys for 8-year-olds, both boys and girls. Read our guide to Amazon’s top toys in 2022 and the toy guides listed at the end of this guide if you need for more inspiration. Or if you’re shopping for your 8-year-old’s room, you might check out the best bean bag chairs, bunk beds, desk chairs and twin mattresses for kids.

Best Science Toys for 8-Year-Olds

Put The Magic Of Science In Kids’ Hands

This magic chemistry set employs the power of science so kids can perform 10 captivating tricks. From making snow appear or a coin float, kids will learn chemistry and physics while simultaneously being engaged and entertained. “Toys and gifts that allow for some depth and creativity are great for this age group, because they have longer attention spans and can read and follow instructions more accurately,” adds Dr. Playforth. “I love National Geographic STEM kits.”

Giant Hydraulic Hand Gives Kids A Grip On Robotics

Big kids who love building will thrill to create a giant, wearable cyborg hand that uses hydraulic power to simulate hand movements. After constructing the 200-piece hand and filling the piston tubes with water, they can slide the cyborg hand onto their own and operate it with their fingers. In addition to being wow-worthy, this STEM kit teaches kids hydraulics, pneumatics and robotics.

Best Toys for 8-Year-Olds Who Love Art

Crafting Brings These Cute Critters To Life

This fun book and activity set results in cute little animal friends to keep or gift to friends and family. All of the components for crafting 20 fuzzy little animals are included, from yarn and beaded eyes to an instruction book illustrating how to create each critter—from a bushy-tailed fox to a panda bear with a heart-shaped nose. All you need to provide is a fork for wrapping the yarn before fashioning it into each animal.

Versatile Watercolor Brush Markers That Work With Or Without Water

These watercolor brush markers are a real stroke of genius due to their versatility and streamlined design. When inspiration strikes, budding artists can add water to the bristles on the brush tips to create watercolor paintings. Without the addition of water, they function as brush markers in 18 colorful hues.

A Bead Kit to Bedazzle Young Jewelry Designers

Add some sparkle to your favorite fashionista’s life with this enchanting kit that’s full of shiny beads and pendants they can string together to design fancy friendship bracelets and necklaces. The box is reusable and features separate slots that are perfect for keeping beads in order, since they’ll likely need to be refilled often.

Best Toys For 8-Year-Olds Who Love Sports

This Mini Hoop Gives Kids Home Court Advantage

This toy can elevate a kid’s space, transforming it into an impromptu basketball court. I put this mini basketball hoop on my son’s bedroom door and now he loves playing hoops daily. The shatterproof backboard easily hangs on the door via the slide-on door mounts, and the spring-action rim makes slam dunking a real crowdpleaser.

Kick It Past Dark With This Light-Up Ball

A glow-in-the-dark soccer ball is the perfect present for kids who still want to kick it after sundown. Why stop the soccer session just because it’s dark? This ball will stay aglow thanks to two LED lights that are activated by impact and automatically shut off when not in use. The LEDs last up to 30 hours of nighttime play, and you can change the batteries for additional illumination. Available in sizes 4 and 5—choose the one that best suits your World Cup fan.

Best Gifts For 8-Year-Olds Who Love Fashion

A Best Buddy You Can Wear On-The-Go

Squishmallows are uber popular with kids because they’re a supremely squeezable and comforting plush toy. They’re also completely adorable. This 12-inch version doubles as a backpack, so kids can wear their fave toy while out and about. Available in a variety of characters such as Luther the Shark and Nicole the Caticorn, carrying books and chore money in this sweet tote will be a pleasure for kids.

Expressive Nail Art That Lets Kids Shine

Kids will love painting their nails one of two vibrant pink shades and an array of 24 nail stickers in super funny and personable designs such as fruits with faces and a magic wand. You’ll love that the polish is vegan, cruelty-free, free of parabens and phthalates and kid-safe.

Best Books For 8-Year-Olds

An Island Escape Kids Won’t Soon Forget

This was my son’s favorite book when he was 8, and he still considers it one of his all-time favorite reads. The Wild Robot follows robot Roz as she navigates life alone on an island. She ends up mothering a newly hatched gosling, and their relationship will captivate young readers. Your child will be happy to know there’s also a second book in this series.

A Journal That Expands Kids’ Thinking

Big Life Journal: A Growth Mindset Guided Journal For Children

Having a growth mindset is a key to a successful life, so teach kids this concept at a young age with the Big Life Journal. This guided journal includes writing prompts that foster and encourage self-confidence, as well as stories, inspirational quotes and illustrations that boost self-esteem and teach valuable life skills. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Best Lego Sets For 8-Year-Olds

A Tiny Tree House That’s Big On Fun

Many 8-year-olds are finally up to the challenge to take their love of Lego sets to new heights— literally—with this adorably detailed tree house with more than 1,000 pieces. Building the tree house is a fun activity that will instill a sense of pride in a young builder. They’ll love playing with their creation and letting the five included Lego Friends characters whizz down the slide, soar on the swing and ride up the elevator.

Lego Iron Man Can Also Be Built As a Race Car for Tony Stark

Aspiring superheroes will get a thrill configuring this posable Sakaarian Iron Man that may also be rebuilt as an impressive race car that the included minifigure Tony Stark can speed away in. Valkyrie and The Watcher minifigures complete the set, so imaginative play is boundless with this Lego set that boasts two toys in one.

Best Gifts For 8-Year-Olds Who Love To Cook

Do Not Pass Up This Donut Machine For Budding Bakers

Snag some extra shut-eye on a Saturday while your resident baker uses this mini donut maker to whip up breakfast. Kids can place their favorite batter (cake mix and brownie batter work) in the machine to make seven donuts in a snap. The non-stick surface makes donut removal and cleanup child’s play. It’s available in a handful of retro colors such as aqua and pale yellow, but gifting the donut print option will be a hole-in-one for many 8-year-olds.

Helps Kids Cook Without Getting Heat From Gordon Ramsey

When your kid wants to be a cook, encourage them to play with their food. This fun cooking game actually teaches kids cooking skills via culinary challenges kids need to master to create breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes. In addition to the game components like recipe cards and mystery ingredient cards, the set includes two child-safe knives for kids to carve out their niche in the kitchen. The best part of this game is that you can feast on the results. Don’t worry, Gordon Ramsey is not included.

More Fun Gifts For 8-Year-Olds

This Octopus Toy Speaks Volumes For Kids

I know many parents (including myself) who have gifted their kids this cute, tell-all plushie to set outside their bedroom door or carry with them to relay their mood without saying a word. Kids can simply push the octopus head in either direction to signal how they’re feeling. Keep this cephalopod on standby, as it will come in handy during the ambiguous teen years too. It comes in a range of color schemes to appeal to any kid.

Aspiring Authors Can Write And Publish A Real Page-Turner


Creative kids with a story to tell can write, illustrate and publish their own hardcover book with this IlluStory kit. It comes with a writing guide, 20 blank book pages, markers and a paid postage envelope, so kids can mail their book in to be professionally printed and returned in three to four weeks.

A Magic Kit For Kids Who Like to Wow An Audience

This spellbinding magic kit contains 20 magic tricks illustrated and explained in a step-by-step guide, so kids can learn how to astound friends and family with some hocus-pocus. In addition to a quintessential magic wand, the kit has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve… including an exploding dice set, trick cards and a magic rope cutter.

A Gift That’s Music To A Kid’s Ears

Let them toy around with the power of music with this complete ukulele kit with everything a beginner needs to get tuned in, including 12 online lessons. Just be prepared to accompany them to their audition for America’s Got Talent.

A Card Game That’s Big On Belly Laughs

Kids need to be eager, quick, determined and alert to win a rousing game of Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. Laughter is guaranteed as players enjoy this fast-paced match of card flipping that often calls for pounding your chest like a gorilla or using your arms to make a narwhal horn. It’s a fun family board game for kids to play while spending quality downtime with their friends or family.

How We Chose The Best Toys For 8-Year-Olds

As a mom and parenting writer, I never stop learning about the latest and greatest toys and games. I reviewed toy lists from several sources, searched through holiday toys and best toys of 2022 lists, and used my own experience and knowledge of what my kids loved when they were 8. I also interviewed a pediatrician to determine which toys would most resonate with 8-year-olds overall, based on their specific stage of development.

Forbes has also reviewed hundreds of toys and organized our best recommendations into toy gifting guides that you’ll find below. You can also peruse our holiday Gift Guides if you’re shopping for adult-size presents.


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