23 of the best gifts for 8-year-old boys, from craft kits to skill-building games

two kids holding ping pong paddles and hitting ball hung from doorway: best gift for 8-year-old boys
Fat Brain Toys Door Pong is a fun spin on the classic table game.

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Stuck trying to figure out what to buy the 8-year-old boy on your list? They can be a tricky bunch. They're not quite kids, but they're not quite teenagers yet, either. Of course, many boys like toys typically branded for girls and vice versa, so don't forget to look beyond the stereotypical gift ideas when doing your shopping. 

To help us find some of the best gifts for 8-year-old boys, we spoke to Madeleine Buckley, senior editor at The Toy Insider. "You'll want to be looking for activities, toys, and games that are a bit more advanced for independent play, but that still foster imagination and skill development," she said. 

When shopping for a gift for an 8-year-old, look for something that inspires advanced independent play while still fostering imagination, Buckley explained. 

Here are 23 of the best gifts for 8-year-old boys:

A game that gives back

Hand placing block on top of Jenga Ocean set

Jenga Ocean, available at Bureo, $49.95

Take this fun classic game and make it sustainable! Made from 100% recycled fishing nets, Jenga Ocean teaches kids to "save the animals" via special rules that are unique to this version of the game.

A fidget that has gone viral on TikTok

Hand squeezing the Nee Doh The Groovy Glob

Nee Doh The Groovy Glob, available at Amazon and The Paper Store, from $12.40

Buckley explained that fidget toys are popular among kids of all ages, but they can be particularly helpful for improving focus in 8-year-olds. Needoh is a popular fidget toy that kids have probably seen all over social media and at school. This simple and inexpensive gift is sure to excite.

A musical instrument building kit

two children playing with a wooden xylophone toy that is a cool STEM gift for 8-year-old boys

Smartivity Music Machine, available at Amazon, $33.97

"This toy is an awesome example of a sneaky STEM toy," according to Buckley. Kids will work hard building their music machine from 237 different parts. When they're done, they'll have a fully functional xylophone to play.

A cooking club subscription

two children work on an activity included in americas test kitchen young chefs kit a cool gift for 8-year-old boys
America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen Kids: Young Chef's Club, available at America's Test Kitchen, from $16.99/month

A cooking kit is a great way for kids to begin exploring culinary arts. America's Test Kitchen delivers a monthly box for kids that includes recipes like tacos and activities and games that teach kids about the ingredients that go into the meals they prepare. 

A book to help them create a better world

A Kids Book About Being Inclusive
A Kids Company About

A Kids Book About Being Inclusive, available at A Kids Book About, $19.95

Learning how to be inclusive is a skill and a daily choice. This book will help him make the right choices, as it encourages acceptance, belonging, and uniqueness.

An interactive Lego set

A boy and a girl playing with the LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course Kit

Lego Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course Kit, available at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Lego, from $59.95

This interactive Lego set challenges kids to earn digital coins as they build and play. "Lego sets overall are a great gifting option for this age," Buckley said. If the 8-year-old on your list isn't into Super Mario, there are plenty of other fun Lego options to choose from.

A family card game with a dash of potty humor

Deck box and cards of Poo Pocalypse Card Game

Poo Pocalypse Card Game, available at Amazon, $24.99

Play into your 8-year-old's potty humor with this family card game. It's a simple game that only takes about 15 minutes to play, but there's no doubt it will have even the most mature members of your family laughing.

An all-inclusive Beyblade set

Kids playing with Beyblade Burst Evolution Star Storm Battle Set Game

Beyblade Burst Evolution Star Storm Battle Set Game, available at Amazon, $36.99

Eight-year-olds who enjoy battling their Beyblades will appreciate this new set that includes an arena, two spin tops, and two launchers. Battle sets like this encourage togetherness since it's much more fun to battle against an opponent.

A new take on an old favorite

R2D2 Star Wars Tamagotchi toy on chain

Tamagotchi Star Wars: R2-D2, available at Amazon, $19.99

Parents who grew up with Tamagotchi will enjoy sharing this pastime with their kids. This Star Wars version tasks kids with taking care of R2-D2, keeping him happy so the Jawas don't take him away.

A construction kit that encourages creativity

Offbits Build Your Own Robot Kit
Uncommon Goods

Offbits Build Your Own Robot Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $19

This unique construction kit teaches kids how to build robots with step-by-step instructions, but the fun doesn't stop there. It comes with extra parts to encourage kids to imagine and build their own creations.

A prank set for the practical joker

Assorted pieces from the Wicked Pranks and Jokes Set
FAO Schwarz

Wicked Pranks and Jokes Set, available at Amazon and FAO Schwarz, from $19.79

Eight-year-old practical jokers will get a kick out of this set that includes all the materials they'll need to complete pranks and jokes. Some of the included pranks include jumping spider eggs and a selfie phone squirter.

A kit for crafty animal lovers

child's hand shown building a unicorn mosaic, unicorn is white with brown and yellow mane
Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys Make A Real Mosaic Unicorn, available at Fat Brain Toys, $24.95

If you know an 8-year-old who loves to craft, this mosaic kit consisting of real stone tile will delight. Choose from a variety of animals, including this mythical unicorn or an owl, tiger, or panda.

An active indoor toy for rainy days

Two kids playing Door Pong from Fat Brain Toys
Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys Door Pong, available at Amazon and Fat Brain Toys, from $24.95

Many 8-year-olds have an urge to move all the time. When they're stuck inside on a rainy day, they'll be able to keep busy with this door pong set. It's designed for two players and attaches to the top of any doorway.

A finger skateboard for busy hands

Tech Deck mini skateboard and ramp toy

Tech Deck Starter Kit, available at Amazon, $24.99

If your 8-year-old is always daydreaming of skateboarding and moving his body while he's stuck sitting down, he'll enjoy these finger skateboards. The set comes with a signature pro board and a ramp.

A challenging game of skill

Girl balancing a ring and ball on top of her head with family watching while playing I Got This game

Fat Brain Toys I Got This! Game, available at Amazon and Fat Brain Toys, $24.95 

In this game, players are presented with challenges, but before they attempt the activity, they have to predict how many points they'll be able to win. Not only do players have to excel at the challenges, but they also have to be good at estimating their own abilities.

A Pokemon building set

Buildable Pokemon figurines of Charizard, Bulbasaur, Pikachu, and Squirtle

Mega Construx Pokemon Building Pack, available at Target, $14.79

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021, Pokemon remains popular among kids. With this set, 8-year-olds will be able to build four different Pokemon characters. It also includes a pre-built Poke Ball.

A high-flying ball

Hand holding the Waboba Moon Ball

Waboba Moon Ball, available at Amazon and Fat Brain Toys, from $8.95

The Waboba Moon Ball can soar up to 100 feet in the air and makes a unique popping sound when it hits the pavement. This ball is ideal for active 8-year-olds who enjoy playing ball games and spending time outdoors.

The ultimate Battle Bots arena

Hexbug Battle Bots Arena Max

Hexbug Battle Bots Arena Max, available at Amazon and Target, $119.99

This Battle Bots arena includes more fighting space than previous versions, and it comes with interactive elements including a motorized auger and hammers. It also allows kids to engineer their own robot, sneaking some education into this fan favorite.

A game that's as gross as it is fun

Bean Boozled game
Party City

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Game, available at Walmart. $4.97

In this game of chance, kids might eat a delicious jelly bean, or they might eat one that tastes like barf. Eight-year-olds will love nothing more than to try these themselves and to pass them around the dinner table.

A guide to making the coolest paper airplanes

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit, available at Amazon, Walmart, Fat Brain Toys, and Macy's, from $14.98

Say goodbye to flimsy paper airplanes that barely make it across the room. This book teaches kids how to make aerodynamic paper airplanes. It also includes paper with fun designs to add some style to their planes.

A ramp for scooters and bikes

Ten-Eighty Micro Flybox Ramp

Ten-Eighty Micro Flybox Ramp, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $49.99

If he is a daredevil on his bike, scooter, or skateboard, this ramp will take things to the next level. It has a slip-resistant finish to help prevent falls and is great for kids who are just starting to use ramps.

A lap desk with storage

Headphones and a tablet on top of a Golden State Warriors NBA Super Storage Lapdesk - gift ideas for 8-year-old boys
Pottery Barn Teen

NBA Super Storage Lap desk, available at Pottery Barn Teen, $79

Give an 8-year-old a comfortable place to do homework. This versatile lapdesk can also be used as a food tray, art desk, and more. It has interior storage compartments and a comfy basketball-themed cushion underneath.

A basketball hoop for their room

A boy shooting a toy basketball at an over-the-door basketball hoop while a girl blocks him

Spalding NBA Slam Jam Over-The-Door Mini Hoop, available at Amazon and Urban Outfitters, from $34.99

If they can't get enough basketball, let them play right in their own bedroom. Simply mount it over their door, and it's ready to go. It also comes with a 5-inch rubber basketball. 

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Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at reviews@insider.com.

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