Which toys are most worth your time and money?

Essential Toy Box for 8 & 9 Year Olds

We believe these toys are essential members of your family's toy box. Our extensive toy experience (over a decade!) plus years of customer feedback inform this no fluff guide to the very best.  Explore consistent favourites that build essential life skills like creativity, emotional intelligence, problem solving and grit. 

Browse the collection below for our customers' favourites or keep scrolling for a deeper dive into which toys are best at this age and why.

What Do 8 & 9 Year Olds Need Out of Their Toys?

Many of the interests your kiddo had when they were younger are now full fledged passions. Invest in high quality options that explore what they love best. 

If your 8 or 9 year old has been an artist for years, get them the best array of art supplies you can. If they’ve been an avid builder for forever, expand their construction tool kit so they can build even bigger. Lean into what’s already working. 

Children are often very interested in science and love learning about how things work. This is a wonderful age to explore all kinds of scientific topics (the human body, nature, space, physics and so on). Non fiction books, science kits and activity books are excellent tools.

Kiddos this age may be ready for more independent play opportunities. Build their art supply tool kit, add to their book shelf or get them going on a puzzle or a one player game. 

Top Considerations

Imaginative Play is still super important. Don’t push kids this age to “grow up faster”. There’s a lot of pressure to make kids age faster and get into that next stage as soon as possible. Childhood isn’t a race, and they’ll never be at this stage again. Promote play as long as possible! 

Develop their brains with critical thinking toys (like construction, STEM toys or books). Kids this age are serious about learning - their brains ache for a challenge! 

Develop their creativity and imagination with age appropriate art supplies and imaginative play toys (like older child dolls and stuffed animals). Creativity will help them in almost every aspect of their lives from coming up with new ideas to solve problems to enjoying doodling in their free time. 

Develop emotional intelligence with books that provoke discussion or explore new perspectives or art supplies that help them express their feelings and ideas. 

Top Picks for 8 & 9 Year Olds


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) toys boost critical and creative thinking, build confidence and foster a life long love of learning. Kiddos want to understand how things work and they love to be challenged. STEM toys feed this natural hunger for knowledge. Whether it’s building a working catapult, engineering a marble run or reading or playing a game about coding basics, your child will be flexing their brains, building their bank of knowledge, learning how to ask good questions and how to solve problems.

Top Picks for 8 & 9 Year Olds

Art Supplies & Craft Kits

Engaging in art creation encourages creativity, abstract thinking, concentration and perseverance - all necessary skills for success in school and life. At this age, kids love more “grown up” supplies like special feeling markers or pencil crayons or sketchbooks with cool cover art. They may also be ready for more real craft supplies like a sewing or felting kit. 

Top Picks for 8 & 9 Year Olds


Maileg excels at promoting super creative, nurturing play. Many 8 and 9 year olds love setting up little scenes with Maileg mice and accessories and coming up with stories of how the mouse family spends their time, building their creativity and emotional intelligence. 

We have 13 year olds customers at the store who still love collecting Maileg, and we have a tonne of grown ups who collect Maileg too so depending on your child there are still many good years ahead for playing with these adorable toys!

top picks for 8 & 9 year olds

Connetix Magnetic Building Tiles

Connetix tiles are an ideal open-ended toy to fuel children’s imaginations and creative thinking. These magnetic tiles that can be combined in an endless number of ways to create all kinds of structures, from castles to rocket ships to farms. 

They are also a fantastic STEM toy. Kids may engineer a bridge and then need to problem solve if it collapses. They can also build 2D geometric patterns, build spatial awareness with 3D shapes and more. 

8 or 9 year olds can build pretty complex things with Connetix and it’s one of our own son’s favourite toys at age 8.

Top picks for 8 & 9 year olds


Books are a ticket to another world and can educate, inspire and transport like nothing else! Instilling a love of reading will serve your child well for life, both personally and in the classroom. Both reading independently and being read to by an adult are important, so a mix of books they like to look at on their own and books you love to read together are a great choice. 

Non fiction books build knowledge and curiosity about the world around us, while picture books expose your child to different points of view and artistic styles. Chapter books can be wonderful for either independent reading or reading together. We’ve been reading our son chapter books since he was very little, and we still love doing it now that he’s 8. 

top picks for 8 & 9 year olds

Dolls & Accessories

Dolls are a wonderful toy for exploring imagination and nurturing at any age. 8 or 9 year olds tend to gravitate towards “older” dolls that are closer to their own age rather than baby dolls, but every child is unique and you know best what they would like so go with what feels right. A doll can feel like a best friend who always has your back and they’ve been an important part of childhood for hundreds of years. 

More Top Collections for 8 & 9 year olds

Looking for more beneficial toys to build your child's skills and create fun family play opportunities? We have so many incredible educational toys for 8 & 9 year olds. Here are some more favourite collections:

Jewelry & Accessories for 8 & 9 year olds

Kids love to express their unique personalities with fun jewelry and hair accessories. Explore our collection of fun, age appropriate options. 

Play Figures for 8 & 9 year olds

Whether it’s for imaginative play or a prized collection displayed on a bookshelf, play figures remain super popular for this age group.

Games for 8 & 9 year olds

Develop strategic thinking and enjoy some quality family time with fun, challenging games

Favourite Brands for 8 & 9 Year Olds

These top toymakers excel at creating engaging, skill building toys that 8 & 9 year olds love to play with. These toymakers are committed to toys that encourage healthy childhood development.

Want to see it all? Pop over to our full Toys for 8 & 9 Year Olds Collection to see EVERYTHING!