Eight years old is an interesting age when it comes to gifts. As parents, it’s the point at which toys become both a little overwhelming and undeniably fun. It’s time to put away the little kid stuff and move into a new world of bigger, faster, and more intellectually stimulating experiences. We’ve rounded up some of the best boys’ toys out there for kids, toys that will help them grow mentally as well as physically.
Between the LEGO bricks and the included app, he can have loads of fun with this set. The 689 bricks and other parts let him build a bright yellow school bus equipped to battle and hunt ghosts. It comes with five minifigs too that include two paranormal entities and four ghost hunters. The bus opens to reveal gadgets for finding and catching ghosts. When you download the app, he can enter an augmented reality world and continue all the fun adventures that he started with the set. That virtual world grows and changes with each decision he makes.
The fun adventures of Fortnite leap off the computer and television screen with this blaster weapon from NERF. Designed to resemble the weapons he plays with in the game, it requires no batteries and has just three steps that he needs to follow. He can load the blaster with an included foam pellet, prime the handle and then fire. As the NERF pellet is soft, it won’t harm him or any other players. This set comes with two pellets or rockets that fit inside the blaster. NERF tests each one before adding them to the box.
It’s never too early to get kids excited about science experiments, and this set lets him do more than 20 experiments with the included supplies and some simple ingredients. He can learn about bases and acids as well as DNA and volcanoes via the included instructions. It comes with more than 40 tools and ingredients and a 36-page guide that tells him how to stay safe in the lab and how to do all the fun experiments. That guide includes detailed images that walk him through the steps too.
He can play monopoly in a whole new way with friends and family thanks to this set, which honors the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise. The durable metal pieces that work their way around the game board feature the classic characters from that series, including R2D2 and Darth Vadar as well as vehicles such as the Death Star. Instead of using properties that players buy, the board features elements from the series that players can purchase, including the Force and hero medals. It comes with pieces for up to six players.
Boys eight and up will like this drone toy because it doesn’t require a remote control or an app to use. This toy lets him control the drone with his hand, including where it goes and what it does. It has three motion detectors on the sides that pick up the subtlest of hand movements to indicate what the drone will do. To use it, he just needs to hit the power switch and give it a toss to throw the drone into the air. As soon as he begins moving his hands, the drone will start responding.
You can foster his interest in geodes and nature with this set from National Geographic, which comes with 10 premium geodes. The 16-page included booklet shows him how geodes form and gives him an idea of what he might find inside. It also comes with a mask to keep the shards out of his eyes and a magnifying glass that lets him get a better look at the crystals inside. National Geographic also includes stands that let him display some of his favorite pieces around his room to show them off.
If he loves tech gadgets and cars, he’ll love this RC car, which can do tons of stunts that similar cars cannot. The 1/28 scale car comes in a bright red color and has a protective coating that keeps it safe and free from scratches as he plays outside. He can use the included remote to make it turn in any direction, flip upside down and do fun stunts. Even if the car flips over, it will bounce back and keep running. The tires on the stunt car keep it from sliding across wet floors and from crashing into obstacles.
Darts is a great game for developing hand-eye coordination, but it’s not always a great game for children. After all, the sharp end of darts spells trouble for little eyes – to say nothing for the walls of their rooms. The Doinkit magnetic set takes away one of the biggest drawbacks to a great game by providing a magnetic tip instead of the typical sharp end. This means your son can have endless hours of fun with the kit without putting anyone in danger. It’s a great kit for developing hand-eye coordination and for learning to keep score.
WHO IT’S FOR: Young fans of darts, boys who need help with hand-eye coordination, and anyone who likes competitive games. Might not be a good fit for those who already have a strong throwing arm or who seem like they can put a relatively small dart through the back of a wall.
Kids are learning about programming and computer building earlier than ever. A huge part of this trend is the growth of easy-to-build computer kits like the Kano Computer. A perfect fit for young builders, it provides everything one needs to build a computer along with a simple, storybook-like instructions. It’s not the most powerful mini-computer on the market, but it’s a good first step for kids who are into technology. Definitely a good fit for young tech enthusiasts.
WHO IT’S FOR: Kids who love computers and kids who love to see how things work. A great fit for those who love to watch Mom or Dad work on their own computers. A little simple for those very young computer prodigies out there, but otherwise a good fit for most curious boys in this age range.
Eight is a great age for science. It’s the point at which kids are still curious about the world around them but they’re finally steady enough to do a little work on their own. This Kids’ Science Set provides everything an inquisitive young mind needs for some basic science experiments. While you might be needed for some of the heavy lifting, this is a great kit for kids who want to experiment on their own. It’s got easy instructions to follow and includes everything one needs, so it’s a great choice for rainy afternoons.
WHO IT’S FOR: Science-focused kids and kids who want to know how things work. It’s not the most advanced kit in the world, but it does provide a great deal of variety for those who get bored easily. Also a good fit for kids who need a bit of encouragement when it comes to getting involved in science class.
There are few things more classic than a scooter. Sure, the bike might be the classic toy but the scooter gives kids the ‘cool’ of riding a skateboard without requiring quite as much dexterity. The Space Scooter actually features a fairly novel method of propulsion, which might be great for those kids who are a little too uncoordinated for riding a regular scooter at high speeds. Certainly an interesting take on an exceptionally old-school toy.
WHO IT’S FOR: Boys who love to play outside. Definitely a fit for anyone who wants something a little more compact than a bike as well. It’s a good choice for those who don’t like normal scooters or who are looking for an interesting new way to get around.
While there are many robotics kits on the market, no one has been quite as tapped into the mind of eight year old boys as LEGO. The Creative Toolbox gives young innovators everything they need to build a functional robot and to program it to follow simple commands. Don’t mistake this for a simple building kit – this is serious stuff that requires both a lot of patience and a willingness to follow some fairly complex directions.
WHO IT’S FOR: Boys with great imaginations and a love for robots. Any boy who is interested in robots or who loves building in general. Might not be the best first introduction to programming or robots in general, but it’s a good choice for any boy who has already made it through the first stages of the hobby.
Some of the best toys are the simplest. The Stomp Rocket Rocket Jr. Glow doesn’t have a lot of moving parts or fancy effects, but it flies – and for many boys, that’s enough. you can look at this as an entry into rocketry if you like, but the truth is that this is also just a fun toy for anyone who likes to see things go up in the air. The glow feature helps to make this one stand out, though it’s not necessarily recommended that you try to fly this one at night.
WHO IT’S FOR: Kids who enjoy simple toys and anyone who is interested in flight. If your child is interested in space or rockets, this might be a good first step towards teaching him more about those subjects. A great fit for kids who like to play outside as wel, especially if they don’t mind running after the rocket as it flies.
Remote controlled cars are timeless, but some of the newer innovations really do make this model stand out. The Epoch Remote Controlled Car allows for an incredible range of movement, which is great for kids who often find themselves with less space than they’d like. This car’s range might leave a little to be desired, but the sheer number of controllable surfaces makes it a lot of fun. This is a good addition to any boy’s car collection – especially if he enjoys driving himself.
WHO IT’S FOR: Fans of RC cars and anyone who wants a car that really allows for freedom of movement. Probably the ultimate RC car for any boy who tends to drive his cars on the wall. It’s a little more complex than some RC cars, so it’s also a good fit for any boy who is starting to get tired of the more standard models out there.
Weighing in at over thirteen hundred pieces, this massive LEGO set is a sure-fire hit for any young fan of Star Wars. The LEGO Millennium Falcon was released alongside The Force Awakens and features the crew from that movie, including the always-delightful BB-8 minifigure. It’s a bit of a workout for young hands, but it’s great for developing fine motor skills. As one of the sturdier kits in the LEGO line, it’s as much fun to play with as it is to build – a perfect kit for developing young minds.
WHO IT’S FOR: Young fans of Star Wars, fans of LEGO, and fans of building kits in general. Definitely well-suited to those who either have good fine-motor control or who need a project to help them develop those skills. Good for practicing following directions as well.
An absolute classic, The Cube is a toy for any boy who loves a challenge. Kids of all ages have been fighting with these cubes for decades and this ultimate mind teaser is a great way to get your child thinking in three dimensions. While the box might make it look like a collector’s item, the truth is that this toy is great for hauling around on trips and any time when quiet is prized. While it can be frustrating, there’s something amazing that happens when a child finally solves the puzzle.
WHO IT’S FOR: Young puzzle enthusiasts and boys who love a challenge. A better fit for kids who don’t need lights and sounds to be motivated to finish a puzzle. A really great choice for kids who find jigsaw puzzles too simple and constantly read through books of mind-teasers for fun.
This Tin Can Robot is the perfect mix between being a real science project and being a fun toy. While it might not look as flashy as some of the more expensive products on the market, the Tin Can Robot actually works well as an introduction to robotics. With a simple design that will please most kids, this robot is a great choice for any boy who is interested in how robots work.
WHO IT’S FOR: Boys who love robots and families who want to invest in sustainable toys. It’s a great way to show your kids that they can make their own fun, especially if you show them how much difference the simple tin can body makes.
Looking for Gifts & Toys For Other Ages Of Children?
Do you have more than child to buy for who is at a different age? If that’s the case then you might want to check out our other guides of carefully curated and considered lists of gadgets, games, puzzles and toys that cater for all different ages and development stages of kids.
You’ll find that the guides below have toys that have been specifically designed and developed to match your child’s physical, emotional and cognitive abilities. I hope these guides provide you with all the inspiration you need to get your child gift idea spot on!
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Best Star Projectors for Kids & Teenagers – Read more