Guide To The Best Toys and Gifts For 9 Year Old Boys

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Your 9-year-old boy isn’t that little kid you remember anymore.  He has developed emotionally to the point where he’s hoping to get some independence from his parents.-He wants to be recognized as being intelligent and knowledgeable – especially in areas he knows something about. In other words, he’s starting to care what other people think besides his family.

That can mean trouble when you are shopping for the best gifts for him.  This isn’t gendered specific – it’s the same situation when shopping for a 9 year old girl.

While shopping for a pre-teen 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 9 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 9 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.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA of BPA-free, recycled milk jugs.
  • Easy to clean – it’s dishwasher safe so cleanup is a breeze!
  • Your 9 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!

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 9 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 9 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 9 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:

  • Active noise cancellation makes them great for car or air travel.
  • Long battery life means they can be used all-day.
  • Fold-able for easy storage
  • Also comes with a 3.5mm cord for wired use.

Cons:

  • While better for noise reduction, ear-cup design can make some ears uncomfortable.
  • Plastic headband designs are nearly always weaker than metal ones. These won’t be indestructible.

Everyone likes to listen to their music, videos and games with a good set of headphones. These active noise-cancelling headphones are a good deal for the price.  You get dual microphone cancellation technology, along with the option of either using a Bluetooth or wired connection to your device.  That’s nice because kids (and adults) will forget to charge these headphones on occasion, but you’ll still be able to use them.

These aren’t going to compete with $400 headphones – but at well under $100 you’ll have trouble finding anything better.  The plastic headband is well made, but might eventually break if you have a large head.   A nice hard case will help ensure your boy doesn’t accidentally break the headphones by stepping on them.

I like the noise-canceling feature because it’s really handy when trying to study or traveling by plane – and with how well constructed these headphones are your child will likely end up having a chance to do both while owning them. They also function as a headset for talking on the phone as well.

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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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.
  • 9 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:

  • The cards are really creative – from Super Fertile Unicorn to Fat Unicron, you never know what you’ll get.
  • There’s enough strategy in this game – but not too much – that’s a great introduction to more detailed strategy card games.
  • Only takes 3-4 rounds before you completely understand how the game works.
  • High replay value – and can pick up and finish a game in under an hour.

Cons:

  • This game is the opposite of a cooperative game – if you don’t like having loved ones sabotaging your plans, this isn’t the game for you.
  • Best played with 4 or more players.

Unstable Unicorns is still one fo the Top 50 most backed projects on Kickstarter, and for good reason.  This card game is quick to learn and play, but it’s not easy to master.  You are trying to build your Unicorn army to full-strength – but so is everyone else at the table.  Note: these unicorns aren’t warm and fuzzy – think Pegasus not My Little Pony.

Skill is important, but there is a lot of unpredictability due to the draw of the card deck which means anyone has a chance to win a particular game.  Detailed instructions are available online – they are better than the ones in the box and will get you up and playing in no time.

Pros:

Cons:

Codey Rocky is a GREAT toy for learning how to code. 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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 9 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.

Our Process For Selecting The Best Toys And Gifts For 9 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 27 hours researching and testing the most popular toys for 9 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 9 year old this Holiday season.

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

What is the best toy for a nine-year-old boy?

Your son is growing up, and buying the best toy for him could be challenging. At nine-years-old, he isn’t a baby anymore; he doesn’t want to be treated like one and doesn’t wish to receive baby gift toys either. Neither is he a teen or a tween that knows what he wants. He is, however, an adventurous, energetic little boy that likes to have fun.

Knowing what your son likes and what his interests help in buying the best toy for your nine-year-old son. An energetic boy may enjoy riding his bike or exploring the neighborhood on his electric scooter. A Nerf blaster is another kind of toy he could play with friends or keep his backyard safe from sibling ‘intruders.’

If you need to buy a gift for a nine-year-old boy, you don’t know very well, buy a trusted brand toy and toys recommended for the age group. Select fun toys that inspire his adventurous spirit, a book from a popular book series, or science experiment kits and other STEM-related toys.

Is $25 too little or too much to spend on a gift for a nine-year-old boy?

You may find great gifts for $25 or less for nine-year-old boys. People tend to spend more on gifts for family and close friends than your child’s school friend. Don’t overspend when purchasing birthday gifts for school friends. It may cause an uncomfortable situation if the gift is more expensive than what family members bought the child.

Obviously, you would like to buy a special gift for your best friend’s nine-year-old son or nieces and nephews. Although you tend to spend more for these kids, you don’t want to buy gifts that make parents and other family members uncomfortable because of its extravagance. A reasonable price is about $50.

It doesn’t mean you should never buy a child an expensive gift. The parents of the nine-year-old boy may appreciate it if you would discuss it with them first. Talking to the parents first may avoid buying a toy the boy already has or duplicating a gift someone else was also planning on buying for the boy.

Another good reason to talk to the parents first when buying an expensive gift is that value systems in households differ. Some toys parents may deem not appropriate for their son. You would like to honor the parent’s wishes and buy the nine-year-old boy a toy his parents approve. You don’t want to place the parents in a situation where they must take the toy away from the boy after he opened your present. It may embarrass you and the parents, but the boy may suffer the most. 

Are these toys for nine-year-old boys only, or can a nine-year-old girl play with them too?

Most toys in a recommended age group are for boys and girls to enjoy. If your nine-year-old girl likes playing with Nerf blasters or flying kites, there is no reason why she shouldn’t play with those toys and vice versa. Your boy may enjoy soft toys or likes baking with cooking toys.

STEM-related toys are other examples of non-gender toys. Interest in science, technology, engineering, or math isn’t gendered specific either. Siblings tend to mix up their toys during play. If your children are having fun, does it matter what type of toy they like to play with?

When buying toys for nine-year-old boys or girls, the best toys are the type of toys that interest the child.  

Do nine-year-old boys appreciate experience gifts?

Your nine-year-old boy may enjoy going to a game with dad but could be too young to understand the benefit of the experience gift. Maybe he would’ve enjoyed kicking a ball in the backyard with his dad as much?

An experience like going to a game, the aquarium or zoo exposes him to exciting adventures. As a nine-year-old boy, however, he may not understand that experience could replace a wrapped gift. Combining a wrapped toy with the experience may make more sense to your nine-year-old. For example, giving him a pair of binoculars will mean much more in combination with a birdwatching field trip. Give him a team shirt and cap and then take him to the ball game. Combining a physical gift with the experience may create memories he will tell his grandchildren about.    

Could I combine a book and a toy as a gift for a nine-year-old boy?

A nine-year-old boy may appreciate a book gift on a topic he is interested in. He may love the present even more if it is combined with a toy.

If he likes science, you could give him a science experiment kit as a toy and a gift about science. A pair of binoculars with a book about local birds may help him identify the birds in his backyard. Another great combination of the gift idea is an experience and a book. For example, he may enjoy the outing to the aquarium. Combine the aquarium visit with a book about sea creatures may have a lasting impact on your nine-year-old boy. Now he can read interesting facts about the sharks and fish he saw at the aquarium.  

What is best, a gift card or a physical toy for a nine-year-old boy?

If you’re totally at a loss of what to buy a nine-year-old boy, a gift card could be the best option. It is an excellent alternative to purchasing a toy for a nine-year-old boy you don’t know. A gift card, however, maybe the most straightforward solution but isn’t necessarily the best gift from a nine-year-old boy’s perspective. Sometimes it’s just the most convenient option.

Kids, like adults, enjoy unwrapping a present. Opening a present is part of the excitement of receiving a gift. A nine year old boy may prefer receiving a wrapped toy on his birthday, even if it isn’t the perfect gift, as opposed to receiving a gift card.