The great thing about picking from the best toys for 9 year olds is that there are so many options. Yes, this can make choosing a toy as a gift or present can be tough, which is why we’ve rounded up the best toys for 9 year olds in 2021 below to help you choose.
From constructions toys to card games, books to baking, we’ve got all bases covered…
What are the best toys for 9 year olds?
Research Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer explained to us that because of a child’s development at this age, the type of toys the like to play with also change as their skills develop and their understanding of the world evolves.
She laid out three major changes you might see in children of this age and what the best toys for 9 year olds are based on this:
- Child of this age moving from trial and error to making predictions, reasoning, and more abstract thought. The best toys for 9 year olds based on this are: construction toys, science kits, board games and card games.
- A child’s understanding of morality is also changing from ‘rule-based’ to ’empathy’. Small world play can help them better understand social situations. So think of toys such a Playmobil, Lego, or other play sets that reflect real world locations and scenarios.
- Logic and strategy games can be fun for children as they are able to deal with more abstract scenarios and hypothetical situations at this age.
How do you entertain a 9 year old?
Even if you’ve got the best toys for 9 year olds at home, it can be difficult to know how to entertain them, as they can appear disinterested in everything.
Catherine Lynch, senior manager at PlanBee and a qualified Play Therapist, explains that this is normal for children of this age:
“9 year olds tend to be concrete and logical. They are often self-determined, self-motivated and can appear detached and disinterested in their parents/caregivers, preferring to do things in their own way and own time, often working slowly and methodically.
Catherine suggests that one of the best ways to entertain 9 year olds is to allow them to play with their peers when possible and give them room to play independently if they want to:
“Parents and caregivers of 9 year olds can support children by providing opportunities for them to be independent and have social interactions with friends. Try not to take it personally or feel rejected when the child wants to have their own space and privacy. “
Help your child develop a sense of increased responsibility by taking a lead in preparing a meal. Maybe they help read each recipe step, measure out ingredients or prep some of the food if they can do so safely. Children will always need to be supervised in the kitchen but this is a great way to help get them started on learning to cook.
We love My First Cook Book by David Atherton (featured), £11.19 from Amazon.
9 year olds have the focus and ability to concentrate for longer period, meaning they now have the ability to place more strategy-based board games that require a bit more planning and a little less luck to win.
We love this Laser Maze Logic Game by ThinkFun (featured), £29.99 from John Lewis.
While by age 9 children may be reading more independently and not have the same 'book before bed' night-time routine with their parents every night, it's still important to encourage them to read every day. Buying them books that will captivate their interest and draw them into the story will help encourage reading by making it fun and effortless.
Playmobil is so much more than just the figures with the u-shaped hands these days, with sets spanning everything from horse farms to hidden temples bursting with wild critters. The perfect imaginative play tool, there's nothing better for encouraging that 'small world' play and imaginary play the experts talk about above.
With their motor skills honed and ability to be more precise getting better all the time, 9 year olds can tackle more complicated crafts such as sewing that also require longer periods of focus and concentration. For the ultimate beginner, try a simple step-by-step set, but for learners with a bit more of a knack for it you can try more complicated kits or even a beginners sewing machine.
We love this Cross Stitch Carry Kit (featured), £25 from John Lewis.
Card games like Uno or ones that involve a bit more strategy are great for kids at this age, but so too are collectible cards that they can swap, trade and play with their friends. Which cards are currently cool on the playground will largely be defined by their peers, Pokémon cards are still incredibly popular and other collectibles such as WWE cards, Top Trumps, Yu-Gi-Oh and football cards all make Amazon's bestselling list for 2020.
From Hogwarts castle to Lamborghinis, kids can build almost anything with Lego these days and the possibilities are endless. Children at this age will probably show an interest in a certain topic or section of the Lego world and want more sets that build on their growing collection, but if you're not sure, click the link below for a selection of the best selling Lego toys online that always prove popular with kids.
By this age kids normally have an arts and crafts kit of some sort at home, but their ability and skills will have developed beyond just sticking and colouring. Buying them paints or supplies that can be used on multiple materials (think plastic, glass, clay etc.) and not just paper will not only come in handy when the inevitable school projects start rolling in but will also let a 9 year old expand their crafting horizons to design and create things from scratch. Just think of all the homemade pencil pots you'll get for Christmas!
Featured image is an acrylic paint set (£9.89) from Amazon.
Gone are the days when your child would have been content to just play with wooden or fabric cakes and cookies in their toy kitchen. Children of this age feel empowered to do things that are more adults and are keen to try things for themselves. Buy them baking accessories to make baking a fun and engaging activity that last beyond just mixing the ingredient together. Think fun cookie cutters, dough stamps, icing kits and edible decorations.
We love this Space Baking Kit (featured), £29.96 from Lakeland.
Require logic and focus, constriction toys for 9 year olds tend to be more complicated and need a greater level of attention to detail that sets aimed at younger kids. Construction toys continue a child's education into how things work and these days many of these toys will include elements of coding or electronics – which not only makes the finished product more exciting for children but also sets them up with some important skills for the future.
We love Robotics Stem Kit by Tinkering Labs (featured), £119.74 from Amazon.
The great thing about these kits is it combines two of the best ways to keep 9 year olds entertained. Something they can play with on their own and independently – but also share with their all important peers and friends. Win win.
We love this 1,900 piece kit (featured), £13.99 from Amazon.
Kids at this age love getting stuck in and science kits will really feed their curiosity and desire to make things (and make a mess!) Great for learning through play, whether it's making slime or creating a rocket in the garden, kids will get a kick out of science kits.
We love Earther Science Kit by National Geographic (featured), £34.99 from Amazon.
Love it or hate it, your child will probably have been introduce to Fortnite by the age of 9 and they may well be completely obsessed with the computer game. Limiting screen time is still important, so buying toys that can be played with off-screen, but still feed their interest in the game, is a good alternative. We love the Battle Royale Collection Bus by Fortnite (featured), £32.49 from Amazon.
Children's logical and strategic thinking as well as their reasoning is developing rapidly at this age and so they'll be able to engage with more complex STEM toys that are more challenging but also more rewarding.
We love this Build Your Own Maze Challenge (featured), £10 from John Lewis.
Whether they love playing doctors, superheroes, horse riders or astronauts, give your 9 year old the tools and accessories to further their imaginative play games.
We love this Personalised Wooden Vet Set Toy (featured), £47 from Not On The High Street.
Not only will 9 year olds love the chance to create a space that is entirely their own for themselves or to play inside with friends, but dens also come into their own for children at this age when they start asking if they can have sleepovers.
We love this Original Den Kit (featured), £40 from Amazon.
If your child doesn't have these already, then they're probably asking for at least one of them! Great for playing alone or with friends, encouraging physical activity and letting kids explore the limit of their own bravery at this age, many kids love nothing better than a trip down to the skate park with one of these. Scroll down for the bestsellers in each of these categories...
Click the link below for the bestselling scooters for 8-10 year olds.
Click the link below for the bestselling skateboards for 8-10 year olds.
Click the link below for the bestselling bikes for 8-10 year olds.