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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.