Updated December 17, 2020 by Shilo Urban

The 10 Best 8 Year Old Boy Gifts

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This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in August of 2015. If he hasn't already provided you with an extensive list of preferred presents for his upcoming birthday or Christmas, our selection of gifts for 8-year-old boys will give you some perfect options for your young man. We've included an eclectic variety of ideas that will appeal to the active, the intellectual, the curious, and the fun-loving, to ensure there is something to suit every child. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Elenco Snap Circuits Exploration Kit

2. Lego Hidden Side Wrecked Boat

3. GoSports Football Trainer Throwing Net

Editor's Notes

December 15, 2020:

We've added the Elenco Snap Circuits Exploration Kit, which lets kids build real electronic circuits but is still easy to use and understand. The Squeakee The Balloon Dog is another newcomer; part robot, part pet, and part potty humor - it's sure to appeal to little boys. We've also added the Lego Hidden Side Wrecked Boat, a ghostly building set that has an app to extend playtime. All of the kits in the company's "Wrecked Side" line use augmented reality to blend the analog and digital worlds for fun results.

We removed the Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar because its price has almost tripled, and you can find comparable (or better) collections for much lower prices. The cost of the Anki Cozmo has quadrupled, so it is gone, too. We've replaced the Hasbro Bop It and the K'Nex K'Force Battle Bow and Blast Set with their updated versions; they are both still highly-rated toys.

We also updated the information for several items, including the Water Sports Swim Thru Rings, the Little Bits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, and the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set. Finally, we added a new listing under Special Honors - a gift of experience and the stuff that 8-year-old boys' dreams are made of.

November 14, 2019:

Kids' interests are always changing, as are trends in toys, which is why we replaced a lot of the items on our list of gifts for 8-year-old boys with new recommendations, even if there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with some of our old choices.

For example, we replaced the X-Games FS20 with the Razor Power A2 due to how popular electric scooters are these days. Of course, it was important to choose a model that offers enough speed to keep a child interested for a few years, but also slow enough to be reasonably safe. We feel that, with a top speed of 10 MPH, the Razor Power A2 does this. Of course, that doesn't mean you should ever let your child use it without proper protective gear.

The Boomco Rapid Madness Blaster Gun was removed because it was discontinued by the manufacturer, but not to worry, we have replaced it with the K'Nex K'Force Battle Bow and Blast Set. Though the latter may not have as much ammo or fire it as quickly as the former, it can shoot significantly farther. Plus, it can be built into four weapons, offering a bit more versatility and fun.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last five or 10 years, you know how popular Marvel movies are with people of all ages. If your child enjoys watching comic movies as much as we do, then they'll love the Little Bits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, which comes with a customizable superhero gauntlet. As an added bonus, it teaches coding skills, which are important for every child to learn these days.

Since it can be difficult to get kids playing outdoors and away from the screen, we wanted to make sure we included a few options that do just that. The GoSports Football Trainer Throwing Net can help a child hone their passing skills in a challenging enough way that it should keep their attention, and the Water Sports Swim Thru Rings are ideal for summertime fun days in the pool.

Special Honors

Legoland Parks With rides, games, and shows inspired by the company's famous bricks, these theme parks are designed for children ages 2 to 12. And these fantasylands aren't just about fun; the attractions and entertainment showcase craftsmanship and creativity - and spark these same attributes in your kids. You'll find Legoland Parks in the U.S. in Florida and California, with the newest one opening in New York in 2021. legoland.com

4. Squeakee The Balloon Dog

5. Hasbro Bop It

6. K'Nex K'Force Battle Bow and Blast Set

7. Water Sports Swim Thru Rings

8. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set

9. Stare Junior

10. Little Bits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

Developmental Stages Of An 8-Year-Old

This is also the stage when they generally begin to pick their own books for pleasure reading.

The growth of each child is a unique journey unto themselves, but there are some commonalities in child development milestones experts have associated with the age of 8.

This is a time when children begin to enjoy some measure of independence and will look to start solving problems on their own. At the age of 8, they will be able to intensely concentrate on tasks for longer periods of time, resulting in the creation of more complex strategies and increased problem-solving skills. Their language skills will also begin to increase exponentially as they become proficient in reading.

Fundamental reading skills are generally established around this time, and they will begin to understand how reading is a vessel for learning about oneself. It's important to foster these skills, because language and literacy skills at a young age lay the groundwork for academic achievement later in life.

Another result of their increasing literacy is the ability to apply a broader vocabulary and comprehension to a wider range of activities, from conversations to board games to school projects. The stories they write will become more detailed, engaging, and persuasive. Don't be surprised if the arguments they make become more persuasive as well. This is also the stage when they generally begin to pick their own books for pleasure reading.

Math skills will show great improvement as they begin to use four-digit numbers and apply the basics of multiplication. Along with the ability to use three-digit numbers in more complex ways and integrate four-digit numbers into common usage, pattern recognition becomes easier.

The age of 8 is an important time for the development of athleticism as well. Experience playing during the younger ages begins to manifest itself in motor skills that have a role in sports proficiency. Their throwing, kicking, and balancing skills begin to mature, resulting in higher success at traditional sports. It is also a time when children begin to identify themselves as athletic or non-athletic, which influences their future involvement in sports.

Buying Gifts Based On Stage Of Development

Since children at the age of 8 are beginning to read more proficiently, board games that foster this are a smart idea, as are longer books than what they are traditionally used to. Most children of this age will be looking to show off their newfound skills and will be particularly motivated to finish something they may find difficult.

Anything that requires a higher degree of dexterity, pattern recognition, or critical thinking will be motivating for them as well as enhance their skills.

This goes hand in hand with their increased problem-solving skills. Buying toys that require complex thinking is a good idea. Anything that requires a higher degree of dexterity, pattern recognition, or critical thinking will be motivating for them as well as enhance their skills.

Since athleticism begins to show itself at this time and childhood activity has a profound impact on health and development, anything that promotes this in a fun way will be entertaining and beneficial for a child. This is also a good time to foster teamwork and team play. Bicycles and skateboards are a good choice as they offer a child high-level exercise, and can be used with or without friends.

Just make sure to buy any necessary safety equipment, such as a bike helmet and knee or elbow pads. Laser tag sets and water guns are also a good choice, as most boys will find them interesting well past the age of ten, and they promote a high amount of physical activity and often teamwork skills as well.

The Right Amount Of Screen Time For 8-Year-Olds

Over the last two decades, children have increasingly moved to indoor play, which is unfortunately an unhealthy habit. Not only are they playing outdoors less, when they do play outdoors they are often using motorized toys instead of traditional bicycles or roller skates. Because of this, more and more children are facing obesity than ever before.

There should still be a specific amount of time set aside for physical activity.

In fact, obesity rates in children aged six to eleven have more than doubled in the last 30 years. The rise in childhood obesity is more than likely also linked to the growing use of adolescent antidepressants, which is increasing by 9.2% a year.

One of the biggest factors in childhood obesity is screen time, this can be either in the form of TV or video games. This doesn't mean that children should not be allowed to watch TV or play video games, but that there should be a limit to the amount of time per day that a child can use such devices. There is a lot of expert advice on the amount of screen time that is healthy for a child, based on their age and other factors, but a good rule of thumb is just one to two hours per day.

If just passively watching TV or playing interactive video games, the lower end of the spectrum is best, although if they are using a computer for content creation, such as making music, digital art, or writing, that time can be increased to accommodate such needs. There should still be a specific amount of time set aside for physical activity.


Shilo Urban
Last updated on December 17, 2020 by Shilo Urban

Shilo lives for adventures in far-away lands and reads books like it’s going out of style (which it is). Dogs are her co-pilots. She’s traveled to 60 countries and has lived in Austin (where she received a BA from the University of Texas), Maine, Paris, Seattle, New Zealand, Los Angeles, and now—Fort Worth. Before becoming a freelance writer over a decade ago, she had more than three dozen jobs, including high school teacher, record label manager, tour guide, and farmhand for endangered livestock breeds. She speaks fluent French and horribly mangled Spanish, which she is working every day to improve. Shilo geeks out over history and culture, and her areas of expertise include travel, art and design, music, pets, food, crafts, toys, and home furnishings. Current obsessions: Gobekli Tepe, tassels, and fresh lemonade.


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