22 best gifts and toys for 8 year olds 2020

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The best toys for 8 year olds and gifts you can buy them will not only reflect their interests but also the stage they are at in life.

    Read on for advice from experts in child development on how an 8 year old’s physical, emotional and mental development might affect how they play, what they want to play and who they want to play with.

    Or, scroll down for our pick of the best toys. From craft kits to play sets, to collaborative games and comic books. We’ve got all the best buys covered so you can pick the best toys out there.

    Don’t forget to check out our other toy buying guides for kids of all ages, from sensory toys and games for 1-year-olds, toys for 2-year-olds, educational toys and toys suitable for 4 year olds and upwards.

    What are the best toys for 8 year olds?

    Catherine Lynch, senior manager at PlanBee and a qualified Play Therapist, explains that while 8 year olds seem much more grown up than kids aged 4, 5 or 6, the way they play doesn’t change as quickly as they grow:

    “For children of all ages, play is learning. Children play to learn, to understand and to process. The way children play changes as they grow but not as much as you might think.”

    As a result, some of the best toys for 8 year olds are those that are similar to tops they played with when they were 7, or even 6. Toys that encourage imaginative play, skill building and spark an interest in new hobbies:

    “The same basic elements, including enjoyment, are present regardless of the child’s age. Children often access the unconscious while playing to explore something they are finding challenging, for example, trying something new is less threatening when done in a game where a new role or persona can be adopted. “

    Young girl playing with big dollhouse sitting on the floor

    When children engage in ‘small world play’ it helps them make sense of the big, real world.

    What games do 8 year olds play?

    For 8 year olds, it’s not so much what games they play, but who they are playing with that’s important. If you’re a parent, don’t be surprised (or offended!) if your child wants to play games with their peers instead of you.

    As Catherine explains, it’s not personal! It’s just where they’re at in their development: “8 year olds often don’t like missing out on things that are going on with their peers and will spend an increased time with friends. They are likely to spend a large amount of time playing games that develop skills to help them improve competency and can be very self-critical.

    “Parents and caregivers of 8 year olds can support children by providing opportunities for social interaction with friends. Maybe one of the most important things is to listen when the child is being self-critical and support them. Do your best to help them feel heard, supported and encouraged.”

    Research Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer suggests that the best games and toys for 8 year olds will include:

    • Detailed arts and crafts or music they can spend time perfecting
    • Team and competitive sports
    • Social games – whatever is popular amongst their friends – e.g. trading cards, collectables

    We have included these and loads more suggestions in our handpicked list of toys and gifts below. Just scroll down to take a look.

    Best toys for 8 year olds