The best toys for kids are inherently educational while also aiding their physical, emotional, and cognitive development. That is why the majority of parents, teachers, and caregivers always aim for the best when looking for toys to buy.
But getting the best educational toys can be very daunting. This is mainly down to the sheer number of gifts on display. It is easy to get taken in by a colorful design or price tag only to be disappointed by the results later.
So if you are looking for awesome educational toys for 8 year olds, this guide is for you. It’s a product of long hours of research involving several dozen products that were subjected to rigorous evaluation. The aim was simple: to take away the stress of determining which educational gifts for 8 year old boys and girls is best for your kid(s) no matter your budget.
20 Best Educational Games For 8 Year Olds
The next section reviews 20 of the toys that made it through the robust selection process. You’ll find different toys of varying price tags with quality, durability, and all-round fun to play with as the common denominators.
1. Geodes Learning Kit
This National Geographic’s geology learning set kicks off our guide of the best educational gifts for 8 year olds. The set exposes kids to the amazing world of geodes, the hollowed-out rock formation with lots of interesting secrets inside.
With the included safety goggles and display stand, you won’t be wrong into thinking this is a dig kit. However, it’s all about the geodes rock formation. The illustrated and colorful learning would take them on an exciting, fact-filled journey linked to the 10 high-quality crystal-filled geodes in the pack.
This is an awesome way for energetic eight-year olds to learn about crystals, rock formation, and excite their curious minds about the vast world of geology.
2. 3D Earth & Moon Science Building Kit
Designed by 4M, this glow-in-dark model of the earth and moon is a cool way for kids to learn basic astronomy. With the included pieces, they can build their own model of the earth and moon right at home. The fun doesn’t stop there, they also get the chance to paint their model and watch them glow in the dark.
Other interesting astronomical lessons to learn include the relative sizes and positions of the earn and moon, lunar phases, the science behind the lunar eclipse, and how to identify the Earth’s continents and oceans.
As well as the moon and earth models, the kit also includes a stand with a rotating arm, paints, and brush. The completed model would make an awesome display piece in any room.
3. Chain Reactions Science And Building Set
That kids can design and build up to 10 awesome machines with the pieces in this kit is just a small part of what makes this kit one of the best educational toys for 8 year old boys and girls.
With the 80-page instruction guide, they would learn one of science and life’s most important principles: that big things are a combination of small things working in harmony.
Chain Reaction is basically a series of building projects that increasingly get larger: the smaller projects acting as the precursors of the larger ones. The kit comes with all the pieces kids would need to have memorable experiences. These include 33 Lego elements, 6 Lego balls, yards of strings, paper ramps, 1 paper bucket, and much more.
4. Arts & Crafts Sewing Kit
Arts and crafts kits are some of the best educational gifts for kids that teach lots of hands-on practical skills and knowledge. These are skills that would be useful to them and could develop into an exciting hobby or a rewarding career.
Alex Toys’ kit is mostly about sewing though. This makes it a great gift for eight year old girls. The pack contains everything that is needed to design and sew colorful items such as mini dresses for toys, socks, stuffed animals, notebook covers, and much more.
The pieces are organized in a charming carrying case. An instructional guide is also included in the pack to provide a good foundation on how to use the kit.
5. Programmable Robot Ball by Sphero
When it comes to toys and gifts for 8 year old girls and boys, you can’t do much better than a robot! Sphero’s SPRK+ robot ball is more than just a toy for kids to play and have fun with. It is a programmable toy that aids kids understand how simple codes can be used to make objects behave in predetermined ways.
And they would have tons of fun with the robot via the app. They can make it execute basic motor functions, navigate mazes, and even play games.
6. Engino Buildings and Bridges Construction Set
If you’re looking for the best toys for 8 year old boy or girl who is a budding engineer, this set is like a dream come true. This hands-on gift packs all the engineering and building concepts in 9 working models featuring different types of bridges and houses.
With the included pieces, instructions guide, and 3D rendering of the models, curious kids get to understand the type of forces employed in building huge structures and how various parts of each structure act as stabilizing elements.
The pack so comes with a 3-page quiz to test their knowledge and further pique their curiosity, 12 pages of theory and facts, and 6 pages of experimental activities related to buildings and bridge construction.
7. Interactive Human Anatomy Poster
This colorful, interactive poster is one of the most awesome educational toys 8 year old children can use to foster their understanding of various parts of the human body and their functions.
Either hung on a wall, laid on the floor, or spread on a table, your kids would have fun interacting with the poster while learning about human anatomy. This is a fun way to develop memory, logical thinking, concentration, and problem-solving skills.
Powered by 3 AAA batteries, it’s filled with interesting facts about the human body and loads of fun quizzes across two levels of difficulties.
8. Girls Secret Message Kit
Wouldn’t it be fun learning how to hide secrets in plain sight? That is what girls would learn with this kit. They’d discover the science and fun of writing secrets messages on papers for their friends only they can decode and read.
The special secret message encoder is the included UV light pen that allows them to read messages that are invisible to the naked eye. The kit also inspires creativity by encouraging them to design the paper with the included sticker sheet, crayon, spray bottle, etc.
The gift pack comes with two cases packed with everything two close buddies need to start having creative fun and exchanging secret messages.
9. Weaving Loom
Melissa & Dough’s multi-craft weaving loom is a very excellent gift for teaching kids new hand-on skills on how to make a variety of useful stuff such as a scarf, pouch, a tasseled coaster, and other types of wearables.
Perfect for improving hand-eye coordination, creativity, motor skills, and concentration, the loom is easy to use and comes with everything they need to make whatever they wish and sharpen their creativity.
With the 4 craft projects including the option of creating 3 colorful animal picture tapestries, it is unlikely they’d get tired of the loom any time soon.
10. Space Explorers Activity Mats
You’d be amazed at how much fun kids can have from this gift set that includes 6 double-sided activity mats, dry erase markers, duster cloth, and much more.
In at least 20 highly-engaging and repeatable activities, kids can learn all about the unending mysteries of space, space exploration, and gravity. They’d also be exposed to comets, asteroids, phases of the moon, and much more.
Designing their own customized space ship for space adventures is also one of the many exciting play options available to them.
11. Solar Robots Building Kit
Kids are in for a helluva time with this STEM engineering building kit that allows them to build 12 working robots. Not only that, they’d also learn the basic concepts of how solar energy is transformed into mechanical and other forms of energy. This is a great way to expose them to the benefits of renewable energy for the sake of the planet.
Everything needed to build the robots are included in the 195 pieces found in the kit. These include plates, tires, shafts, and gears. Also included is a solar panel to harness the power of the sun, and other electronic and electrical components.
The instructions manual ensures the projects are easy to understand. In no time at all, they would be having fun assembling and dismantling different types of robots capable of moving on land and water.
12. Water Doodling Mat
Known as Aqua Magic Doodle Mat, this huge playmat measuring 40″ x 32″ allows kids to indulge in one of their favorite pastimes: drawing, writing, and coloring.
And what is magical about it? How about the fact that it is a reusable mat that can be used for as long as they want? Or the fact that the writing pens use water as ink making it safe and less messy? You’d surely be impressed that the drawings and writing disappear after 3 minutes constantly presenting them with new writing surfaces.
This a cool educational gift for up to 3 kids to play with at once. Perfect for improving writing and drawing skills, it comes with 5 magic pens, 6 drawing molds and templates, 4 suction cups, and a design booklet. All the all packed neatly in a storage case.
13. Interactive LED Educational Globe
Interactive educational toys 8 year olds would love don’t come any better than this interactive globe by USA Toyz. The globe allows kids to engage in 3 different but related fun activities: they can brush up their geography learning about countries and places using the word map on the globe; learn about astronomy with the LED constellations on the globe; and they could use it as a soft nightlight so they don’t have to sleep in the dark.
The 9″ diameter globe is supported by a durable chrome steel stand with a round base. It comes with a replaceable LED light bulb and power cord.
14. Magnetic Tiles Construction Kit
Magnetic construction kits provide some of the best ways of developing creative and cognitive skills in kids. And when it is an open-ended set like this 154-piece set, kids can explore new areas of their creativity building unique and spectacular 2D and 3D shapes and structures respectively. There is no limit to what they can learn, design, and create with the kit.
This set comes with quality and durable pieces that includes 102 magnetic blocks, 26 letter cards, 16 number cards, two 2″ wheels, and 8 Ferris wheel accessories. There is also an instruction booklet and guide cards to ease them into the engaging art of creating structures with magnetic pieces. And for convenient storage, you also get a drawstring bag.
15. STEM Color Chemistry Kit
For kids, winter fun can be enjoyed indoors even in the summer with this chemistry kit. It is the chemistry experiments kind of though, as the kids get to be mother nature creating rainbow-colored snow, snow globe, frosted exterior flocked-tree decorations, and much more. There are instructions in the pack for up to 50 winter-themed experiments. The pack comes with all that is needed to perform 18 of those experiments right out of the box.
Developed by real scientists, the experiments are easy to carry out with the aid of the simple step-by-step instructions. And you don’t have to bother about safety because all the supplies and experiments are kid-safe.
16. Brain Games Kids
This National Geographic game that is perfect for the development of kid’s brains is one of the coolest and most exciting educational toys 8 years old kids would ever play. The pack comes with this warning: ‘This Game Will Blow Your Mind!’ That is a ‘modest’ way of saying kids won’t get enough of it.
Designed with 3 mind-blowing categories and 4 levels of difficulty, players or teams go head to head in a series of challenges related to the mind and brain. Progress on the game board depends on completing a challenge and the level of difficulty.
The game is easy to understand and play. The pack comes with the rules book and games pieces that include the colorful game board, 6 pawns, a cardholder, and 128 challenge cards.
17. Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set
Perfect for group play for up to 6 kids, this STEM construction set by Brickyard Building Blocks comes with enough pieces for kids to design and create different kinds of structures including cars, animals, robots, and much more.
Comprising 163 kid-safe, durable plastic pieces, it would help to develop their math skills while exposing them to several important basic STEM concepts. Kids would adore the colorfully-illustrated guide that is easy for kids to read and understand included in the kit.
The guide contains instructions on how to build 42 different designs. Kids won’t be limited to just 42 though, as they can design and create as many structures as they can think of. It’s all about their imagination and creativity.
18. Magnetic Science Experiments Kit full
Bring the exciting world of science experiments using magnets to your kid(s) with this marvelous kit. Designed by Thames and Cosmos, the kit comes with 33 engaging experiments and fun games using magnets of different shapes and sizes as well as other complementary components.
Kids would be fascinated as they discover how the earth they take for granted behaves like a giant magnetic field; create invisible magnetic fields with iron filings; learn the relationship between electricity and magnets by building an electromagnet; utilize simple magnetic concepts to create and understand a basic compass; and much more.
Like all the best educational presents for kids 8-year-old, the pack also comes with a carefully-illustrated, full-color manual containing step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow.
19. Electric and Electronic Circuits Kit
SmartLab Toys’ Smart Circuits is a collection of safe electric and electronic components, as well as a snap circuit board designed for kids to learn interesting stuff about electricity and electronics.
Toys like this expose kids’ curious minds to how sounds, lights, sensors, and everyday devices work. With the 48 pieces, they can easily embark on exciting electronic building journeys creating different types of circuits with varying levels of difficulty. It’s simply one of the best electronic educational toys appropriate for kids within this age range.
Using the 48-page manual, they’d build a doorbell, motion-sensing alarm, electronic games, pencil music device, magic message wand, DJ light show, and much more with ease.
20. Mini Golf Set
Educational toys for 8 year olds don’t have to be restricted to indoor board and card games. Outdoor games such as this golf set provide lots of physical and health benefits that invariably enhance their educational development.
This is a parent-child interactive game to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in kids as well as improving the bond between parents and kids. It also promotes the development of judgment, endurance, imagination, and observation in kids.
The set includes a beautifully-designed plastic golf ball feeder, 15 golf balls, a tee stand, 2 replaceable plastic club heads, and one golf club with an adjustable handle.
After deciding to get an educational toy for your kid, you’d discover pretty fast that that was the easiest part. The hard part, by a wide margin, is making a choice when faced with several options. You could, literally, become rooted to a spot by indecision when you are surrounded by shelves after shelves of toys in a mall.
Even if you have narrowed down the toys to specific ones with the help of a guide like this, you still have to pick one or couple from so many awesome suggestions right?
So, the tips below are some of the vital things to consider before shelling out your cash.
We can’t stress it enough about the importance of getting this variable right. Here is how it works.
Getting a toy that wasn’t designed for your kid might either be too complex/complicated or not interesting/challenging enough. Toys for older kids would too complicated to learn and master. Kids, no matter their age, don’t want to spend too much time learning how to play a game.
On the other hand, they’d lose interest very quickly if the game you got was designed for far younger kids. Don’t put it beyond them to feel insulted by your choice.
So ensure you check the pack to make sure your kid’s age is within the stipulated age range.
Many toys for middle school kids require a bit of setting up before kids can play with them. If you are not handy with tools (and there is nobody to help you), give these toys a wide berth. The setup information should be displayed boldly on the pack or the manufacturer’s website. So you better check that out to make sure.
Again, if you are not always around, you want toys kids can play with without having to wait on some adult to set it up for them.
Safety and health concerns
While it’s important that children are allowed to play and have fun, this must not be at the expense of their health and safety.
You want to make sure the materials used in making the toys are non-toxic. You also want to ensure that there are no sharp edges that could hurt them when it comes to the design.
Also, you might want to cinder the presence or absence of small parts or pieces. Though we don’t expect small pieces to constitute a choking hazard to kids of this age, you might want to rethink a particular toy if there are far younger siblings who might likely play with it too.
In such a case, it is best to err on the side of safety and give the toy a pass no matter how awesome it is. But if you are sure an adult is going to be present all the time, you can go ahead and get it.
There is no running away from the fact that kids, no matter how careful, tend to be hard on their toys. So toys made with low-quality material don’t last long. Here your option is clear: get only toys made with high-quality materials.
Unfortunately, the only real test of quality comes after paying for it and letting the kid play with it. By then, it might be too late.
Fortunately, though, you can avoid that by sticking to any of the toys featured here. Or you could read the online reviews from folks that bought the toy for their kids. That should give you a pretty good idea of the quality.
Number of players
If you are buying the toy for a school, playgroup, or camping trip for kids, it would be a waste of money to get one that meant for only one player.
So always ensure that the toy can be enjoyed by multiple players at once. And even if only one or a couple can play at once, make sure the turnaround time between rounds or turns is short. Other kids would lose interest if they have to wait too long to have a go.
Show me an eight-year-old boy or girl who doesn’t like playing around with gadgets and all sorts of home appliances and I’ll show you a kid who lives in a bubble. Kids adore toys that allow them to create different types of gadgets from scratch and then take them apart. That and much more are the things to expect with Smart Circuits by SmartLabs Toys.
We love how the projects in the manual are arranged from difficult to hard so kids can learn at a pace suitable for them. The quality of the various components are exceptional and easily snap onto the circuit board.
With so many things to learn, and subsequently unique projects to design and create, this is one gift that would keep them busy for a long time.
Klutz’s Chain Reactions is one of those budget gifts you just have to get for your kid. Like most building kits, it is exciting and fun to play with and comes with lots of benefits for kids.
As well as being well-designed with colorful pieces, you’d love how easy it is to use with the 80-page manual on hand as a guide. Kids would keep coming back for more using their creativity to build unique machines after mastering how to create the 10 model machines in the guide.
Where Can I Buy Educational Toys?
You can buy these toys in malls and large department toys. Simply head to the toys section or ask a staff for directions to where they are shelved.
However, try as much as possible to stick to the bigger stores because these have a reputation of stocking up with original products instead of cheap knockoffs.
If for some reason you don’t have the time to go to stores, you could also use online stores to place your order. The toy(s) would be delivered to your address.
There are many of these online stores that are reputed for quality and reliability. You could also order directly from the manufacturers’ websites.
How To Make Educational Toys At Home
It is very possible to make toys for kids at home. How good you are with tools would determine how hard or easy the project would be.
Assuming you are very handy with tools, a bit of research online is all that is required to know that materials needed and how to go about it. Many of these websites even include simple step-by-step instructions in text or videos.
So, generally, these are the steps to follow:
- Decide the toy you want to make
- Research online for tools and material needed
- Get the tools and materials
- Follow the online instructions on how to make the toy