23 of the best toys for 8 year olds in 2021

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  • The best toys for 8 year olds and gifts you can buy will not only reflect their interests but also the stage they are at in life.

    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 Lynch, senior manager at PlanBee and a qualified Play Therapist, 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.’

    Catherine added 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. She told us ‘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 gifts and top Christmas 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.’

    Research Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer also suggests that the best games and toys for 8 year olds will include:

    1. Detailed arts and crafts or music they can spend time perfecting.
    2. Team and competitive sports
    3. Social games – whatever is popular amongst their friends – e.g. trading cards, collectibles

    Best toys for 8 year olds in 2021

    1. Playmobil School Building with Digital Clock

    Playmobil Furnished School Building with Digital Clock

    Age suitability: 5 – 12 years | Batteries required: Yes

    Stereotypes such as ‘boys become doctors’ and ‘girls become nurses’ may start to creep in around the age of 8, so buying toys that dispel these assumptions are a great idea. You can choose from a range of Playmobil play sets that include a range of figures and reflect real-life environments such as schools, hospitals, vets, fire stations and shops. Not only does Playmobil encourage imaginative play, but collecting the sets can help build up a world of imaginative play.

    ‘When my daughter was 5 years old I bought her a Playmobil set, but I soon found that the pieces were just a little too small for her,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘By age 8, however, she seemed more engaged with the set and loved playing with it. Now we’ve collected quite a few.’

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £99.53

    2. Go Glam Nail Printer Kit

    Go Glam Nail Printer toy for 8 year olds

    Age Suitability: 4 – 12 years | Batteries required: None

    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 8 year olds tend to include specially formulated polishes that are safe and suitable for children. They also include fun stickers and stamps that they can play with to get creative with nail art.

    ‘You can’t go wrong with a toy like this for an 8 year old,’ says our parenting and shopping expert Heidi Scrimgeour says. ‘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!’

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £34.98

    3. Throw Throw Burrito

    toys for 8 year olds Throw Throw Burrito by Exploding Kittens

    Age Suitability: 7+ | Batteries required: None

    Throw Throw Burrito is a family friendly party game unlike any you may have played before. That’s why we’ve added it to our list of best toys for 8 year olds.

    It’s a combination of a card games and dodgeball where players go head to head collecting cards, earning points and throwing squishy toy burritos at one another. Sounds fun, right? It is! And kids will find it hilarious too. ‘This is a really silly game but my kids seem to love it every time we play,’ says Susie, mum to Emilie and Charlotte.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £22.99

    4. Batman All-Terrain Batmobile Radio Control Water-Resistant Vehicle

    Batman All-Terrain Batmobile Radio Control Water-Resistant Vehicle

    Age Suitability: 4+ | Batteries required: Yes

    Most 8-year-olds love playing with remote control cars, which is why we’ve included this as one of our suggestions for best toys for 8 year olds. With the Batman All-Terrain Batmobile, all surfaces inside and out are game. You can try it on wooden floors and carpets inside and also outside on grass, mud, through puddles and in water.

    It comes with a 2.4GHz dual joystick remote control, which is USB rechargeable and gives you up to 25 minutes of playtime on a 60-minute charge. The control can also be used up to 100 feet away should kids want to test the boundaries. ‘My kids love anything remote controlled,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘I don’t think you need to be a fan of Batman to want to play with this car as the Batman styling is very discreet. It’s also a very versatile car and you won’t need to worry about it getting messy.’

    VIEW AT SMYTHS | £59.99

    5. Geomag Kids ‘Gravity’ Mechanics Race Track

    Geomag Mechanics Gravity.jpg

    Age Suitability: 7 years + | Batteries required: None

    Kids can learn about magnetism and gravity through play with this Mechanics Gravity set. The 115 piece set includes magnetic cannon balls, and a magnetic catcher to halt them as they move around the track.

    The great thing about Geomag sets is that they are compatible with other sets in the range, so you can mix and match and build your set as you go. The designs can be reconfigured different every time the game is used so it always feels new too.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £24.65

    6. Art Lab Pouring Studio

    Art Lab Pouring Studio

    Age Suitability: 6 years + | Batteries required: Yes

    Another art medium for 8 year olds to get to grips with, the Pouring Art Studio makes it easy to create unique works. Inside the box you’ll find a canvas, paint and special tools for mixing the paint and experimenting with outcomes.

    You can mix up to 5 paint colours at a time, and the kit includes 4 canvases and 5 paint bottles for you to get through. There’s some silicone oil, tools and decorations in the box too. With all this in mind, this Art Lab Pouring Studio gift will make sure your 8 year old creates the most eye-catching artworks. ‘What I love most about this set is that it is designed so that everything is kept neatly in place,’ says Jenny, mum to Logan and Becky. ‘My kids love making pictures with special effects each time they use it.’

    VIEW AT ARGOS | £20

    7. Rainbow High Fashion Doll 

    Rainbow High

    Rainbow High

    Age Suitability: 3 years + | Batteries required: None

    A buzzword in the playground, Rainbow High Dolls are very popular with 8 year olds. The good news is there’s a vast range of designs to choose from including this Special Edition Twins set.

    The dolls come in a fashion outfit and a choice of accessories to dress them in, which include necklaces, a purse, hair combs and each doll has their own stand. ‘My daughter loves playing dress up herself and even more so with these Rainbow High dolls,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘My daughter loves to collect dolls and already has her eye on Winter Break Violet Willow too, which includes a pair of skis in the box that double as a stand.’

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £20

    8. Make Your Own Comic Strips Book

    Make your own comic strips

    Age Suitability: 8+ years | Batteries required: None

    Your 8 year old may have an interest in reading and perhaps even collecting comics. With this book, 8 years olds have the skills and imaginations to create their own comics inspired by the graphic novels and stories they like to read. We think it makes a great gift for any child that loves to draw and doodle.

    There are 205 blank template pages in the book, with 15 action comic book page templates included to inspire. ‘I’m a big fan of doodling as a form of relaxing,’ says Emily, mum to Bethany and William. ‘I think if you’re keen on encouraging kids to draw and colour as a way to express themselves, this makes a great gift for a child, but also for an adult too.’

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £6.99

    9. Creative Kits: Pom Pom Pets 

    Age Suitability: 8 – 12 years | Batteries required: None

    Whether it’s learning the basics of needlework for fabric crafts, painting pottery or making clay models from scratch, crafting is a great way to enhance fine motor skills and imagination. We think these Pom-Pom Pets are super fun to make.

    The box includes 8 beads, 4 mini pom-poms, 2 squares of foam, 3 squares of felt and 3 pipe cleaners. Using these kids can create a range of animals from a penguin to a panda, bunny, kitten, puppy and more.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £12.99

    10. VTech 8-in-1 Kidi Concert karaoke machine

    VTech 8-in-1 Kidi Concert karaoke machine

    Age Suitability: 5 – 10 years | Batteries required: Yes

    Most kids love to perform and sing songs they’ve heard on the radio or learnt at school. Having some noisy fun with a Bluetooth speaker such as the VTech 8-in-1 KidiConcert is a great way to burn up some energy and have fun. Kids will love being able to sing along to their favourite tunes and dance using this clever gadget. It really comes into its own at family parties too.

    Kids can connect their own music player or device to via Bluetooth and play their own songs and use the lights projector to create a disco feel in the room. There’s a small selection of built-in dance songs and 5 songs kids can sing-along to. There’s also a Party Games Mode that comes in very useful at parties when you want to play musical bumps.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £39.98

    11. Poetry for Neanderthals

    game for 8 year olds Poetry for Neanderthals by Exploding Kittens

    Age Suitability: 7+ | Batteries required: None

    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 to 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. In short, it’s great fun for the whole family and it will no doubt make you laugh along the way.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £19.99

    12. Micro Scooter Cruiser

    Micro Scooter Cruiser

    Micro Scooter Cruiser

    Age Suitability:  5-12 years | Batteries required: None

    If you’re looking to upgrade your child’s scooter from 3 wheels to 2, you can’t go wrong with one of the latest designs from Micro Scooter. The Cruiser comes in 6 pop colours including a bold orange, blue, teal, pink, purple and black to suit. It has adjustable handlebars to accommodate riders from 110cm to 146cm tall.

    What’s noticeably good about the Micro Scooter range is how stable the scooters feel for the rider. The large 200mm wheels on the sporty Cruiser are perfect for absorbing any bumpy roads so kids can scoot fast and smoothly – be it in the town or more leafy areas. This make’s it ideal for country roads and rough terrain, as well as for gliding along the path in the local park. There’s a low footplate that aids stability, and a kickstand and simple folding body, which makes it easy to store too – especially in the boot of the car. Team it with a Micro Scooter helmet for the ultimate gift idea for an 8 year old.

    VIEW AT MICRO SCOOTER | £134.95

    13. Ravensburger Pokemon Labyrinth Family Board Game

    Ravensburger Pokemon Labyrinth Family Board Game 

    Ravensburger Pokemon Labyrinth Family Board Game

    Age Suitability:  5-12 years | Batteries required: None

    For any Pokemon fan who loves a puzzle, the Ravensburger Pokemon Labyrinth Family Board Game is sure to be a hit. The Pokemon board game sees players having to find the shortest route through the Labyrinth to win.

    Up to 4 players can have a go at navigating their way through the labyrinth with the popular Pokemon characters including Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. If you love the sound of this game, you may also want to check out the Harry Potter and Super Mario-style versions too.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £134.95 

    14. Ice Cream Slime kit

    slime kit for kids

    Age Suitability: 7+ | Batteries required: None

    This Ice Cream Slime Kit from Amazon has everything you need for a sensory, slime-play session. ‘Slime delights kids and appalls parents in almost equal measure,’ says mum and shopping editor Heidi Scrimgeour. ‘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.’

    We think this tub is particularly good value for anyone wanting to embrace the slime trend and get messy. All kids love ice cream so no doubt they’ll have great fun making Fluffy, Butter, Cloud and Foam slimes and more.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £21.90

    Fancy trying your hand at edible slime? We’ve got step-by-step instructions for making edible slime at home here.

    15. Makey Makey – An Invention Kit for Everyone

    Invention kit for 8 year olds

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    Don’t throw out the recycling! Save it for kids to team with this Makey Makey kit and get creative. Kids love to construct and this Makey Makey kit will allow them to turn everyday objects into anything.

    They can use the kits to create their own controller and team is with items such as a banana, playdough or even a graphite pencil. And if your 8 your old is a fan of this Makey Makey version, there are so many kits like this out there to choose from too for building robots, cars, droids and more.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £40.72

    16. Moonjar Moneybox

    Moonjar Moneybox

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    Age 8 is an age where kids are much more aware of money and its value. It’s a great age to reinforce the fact that they should spend wisely too. Many children of this age will now have pocket money, so giving them somewhere safe to store and save these coins is a good idea.

    This money box is a little different from most, however, in that it features three different sections for saving, spending and sharing. They can be fit together for neat storage on the shelf, but can also be pulled apart and placed side by side.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £23.95

    17. Ravensburger Scotland Yard Board Game

    Ravensburger Scotland Yard Family Strategy Board Game For Kids and Adults Age 8 and Up

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    8 year olds like playing in groups and are better at working together at this age compared to when they were younger – we hope! A collaborative effort required by this Scotland Yard board game, that needs team effort to complete is a good way of nurturing the idea that it’s ok to lose and it’s good to work as part of a team.

    If however you’re looking for a board game for kids under 8, there’s also the Ravensburger + Scotland Yard Junior you can try, which is best for kids age 6 and up.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £16.99

    18. NDcent Flier BMX Bike

    NDcent Flier BMX Bike

    Age Suitability: 4 years + | Batteries required: None

    A bike will no doubt encourage physical activity and your 8 year old will enjoy upgrading their set of wheels with a shiny new version. A bike is something that kids can ride solo, with friends or as part of a group. 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.

    We love the look of this NDcent Flier BMX Bike, which comes in a shiny red finish. The 20inch wheel size will suit kids ranging from 7 up to 15 years and it comes in a choice of pink or blue finish.

    VIEW AT ARGOS | £79.99

    19. Music Alley 1/2 Size Classical Acoustic Guitar

    guitar for 8 year olds

    Age Suitability: 6 years + | Batteries required: None

    By the age of 8, children have improved small muscle control, which makes learning and playing instruments both easier and more enjoyable. Nuture 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. If you aren’t able to get along to music lessons, a great place to start is by watching free guitar tutorials on YouTube.

    VIEW AT ARGOS | £30

    20. Paint Your Own Unicorn

    Paint your own unicorn

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    Age 8 is 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. There are so many art kits out there to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with something simple such as this Paint Your Own Unicorn, which is a snip sub £4. Online, you’ll find a host of other Pottery painting sets – from teapots and fairies, to animals, unicorns and rockets and more.

    VIEW AT HOBBYCRAFT | £4

    21. Monopoly Roald Dahl Edition

    Roald Dahl Monopoly Board Game

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    Kids loving playing board games with both friends and family as they provide an opportunity for fun quality time together. That’s why another board game has made it onto our list for best toys for 8 year olds. 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.

    Monopoly comes in such a large range of Junior themes including Star Wars, Frozen, Trolls, Super Mario and more but we particularly like this classic Roald Dahl version. It’s sure to be a hit if a child has read all the books first.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £23.99

    swim toys for 8 year olds

    22. Zoggy Dive Sticks Pool Toy and Game

    Age Suitability: 8 years + | Batteries required: None

    Even if a child doesn’t show a particular interest in sports by age 8, they may still enjoy swimming for leisure. This kind of toy is a subtle way to encourage more physical activity such as swimming, which is an important life skill. By age 8, 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.

    Swim toys they can play with in the pool will encourage them to swim for longer and help build their confidence and ability under the water. We think these Zoggs Children’s Zoggy Sinking Dive Sticks are a great way to practice diving skills, for example.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £9.37

    22. Enuff Skully Mini Skateboard

    Lime green skate board for kids.

    Age Suitability: Suited to all young riders | Batteries required: None

    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.

    We love this Enuff Skully Mini Skateboard from John Lewis & Partners, which comes vibrantly finished with an Enuff Skully graphic. It features sturdy 129mm Decade trucks and high-quality components that will make an skate as smooth as possible.

    VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS | £34.95

    23. Loopy Looper Hoop Fidget Toy

    Loopy Looper fidget toy

    Loopy Looper fidget toy

    Help your 8 year old channel all that unexplained energy with the latest fidget toy to hit the shelves – the Loopy Looper. You may have seen Pob ‘n’ Flip bubble-popping fidget games and Squishy Bead Balls doing the rounds in the playground, but the Loopy Looper Hoop is the latest design to give kids – and adults – a bit of a challenge.

    Once you’ve spun the toy, you have to try and land the marble ball in the hoop. It’s surprisingly satisfying and great as an office toy for adults as well as a fun gift for 8 year olds.

    VIEW AT AMAZON | £5.99

     

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