The 10 Best 8 Year Old Girl Gifts
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Make your next present-buying expedition a whole lot easier with our varied selection of fun – and often educational – 8-year-old girl gifts. You’ll find something that’s sure to spark her interest, whether she’s into arts and crafts, writing, building things, or science and technology. One of the thoughtful choices from our list is certain to make a birthday or a holiday even more special. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 10, 2020:
For this update, we've added four items that range from very affordable to totally splurge-worthy. Riding the trend of blind-box collectibles, the L.O.L. Surprise! Hair Flip Doll is a wallet-friendly gift with loads of little surprises that girls love. Crafty types will go nuts over the Kid Made Modern Crafts Kit, which comes with oodles of colorful supplies.
We removed the Mattel My Password Journal because some were unimpressed by its low number of pages. But if you have a budding writer on your hands, check out the Asmodee Dixit, a creative storytelling game that the entire family can play together.
We have a new top dog this time around, the Lego Friends Heartlake Amusement Park. This dreamy set has more than 1,000 pieces and will keep kids entertained for hours. It replaces the Lego Friends Heartlake Private Jet, which is still a good collection but has just become too rare and therefore too expensive for the purposes of this list. We've also removed the American Girl BeForever Sketch Portfolio and the Basic Fun Strawberry Shortcake Set because they are no longer available.
There's also a new listing under Special Honors for girls who want a custom-made mini-me, and we've updated the information on several items including the Shopkins Make Up Spot, the Makey Makey Invention Kit, and the Breyer Traditional Gypsy Vanner.
November 21, 2019:
You can introduce your daughter to the world of creative design with the GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine, which joins our list today. This 34-piece set comes with all you’ll need to build a belt drive machine to help engineer Goldie create a spinning machine to help her dog chase his tail. It fosters STEM concepts and includes nine additional build ideas, providing plenty of bang for your buck. It also comes with a 49-page storybook and five animal figurines. This set has been named Educational Toy of the Year, People’s Choice Toy of the Year, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy. Leaving the list is a similar set by the same manufacturer, called GoldieBlox Craft-Struction Box, which is no longer available at this time.
Another selection on our list is great for the doll-lover in your life: The Basic Fun Strawberry Shortcake Set, which comes with two dolls – one that’s 14 inches tall and another that stands at 5 inches in height. Their faces are decorated with the same sweet smiles and freckles as the Strawberry Shortcake you had growing up. (And you can’t deny you’ll be sneaking sniffs of the same irresistible berry scent you remember from your own childhood doll as well.)
Another fun gift idea is the Mattel My Password Journal which can be set up to recognize your child’s voice so it only unlocks when she recites the secret password. Young girls will love having a private place to jot down their thoughts without worrying about their sneaky siblings taking a peek. If you’ve got a budding writer on your hands and want to check out more journal options, see our list of best journals for kids.
Pancake Art Kit With this set, you’ll have fun with your child while making breakfast that’s almost too pretty to eat. It comes with the organic mixes, plant-based dyes (in blue, pink, and orange), and squeeze bottles to start making some stacks of art. You’ll also get an art inspiration activity sheet that’s sure to put some ideas in your head. Possibilities for your creations include seasonal or holiday themes, animals, or just plain cute smiley faces, hearts, and flowers. (As always, be sure to supervise little ones around a hot stove.) foodstirs.com
Tangram Challenge Game This varnished beechwood board is modeled after a centuries-old Chinese game that challenges you to arrange seven geometric pieces into one single shape – a challenge any curious 8-year-old is sure to be up for. This brain-bending activity fosters problem-solving skills and the learning of math concepts. Each board contains seven colorful, varnished tiles that need to be situated so they match whatever shape is on a given prompt card. Whoever accomplishes this first is the winner. moma.org
American Girl Create Your Own Doll Design a dolly that looks just like your child with customized facial features, hair, personality, and outfits. You can also add extras like pierced ears, glasses, braces, and hearing aids. While expensive, these bespoke creations offer a personalized gift that you can't find anywhere else. americangirl.com
Great Gifts For Girls Turning 8
Girls of this age enjoy new experiences and challenges, yet they also often cling to familiar objects, places, and practices.
A girl turning 8 years old (or already in her eighth year) is at an interesting time in life: she is enjoying a developing mind and a body with increasing stamina and dexterity. Girls of this age enjoy new experiences and challenges, yet they also often cling to familiar objects, places, and practices. Choosing the perfect gift for a child at this age is a tricky business for just this apparent contradiction: the interest in the new, but the comfort with the known.
If the 8-year-old girl on your gift-buying list already has established hobbies and interests, it's a safe bet to opt for a gift within these realms. For the young lady fascinated with fashion, for example, a gift dedicated to designing jewelry or clothing is a fine choice. By opting for a hands-on gift that requires designing or crafting an object rather than simply playing with something (like a doll wearing designer clothing, e.g.) you meet a girl where her interests lie, yet also encourage her to engage with a new facet of the activity.
For the girl who loves being active, classic gifts that encourage outdoor play are ideal. Consider a kite that uses both gross and fine motor control skills to get the youngster outside and active, enjoying the excitement that comes with a kite taking flight. And, of course, a great bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or other riding contraption is always a fine idea, as well.
Both young girls and boys tend to be interested in cooking, as it is an activity they frequently watch parents or caregivers doing. A safe, compact, plug-in oven bridges the gap between toy and useful appliance, and can be a great gift for the child who wants to feel a sense of accomplishment after her playtime; that accomplishment can come in the form of cookies she made herself.
Beyond specific ideas like this, the gift buyer should look for other toys, games, or kits that offer a balance of ease and challenge.
Balancing Play And Learning
When we mention gifts that offer a balance of ease and challenge, what we mean is a toy or activity that is easy enough to understand conceptually, that a child feels compelled to engage rather than daunted and deterred, yet one that requires practice and effort to master. Riding a bike comes naturally to anyone who has done it enough, for example, yet it needs practice and dedication at the outset. The same can be true of a great board game, an art activity, a recipe, and more.
Great STEM-field-related gifts foster an interest that can open up new worlds of possibilities for a youngster just beginning to envision a future professional career path.
Beyond the classic example of the bike, building toys are a perfect illustration of the idea of balancing ease and challenge: a young lady can easily understand that an assortment of interlocking bricks or blocks work together to form a structure (i.e. a castle or a pet shop), but the actual execution of the construction can take patience and care.
Building toys are great for girls because they engage the critical thinking skills precious in STEM fields while also encouraging creativity and imagination -- no one ever said the directions included with a Lego set have to be followed, of course. Great STEM-field-related gifts foster an interest that can open up new worlds of possibilities for a youngster just beginning to envision a future professional career path.
Every 8-year-old girl also simply needs to have fun, though, so there's nothing wrong with opting for a toy or craft kit that gives a kid a much needed mental health break after long hours spent at school, homework, or sports or music practice. It's more than acceptable for some gifts not to balance an intellectual challenge with a playful side, and to simply be lots of fun.
A Few Words On The 8-Year-Old Mindset
An 8-year-old finds herself in a fascinating world both internally and externally. A child at this age is just beginning to engage with the wider world in a meaningful way, gaining an understanding of events and locations beyond the more immediate sphere of her home, social circle, and school. Her emotions are developing rapidly, as are her capacities for understanding through critical thinking and analysis. An 8-year-old child can likely consider events or topics from a perspective beyond her own, leading to an increased ability to empathize with and relate to others.
Her emotions are developing rapidly, as are her capacities for understanding through critical thinking and analysis.
An 8-year-old girl can converse using language on a level almost on par with most adults, albeit with a reduced vocabulary and understanding of subtlety and nuance gained only through age and experience. At this age, interactions with social peers will grow increasingly more complex and will carry greater importance than ever before; this can lead to close friendships, but also to its share of hurt feelings and anger as children grow increasingly competent at lashing out in an attempt to garner influence and attention.
The attentive parent or caregiver should largely allow an 8-year-old girl to establish her own outlook and approach to activities and interactions, becoming involved only when a bit of correction or redirection is necessary. One can do wonders to encourage positive thinking and productive activities by giving a youngster a gift she thoroughly enjoys.
A great gift can provide the emotional comfort and sense of reward that a child needs, and can lead to hours of productive playtime that occupy the young mind with challenges and rewards. If there's one thing that no 8-year-old girl ever wanted, it is to be bored. Keeping a child active and engaged is tantamount to keeping her happy.