Are you overwhelmed by the idea of shopping for an 8 year old boy? With the endless sea of toys to choose from, that’s no surprise. Don’t stress, though—we’ve done all the research for you. By assessing the important developmental milestones that 8 year olds are expected to reach and researching the appropriate toys for each milestone, we’ve assembled a list of the top 10 toys for 8 year old boys.
If you’re in a rush, jump down to the best toys list below. Otherwise, take a moment to learn about the developmental milestones that were factored into the list.
8 Year Old Developmental Milestones
Eight year-olds have a lot of growing to do, in myriad ways. When your child enters second or third grade, count on some big changes headed their way.
Physically, 8 year olds tend to grow several inches and achieve significant increases in strength and endurance. Fine motor skills, such as tying shoelaces and drawing intricate shapes, improve, as do sports-related skills such as throwing, kicking, and dancing. These changes, along with improvements in coordination, contribute to noticeable growth in athletic skills.
Cognitive growth accelerates during the eighth year, too. Second and third graders begin to master the precursors to multiplication, like counting by 2’s and 5’s. Addition and subtraction skills take off as well. Most 8 year olds can recognize patterns and count to one thousand. Eight is a common age for kids to gain a keen interest in money, and how to save and spend it.
Language-wise, 8 year olds are learning to speak with proper grammar and a more advanced vocabulary. They experience improvements in reading comprehension and vocabulary, and learn how to decipher the meaning of unknown words based on the surrounding text. This is around the time that many children start reading for pleasure. At this age, children begin to write evocatively and add more details into their stories, though written grammar tends to lag behind spoken grammar.
During the eighth year, peer relationships gain importance. 8 year olds begin to value the opinions of friends more and more, and consequently, issues with peer pressure may arise. At this age, children possess a developed sense of self, try to become more independent, and enjoy working in groups or on teams. Most 8 year olds can also follow rules, set goals, and enjoy complex fantasy play. Eight can be a tough age in terms of dealing with frustration and impatience, which sometimes leads to dramatic outbursts as children learn how to cope with disappointment and manage emotions.
When your child turns eight, expect a lot of changes as they reach important milestones. Luckily, we’ve assembled a list of the best age-appropriate toys and games to pique your 8 year old’s curiosity and encourage his development and growth.
10 Best Toys for 8 Year Old Boys
Give your 8 year old a head start in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) while letting his imagination run wild with this K’NEX model set, which includes over 863 pieces. The instruction booklet demonstrate how to build 100 different models, most of which have moving parts, like wheels that roll or amusement park rides that move. Your child can follow one of the specific blueprints included or create his own vision. Building each model requires the use of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while also developing problem-solving techniques and spatial awareness.
After they’re done building the models in the instruction book, 8 year olds can let their imaginations run wild and build an unlimited number of their own fantastic contraptions.
This easy-to-read book is a crowd pleaser, because, who doesn’t love a good joke? Not only will this book teach your 8 year old some fun jokes to share, it will also encourage him to read for pleasure while simultaneously working on his reading skills. Jokes are a great way for kids to interact with peers and feel confident, and eight-year-olds will love the independence of learning and telling jokes all on their own.
Any toy that encourages a child to be active is a win in our book, and this one fits the bill. The RipStik Castor Board combines a skateboard and a snowboard into a self-balancing toy with wheels. The deck is specially designed with 360-degree rotating casters, making it perfect for learning all kinds of stunts. The RipStik is cheaper and safer than a hoverboard, and the perfect way for 8 year olds to work on their balance, coordination, and motor skills, all while showing off new tricks to their friends. Adults may have a hard time picking up this method of transportation, but 8 year olds love the challenge.
Challenge and promote your 8 year old’s budding curiosity in science with this educational STEM toy. Snap circuit toys teach kids about physics, in a fun, hands-on way, as they learn to design their own electrical circuits. Work your 8 yr old’s fine motor skills while putting their newfound knowledge of patterns and math to the test. This toy provides a great base for learning the underlying concepts of how electricity works, and kids will be wowed when they successfully complete a circuit that turns a light off and on, or triggers a siren.
Do you love family game night as much as we do? Then make sure to nab this easily portable game of balancing dangling rods for 1-4 players. Melissa and Doug’s Suspend requires focus and coordination, and provides a great way for 8 year olds to play with friends and work on their peer relationship skills, all while learning how to cope with disappointment and impatience. The game also requires players to use their fine motor skills and strategize, making it an excellent fit for this age group and fun for all ages.
This science set comes with instructions and test tubes, color tablets, and the more obscure items that your child will need to add to common household chemicals to create amazing experiments. Boys will love creating magic through mixing and combining ingredients, and parents will love that their children are discovering the fun in science. The Scientific Explorer Magic Science Kit encourages reading proficiency, a sense of intellectual curiosity, and appeals to 8 year olds’ desire to be independent in their explorations. (even though parents will need to supervise). While playing with this kit, kids will build on basic math skills as they follow directions on how much of each ingredient to add to create the desired reaction.
Ready for a brain tease? Kanoodle is just the thing. This one little box contains hundreds of puzzles and hours of play. Challenge your 8 year old to recreate 2-D and 3-D puzzles, all while developing his problem solving and critical thinking skills. Beware, though—this solitary-play puzzle set tends to ensnare both children and adults alike.
What toy list for an 8 year old boy would be complete without a LEGO set? With the way they promote fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, problem solving and creativity, LEGOs are always a good bet for this age group. What’s especially nice about LEGOs is that they work great both for both solo play and as a toy to share with friends. The LEGO Minecraft the Cave set is perfect for parents who want to indulge their 8 year old’s love of video games while also promoting some crucial electronics-free time.
When your child turns 8, introduce him to racquet sports with Goodminton. Kids will enjoy working on motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they swing and connect. They’ll also get some important outdoor time and exercise. This simple game will help grow their athleticism, and makes for a perfect afternoon with friends.
This versatile word game is a crowd pleaser, and perfect for encouraging 8 year olds to expand their newfound reading and spelling skills in a fun way. Bananagrams can accommodate 1-8 players, as competitors race against each other to create crossword grids. With its handy banana carrying case, Bananagrams makes an ideal choice for learning-on-the-go.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
For more toy and gift ideas for kids, check out our other great articles:
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- Best toys for 2 year old boys
- Best toys for 3 year old boys and girls
- Best toys for 4 year old boys
- Best toys for 5 year old boys
- Best toys for 6 year old boys
- Best toys for 7 year old boys
- Best toys for 9 year old boys
- Best toys for 10 year old boys
- Best toys for 11 year old boys
- Best toys for 12 year old boys
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. While we don’t suggest that these are the only toys your child will ever need, we do think this list of the best educational toys for boys is a great start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us.
Criteria for Placement
While listing the best educational resources is never an exact science, we’ve done our best find products that rank highly on the following criteria:
- Developmental impact: Many toys out there like plush dolls are somewhat limited in their developmental impact. We’ve critically evaluated the toys on this list for their impact on physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Safety: All toys on this list are safe to use, free of toxic compounds like lead and BPA
- Durability: Children love to throw, jump on, and touch everything in sight. The toys on this list are fit to withstand the bumps and hard landings.
- Price: Parenting doesn’t need to be outrageously expensive. We looked for the cheapest products that still meet our developmental and quality requirements.
- Developmental milestones for typical second and third graders – understood.org