The Best Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys

By Peggy Epstein
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Today’s 8-year-old boys are already sophisticated consumers, excited by all things technological. So ripping open a package and finding something electronic most likely will make their day. Despite the popularity of video games, however, old-fashioned board games and an engaging book also will appeal. Science-related gifts are another possibility. Boys this age are also usually into sports and outdoor activities, which gives parents other options for getting kids outside.

Techie Gifts

handheld electronic games
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Although a new computer is perhaps the ultimate techie gift, lots of less expensive possibilities are out there for an 8-year-old boy attracted to technology. Interactive software programs of all sorts can provide hours of fun and learning on the family computer. In addition, handheld electronic games are popular, such as Thumb Warriors from Radica, which will delight an 8-year-old when he discovers the enemy’s “trigger of doom” and hears his opponent cry in defeat. Skannerz Racerz, also by Radica, allows the player to create his own racer; kids also can link to another unit for head-to-head racing.

Board Games

boardgames
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Boys never tire of games in which players race to the finish, with a few obstacles along the way; included in this group are games such as Sorry, Trouble and Aggravation. Eight is good age for learning strategy games, and Battleship is one of the most popular; boys also like Chinese marbles and, with a patient teacher, most 8-year-olds can be taught the rudiments of chess. A couple of classic games that also will hit the mark are Clue and Monopoly.

Books

books
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The myriad of fiction choices available for boys around the age of 8 include series' such as Captain Underpants and A to Z Mystery. However, 8-year-old boys also enjoy nonfiction books they can pick up and browse through, reading small chunks at a time. For example, the Guinness Book of World Records never ceases to fascinate along with other books of trivia on a variety of subjects matched to a boy’s interests. They also enjoy joke and riddle books, books with science themes such as dinosaurs and space, and books about animals and sports.

Science Gifts

chemistry set
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Eight-year-old boys are budding scientists. Insects particularly seem to intrigue boys, so bug collecting accessories and ant farms make ideal gifts. Kits are available for creating all kinds of science projects to create volcanoes, do weather experiments, build simple robots and make models of the solar system. With supervision, boys this age also can have all kinds of fun with a beginner’s chemistry set.

Sports Gifts

baseball bat
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Either giving items for the sport a boy is already playing or introducing him to a new sport provides lots of ideas. Setting up a basketball goal in the driveway is one idea, especially when accompanied by a new basketball. You might treat the boy to a new baseball glove and/or a new bat, along with a trip to nearby batting cages. Frisbees, badminton sets and wheelie shoes are other possibilities for getting boys outside. Sports experiences could include horseback riding lessons, ice skating outings or swimming passes. Many boys like to receive tickets to a sporting event. New bikes are a favorite for boys celebrating a holiday or their birthday.

About the Author

Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.