Not sure what toys to buy for an eight year-old? Read on for some tips and suggestions from the Good Toy Guide experts!
These are some examples of toys that a child of this age may enjoy, but please remember that every child is unique and has a preference for different toys and brands.
Arts & Crafts
8 year olds are becoming increasingly skilled at arts and crafts and using their skills to help them express their emerging sense of identity. Activity kits that allow children to personalise things and design different versions of the same thing so they can choose designs to suit their mood are likely to be popular at this age.
Hama Beads have lots of flexibility but still make it easy to create a final piece that children can be proud of. They can choose a design to copy or make up their own.
Books & Magazines
As children’s reading skills develop it’s great to keep them reading for fun – lots of children can get turned off reading at this age as they associate it with school. Look for books or magazines that relate to a particular interest of a child and make sure it doesn’t feel too ‘schooly’. Magazine subscriptions work well for this age as children will enjoy getting a new magazine in the post every month.
Many 8 year olds have access to at least one mobile device and this is the age when social media apps such as instagram and snapchat can seem very appealing, but be wary of letting them free on social media just yet – they don’t have the emotional skills to manage their online communications effectively.
If you are thinking of buying a tablet for a child, have a look at our tablet comparison guide for more information on features – such as parental controls and content – that are key when considering a tablet for a child.
The Amazon Fire HD 6 Kids Edition is ideal for this age, as the years free subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited gives them the freedom to choose and download thousands of child-friendly books, apps and videos for free (so you don’t have to worry about any surprise bills!). Children can feel independent, while parents know they are safe from inappropriate content.
There are lots of board games and card games that are designed for children aged 8+ and they are a great way to keep families communicating – children at this age can seem like they don’t want to play with toys but they still enjoy and need fun, relaxed, playful interactions with parents and other family members.
Barbecue Party from Drumond Park is a game that will really test your nerves – the aim is to place or remove food from the grill, but be careful – one false move and the barbecue will catapult the food into the air!
Balls, play houses, climbing frames, and other outdoor toys are great for encouraging children to play actively outside and burn off some of that energy. Instilling an active approach to life can help children develop a healthy body and mental attitude that will stay with them into adulthood.
If children are starting to learn to ride a bike or want to try out some cool stunts, we suggest the Strider 16 Sport Balance Bike. It is lightweight and has no pedals, so it’s great for children who find pedalling, balancing and negotiating where they are going all too hard to do at once.
Small World Play
Creating their own fantasy worlds continues to be popular at this age, and sets with small characters, buildings, and vehicles are great for this. Lots of little props – such as a doctor’s playset with bandages and hospital beds – help children become more involved in their play.
Playmobil is a hugely popular brand, and we’ve found their new Super 4 Techno Chameleon to be very popular with our testers. Children can enter the world of Technopolis with this awesome vehicle packed out with lots of great gadgets.
Page updated: December 2015