10 Best Gifts for 9 Year Old Girls in 2018

Are you looking for a toy or gift for a special 9 year old girl that’s both developmentally stimulating and fun? 9 year old girls are in a tough spot. Not quite a pre-teen and not quite a little kid, it can sometimes feel like they don’t know where they fit in. This ambiguity can also extend to their toy and gift options, making it tricky to buy the right gift. They still want to play and have fun, but the toys of their earlier years are no longer challenging or engaging. Thankfully, we’ve scoured the market and selected the very best 10 toys for 9 year old girls. If you’re short on time, go ahead and jump right to the best toys list. If you have a few minutes, take a look at the developmental milestones your daughter will likely be reaching this year that factored into the rankings.

9 Year Old Developmental Milestones

9 year old girls are nearing their pre-teen years. Not a young child and not a teenager, this time of life is full of big changes. Growth spurts are on the horizon, as are physical changes that come with early-puberty. Because everyone develops at a different pace, it’s a good idea to talk with your daughter about changes she may encounter.

Emotionally and socially, your daughter will be seeking out relationships independent of the family, but will still rely on you for encouragement and support whenever she’s feeling unsure. Because it’s not uncommon for 9 year olds to have mood swings, be prepared to swoop in and support at a moment’s notice!

Cognitively, you’ll see lots of exciting developments. In conversation, you may notice your daughter is as clear and skillful as most adults when she’s making a point. And, with better attention spans than ever, 9 year old kids are likely to become engrossed in new interests easily. It’s also important to note that they’re also likely to keep switching their focus to new interests. Don’t be surprised if they give up on the oboe or their origami hobby after just a few weeks.

When it comes to school, it’s around this age that math becomes more challenging. This challenge makes school more enjoyable and engaging for many, but can be daunting if your daughter is having a hard time. It’s critical to act quickly and provide support so that she can continue to thrive in her educational pursuits. She’ll be expected to add and subtract within 1000, as well as multiply within 100 and do division.

With these developmental milestones in mind, here are the 10 best toys & gift ideas for the special 9 year old girl in your life.

10 Best Toys & Gifts for 9 Year Old Girls

1. Think Fun Gravity Maze

This Toy of the Year winner is a logic game that will help your child develop their critical thinking skills, better understand spatial reasoning, and encourage them to plan ahead. The Gravity Maze is a STEM toy designed for kids 8+ and while it’s easy to understand the gameplay, there are 60 challenge levels that range from beginner to expert, making this a game that grows with your child. The unique challenges of the gravity maze appeal to both boys and girls alike.

Buy for $29.95 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

2. Insect Lore Deluxe Butterfly Garden with Live Cup of Caterpillars and Feeding Habitat Kit

Receiving a box of bugs in the mail may not sound like a magical experience, but Insect Lore is here to prove that it can be! Your daughter will be able to see caterpillars grow before her very eyes, watch them build their chrysalides, and then transform into gorgeous butterflies. The Butterfly Garden comes with 5 live caterpillars, plenty of caterpillar food, a chrysalis station, and a netted enclosure for the butterflies to live in. The weeks long activity is a great way for your child to connect with nature and experience its magic up close.   

Tip: Be sure to get this gift during a time of year when you can release the butterflies outside.

Buy for $27.68 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

3. Klutz Make Clay Charms Craft Kit

This Parents’ Choice Award Winner is a fantastic way to provide your 9 year old with an open-ended creative outlet that leaves them with a tangible keepsake. The kit comes with enough polymer clay to make more than 35 charms, shaping tools, design instructions, and a special glaze to give the finished charms a nice shine after baking. This is a great activity to share with the 9 year old in your life during a holiday break or sleepover.

Buy for $16.84 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

4. Slime Kit

With 5 million (and counting) slime posts on Instagram, it’s safe to say we’re in the midst of a slime craze. Slime is a mix of science and sensory play that lets kids learn about chemical composition and math as they tweak their slime recipes to get the exact consistency they’re after. Whether they want to make butter, snow, sparkly, crunchy, floam, or glow slime, this Slime Kit provides the ingredients and equipment they’ll need!

Buy for $23.49 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

5. LEGO Friends Heartlake Pet Salon

Often times, when we think of playing with blocks, we think of young toddlers. But, the benefits of block play can be seen in older children. Problem solving, creative thinking, and spatial reasoning are all areas of development that can see improvement by spending time building. To keep block play interesting for the 9 year old crowd, LEGO has developed the LEGO Friends series. One of our favorites is the Heartlake Pet Salon and it includes everything needed to operate a miniature pet salon, including; two mini-dolls, a poodle, a grooming table, and a bathtub.

Buy for $56.99 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

6. Electronic Dictionary Bookmark

One of the greatest indicators for the future success of a child is whether or not they read for pleasure in their teenage years. As any parent or educator knows, instilling a love of reading isn’t an overnight thing. It takes years of encouragement and little steps along the way. We think the Electronic Dictionary Bookmark is a great gift that can function as one of those little steps. Of course, we know Google is just a click away, but we like this dictionary bookmark because it doesn’t distract from the act of reading, but rather enhances it.

Buy for $39.99 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

7. DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball with Training App

For the young athlete in your life, what could be better than a gift designed to make them better at what they love? The DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball will help her target her foot strike, perfect her positioning, and learn techniques to kick like the pros all with the help of a virtual trainer. The data is instantly accessible via Bluetooth on any smartphone so that it can be reviewed, shared with friends and coaches, and posted to social media. And, it’s sized at 4.5, perfect for younger soccer players looking to improve their game.  

Buy for $99.99 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

8. Craft-tastic Inventor’s Box Creative Challenge Craft Kit

The open-ended nature of the Inventor’s Box Challenge makes it a great alternative to a typical board game when you’re looking to switch up game night. The kit includes 7 Challenge Cards, like “Invent a Musical Instrument” as well as a slew of supplies to get it done. This type of activity is fantastic for boosting problem solving skills and creativity while having a blast.

Buy for $23.33 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

9. aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite for Kids

No matter how technologically dependent we become, there’s just something special about flying a kite. Kites are great at helping kids develop their strength and coordination all while getting some quality outdoor time. But, not all kites are created equal. Many beginner kites are tough to fly and/or hard to assemble. But the Rainbow Kite for Kids is easy to put together and flies effortlessly in a variety of wind speeds. We love that this kite can provide your 9 year old with countless afternoons of fun for a mere $11!

Buy for $10.99 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

10. ALEX DIY Friends Forever Friendship Bracelet Kit

As your 9 year old approaches her ‘tween years, friendships will become more meaningful than ever. That’s why we’re recommending the DIY Friends Forever kit as a great gift that mixes fine motor skills, friends, and fun. The kit has instructions and supplies for 24 bracelets all in a portable suitcase. What we like best is that it comes with four small looms, so your 9 year old and three of her friends can all make bracelets at the same time, making it ideal for a sleepover or party.

Buy for $18.40 on Amazon

See parent reviews >>

Toys for Other Age Ranges

For more toy and gift ideas for girls, check out our other great articles:

Or get inspired with the best toys for 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: editor@smartparenting.co.

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.


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