Are you shopping for an 8 year old girl and hoping to find the perfect gifts that she’ll not only love, but also benefit from having? We’ve got you covered. At Smart Parenting, we know that gift shopping for developmentally appropriate gifts for kids can be a headache, so we’ve done the research and created a list of the 10 best toys for 8 year old girls for 2018.
If you’re short on time, jump to the full 10 best toys for 8 year old girls list below. Otherwise, read on to learn about the typical developmental milestones 8 year old girls are expected to achieve that factored into the list rankings.
8 Year Old Developmental Milestones
Most 8 year old girls are in second and third grade and will grow in multiple areas including language and cognition, peer relationships, and fine and gross motor control.
Physically, your child may experience an increase in stamina and strength. She’ll be able to run or swim or play for longer durations without needing breaks.
You can also expect improvements in her fine motor skills. She’ll be able to use scissors, zippers, draw shapes, and tie shoelaces. In addition, this an age where handwriting often improves, becoming neater and more legible.
At age 8, cognitive skills experience a big leap in growth. Most children will distinguish between left and right, develop and utilize planning skills, and better understand relationships like cause and effect and patterns. 8 year old girls tend to sit still and focus for much longer periods of time. They also develop more sophisticated reasoning skills, which in turn, leads to them asking a lot of questions about how things work. By this age, most children are reading simple sentences and can count by 2s.
Language development also takes off at this age. 8 year old girls use mostly correct grammar while speaking, though written grammar lags behind. They read and talk more, and can start to use books to learn. Word play like using riddles and puns becomes more common in this age group, as does testing out forbidden words. 8 year olds start writing with more fluency, and are able to record stories and feelings with their pencils.
The 8th years brings social changes, too, especially for girls. By second or third grade, your child will likely ask to spend more time with her friends. She will often go from having one large group of friends to getting close to a few special friends. Relationship struggles become common. Rules also become more important during this time, which can sometimes lead to bossiness as girls try to enforce them. Impatience and emotional instability are both very common in 8 year olds, so don’t be surprised if your daughter is dramatic and pulls Jekyll and Hyde-like switches from happy to upset. During this tumultuous time in your 8 year old’s life, group and team activities can help instill a sense of belonging and security.
Keeping these developmental milestones in mind, take a look at the 10 best toys for 8 year old girls in 2018 that are both educational and fun. Choose a few you think your girl will love, and don’t forget to join in the fun!
10 Best Toys & Gifts for 8 Year Old Girls
This Parents Choice Award craft kit from Klutz comes complete with 9 colors of clay, all of the tools she’ll need to create beautiful designs, and an instruction book. 8 year old girls will love making their own charms by hand. Plus, the kit provides a great way for girls to bond with friends, all while developing those fine motor skills.
This starter science kit by Scientific Explorer teaches kids about chemical reactions and other science basics, which is great for your 8 year old’s growing understanding of cause and effect. Science kits inspire kids to learn about STEM in fun ways, and work on budding math skills in the process. Your 8 year old will enjoy using the instructions to walk herself through the experiments (with adult supervision, of course!)
Ripstik’s snowboard and skateboard hybrid comes with a deck that pivots and 360 degree rotating castors, so that when it comes to stunts, the sky is the limit. Your 8 year old can put her new endurance and focus to use by learning tricks, and then showing off to her friends. And don’t worry–the RipStik holds up to 220 lbs, so your child won’t outgrow it quickly.
The Orb Factory Stick n’ Style Blingets encourages hours of creative play by providing kids with 12 “blingets” (think bracelets) and 700 stick-on gems to decorate. Your 8 year old can design to her heart’s content while working on those developing fine motor skills. Plus, it’s a great activity for your child to share with friends at parties and sleepovers.
Boggle has been around for decades, and for good reason. This multi-player game engages people of all ages as they race to form words from a group of letters. 8 year olds will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re working on their language, reading, and spelling skills.
Melissa & Doug’s note set comes with 125 “magic” notes and a stylus. Your 8 year old will love the social aspect of writing colorful, secret notes to her friends, while parents will appreciate the battle-free writing practice.
Who says superheroes are only for boys? This LEGO Wonder Woman set makes a perfect gift for the superhero loving 8 year old girl (or boy) in your life. Building and designing with LEGOs requires kids to plan, and also works their fine motor skills. Another great thing about LEGOs—they’re a perfect toy for both solo play and to for hanging out with friends.
Think Fun’s marble maze is part logic game, part marble run, and all fun. As a STEM Toy of the Year, it’s not surprising that this game provides hours of enjoyment while encouraging your 8 year old to challenge her planning, spatial awareness, and strategizing skills.
How about a gift that encourages creativity and teaches a life skill? ALEX’s sewing kit checks both boxes. This award-winning toy is perfect for quiet time at home or on the go, and comes with everything your 8 year old needs to sew a variety of creations. Sewing helps little hands work those fine motor skills, all while helping kids learn to identify patterns and plan ahead.
Now here’s a gift that won’t break the bank. Mr. Sketch pack of 12 markers run for under $10 and come in fruity scents like watermelon, grape, and blueberry. Watch as your 8 year old creates beautiful drawings and letters by tapping into her emerging language skills and focus, with the sense of smell immersing her deeper in creativity.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
For more toy and gift ideas for girls, check out our other great articles:
- Best toys for 1 year old girls
- Best toys for 2 year old girls
- Best toys for 3 year old girls
- Best toys for 4 year old girls
- Best toys for 5 year old girls
Or get inspired with the best toys for boys:
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- Best toys for 2 year old boys
- Best toys for 3 year old boys
- 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 8 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
- Best gifts for teenage 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 great educational toys for girls is a strong start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 2nd and 3rd graders – understood.org