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Best toys for 8-year-olds in 2024

An eight-year-old child will have more patience and concentration than younger children, so they will play for longer and often by themselves. The best toys for eight-year-olds will challenge them, boost their imaginations and allow them to flex their independence.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Jan 18, 2024

Games that can be enjoyed with friends and family are a great idea as they are learning how to win and lose without showing off or throwing a tantrum. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) themed toys, such as lego sets, are also excellent tools for encouraging learning.

Good toys for eight-year-olds will tap into the subjects they are interested in, from creative crafts to sports, games and problem solving. However, don’t be tempted to pigeonhole your child and occasionally buy them toys that will coax them into thinking about new ideas or trying a new activity. If you're planning a holiday this summer, travel games are also a great option for children this age, as well as the best cameras for kids to help them capture special moments.

Whether you're stocking up ahead of the summer or on the hunt for a perfect eighth birthday present, we've got you covered. As home to the largest online network of UK parents, Mumsnet users have provided countless useful recommendations to suit every child, from the best online tutoring services to the best books for eight-year-olds.

Here are the best toys for eight-year-olds for 2023.

Read next: If you're on the hunt for more useful toy guides, don't miss our pages for the best toys for four-year-olds and toys for five-year-olds as well.

1. Best overall toy for an 8-year-old: Gravitrax Starter Set

Price on writing: From £37 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Eight years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“We bought my son a Gravitrax last year and it really is very good. We spent hours playing with it over Christmas and any time his friends visit it’s something they always get out.” (Tried and tested by the child of Mumsnet user ILoveMyMonkey)

Our verdict

The Gravitrax Starter Set is one of the coolest toys for eight-year-olds. It’s a STEM toy that will fascinate and challenge your child. With this robust kit, they can create a magnetic marble run and obstacle course with multiple routes, twists and turns, a cannon, a zipline, trampolines and bridges.

Once your child has constructed their game, they can challenge friends and family to complete it as fast as they can and master trick shots. This fantastic 122-piece starter set is compatible with the rest of the Gravitrax range of engineering toys and will keep your child busy for hours.

Read next: Want to boost your child's development and have fun at the same time? Discover the best family board games according to Mumsnetters.

2. Best budget toy for an 8-year-old: Compendium of Classic Games

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs

Age suitability: Four years plus | Batteries: N/A

Key specs

Age suitability: Four years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“A compendium of classic games went down well last year and she's getting pretty good at chess now.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user nocutsnobuttsnococonuts)

Our verdict

Board games are a wonderful way to bring families and groups of friends together. So buy your child this compendium of classic games and start a tradition of a weekly game night. There are all the old favourites in this sturdy box, plus some new and exciting ones from around the world.

All the pieces, dice, playing cards and boards are robust; most are made from coated plastic, and the instructions for each game are clear. We also love that, with time and patience, all games can be stored neatly back in the box.

Related: The best remote control cars for kids, tried and tested by Mumsnetters

3. Best toy for 8-year-old girl: A4 Cinematic Light Box

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Not specified | Batteries: Six AA batteries or USB plug

What Mumsnet users say

“My eight-year-old daughter’s favourite gift this year was a pink light box from Amazon.” (Loved by the daughter of Mumsnet user changingforthebetter3)

Our verdict

This cute light box set is fantastic value and would add fun to any little girl’s bedroom. You could even use it to leave your child funny messages to greet them when they wake up. Available in white or multicolour LED (with a remote so they can choose the background colour themselves), there are hundreds of letters, pictures and emojis they can use.

This cinema-style lightbox is stylish and easy to use, using either six AA batteries or USB plug. It doubles up nicely as a nightlight and even boosts spelling skills - bonus!

Read next: Looking for a homework-friendly tablet for your kids this summer? Check out our review of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids and Kids Pro.

4. Best interactive toy for 8-year-olds: Ravensburger 3D Labyrinth Game

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Seven years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“My eight-year-old boy loves the Labyrinth 3D board game. It’s quite strategic - good for all the family.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user PinkPiranha11)

Our verdict

The Labyrinth Game has been an international classic for generations, and this is a fantastic 3D version. Eight-year-olds will adore the fantasy element that sparks their imagination and makes them feel challenged and excited by working out the strategy needed to win.

The aim of the game is to find the treasure while casting spells and finding a route through the maze of towers. Labyrinth 3D is well-built and sturdy, has clear instructions and is easy to pack away once the game is complete. This is an excellent gift for kids who love playing board games with family and friends.

5. Best outdoor toy for 8-year-olds: Segway Ninebot Zing C20 Electric Scooter

Price on writing: £249.00 | Buy now from Currys

Key specs

Age suitability: Eight years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“I can't wait for Christmas morning to see his face. He has not stopped talking about the Segway, he really hopes Santa brings him one!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ilovetea14)

Our verdict

A Segway Ninebot ZING C20 is one of the best garden toys for eight-year-olds as it looks cool, feels super sturdy and will encourage them to be physically active. It has solid rubber wheels which resist punctures, is highly water-resistant and can be easily folded for storage and transport.

The Ninebot is designed for older kids so that it will grow with your child. It has three-speed modes; ‘Safe’ for beginners, ‘Cruise,’ which needs a kick for the scooter to accelerate and ‘Turbo’ for a fast ride. Youngsters will also be delighted with the funky light that illuminates the footboard and changes colour.

6. Best creative toy for 8-year-olds: LEGO Dots Mega Pack

Price on writing: £19 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Six years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“I second the LEGO dots, lots of different kits, jewellery, photo frames and key rings etc.” (Tried and tested by Himawarigirl)

Our verdict

The LEGO Dots Mega Dots is a craft set that children and adults love. The colorful adhesive tiles can be used to decorate the included sticker patches repeatedly or to create intricate designs on notebooks, phones or photo frames.

LEGO dots make mosaics that are as soothing to the mind as they are fun to make. The kit comes with pattern ideas, a tile remover (so the stickers can be removed) and 450 tiles; the possibilities for patterns and pictures are endless.

7. Best sports toy for 8-year-olds: Skateboard Complete Mini Cruiser 22"

Price on writing: From £26 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs

Age suitability: Not specified - but good co-ordination is required | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“A skateboard was a popular gift for my eldest daughter at that age.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Stompythedinosaur)

Our verdict

This superb skateboard is an essential toy for playing in the garden or on a safe street with friends and siblings. It has a sturdy footplate and robust, smooth-running, light-up LED wheels. There’s no assembly needed, so they can ride it as soon as it’s unwrapped.

The brightly coloured wheels light up in motion, so they don’t need batteries or charging. They are also a great safety feature for when riding it at night. We were impressed with this great little skateboard's shock absorption and grip.

8. Best toy for an 8-year-old boy: Melissa and Doug Secret Decoder Spy Kit

Price on writing: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Seven to 12 years | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“All my son's class are after the spy gear stuff, voice changer, listening device, magic pen etc.” (Suggested by Mumsnet user rabbitheadlights)

Our verdict

The Melissa & Doug Secret Decoder Activity Set is a great gift for an eight-year-old as it will encourage imaginative story-telling and encourage problem-solving and critical thinking. The kit includes three spy-themed activity books with 50 tasks to complete, magical reveal stickers, and a magnifying glass.

This puzzle-solving spy set is portable, so that it would be ideal for long road trips and holidays. They can play along or involve a friend in the detective work. Check out the rest of the Melissa & Doug spy range so your little ninja can extend their make-believe further.

9. Best art toy for 8-year-olds: WACOM One CTL-472-N Graphics Tablet

Wacom

Price on writing: £32 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Not specified  | Batteries: DC 5V from USB Port with 500 mA capacity; Self-powered USB hub or PC USB port

What Mumsnet users say

“My son is really into drawing and tech so he's getting a drawing tablet for the computer.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user IsaInTheLift)

Our verdict

The Wacom CTL-472-N Graphics Tablet will allow your eight-year-old to unleash their creativity and expand their drawing skills. It comes with an electronic pen that will enable them to draw, sketch and then edit pictures, diagrams and great works of art on a digital canvas.

This fantastic tablet comes with a two-year guarantee, and it’s easy to set it up on your Mac or PC using the included USB cable. It is also very portable, so it's excellent for travelling or carrying around the house or garden looking for inspiration.

10. Best building toy for 8-year-olds: LEGO Classic Large Creative Storage Brick Set

Price on writing: £33 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Four years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“LEGO, LEGO and more LEGO!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user ChocolateCoffeeWine)

 Our verdict

LEGO is undoubtedly one of the best construction toys for eight-year-olds. The small colourful bricks have been delighting children and adults alike for generations. We loved the simplicity of this starter set; there’s no theme, so your child is free to build whatever their creativity suggests.

Many designs are possible, from motorbikes and houses to animals and sharks; there’s an excellent inspiration book included to inspire them. Even better, the bricks come in a generously sized and durable storage tub, so tidying up is a cinch.

11. Best craft toy for 8-year-olds: The Best Crafts Tie-Dye Art Kit

craft

Price on writing: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Five years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“My eight-and-a-half year-old dd has asked for a tie dye kit” (Suggested by Mumsnet user Adelais)

Our verdict

This brilliant Tie Dye Kit will be well received by children who love art, crafts, fashion or all three. It has 18 jewel and primary coloured dye colors, including stunning violet and electric blue, and protective gloves and rubber bands to create unique designs.

All you need to add is a couple of white cotton t-shirts, vests or even a plain tote bag, and your son or daughter can begin crafting a new wardrobe. They’ll be thrilled to discover the exciting patterns they can make with this excellent value kit.

12. Best dinosaur toy for 8-year-olds: Treasure X Dino Gold Dissection Playset

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Five years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“The Treasure X stuff is pretty cool.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Pumperthepumper)

Our verdict

Eight-year-olds may grow up fast, but they still love old-fashioned toys like dinosaurs and action figures. The Treasure X range is cool rather than babyish, and this Dino Dissection Set is fantastic. Your son or daughter will enjoy digging through the gooey ooze in the dinosaur's tummy to find many slimy surprises.

Once the dissection is done, the creature can be rebuilt as a battle dinosaur for many hours of fantasy fun. Those brave enough to pull the monster’s tail will be rewarded with a big poop. Of course, all kids will think that’s hilarious! This fab toy comes with a one-year guarantee.

13. Best soft toy for 8-year-olds: Squishmallows Max The Rainbow Racoon

Price on writing: From £13 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs

Age suitability: From birth  | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“Oooh yes to Squishmallows!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user FlamingoDust)

Our verdict

Squishmallows are cute, soft and squishy. They make perfect toys, especially when the child has a collection of them (they are very collectible!) and gorgeously comfortably pillows. These soft toys aren’t cheap but are beautifully made and adorable, and kids love them.

This adorable Axolotl is a good size for little heads to lie on him while still being small enough to carry around as a pet. Also available in different colours.

14. Best tech toy for 8-year-olds: Piper Computer Kit

Price on writing: £210 | Buy now from RS

Key specs

Age suitability: Eight years plus | Batteries: One lithium ion battery required and included

Our verdict

The Piper Build-A-Computer Kit is an award-winning STEM toy that will allow your child to construct a fully-functioning PC and then code spy-themed games and programmes with Piper StoryMode. The kit was designed for self-paced learning, so kids of all technical abilities can progress through the difficulty levels without frustration.

The Piper Computer comes with a Raspberry Pi, a nine-inch screen, DIY speakers and a rechargeable battery. This is an expensive toy, but all the components are superb quality and the ‘how to' guides are detailed and easy to follow.

15. Best science toy for 8-year-olds: VFENG Snap Circuit Kit

Price on writing: £31 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs

Age suitability: Six years plus | Batteries: Two x AA batteries required - not included

What Mumsnet users say

“Snap Circuits were a hit last birthday.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user SomewhereEast)

Our verdict

Snap Circuits are some of the best STEM toys for eight-year-olds. They are bright, easy to use and can be tidied away neatly after use. This fantastic kit has 31 snap parts that can be connected to complete an impressive 335 projects, including touch control, magnets, voice control, light and sound.

No extra tools are needed; there’s a straightforward, illustrated manual, and your child will be safely experimenting with electronics in minutes. Snap Circuits will encourage experimentation, design skills, perseverance and refine their motor skills.

16. Best learning toy for 8-year-olds: Z-Man Carcassonne Strategy Game

Price on writing: £33 | Buy now from Amazon 

Key specs

Age suitability: Seven years plus  | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“No, for an eight-year-old I'd go straight to the normal Carcassonne. You can learn to play then add in the expansions of farms and rivers once he gets it. Mine have been playing since they were six with the big one.” (Tried and tested by the children of NigelSlatersXmasTaters)

Our verdict

Carcassonne is a strategy game that will have your eight-year-old rapt for hours. They will build a medieval fantasy landscape from tiles that depict cities, monasteries, fields and roads. As they create, they will also collect a community of followers.

Careful planning is the key to victory, so that playing will develop your child’s critical thinking and concentration. In addition, Carcassonne is a game that can be expanded infinitely by buying extension kits for subsequent birthdays and Christmasses.

17. Best toy for nature loving 8-year-olds: National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Age suitability: Seven to 12 years  | Batteries: N/A

Our verdict

The National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit is an excellent toy for kids who enjoy learning about the natural world and science. Genuine fossils from millions of years ago are included, a fact that will delight adults and children.

Sturdy tools, including a chisel, brush and magnifying glass, are included. There’s also a fascinating full-colour learning guide to teach your child about the fossils they are discovering and paleontology in general.

18. Best toy for 8 year olds who love Roblox: Welcome to Bloxburg - Camping Crew Playset

bloxburg

Price on writing: £40 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Age suitability: Six years plus | Batteries: N/A

What Mumsnet users say

“Re Roblox, it can be incredibly creative, and actually my second daughter got far more from Roblox than the older did from buying crappy magazines.” (Toy theme recommended by RayneDance)

Our verdict

The Roblox universe is much loved by today’s eight-year-olds. It’s a game that can be played on computers or a phone app, but younger children will enjoy the opportunity to play with these mini-action figures too.

The six camping crew characters are quirky, and this cool set also comes with tiny accessories such as a tent, campfire and lantern. Creating fun stories for your figures will provide hours of imaginative play and may inspire your child to explore the great outdoors with you.

How to choose toys safely

  • Choose a toy that is within the advised age range for your child.

  • Look for the CE mark, which indicates that the toy meets all the necessary regulatory requirements.

  • The Lion Mark, the British Toy and Hobby Association’s mark of quality, is also an excellent sign the toy is safe.

  • The condition of toys can degrade with time and use. If buying second-hand, pay attention to the quality before purchase.

  • With younger children, avoid toys with small detachable parts as they can become a choking hazard.

  • Check for sharp points and edges.

What should an 8-year-old play with?

The best presents for eight-year-olds will spark their imagination, teach them new skills, hold their attention for prolonged periods and bring a big smile to their faces. Toys, such as scooters and skateboards, are also great for encouraging them to move their bodies.

Eight years is when children start to develop specific interests, so buy toys that strengthen those. Your youngster’s social skills will also improve at this time, and toys suitable for group play, such as board games, are ideal.

What to buy an 8-year-old boy

Eight-year-old boys are full of energy and curiosity, so a toy that will help them burn energy, such as a scooter, or spark their imagination, like a fun spy kit, will be received with delight. Construction sets are also a fantastic idea as they will encourage them to sit and become absorbed in the task of designing and building.

What to buy an 8-year-old girl

What is the little lady in your life interested in? It could be science, craft or LEGO. Make that the basis of their Christmas or birthday gift, and you won’t go far wrong. Eight-year-olds are beginning to make sense of the world and their place in it, so a toy that helps them to interact with others in a fun way, such as a board game, is a good choice.

How we chose our recommendations

We’ve thoroughly researched the best toys for an eight-year-old you can buy in 2022. We’ve included tried and tested board games, STEM toys and technology from a wide range of reliable and trusted sources. Here's how we carefully selected our choices.

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users

Mumsnet community members are determined to make their children happy and support their development; buying gifts that will bring a joyful smile to their little faces is a big part of that. So, we have weighed up our Mumsnetters' recommendations on the games, toys and electronics they have purchased for their eight-year-olds and were well received.

Expert opinions

Toys can be costly, so we were determined that the present options we recommended are durable, safe and will delight the child. In addition, we investigated the opinions of toy safety and child development experts, plus respected toy retailers.

Authentic customer reviews

Finally, we evaluated the lists of best-selling toys for 8-year-olds and scrutinised authentic reviews from various trusted retailers to see which products were the most highly rated by consumers. Then, we weighed the pros and cons of each of the products on our list to determine which were best suited to discerning children with a variety of interests.

Why you should trust us

As the mother of two children, Jasmine and Liam, and a lover of finding the perfect gift, our writer Gemma was determined to provide honest and independent advice on the toys and games your eight-year-old will enjoy playing with.

Our writers always spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find amazing products that real parents will love.

Transparency is vital to us, and that's why we're always honest about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their friends and family.