Eight is great, and eight year old boys sure know it. They’re becoming more confident and capable with each passing day, showing off their independence wherever and whenever they’re able. Choosing great gifts for 8 year old boys means focusing on their unique interests as well as what’s developmentally appropriate – cognitive engagement, limited screen time and lots of physical play. Need some suggestions? Check out our list of top picks to get inspired.

The Winners

#1

Ezyroller Ride On Toy

Best Overall

A ride on toy with no pedals? That’s exactly what Ezyroller delivers with their unique sit-down three wheeled scooter. The Ezyroller Ride On Toy has a front bar which utilizes alternating leg motion to propel the device. Comfort is key with this pick, which features an ergonomic seat designed to prevent back strain. It has a weight limit of 150 lbs, and it includes two sturdy steel expansions to allow for kids’ growth. It’s super lightweight and stores easily, making it great for travel and road trips.

Developmental & Play Insights Ezyroller Ride On Toy

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#2

Spacekey FPV Wi-Fi Drone with Camera

Upgrade Choice

Drones are an amazing way to explore the world from a birds’ eye view. The Spacekey FPV Wi-Fi Drone with Camera is a kid-friendly pick which offers first person view with a 720p high definition camera at 30 fps. The wide angle lens lets them capture beautiful true color panoramic images and videos. The unit’s foldable structure design has blades which collapse to make the device smaller and more portable. It has an advanced barometer and altitude hold, allowing for more stable flight. It’s an easy pick for beginners and eight year olds to understand, and the one-button takeoff and landing are virtually foolproof.

Developmental & Play Insights Spacekey FPV Wi-Fi Drone with Camera

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#3

Marky Sparky Faux Bow

Best Budget Buy

Archery is awesome, but a traditional bow and arrow set can be unsafe for kids who aren’t trained to use it. The Marky Sparky Faux Bow is a sturdy alternative that features foam arrows which can shoot over 100 feet through the air. The set comes with a quiver which can hold six of the lightweight arrows, which are super soft for quick flight and gentle impact. The bow’s launch tube is removable for convenient storage and travel. It’s perfect for perfecting aim and learning the correct stance for archery, as it has the feel of a real bow with none of the safety hazards. It’s a great backyard toy for kids, encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination.

Developmental & Play Insights Marky Sparky Faux Bow

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#4

Nerf Lazer Tag Phoenix LTX Tagger

Laser tag is a great way to stay fun and active, but paying to go again and again can add up quickly. There’s no more entrance fees with this two pack of Nerf Lazer Tag Phoenix LTX Tagger. The sleek pair features one blue and orange model and one gold and orange model. Lights, sounds and vibrations create an immersive laser tag experience, and games can be set to 10 or 25 hits. There’s no ammo to lose here, as LED lights function as indicators. The two pack is compatible with other LTX taggers, so with a few two-packs, families and friends can have an all-out laser brawl!

Developmental & Play Insights K’NEX 52 Model Building Set

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#5

Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

iPads are a digital tool that can provide unique learning opportunities to kids, especially when paired with devices like the Osmo Genius Kit. This kit converts an iPad(iPad 2-6, iPad Mini 1-4, iPad Air 1-2, iPad Pro 9.7 & 10.5 in), not included, into an educational tool offering five award-winning games. Kids can engage in fun math and spelling games while using visual thinking, problem solving skills and creative drawing skills. It comes with a stand and reflector, game playing pieces including letters, numbers and tangrams, and stackable storage containers for easy cleanup.

Developmental & Play Insights Osmo Genius Kit for iPad

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#6

National Geographic Geode Kit

Geodes are one of nature’s most beautiful creations. This National Geographic Geode Kit is fun for the whole family, allowing kids and parents to become amateur excavators by cracking open the 10 geodes included in this kit from the experts at National Geographic. Two display stands are included, so the prettiest specimens can quite literally be put on a pedestal. The geodes range in size from tennis ball to ping pong ball, and come in a variety of cool colors that can be inspected more closely with the enclosed mini magnifying glass. Goggles are also included, which are important for safety – rock dust in the eye is dangerous.

Developmental & Play Insights National Geographic Geode Kit

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#7

Nat Geo Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit

Kids will love watching rough rocks become smooth stones with this Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit from National Geographic. The electronic tumbler polishes rocks to a shining, professional-looking finish. Included with the tumbler are four different polishing grits, a sifter, a learning guide and nine different types of real rough-cut gems. The instructions are simple to understand and the controls are easy enough for an eight year old to master. One touch settings and an auto shut-off timer means projects are easy from start to finish. The finishing touch? A tire rubber barrel makes the rock tumbling experience significantly quieter than you’d expect.

Developmental & Play Insights Nat Geo Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#8

Mongoose Expo Scooter

Mongoose are masters at BMX bikes, so it’s no surprise that their other two-wheeled creations are equally awesome. The Mongoose Expo Scooter features 12″ wheels and BMX bike style alloy caliper hand brakes that offer both speed control and the ability to come to an immediate stop. The scooter’s wide foot deck gives kids a bit of extra balance and stability. Fair warning, assembly is required, but fear not – once it’s together, the 220 lb weight limit means they’ll be enjoying it for a long time. It’s a scooter that’s good on or off road, looking great and playing hard.

Developmental & Play Insights Wham-O Hamper Hoops

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#9

Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot

Learning to code offers kids opportunities for cognitive boosts through critical thinking and problem solving. The Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot is a fun mobile robot pal with a cheerful face to greet kids. They can challenge him to games, or use Explorer Mode to see things from his point of view. Cozmo’s interface is very beginner friendly, so he’s perfect for teaching kids to code. He’s been tested for both security and durability. Cozmo is operated via app on either iOS or Android devices. He comes with 3 cubes which he can be coded to pick up and move. The clever bot can greet people and pets and remember your name thanks to evolving AI which improves over time.

Developmental & Play Insights Anki Cozmo Educational Toy Robot

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#10

Kids Army Camouflage Combat Vest

Playing dress up and pretend can still be a lot of fun for eight year olds, but even if they’re more about the adventure, this vest is a great pick. This Kids Army Camouflage Combat Vest has nine pockets for storing all their outdoor essentials, a sturdy PVC construction that doesn’t stain easily and fully adjustable buckles and straps to ensure a comfortable and safe fit on every kid. The classic woodland camo pattern makes this vest a great addition to a Halloween costume or other costume party event.

Developmental & Play Insights Kids Army Camouflage Combat Vest

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#11

Osmo Creative Set with Monster Game

The Osmo Genius Kit turns a regular iPad into a special learning tool, and this mod makes it even better. It’s important to know that in order to use this Osmo Creative Set with Monster Game, you’ll need to have both the Osmo Genius Kit (number three on our list) and a compatible iPad. This expansion pack improves three of the kit’s most popular games, allowing kids to participate in interactive art activities with the enclosed erasable creative board. They’ll combine doodles with physics for unique lessons and erase the board to start all over again. They can even bring their drawings to life with the help of friendly character Mo the Monster.

Developmental & Play Insights Osmo Creative Set with Monster Game

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#12

Lakeshore Build-It-Yourself Woodworking Kit

Carpentry is an invaluable skill, and facilitating an early interest in woodworking can be a great way to teach kids about the importance of craftsmanship. The Lakeshore Build-It-Yourself Woodworking Kit features real tools and supplies, including glue, a ruler, a lightweight hammer and nails. Over 80 smooth pine pieces can be used to construct projects suggested by the easy to follow guide, but they can also build unique designs right from their imagination. The kit comes with a convenient carry storage box for easy cleanup.

Developmental & Play Insights Lakeshore Build-It-Yourself Woodworking Kit

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#13

Elite Sportz Equipment Hookey Set

Playing darts is a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous when kids are involved. The Elite Sportz Equipment Hookey Set is a much safer wall mounted game that’s still a blast for all ages to play. While playing Hookey, players try to toss rings onto numbered hooks in order to score points. The player who has the highest number of points at the end of the game wins. Players can mix up the fun by playing different variations of the game. The sturdy Hookey board is made of finished wood. It makes a great addition to a playroom, game room, den or bedroom.

Developmental & Play Insights Nerf Phoenix Laser Tag Guns

Entertainment
Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#14

Handmade Wooden Bow and Arrow Set

Safe bow and arrow sets give kids the opportunity to practice their aim without any danger. This cool Handmade Wooden Bow and Arrow Set is great for friends or siblings off on an outdoor adventure. The handmade wooden bows look and feel authentic thanks to a sturdy construction that holds up to repeated play. The lightweight bamboo arrows have safe rubber tips to prevent harm. It’s still important to teach safe aiming, however – that means never aiming at people, animals or breakable objects). When not in use, arrows can be stored in their quivers, also included.

Developmental & Play Insights Handmade Wooden Bow and Arrow Set

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
Social

#15

VanTop Junior Waterproof Kids Camera

Capturing underwater shots is amazing at any age, and this amazing VanTop Junior Waterproof Kids Camera features 1080p images, a 16 gig memory card and a 1.77″ LCD viewing screen to let them in on the action. The super simple interface lets kids take pictures and video, and the device is waterproof up to 100 ft, so they can get incredible action shots with this pick. It’s a very durable and versatile mini camera that’s fun for all ages and will be loved for years to come. The device features folding side handles for stability as well as a convenient tripod.

Developmental & Play Insights VanTop Junior Waterproof Kids Camera

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Educational
Physical
Cognitive
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How to Pick the Perfect Gift for An-Eight-year-old Boy

Consider Their Developmental Stage

Great toys for 8 year old boys start with focusing on what’s developmentally appropriate. This assures that they’ll have fun with the toy, understand it, benefit from it, and be able to use it safely. Eight year old boys are becoming savvier with each passing day thanks to improvements in focus and attention span. They’re speaking less like little kids now, and are more likely to read short chapter books for fun. They have a more sophisticated understanding of basic reading and math skills, and they may be more drawn to educational games and collections now.

Increases in coordination and social self awareness make sports and social games and toys good picks for eight year olds. Their interest in games and competition is increasing, and they’re beginning to prioritize developing peer relationships over satisfying parental expectations now. It’s an important time to let them bond with their friends and have (safe and supervised) independent experiences, as this is an essential piece of their identity development.

Entertainment vs. Education

At eight, kids are beginning to understand reading, science and math in a more sophisticated way. This can make learning and educational games and toys more interesting to them than they were in years past, and that’s certainly something to take advantage of. Trivia games, science kits and building sets all offer critical thinking opportunities and fun knowledge gains they’ll take with them to school.

When they’re not learning, eight year old boys are at their best when they’re staying active and playing. It’s an age where screen time becomes especially tempting to kids, particularly when they see adults and older siblings focused on their devices. Providing sports toys that get them outside and moving is a good way to prevent screen time overuse – setting an example by heading outside to play, too, is a great start.

Physical vs. Cognitive vs. Social

Staying physically active is essential, and it’s especially important for kids. It helps to prevent obesity, curb depression symptoms and increase cardiovascular health, and it establishes good habits they’ll take with them into adulthood. Provide plenty of opportunity for active play, both indoors and outdoors, with sports and pool toys.

As eight year olds learn and grow, they’re more eager to be challenged. Trivia games, science kits and learning toys may all be appealing now, especially those that can be shared with friends or siblings. Increases in focus and attention span as well as fully developed motor control make model kits and building sets easier for eight year olds.

Making and impressing friends is very important to eight year olds. It’s an age where rebellious behavior may start to pop up, and while it’s frustrating to parents, it’s a normal part of the way kids assert their identities. Providing lots of opportunity for social play with games and sports toys can give kids an opportunity to bond with their pals at a supervised distance.

Digital vs. Manual

At age eight, kids are already starting to hear about games and apps their friends are playing and using on their parents’ phones, and they might be eager to join the fun. It’s okay – even good – to hold out, or to have firm limits on screen time. It’s a lot more important for kids to be physically active and social in the real world now both for their physical health and for the sake of establishing good habits going forward. Some screen time is totally fine, but educational is best.

Manual toys are important at any age, as the hands on experiences provided by building kits and science sets gives kids real knowledge they can apply elsewhere. They also provide problem solving and critical thinking opportunities that are beneficial to kids. Sports toys are also great picks now, as they get kids outside and moving while also enjoying important socialization time with pals.

Wrapping Up

Growing, learning and playing are just some of the many fun parts of being eight. They’re ready to take on the world if we’ll let them, and it’s amazing to see their confidence and abilities take shape. Now that you’ve seen some of our favorite picks and you know a little more about what’s great at age eight, you’re geared up to choose the perfect gift for your special guy.

Quick Decision

Ezyroller Ride On Toy​ – Best Overall
A unique sit-down three wheeled scooter which features an ergonomic seat designed for comfort and prevent back strain.

Spacekey FPV Wi-Fi Drone with Camera – Upgrade Choice
Amazing way to explore the world from a birds’ eye view. An easy pick for beginners and eight year olds to understand.

Marky Sparky Faux Bow – Best Budget Buy
It’s a great backyard toy for kids, encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination.

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Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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