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 ton 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!