Christmas toys for eight year-olds

October 22, 2016 Published by


Eight year-olds will enjoy a bit of competition, whether that's a board game or sports. They will be able to follow more difficult rules, so are able to play games that require strategy; this leads to much more interesting game sessions! Educational board games can also help more reluctant learners become interested in all sorts of school topics.

 This Christmas, we want good quality toys children will enjoy again and again. So rather than spending a small fortune on a toy that  is destined to gather dust, why not get some inspiration from our Good Toy Guide experts? These little elves spend all year trying out tons of toys - with the help of children, parents, and child carers - to add some sparkle to your gift list this Christmas.


Dinosaur Fossils by Thames & Kosmos

(RRP: £11.99)

  • Engages children in science, history and palaeontology
  • Encourages concentration and perseverance
  • Develops the use of hand-eye coordination and fine motor control

Encourage a budding palaeontologist with this dinosaur fossil digging kit from Thames and Kosmos. The kit comes with plaster rock mixture to bury the bones in, as well as all the tools needed for careful excavation. We found our testers engaged with the educational value of the set, and enjoyed learning to delicately extract the bones.

Planets by Jumbo Games

(RRP: £12.99)

  • A logical thinking brain teaser puzzle, where planets must be turned so each side of the pyramid is one colour
  • Encourages concentration skills, logical thinking, problem solving and perseverance
  • Both challenging and fun The perfect game for the avid storytellers out there, Rory’s Story Cubes consist of nine different dice with a unique image on each of the six sides. The game is simple, roll the dice and tell a story from the nine face up images you get. Our testers enjoyed the freedom to come up with their own weird and wonderful stories. The game is ideal for playing while travelling, in the classroom or even for creative writing ideas, and with ten million possible combinations from the nine dice; children won’t run out of inspiration.

Children love the challenge of this brain teaser, coming up with solutions to match the colours correctly. Our testers were very focused on trying to solve the puzzle and it required multiple attempts to complete, encouraging perseverance and concentration and enabling the children to develop their logical thinking skills.

Code Master by Think Fun

(RRP: £15.00)

  • Encourages children to use sequencing, and think logically about the correct route to take - core skills for coding
  •  Multiple levels to suit children of different abilities and help them progress their skills as they learn
  •  A good way to get children who are less interested in programming to start developing their skills and building confidence

The Code Master board game is designed to teach children the basics of computer programming… without the computer. Children guide their avatar around an exotic world collecting crystals, all using programming logic. This isn’t just a great game for improving coding skills though; our testers really enjoyed playing it too.

Nutty Putty by Alphabet Pie

(RRP: £18.99)

  • Children can transform this putty into anything they want, as many times as they like, with the option of putting their finished creation into the oven to create a permanent solid object
  • Encourages creativity, sensory play, imaginative skills and helps develop fine motor control
  • • Made from non-toxic and hygienic silicone. Single colour packs are available for £1.99

Our testers loved playing with Nutty Putty, transforming it into many different creations. The texture provides an excellent sensory experience for children, and the moulding helps to strengthen fine motor skills. We love the versatility of the putty: creations can be scrapped and the putty used again, or if children want to keep their design as a permanent masterpiece, it can be oven baked for just 10 minutes.

Sshh Don't Wake Dad by Drumond Park

(RRP: £22.99)

  • Children compete to get to the fridge for midnight snacks without waking up dad
  • Encourages social play, strategic thinking and turn taking
  • Promotes attention and listening to the rules, and careful playing as to not wake dad up

This fun game involves a sleeping, snoring dad in the middle of the board, which children have to make their way across and around, in order to reach the all-important fridge and get the chocolate cake. The game requires strategic thinking, with hazards to avoid and the opportunity to steal a card from another player. Our testers loved the surprise of dad popping up when he woke up, and it generated much excitement.

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This post was written by Anna Taylor

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