Our Gift Guide to The Best Toys For 8 Year Old Boys

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Shopping for a gift for an eight-year-old boy isn’t nearly as simple a process as it was when she was in the crib.  His personality is quite developed – he’s now able not only to tell right from wrong but also able to put himself in other’s shoes.  He also really enjoys fantasy play, cooperative play and being able to express opinions on a wide range of subjects.  Face it – he’s only a few years from being a legit “pre-teen”.

While shopping for your young man can be intimidating, don’t be fearful.  Have the courage to not only pick a gift that is “peer approved” but also one that reflects how much you care for your 8 year old boy.  We’ve selected some gifts that check both the boxes to help you in your quest.

We worked to pick gifts that will last and have some replay value – so your child can get some use from your present and remember you in the years to come. The world doesn’t need your gift to end up as garbage in a landfill come March of next year.

Finally, in acknowledgment that no one gift is “the best” for all kids, we’ve selected a wide variety of toys that should appeal to kids with different interests.  Our headings should give you a good idea of what type of kid would love each toy.  Hopefully, you find something to match the child you are shopping for.

The Rundown: The Top Toy Picks For 8 year old Boys

This toy tea set is good enough to eat off of - literally! Made of FDA-approved for food-contact materials, your daughter can play pretend and be safe at the same time.

kiwi-co-Kiwi_Crate_Pinball
Kiwi Crate by KiwiCo

A perfect gift for the kid that loves to create things with their own hands.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA of BPA-free, recycled milk jugs.
  • Easy to clean – it’s dishwasher safe so cleanup is a breeze!
  • Your 8 year old boy will build both fine and gross motor skills playing with this set.
  • Great for tub play as well.
  • Built to last for years of play.

Cons:

  • You pay extra for the Earth-friendly construction.

If your young ::age:: boy is looking for a toy tea set to go along with tea time, the Green Toys Tea Set is a great choice.  he can play while being nice to the environment at the same time.  You see, these tea cups, pots, plates, creamer and sugar bowl are all made of food-grade recycled materials.  This is awesome because it means you can actually drink from the set without worrying about hot water melting plastic or leeching and undesirable chemicals.

This tea set is wonderful. The toy items are sturdy while still being small enough for little hand’s to easily handle. It is safe to eat and drink from, washes easily, and quite resistant to scratches and blemishes.  Some people aren’t aware that toy manufacturers now have to put little holes to prevent suffocation in any toy  a young boy might jam in their mouth.  The sugar bowl is the one in this set with the holes – so if you pour a powder in the bowl, it won’t stay there!

These cups are kid-sized, not doll-sized – so they’ll be able to drink more than a sip when playing make-believe.  It’s one of the best tea sets out there for kids!

kiwi-co-Kiwi_Crate_Pinball

Best Subscription Box For 8 year old boys:

Kiwi Crate by KiwiCo

For boys  5 to 8 Years of age

Pros:

  • Encourages a tinkering mindset through experimentation
  • Parents can engage with their children in some quality time.
  • Created toys are well-made and generally have good replay value.

Cons:

  • You need to create the toy/project in order to have something to play with.
  • Subscription is an unique gift-type and can be hard to explain to a child when you give the gift.

The Kiwi Crate by Kiwico is a great way to keep your 8 year old boy excited about science through play throughout the year.  This isn’t one toy – instead, you buy a three month,  six month or 1 yr subscription and “crates” are delivered every month.  Inside you’ll find maker projects that help your child explore art, science, and engineering.   We’ve reviewed quite a few of these crates over the years – and our reviewer families have raved about their value and fun-factor.

Each month contains projects and readings centered around a different theme.  The instructions are easy to read, but also include additional information for those kids looking for a more in-depth treatment of the subject.  I’ve recommended these kits to my family members – and I now I’m recommending them to you.

Pros:

  • Teaches strategic thinking, teamwork, social skills and planning to your 8 year old boy.
  • Has won numerous awards for it’s great mix of fun and skill building.
  • Great for playing with children of different maturity levels for boys and girls.
  • Good replay value.

Cons:

  • Games are relatively quick – this might be a good thing depending on the situation but something to be aware of.
  • Pre-teen children and up won’t be entertained for long.

Most board games for kids are competitive – and frankly there’s nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes it’s nice for a family to have a game they work together to win, rather than against each other.  This is particularly the case if you have a child that is CONSTANTLY getting beaten at games by an older sibling.

In Peaceable Kingdom, players work together as a team against the game, not each other.  Besides creating a team, this allows for your 8 year old to learn to share, include others, and build up confidence for themselves and teammates.  Each player is an owl that has gone out exploring at night, but now needs to get back home before the sun gets up.  If all owls get home before the sun comes up, you are a winner!

 

Pros:

  • Included experiments are age-appropriate and fun for the family to work together.
  • Great for bathtub and sandbox play when younger, but grows into science experiments as your child ages.
  • High replay value since equipment can be used to do other experiments available for free on the internet.

Cons:

  • While most are common household items, you need to provide the ingredients for the experiments.

Encourage interest in science and experimental learning with this award-winning lab set. The Learning Resources Primary Science Lab set comes with a ton of kid-friendly science tools. All 12 pieces are correctly sized for 8 year old children to be able to handle.

Younger boys might just use the toy to play make-believe unless you or another adult take them step by step through the instructions. On the other hand, older children can use the included experiment cards to learn more about the physical world around them.  Once you’ve gone through all the included experiments, you are free to use the equipment to tackle other experiments about the world around you.

Helps To Develop: “Logical Thinking, Inquisitive Thinking”

Pros:

  • The soft-tip nature of darts means there is virtually no chance of damaging property or other children while playing with these toys.
  • Gun is lightweight enough that most school-aged children can participate in the fun.
  • Real camaraderie is built up among teammates.

Cons:

  • Darts are easy to lose.  They especially seem to find their way into the vacuum cleaner. You’ll want to buy some extras.
  • There are many Nerf Blaster choices – so your child may prefer a toy for a different playstyle.

Nerf dart blasters are a perennial favorite of boys and girls everywhere. The N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is no exception to this rule. With this blaster gun, you’ll be able to fire 6 darts in a row up to 90 feet.  Just slam the slide to reload and you are on your way.  That’s right, this blaster doesn’t require batteries.

While fine to shoot at targets by yourself, the real fun comes when a group of boys organize into teams and play tag or other games. Kids learn to implement strategy, cooperate with teammates and burn off a ton of energy running around outside while working to tag opposing team members.

Helps To Develop: “Social Skills, Strategy, Outside Play”

Pros:

  • Jumping helps your 8 year old boy develop muscles and balance while burning off energy.
  • Tramp comes with a long list of safety features to make jumping as safe as it can be.
  • Your kid’s friends will always be over at your place when you are the ‘trampoline house’.

Cons:

  • Parents need to supervise play – there are dangers involved if instructions aren’t followed.
  • This isn’t a small toy.  You need to have dedicated space in your backyard to set up and jump.

As we mentioned in our outdoor trampolines review, we think this toy is a winner. Safety is a prime concern in the design of this model. It’s so important, Skywalker has made sure this model exceeds all American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) requirements.

We like the ‘W’ supports – they give more stability to the trampoline. The padded poles and enclosure net are well-made and help to keep your 8 year old is safe. The basketball hoop is a nice touch – it has a breakaway rim and even comes with 2 basketballs. It’ll keep your children and friends entertained for hours at a time. A great gift.

Helps To Develop: “Outside Play, Burning Off Energy, Social Development, Motor Skill Development”

Pros:

  • Quick enough to be fun, but not as fast as some bigger models.
  • Soon will become a child favorite for expressing growing independence
  • Will last for years with proper maintenance.
  • Easy to transport – handlebars detach easily with a tool.

Cons:

  • The handbrake by itself can be inadequate – so teach your child to steer out of harms way along with braking.
  • Your child needs to be mature enough to understand the road laws in your area to use this toy.

Electric scooters for kids are a fast and simple way to get around.  The Razor E100 Electric Scooter is a nice tradeoff of speed and handling for a 8 year old rider.  You’ll get a scooter, battery and battery charger all included in the box.  Assembly is minimal – just charge up the scooter overnight and go.

Since this scooter can go as fast as 10 mph, it’s a good idea to find a protected area for your boy to practice.  It’s not quite like riding a bike – it will take a little while to master.  Check your local laws to see if it’s legal to ride on the street near the curb or on the sidewalk.  Different towns have different rules – and unless you want to give your kid an introduction to the legal  system at this age, it’s better to find out ahead of time!

The build is solid.  Younger and smaller riders will be able to easily fit both feet side-by-side on the base.  Length or riding time will depend on how many hills you ride, how much your child weighs, and how hard they ride – but 30 – 50 mins seems to be about average before needing a charge.

Pros:

  • Both camera lenses have an 8-megapixel photo resolution to take high-quality photos.
  • The camera is designed for kids and is easy to operate.
  • The screen is 2.3 inches, which is larger than most camera screens for kids.

Cons:

  • SD memory card isn’t included in the purchase.

The Joytrip Kids Digital Camera is a dual-lens camera with 8 Megapixels and a camcorder with FHD 1080P video resolution that’s perfect for little 8 year old boy hands!  With a 2.3 inches screen, budding photographers can show off their photography skills. The automatic face tracking feature recognizes faces to capture the best smiley moments.

Replaying the videos or look at the funny photos created with the 21 frames creates hours of fun. The 1000mAh lithium rechargeable battery won’t cut the fun-time short because it lasts for 4-6 hours. Recharging takes 4-5 hours.

Hanging the camera around the child’s neck with the lanyard will help keep the camera from falling. If it does fall, don’t sweat it too much. The camera is made of soft silicone material that is safe against a child’s skin and is also shockproof should the camera fall.

The USB charger and a micro SD card reader are included in the package but not the SD card. The camera supports up to a 32 GB card.

Pros:

  • Worry-free guarantee means you don’t need to worry about giving your 8 year old a mini-computer that he likely will end up finding a way to break.
  • Great for trips, plane rides, or other times a child needs to entertain themselves without being able to move around.
  • Included subscription includes a wide variety of children’s books to read – it’s not all fun and games!

Cons:

  • If you haven’t already bought into the Amazon “Co-Prosperity Sphere” of content, you’ll need to – it’s not worth much without the content Amazon provides.
  • Amazon parental controls take a little time to learn how to use effectively.

Want to get your 8 year old a tablet, but afraid of quickly they might break it? The Fire 7 Kids Edition is a great tablet for you.
You get a powerful 7-inch tablet in a kid-proof stand – made for little boys hands to be able to grasp easily.  The included year of Amazon Free Time provides access to age-appropriate apps, games, books and content from names you know, like PBS Kids, Disney and Nickelodeon.  Parental controls leave you in charge of what your 8 year old watches.

And since kids will be kids…if he ends up breaking this Kindle during the first two years by dropping, stomping, spilling, throwing or the multitude of other ways kids break toys, you can simply return it to Amazon to get a replacement.  That’s the worry-free guarantee.

These devices come with 16GB of internal storage, but you’ll likely want to invest in an SD card to give you some more space to save content for your child.  Prices on flash memory have dropped so much you’ll be amazed how much storage you’ll be able to get for cheap.

Pros:

  • It has everything to help put your kid into an imaginary world of fun, quickly.
  • Can handle quite a bit of normal-play punishment.
  • Some people never outgrow Star Wars – this toy could last for many years of play as your child grows.

Cons:

  • You know how Disney was able to afford to buy the Star Wars franchise? Take a look at the price tag.
  • Your child will need at least two of these to play with others.

The only way your little Star Wars fan could have more fun with this toy would be if it were made of plasma, not plastic. It has everything you’d expect – the lights, sounds and feel of a high-quality Disney toy.

It can handle not only imaginary play, but also some real-world swordplay as well. It’s not indestructible – if kids try to break these, they certainly can. But it will hold up well under the normal rigors of daily play.

Helps To Develop: “Imagination, Creative Expression, Social relationships”

Pros:

  • The included cloak is an EXACT replica of the movie prop on display in the official Warner Bros studio tour in London.
  • It’s going to be THE GIFT for Harry Potter fans in 2020.
  • The cloak, standalone, is of nice construction.  The added invisibility effect is a nice addition!

Cons:

  • Phone must be still in the tripod to get the “invisible” effect to work.
  • Deluxe version is nice and completely true to the movie, but can be a bit pricey.  The standard version doesn’t include the tripod either.

What kid hasn’t at some point wanted to be invisible?  I know I thought the Invisibility Cloak from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone would have awesome to own.  And now you can!

This 2020 Toy of the Year finalist is an exciting augmented reality toy.  This official Warner Bros. Invisibility cloak costume perfectly replicates the cloak from the Harry Potter series’ magical properties.

How does it work? It works with an associated phone app – so you can save – and share – your invisible scenes.  It’s easy to save stills or videos to your devices’ camera roll for later viewing fun.  If you or your children haven’t played with a “green screen” before, you are in for a treat.

In addition to the A-R aspect of this gift, it’s also a great Harry Potter toy and collector item on it’s own. If your 8 year old boy is into Harry Potter dress up or Cosplay, he’ll appreciate this gift!

Pros:

  • Adjustable height means it will grow with your boy.
  • Folds down easily for quick storage.
  • The different sizes of chalk and markers help develop fine motor skills.
  • A great way to share a love of drawing with friends or family.

Cons:

  • This toy requires assembly which can be a deal breaker for some.

If your child is stoked to draw but you don’t want the hassle of buying and throwing away reams of artwork-filled paper, this easel is for you. Both the chalkboard and dry-erase sides are erasable – so when your artist moves on to a new work the board will follow.  It can be used on both sides at teh same time so your boy can use this toy to play with a friend at the same time.

The adjustable height is a great feature – your child will be able to use this for years to come without having to hunch over to draw.  It comes with chalk and an eraser, along with a brush – but you’ll want to make sure you get more chlak on your own.  With how fun this toy is, you’ll need it!

Helps To Develop: Creative Expression, Imagination, Motor Skill Development

What We Like About The NextX Kids Adjustable Easel

Pros:

  • Great functionality in a small package.
  • 8 year old boys will love playing the role of director with the built-in cameras.
  • A lot cheaper than a Fitbit or Apple Watch!

Cons:

  • Heavy video usage can drain the battery in less than a day – not great if you rely on it primarily for a watch.
  • Colorful design might seem childish to tween-aged children.

This smartwatch is really a mini-smartphone – without internet access or GPS. Why do I say that? It has 2 cameras, a microphone, games built-in, and can function as a pedometer. That’s a lot of features in a little package!

Parents and kids can download the pictures and videos to a PC where they can be kept or viewed by all. It’s very intuitive to use – and while not waterproof it is “splash proof” so the occasional spill or drop should brick the watch. It’s a great toy if you think your child feels left out not having a “smart” device.

Helps To Develop: “Exploration, Role Playing, Creative Expression”

Pros:

Cons:

Codey Rocky is a GREAT toy for learning how to code. 8 year old programmers can use the associated app to get up and running quickly. There’s plenty to do with this robot without moving on from just app-based play. Your inquisitive boy can move and play with the robot really quickly in this mode.

Once the Codey Rocky is attached to your PC you can use an easy-to-learn block-based language to program the robot.  If this is too limiting, you can also use the popular programming language python to expand your choice enormously. This should give your 8 year old years of play as your child moves up the programming skill curve.

Helps To Develop: “STEM, Thinking Skills, Exploration”

Pros:

  • Easy to control and get into the air – but still helps to build patience.
  • Flight control builds hand-eye coordination to keep the kite soaring in the air.
  • You need to get outside to use this toy – and 8 year old boy will!

Cons:

  • You’ll need to help younger children with assembly.
  • You need some space and decent weather to play with this toy.

Good kites are under-rated toys. There’s something hard-wired in most boys that makes he want to fly a kite on a warm, sunny day. This kite makes that easy enough for 8 year olds.

The design makes it surprisingly easy to get – and stay -airborne. It won’t entertain your children for multiple hours at a time, but they will continue to come back to this toy as they grow through the years. The colorful pattern will bring a smile to both you and your child’s face.

Pros:

  • Learn about the world through fun projects every month
  • Gift will continue to be appreciated month-0after-month as new crates arrive.
  • It’s great for boys to show creativity and appreciation for the world they live in.
  • At this age, most of the projects can be completed with very little parental help.  This builds self-confidence.

Cons:

  • Not every child is into exploring other cultures.  If your kid is in this category, this toy isn’t for them.

The Atlas Crate by Kiwico is perfect for 8 year old boys that love traveling and learning more about the world.  This package isn’t one toy – instead, you buy a one-time subscription and “crates” are delivered throughout the year.   The Atlas Crate is different than most subscription crates – focused more on different places and cultures around the world.

As the crates come month after month and more projects are completed, your child will build their own adventure book.  My child really loved building his own globe in one project.  If your kid is interested in the people in the world and the places they come from, this gift will be appreciated.

Pros:

  • Allows children to learn the alphabet and reading skill at their own, independent pace.
  • Audiobook feature is great for car rides – just use headphones and your child is entertained.
  • The pen is well-sized for young hands, and nearly indestructible.

Cons:

  • Workbooks aren’t cheap, and really are one-time-use only.
  • The system is easy for kids, but there’s a learning curve for parents to set it up.

This comprehensive learning system will fast-track your child towards reading independence. The Leap Frog turns learning about reading and writing into a game – making learning fun. When your child is done with the initial book and audio titles, there are over 150 more available on a wide range of topics. This means there will be SOMETHING your child wants to read.

One pro tip to keep content costs down – head to your local thrift store or Goodwill to get used books. Just make sure to check they work with the current generation of Tag books.

Helps To Develop: “Communication Development, Focus, Thinking Skills”

Our Process For Selecting The Best Toys For 8 year old boys

We spend weeks writing all of our toy review and gift guides. We know you rely on our input, and we take that trust seriously.   Our writers and editors have spent approximately 23 hours researching and testing the most popular toys for 8 year old boys that you can find on the market in April 2020. 

All of this time and resources are spent to bring this toy guide to you – we’ve put in the time to make sure our recommendations are ones you can trust.

We also update these lists daily.  That’s because we don’t want to provide you with toys that are no longer in-stock – a gift you can’t buy isn’t worth much to you, no matter how cool it might be.  We have reviewed many more toys than we list in this guide – and many of them are good but not quite as great as the ones that made the cut. 

As toys move in and out of stock, the list will change.  We want this list to help you get the best toys you can for your 8 year old this Holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toys for Eight-Year-Old Boys

What skills should I look out for when buying a toy for an eight-year-old son?

Toys that improve behavioral skills could benefit your eight-year-old son. You probably noticed your son is socializing more, making new friends, and wanting to spend more time with friends. Friends are essential to boys in this age group.

The best toys for eight-year-old boys are toys that their friends can join in the fun. Combining group activities with physical play outdoors enhances the socializing and improves his physical development.

Eight-year-old boys tend to follow the rules they help create. When buying toys, involve your son when introducing the purpose of the toy, how the toys work, and help him discover the rules if it’s a game type of toy.   

What type of toys would my eight-year-old son enjoy?

Your eight-year-old son is curious and interested in his world. He likes to explore and discover his environment. He is up for a challenge and wants to be challenged, mentally, and physically. Toys that stimulate growth, discovery, and exploration would be the best gifts you can give your eight-year-old son.

Bikes, roller-skates, skateboards, flying kites, and ball games are the type of toys that may strengthen your son’s physical growth and activities. Toys like the Nerf Blaster may give hours of play alone or with friends.

The best toys to stimulate an eight-year-old boy mentally are toys that help them build, construct, create, or compete. STEM-related (and STEAM-related) toys may inspire interest in the field of science, technology, engineering, math, and arts at a young age. Learning toys challenge your child mentally and physically while he is having fun playing with the toy.

How do I know I’m buying the latest model or version of a toy?

Often when toys are upgraded or a newer version becomes available, the older version is sold at a reduced price. With some toys, it doesn’t matter if your eight-year-old receives the latest version. Sometimes the upgrades aren’t as great, and the older version is a ‘better’ toy. With technical, electronic, and mechanical toys, however, it could make a difference.

On the websites of toy manufacturers, you may find the information about the toys. They often have an overview and the specifications of the toys. You’ll find the technology used, model numbers, and the versions listed on the website.

You can purchase the toy then according to the latest model or version number. Some online shops do indicate there is a newer version available when you land on the sales page of the older model.

How do I know the toy is safe for my son or a child of eight-years-old?

Toy manufacturers adhere to strict rules and guidelines when designing and producing toys for a recommended age. They take into consideration what is safe materials and the design of the toy. Although an eight-year-old boy isn’t likely to put small pieces or parts that come loose in his mouth, it may be a choking hazard for his toddler siblings. Therefore, manufacturers do warn potential buyers about choking hazards and other possible safety issues.

Manufacturers also set parents’ minds at ease when they indicate what safety guidelines they followed for a toy. The safety ratings are included in the toy package and marked. Parents may check the box or package to make sure the toy is safe for their eight-year-old son, especially if they buy toys for an older age group for him.

How do I know if the toy is designed for an eight-year-old boy?

Toys are designed for a specific age group. As kids grow older, the toys may overlap in the recommended ages. When buying a toy for an eight-year-old boy, it is recommended to stay within the age range as indicated by the manufacturer.

Manufacturers must consider the different safety issues and complexity of toys for each age group. For example, LEGO pieces for an eight-year-old may differ in size and difficulty as for a younger child. The smaller sized LEGO blocks that stimulate and challenge the mind of an eight-year-old is too tiny for a three-year-old’s hands to grasp and handle. The smaller pieces are also potential choking hazards to a toddler. A LEGO toy for a teenager may be too complicated to build for the mind of an eight-year-old boy or girl.

What are STEM toys, and should I buy one for my eight-year-old son?

STEM is the acronym for the four disciplines science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The acronym STEAM includes arts in the equation.

Knowledge and experience in these four subjects may help your son in the future. STEM toys focus on stimulating and improving problem-solving skills, spatial thinking, innovative thinking, and communication skills.

STEM-related games and books may focus on teaching and improving your son’s memory skills while he discovers exciting facts about a topic. These toys aren’t limited to memory skills but may mentally develop and enhance your eight-year-old son in multiple ways.

STEM toys may also give your son the challenges he desires and perhaps interests him in STEM-related topics or a STEM-career one day.  Being familiar with STEM subjects, your child will find it easier to comprehend more advanced principles in school. He will have an advantage over kids who haven’t been introduced to STEM topics and principles.

Another benefit of STEM toys is how playing with these toys may create an interest in difficult school subjects like math, for example. Many children are afraid that mathematics will be too complicated for them. The fear causes blockages and paralyzes their ability to learn and solve math problems. Math STEM toys for eight-year-old boys introduces them to math in an entertaining and fun way. When your son is then confronted with a challenging math problem at school, he won’t fear math as other kids do. He won’t see mathematics as a terrible subject that is an obstacle hindering him; he may see math as a problem-solving challenge. He may even think math is fun because he never learned to dislike the subject.