Gift Ideas for 8-Year-Old Boys
Struggling to Find a Gift for Your Son?
In my home, I have three boys: a teenager, a pre-teen, and an 8-year-old boy. As expected, they all have very different interests.
As I've learned over the years, this age, 8, is difficult to shop for, considering that they are no longer very young children that enjoy many traditional toys. At the same time, they are too young (in my opinion) for cell phones or other expensive electronics. Plus, some of the more mature video games are probably a few years away.
As with any gift-buying guide, you will want to consider what the recipient enjoys. My son is not really into sports like his older brothers are. However, he has a keen interest in astronomy and geography. So, while I might not shop in traditional outlets for gifts for this unique boy, I can still find some affordable, interesting gifts for him.
Here's an overview of what you can expect to learn about in this article:
- Traditional gifts
- Electronic gifts
- Entertainment gifts
- Sport-related gifts
- Imaginative gifts
- Gift cards, cash, or gift certificates
If you're looking for a birthday gift, a holiday present, or just a treat for a special occasion for your special 8-year-old, look no further.
Back when I was young, the gifts that most 8-year-old boys on my street received were a bit different. Fortunately, this age still enjoys affordable gift selections.
Building toys like Legos, Kinex, Jenga, or even Lincoln Logs are popular. Again, know the specific interests of the child. Some enjoy Indiana Jones, while others may be more into Star Wars or Dinosaurs. There are a wide variety of sets available, with price ranges from $6–8 (for small individual sets) to over $100. At this age, they may still enjoy building their creations with an adult. Consider spending time together after gifts are opened.
Classic Board Games
Young boys may still enjoy board games or games to be played in person (i.e. not electronics). These games are popular and easy to learn to play:
- Monopoly Jr.
- Scrabble Jr.
- Angry Birds
- Sequence for Kids
- Connect 4
Don't forget classic games such as:
- Checkers, chess
- Chinese checkers
Or, why not gift a deck of cards and teach your boy how to play solitaire or war?
Speaking of cards, sports trading cards could be gifted to help start a collection. Of course, Pokémon cards are quite popular among young boys (and some girls) too. They are collected, organized, and traded among kids.
As you will notice with the range of gifts suggested in this section, games and toys for 8-year-old boys cover a relatively large spectrum of maturity levels. Children who have older siblings, or who are exceptionally bright, may be ready for regular Monopoly or Scrabble, rather than the Jr. versions.
Also, don't forget to keep in mind whether there are younger children in the home that might be subject to choking hazards from small pieces.
Electronic Game Gifts for 8-Year Old Boys
Video game systems and handheld devices continue to be popular—from Nintendo DSI consoles to the Xbox 360, Wii, and the Sony PS3. Whether you're going to purchase a new system or device, or merely add to a game collection, most 8-year-old boys would be excited to receive that gift. Check with the boy's guardians regarding games he currently owns and any restrictions on content and age ratings (for example, some games are rated T for teen, or M for mature).
Popular gaming gifts for 8-year-old boys:
- Current versions of NCAA, NFL, NBA and MLB sports games
- Games based on movie or T.V. characters (i.e., Spongebob Squarepants)
- Mario Brothers (many different game selections)
- Pokémon (again, many different games to choose from)
- Rock Band games
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Mario Kart
- Kinect Sports
Other Electronic Gift Ideas
There is a wide range of electronic gifts that young boys will enjoy. My son is begging for a digital camera this Christmas. You can find beginner cameras for as low as $35. Some manufacturers have also introduced video cameras that are also quite affordable. Keep in mind that children this age may drop or lose electronics, so buy a sturdier, less-expensive model.
Boys who enjoy music might like an MP3 player. Again, there are lower-priced models available, including pre-owned. Along with the digital music player, a gift certificate for tunes will be appreciated. Adults should help an 8-year-old in selecting songs and redeeming a certificate.
What about cell phones? My personal belief is that 8-year-olds are too young for one, although not everyone agrees. My older sons were in middle school before I determined they were responsible enough for a phone. That being said, though, my 8-year-old son and his 8-year-old twin sister would both obviously be thrilled to get a new cell phone as a present—it's up to you as a parent to gauge whether or not you think your boy (or, girl) is ready (or if his parents would appreciate you gifting him with one).
Entertainment Gifts for 8-Year-Old Boys
Boys who are eight are usually in the 2nd or 3rd grade. Many of these children are reading, and some are even enjoying books on their own.
Keep in mind, though that children's reading abilities vary greatly, so check with a parent or guardian about the type of books the child enjoys and ask about age-appropriate materials. For example, at that age, one of my sons enjoyed fantasy series like The Chronicles of Narnia. He was also just starting the Harry Potter series. My youngest son would struggle with these selections, however, at that age.
Books for 8-Year Old Boys
Consider these popular reading selections for 8-year-old boys, among others:
- Magic Treehouse series
- Captain Underpants series
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
- Geronimo Stilton series (my son's personal favorite)
- Charlie Bone series (more advanced readers)
- Harry Potter series (advanced readers with parent's oversight)
- Chronicles of Narnia (advanced readers)
Movies and DVDs for 8-Year-Olds
In addition to books, boys love to receive DVDs. Some kids may decide that animated features are too "baby" for them. However, there aren't very many features that are rated G or even PG that may be appropriate for school-aged children.
Also, don't forget that movies rated PG-13 often include coarse language, sexuality, and use/abuse of drugs or alcohol. Others, like the popular Harry Potter movies, may also be too violent for some kids. It's wise to check with another parent before purchasing a DVD for an 8-year-old.
Sports-Related Gift Ideas for Boys
When it comes to boys, you can hardly go wrong with sports-related gifts. Whether they are engaged in organized sports, or simply enjoy bicycle riding, swimming, or other outdoor activities, all you need to do is find out what they enjoy and gift ideas are easy.
Boys at this age are getting more coordinated. While some of the following gifts are universal and can be enjoyed for years to come, others are more specific to sports teams on which the child may be participating. In my home, I am always appreciative to have my kids get presents that they can use outdoors. Here are some sports-related gift ideas:
- Roller blades
- Skis, snowboards
- Baseball gloves, bats, caps, pitching screens, etc.
- Footballs, helmets, pads, etc.
- Basketballs, basketball hoops
- Accessories such as helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, hats, caps, etc.
- Swim trunks or shorts, goggles, etc.
- Ski caps, goggles, helmets, boots, etc.
- Sleds, toboggans, and other winter sports
- Any related gear of your 8-year-old's favorite team(s) (sweatshirts, t-shirts, banners, posters, toothbrushes, bedding sheets, the list goes on)
- Tickets to a favorite team event
Imaginative Gifts for 8-Year-Old Boys
As the mother of three boys, it's sad to say that 8-year-olds are nearing the end of imaginative play. Give it two or three more years and maybe then it's over. So, capture the innocence and excitement of imaginative gifts for 8-year-old boys while you still can, right now.
- My kids have really enjoyed toys based on popular movies, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter. Other classics continue to be revived in the movies, including Batman, Spiderman and Captain America.
- With a Star Wars theme, you can find action figures, lightsabers, capes, masks, and more. Similarly, for fans of Harry Potter: wands, robes, glasses, and spell books are fun, imaginative gifts for 8-year-old boys.
Gift Cards, Cash, or Gift Certificates
Speaking from personal experience, boys this age still want to open presents, rather than receive a gift card or cash. However, if you are having difficulty finding a particular video game or book, you could consider a gift card with a note that explains what you were looking for.
- Make sure that it's still special by offering to take the child shopping in the future with the gift card.
- Gift cards can be purchased in many denominations: $10, $25, $50, or more, and are offered by many major retailers and restaurants.
- "Experience" gift cards (one to visit Disneyland, for example) promise an exciting future trip. I think it's fun to include a small gift to unwrap, as well, like a Mickey Mouse shirt, or for sports tickets, a cap or banner.
- Cash is easy to lose (or be "found" by other family members). But if the 8-year-old has a home savings system or device, he may enjoy watching the balance grow as the result of your gift.
What Interests Your 8-Year Old Boy?
© 2011 Stephanie Marshall