Holiday Gift Guide - Ages 8 and up

We are just about a week away from Thanksgiving and if you’re like my husband, you refuse to start shopping for Christmas until AFTER you’ve carved the turkey and eaten all of the cranberry sauce.  With that day coming up quickly, we wanted to share a gift guide for the older kiddos.  Kids 8 and up definitely start to lean a bit more into the electronics, video games and extreme sports.  With that said - there are still tons of benefits to actual “play” whether that be through board games, outdoor activities, puzzles, books or crafts.  

One of the keys to selecting a toy gift for an older child is making sure that they don’t think it is too “baby-ish” for them.  Children in this age want to make sure they are being recognized as a “bigger kid”.  Scholastic Parents states that “One component of social and emotional growth in 8- to 10-year olds is their desire for increased independence from parents and siblings, and their increased desire to be seen as intelligent and knowledgeable.”  Finding toys and games that support this desire, can increase self esteem and promote growth in a child. Scholastic Parents recommends play where “interactions are often defined by elaborate fantasy play, interactive games, rotating leaders, and cooperative goal-setting where participants work collaboratively toward a shared outcome.” 

With this understanding as well as the importance of finding something that matches that individual's interests (like the 4-7 year old Gift Guide), this gift guide will take you through our team’s top picks in a variety of categories.

Board Games: 

  • The Game of Life - This game takes each of it’s players through the large milestones of life which can peak conversation and connection.  It can be a great way to learn about all of the players interests while having plenty of laughs along the way.
  • Catan & Catan Junior - This game is a hot button issue with my husband's whole family in that we all love the game but it is a time commitment - but worth every second.  This strategy game is all about dominating the land and a perfect way to settle in for a full night (or day) or fun. Catan (the original) is for ages 12+ but Catan Junior could be a great way to build  affinity for the game with children ages 6-9.  
  • Taboo - A game of words that will get your kids thinking quickly on their feet. This game does require teams and it super fun for groups of 4 or more.  With this one - the more the merrier and so it makes a perfect pick for family game night.

Science:

  • Scientific Discovery (STEAM Kit) - this kit is an all encompassing pick for everything science.  With over 40 experiments and activities, it's a great kit for a child that really loves to roll their sleeves up and dig in.
  • Giant Magnet - This is exactly what you think it is and is the perfect stocking stuff or gift addition to help facilitate a deeper understanding of magnets.  We see this item purchased often as a piece of a larger experience they are working on with their children and with at home schooling, who wouldn’t want this?
  • Newton’s Cradle - This is the a sensory toy that doubles as a desk toy.  With sensory being so popular, the Newton’s cradle is a fan favorite in our store.  Every time we get these in, they fly off the shelves.  Kids love trying bouncing one, two or sometimes three marbles to see what happens with the energy as it is transferred between each.
  • Make your Own Catapult - This is great for the older kids, listed at 14 and up.  With lots of little pieces this will engage your little builders that are interested in creating their perfect toy.

Crafting:

  • 100 Super Planes - This is the perfect gift for a crafter that loves making a great airplane.  Each page of this book has a different design with lines to indicate how to fold the perfect paper airplane.
  • DIY Decorative Rainbow - This trendy craft is perfect for the older kids that also like to sew. Featuring a soft, yet bold color palette this craft will keep the kids busy and allow them to create something worthy of hanging on their wall. 
  • Pixie Crew decorate your own wallet and pencil cases - These are the perfect gift for any boy or girl that likes to show their personal style.  Featuring smaller pieces this is only for the patient kids that can interchange their looks. 
  • Chunkies Gift Set - I personally love this gift set for two reasons. (1) Little artists get the opportunity to let their imagination run wild with two different blank sketch pads. (2) It includes some of the best paint markers out there. Designed like a lipstick, these are great in that they dry super quickly, minimizing mess.  They are also a bit different than any other type of crayon or marker.  

Books:

  • The Chess Book - Chess isn’t just for the grown ups.  Start them young with this awesome workbook that will teach them the basics straight up 
  • Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girl (vol. 1 & 2) - These books take a reimagined look at fairy tales featuring some of the most inspiring girls.  This is the perfect series to inspire and have some fun.
  • Coding for Beginners Using Scratch - This workbook is designed to teach and provide the tools for kids ~8+ to learn the skills they need to code.
  • Braver, Stronger, Smarter - This book is chock full of activities that will teach kits to keep their mind’s busy and keep them in touch with their minds.

Outdoor & Adventure:

  • Bow & Arrow - This large bow and arrow is a great way to have some safe fun.  The end of the two arrows included a suction cup allowing you to play wherever you see fit. 
  • Airo Rocket - Shooting over 150 feet in the air, this is the perfect outdoor toy for any season. This rocket features a soft nose and is filled with air making it less of a weapon and more for some fun.
  • Cornhole - If you’re anything like me, you have a beautiful corn hole set but it is too heavy and bulky to bring to the beach or to your vacation house.  The set we carry is great for just those occasions as it can easily be broken down and put in a carrying case.  Best part - its still a full-size board!
  • Ring Toss - A spin on a classic game, this X shaped board it perfect for kids of all ages.

Have younger children and wondering what to get?

  1. Holiday Gift Guide for newborn to 3 years old
  2. Holiday Gift Guide to kids ages 4 to 7 years old

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