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Gift Ideas for 8-Year-Old Boys

Stephanie has four children, including a set of twins! She loves to share ideas on raising kids—the good, bad, and ugly!

What are some good birthday gifts for 8-year-olds?

What are some good birthday gifts for 8-year-olds?

Struggling to Find a Gift for Your Son?

I have three boys in my home: 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.

Joy in the face of a young boy opening presents

Joy in the face of a young boy opening presents

Building Toys

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, ranging 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:

  • Sorry!
  • Monopoly Jr.
  • Scrabble Jr.
  • Angry Birds
  • Sequence for Kids
  • Bananagrams
  • Uno!
  • Connect 4
  • Trouble
  • Yahtzee

Don't forget classic games such as:

  • Checkers, chess
  • Dominoes
  • 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.

Gear related to a favorite sports team is a great gift idea for young boys.

Gear related to a favorite sports team is a great gift idea for young boys.

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 ones. 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).

Books are a good gift for boys in this age range.

Books are a good gift for boys in this age range.

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 the 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.

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:

  • Bicycles
  • Scooters
  • Roller blades
  • Skateboards
  • 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 toys like Batman are still a hit with 8-year olds

Imaginative toys like Batman are still a hit with 8-year olds

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.
Celebrating an 8th birthday

Celebrating an 8th birthday

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.

© 2011 Stephanie Marshall


Miss Bernie on July 18, 2018:

My 8 year old grandson likes remote control cars trucks, motor cycles basically any vehicle that's motorizeed or does something realistic.

christina on August 21, 2014:

I agree with all the comments above..but I also think that technology is the future. Having said that I am a 34 year old parent of three. I think we as parents should move with the times responsibly.

kidsgardner on October 19, 2013:

Great ideas. We got our kids a TickleMe Plant Greenhouse kit to grow the only living plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when tickled. The kids loved their Pet Plants.They sprouted in days and can be planted indoors any time of year..even in winter.

Its a great way to introduce your children to nature and gardening. You can find TickleMe Plants on line and at some museums. If your kids like monsters, ghosts and ZOMBIES. Search The Zombie Plant Kit -same plant in a Halloween Packaging.

ElmerPHall on October 09, 2013:

Enrich your decision-making skills! Take Chess game and enrich your decision-making skills. It can be transfer you to real life.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on March 07, 2012:

Hi Kelley, thank you! So happy to hear that your son is interested in some of the gift suggestions here. All the best, Steph

kelleyward on March 06, 2012:

Here I am again following your hubs and loving it! I have a 7 year old and he lives his camera and has recently started in sports. Thanks for sharing your pics and ideas. Loved them! Voted up and useful!

Jill Merriam on December 02, 2011:

Great post! I had been stressed out about gifts for my almost8 year old boy. For some reason, the 6 year old girl is much easier. I don't have a lot of time because I'm a working mom (own a car dealership so this list is super duper helpful! Thanks again!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on November 09, 2011:

Hi frogyfish,

Holiday shopping is here! Time to get lots of great ideas for the special kids in your life. Glad to hear that the hub was helpful for you. Best, Steph

frogyfish from Central United States of America on November 09, 2011:

Helpful hub, enjoyable boys and great sensible suggestions all the way around. Interesting comments also.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 20, 2011:

Hi Penny, while electronic devices and games are popular, I'm with you on the traditional gift ideas including books and Legos. Cheers, Steph

Penny splendid on October 20, 2011:

Good suggestions. We usually give books to our nephews and nieces.

Our kids are grown now but both loved Lego and I believe my son still has his in a box in his bedroom.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 18, 2011:

Thanks Sherri - I love hub inspirations from my kids! Why not take the issues I struggle with - such as gift ideas - and offer tips and more? :-) Best to you - Steph

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on October 18, 2011:

This is such an awesome Hub, Steph. And I say this without having any 8-year-old boy in my life...I just love how in tune you are with today and with your understanding of where boys are at this age. Can't wait to hear your thoughts about gifts when your kids hit the teenage years. LOL and :)

shop online fast from Brooklyn, NY on October 15, 2011:

perfect gift for 8 year-old boys?

ok. it's like. whether boy or girl, 8 years of age is the time in person's life when his/her personality is determined (shy, bold, talkative, quite, etc)

i think, you should study your 8 year-old and gear them toward his personality. if he likes the stage and attention, push him into acting, entertainment, or public speaking. if he's reserved, push him into accounting or enginering.

that's the best gift you can give in an 8 year-old. push them into their future careers early.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 12, 2011:

Thank you blog8 and texasgirl! Glad the gift guide is helpful - best, Steph

texasgirlfw on October 11, 2011:

Books are great, I always give them to kids.

blog8withJ on October 11, 2011:

Very useful hub. A great detailed guide for parents who is confuse of what to get for an 8 years old boy!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 05, 2011:

Hi Nell, thank you! Santa Claus always leaves books for our kids, too. I am thrilled that my oldest son is loving reading so much he is raiding our bookshelves throughout the home. Maybe that's because we encouraged reading from 8-years old and on.... :) Thanks for the great comment. Best, Steph

Nell Rose from England on October 05, 2011:

Hi, this is a great selection for an 8 year old boy, it brought back memories of when my son was around that age. Ever since I was a child, and then my son, we always had a book as well as other gifts, in fact I always wanted one more than anything else, and I love your photos of your son, a really detailed and extremely helpful guide, great stuff! cheers nell

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 05, 2011:

Yay Kim - I totally love soccer too! All three of my boys play. Between that sport, baseball and basketball, this one is my favorite season. Best, Steph

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 05, 2011:

Yes anginwu - I agree! Its so cute to see my son say how much he wants a little digital camera. I am already imagining his face when he opens the gift. Treasured moments! Thanks for the comment - Steph

Kim Morgan Gregory from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry on October 05, 2011:

Soccer is one of the best youth sports out there! It promotes a good healthy attitute where all the team members get to touch the ball on a regular basis. PLAY Mo Soccer!

anglnwu on October 04, 2011:

Good gift ideas. You make a good point--it's better to gifts related to their interest. My son is older but they're so precious at that age. It's priceless when you see the light and joy when they receive something they truly want.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Thanks Cloverleaf - even my youngest son (the 8 year old) really loves soccer, although he's not into other organized sports. We got him a soccer goal for the backyard, and he loves it! Thanks for the comment! Cheers, Steph

Louise from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 04, 2011:

You have a great selection of gift ideas here for an 8 year old boy. Sport related gifts are a super suggestion, my young cousin is a big soccer fan! Thanks, Steph!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Hi Mentalist,

You know, I would consider a Kindle or related e-Reader for a child with two notes - first, it is probably worth purchasing coverage that will allow for replacement at little to no cost if it is dropped or spilled on. Second, these children will increasingly be using technology like this in the future, so why not get them started now. My 14-year old loves his e-Reader, BTW. With lower and lower prices these days, it is a more affordable gift. Thanks for the comment, Steph

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on October 04, 2011:

I think maybe a Kindle would be nice,though a little expensive and maybe for a 13 or higher age,but I would see it as an investment.;)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Hi Ardie,

Hope the gift guide helps when shopping for your nephews! Having three boys helped me create these suggestions pretty easily. Cheers, Steph

Sondra from Neverland on October 04, 2011:

This is such helpful information. I have 2 nephews who live across the country so Im not really close to them sadly. When I send them gifts I dont really know what to buy because I have all girls at home! Thanks :)

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Hi MM,

Monopoly is very popular in our home! My older two boys (11 and 14) play it constantly. I will join in on weekends, and my 8-year old twins watch and comment/help, as well. I think either version of the game is a great gift idea for 8-year olds. Thanks for the comment! Cheers, Steph

Movie Master from United Kingdom on October 04, 2011:

Hi steph, some excellent ideas here for an 8yr old boy, I was amazed recently when we played Monopoly and Scrabble with my 9 yr old grandson, he loved both games, I thought he would be too young or find them too dull!

I see they are both on your list, so I would certainly recommend them for this age group.

Your photos of the boys are lovely.

Thank you for sharing some great ideas and voting up.

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Hi Gypsy - thank you! 7 is a very fun age, too. Best to you and your grandson! Steph

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on October 04, 2011:

My grandson is nearly seven so your excellent ideas will be useful. He is very into Lego Star wars at the moment and his hand held PSP game. Great list thank you!

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Hi Prasetio,

Thank you - I enjoyed using photos of my sons in this hub. They have all had very fun 8th birthdays. Thank you for your kind comment, as always! Cheers to you, Steph

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 04, 2011:

Hi, Steph. How are you today? I hope you always fine and healthy...amen. I love this information and how you describe this very well. I love your son's picture. He is very handsome. Very informative hub. Please, send my warm greeting to him. Vote up and useful!

Love and peace, prasetio

Stephanie Marshall (author) from Bend, Oregon on October 04, 2011:

Thanks Amy! I am a big fan of books as gifts - as well as presents that encourage kids to get outside. My 8-year old daughter loves some of these ideas, too. Happy shopping... Best, Steph

amy jane from Connecticut on October 04, 2011:

This is a very helpful hub! My soon to be 8 year-old girl would even be interested in several of your suggestions. I love that you included books on the list. :)