The best toys for 8 year olds and gifts you can buy them will not only reflect their interests but also the stage they are at in life.
Read on for advice from experts in child development on how an 8 year old’s physical, emotional and mental development might affect how they play, what they want to play and who they want to play with.
Or, scroll down for our pick of the best toys. From craft kits to play sets, to collaborative games and comic books. We’ve got all the best buys covered so you can pick the best toys out there.
Don’t forget to check out our other toy buying guides for kids of all ages, from sensory toys and games for 1-year-olds, toys for 2-year-olds, educational toys and toys suitable for 4 year olds and upwards.
Best toys for 8 year olds
Playmobil School Building with Digital Clock
Age Suitability: 5 – 12 years | Price: £99.53
Stereotypes such as ‘boys become doctors’ and ‘girls become nurses’ may start to creep in around the age of eight, so buying children toys that dispel these assumptions and help teach kids that these old-fashioned stereotypes are wrong are great toys for kids. Play sets that include a range of figures and reflect real life environments like schools, hospitals, vets, fire stations, or simply shops and services you’d find on the high street are all great for this and encouraging imaginative play.
Go Glam Nail Printer Kit
Age Suitability: 4 – 12 years | Price: £34.98
If you wear nail varnish there’s a high chance your child will have asked if they can wear polish too by now. Nail play sets for children of this age tend to include specially formulated nail polishes that are safe and suitable for children, as well as fun stickers and stamps that they can play with to get creative with nail art.
Our parenting and shopping expert Heidi Scrimgeour says: “You can’t go wrong with a toy like this for an eight-year-old – my daughter’s favourite thing to do is paint her nails with me, and anything that keeps my expensive nail polish safe is a hit with me!”
Throw Throw Burrito
Age Suitability: 7+ | Price: £29.99
Throw Throw Burrito is a family-friendly party game unlike any you’ve played before. It’s a combination of a card game and dodgeball where players go head to head collecting cards, earning points, and throwing squishy toy burritos at one another. What more could a kid want?!
Make your own comic strips
Age Suitability: 8+ years | Price: £6.99
As well as an interest in reading and perhaps even collecting comics, 8 years olds also have the skills and imaginations to create their own comics inspired by the graphic novels and stories they like to read. This is one of the best ‘toys’ you can buy any kids that love to draw and doodle comics.
Creatable World Deluxe dolls
Age Suitability: 6+ years | Price: £12.95 (each)
At this age, many kids will have started to become aware of body image and changes in their appearance as they grow compared to their peers. For some, this means a dip in confidence. Making sure a child is aware and familiar with the fact that everyone is different, with different body types, hair colours, heights, builds and features is important. If your child has shown an interest in – or loves – playing with dolls, make sure they have a wide variety of different dolls in their collection that reflect the diversity found in real people in the real world. We love these deluxe dolls by Creatable World.
Mini Pom-Pom Pets
Age Suitability: 8 – 12 years | Price: £12.99
Kids find satisfaction and enjoyment out of envisioning and creating their own projects at this age, whether it’s learning the basics of needlework for fabric crafts, painting pottery or making clay models from scratch.
VTech 8-in-1 Kidi Concert karaoke machine
Age Suitability: 5 – 10 years | Price: £39.88
Children who love perfume, singing songs they’ve heard on the radio around the house or just getting silly and having some noisy fun will love a karaoke machine. They’ll love being able to sing along to their favourite tunes and it’s something they can play with along with the rest of the family.
Poetry for Neanderthals
Age Suitability: 7+ | Price: £19.99
Poetry for Neanderthals is a competitive word-guessing game where you can only give clues by speaking in single syllables. So, instead of saying “broccoli,” you’d say something like “green thing you eat for live long and have good health.” If you mess up and use a big word, such as “vegetable,” you get bopped on the head with a NO! Stick. It’s a game that forces you to explain complicated ideas using simple vocabulary. Great fun for the whole family.
Age Suitability: 7+ | Price: £21.90
Mum and shopping editor Heidi Scrimgeour says : “It’s true, slime delights kids and appalls parents in almost equal measure. But if you can, make your peace with slime and try to embrace your child’s love of it. After all, messy play is really good for growing brains!”
Fancy trying your hand at edible slime? We’ve got step-by-step instructions for making edible slime at home here.
Makey Makey – An Invention Kit for Everyone
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £40.72
Allow kids to be free to create how they want and follow steps to make something unique that they have built and designed themselves. There are so many kits like this out there to choose from – with options including building robots, cars, droids and more.
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £23.95
Eight is a good age to begin talking with children about saving and spending money wisely and teaching them the value of money. Many children of this age will now have pocket money, so giving them somewhere safe to store and save these coins, but also access them when they want to buy something, is a step on the way to understanding more about money.
Ravensburger Scotland Yard Board Game
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £16.99
8-year-olds like playing in groups and are better at working together than when they were younger, so collaborative games that require a team effort to complete them are great. Whether it’s solving a mystery, building or creating something or overcoming a multi-layer challenge, all of these games will be great at engaging a child.
NDcent Flier BMX Bike
Age Suitability: 4 years + | Price: £79.99
A bike is a great way to encourage physical activity and is also something that children can play with and ride either with friends or as part of a family outing. A good bike will help build up a child’s muscles, keep them fit and healthy and give them a sense of independence and more confidence.
Age Suitability: 6 years + | Price: £131
By the age of eight, children have improved small muscle control, which makes learning and playing instruments both easier and more enjoyable. Foster a child’s creativity and ability to express themselves in a more artistic way by buying them musical instruments (and maybe a few lessons to go with it!)
Pottery painting set
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £4
Eight is an age when children may start to identify with being ‘artistic’ and as they build their social identities, their ability to express themselves creatively will grow. Allowing them to embrace their quickly developing artistic side and find focus and calm in arts and crafts is important and there are so many art kits and sets out there you can buy that children of this age will love.
Monopoly Roald Dahl Edition
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £23.99
Not only do kids loving playing board games with both friends and family as they provide an opportunity for fun quality time together, but challenging games that require some strategic thinking are great for their development too. Plus, learning to lose and that you can’t always win at everything is an important skill at this age – and one that a board game can definitely teach.
Age Suitability: 8 years + | Price: £9.37
Even if a child doesn’t show a particular interest in sports by this age, they may still enjoy swimming for leisure and swim toys for 8 year olds are an easy way to encourage physical activity into their lives. By eight, many kids will have been swimming for a few years and so will have gained some confidence and ability in the water. Perhaps they will be able to swim a width or even a length of a pool. Toys they can play with in the pool will encourage them to swim for long and help build their confidence and ability further in the water.
Age Suitability: Suited to all young riders | Price: £34.95
We all know that children grow up fast – one minute you’re helping them get to grips with their very first balance bike, the next minute they come home from a friend’s house having tried out skating for the very first time. 8-year-olds have the balance and coordination skills to begin to master how to ride a skateboard, and with the right safety equipment, you can have peace of mind while they do it too.
Football nets and basket ball hoops
Help your sports-mad kid practice the skills needed to play their game of choice – whether that be shooting hoops or scoring goals – by getting them a net for the back garden. There’s the added benefit that they can play with this toy either alone or with their chosen group of friends too.
What are the best toys for 8 year olds?
Catherine Lynch, senior manager at PlanBee and a qualified Play Therapist, explains that while 8 year olds seem much more grown up than kids aged 4, 5 or 6, the way they play doesn’t change as quickly as they grow:
“For children of all ages, play is learning. Children play to learn, to understand and to process. The way children play changes as they grow but not as much as you might think.”
As a result, some of the best toys for 8 year olds are those that are similar to toys they played with when they were 7, or even 6. Toys that encourage imaginative play, skill building and spark an interest in new hobbies:
“The same basic elements, including enjoyment, are present regardless of the child’s age. Children often access the unconscious while playing to explore something they are finding challenging, for example, trying something new is less threatening when done in a game where a new role or persona can be adopted. “
What games do 8 year olds play?
For 8 year olds, it’s not so much what games they play, but who they are playing with that’s important. If you’re a parent, don’t be surprised (or offended!) if your child wants to play games with their peers instead of you.
As Catherine explains, it’s not personal! It’s just where they’re at in their development: “8 year olds often don’t like missing out on things that are going on with their peers and will spend an increased time with friends. They are likely to spend a large amount of time playing games that develop skills to help them improve competency and can be very self-critical.
“Parents and caregivers of 8 year olds can support children by providing opportunities for social interaction with friends. Maybe one of the most important things is to listen when the child is being self-critical and support them. Do your best to help them feel heard, supported and encouraged.”
Research Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer suggests that the best games and toys for 8 year olds will include:
- Detailed arts and crafts or music they can spend time perfecting
- Team and competitive sports
- Social games – whatever is popular amongst their friends – e.g. trading cards, collectables
We have included these and loads more suggestions in our handpicked list of toys and gifts below. Just scroll down to take a look.