If you’re shopping for cool birthday gifts for an 8 year old, remember that they’re just on the edge of being a full-fledged tween — but probably still love to play with toys, games, crafts, action figures and dolls. The trick is to find birthday gifts that aren’t babyish, but also not too advanced.
This is also the age kids start to develop really specific interests, from TV shows they stan, to sports they play, and activities they love. So the best gifts often come from knowing a little bit about the kid you’re celebrating.
If you’re really not sure, no worries! These fantastic birthday gifts for 8 year olds should help spark some ideas. And take a look at our list of cool gifts for 7 year olds, and cool gifts for tweens too because kids’ interests can straddle ages too.
Be sure to see our full list of the coolest birthday gifts for kids by age
All picks are determined editorially by our staff; there has been no compensation in exchange for our picks. This guide includes some affiliate links, That means some purchases may generate a small commission to help us remain independent and support our team at no additional cost to you.
This post has been updated for 2022.
The best birthday gifts for 8 year olds
Please note that we’ve included links to both big and small shops for convenience and price. But we always encourage you to shop your own local independent toy stores, book stores, and boutiques!
($13.90+ at Amazon)
You say WORLD, I say CUP! With the success of the USA Women’s National Soccer Team and Ted Lasso, more kids have been begging for cool soccer gear. Check out this official soccer ball by Adidas — great price, lots of cool colors making it a terrific gift for 8 year olds (who may have to share with older siblings, younger siblings, and uh, parents). Score!!!!!!
($29.99/month at Owl Crate, with discounts for longer subscriptions)
More than just a book subscription, this is a fabulous gift for readers, or kids you wish would read more. Each month’s subscription box offers a different theme around a brand-new, hardcover, middle-grade book for kids 8-12, plus fun activities and goodies to support that theme. A signed bookplate and an exclusive letter from the author really make this a special delivery.
($50+ at Converse)
($19.82 at Amazon)
Move over kittens, the Minions are taking over your game with this fiery version of Exploding Kittens. Super fun for all-age fans of the Minions. Bananas not included.
($34.99 and up at Amazon)
Young skaters-in-training can learn to cruise safely and affordably on one of White Fang’s cool beginner skateboards. Just make sure they wear their helmets!
($49.99 at Mainsonette)
Eight year olds definitely have their own taste in music. Celebrate this with a retro boombox — also available in a fabulous rainbow bling that keeps selling out! It has 21st century features like Bluetooth connectivity, LED speaker lights, and a remote control so that your kids can start a dance party anywhere they go. Hey, you may discover a new artist to love!
($18.99 at Amazon)
Yes, you read that right! From the puzzle masters at Ravensburger, come three puzzles that double as escape room games. They’re rated 9+, so put it to use for family game night, or as a gift to play with older siblings, and it’s great fun.
($8 at Nordstrom; individual charms $6/ea)
Kids are loving charm bracelets all over again, and we find this fun rainbow heart bracelet from tween-favorite, Charm-It so fun. Plus they can add charms to it any time, to really make it their own.
Image © Christina Refford for Cool Mom Picks
Tickets to their favorite sporting event
The best birthday gift for an 8-year-old may be tickets to a professional sporting event, since this is the perfect age for them to go: they’re old enough to follow the action and understand the rules, and they may even have favorite teams and players too. Wrap up a team jersey, t-shirt, hat, or banner with a pair of tickets to an upcoming event they’ll love. Think hockey, baseball, soccer, football — even a gymnastics meet or figure skating competition in your area.
And if tickets to the majors are waaaaaaay out of your price range, remember that minor league games can be a blast and are often designed specifically for families, with fun antics to entertain the kids in the crowd.
($39.95 at Amazon)
Eight year olds like to tell it as it is, so give them a cool canvas from which to speak their mind like this creative, colorful, and totally customizable message board from LEGO. (also shown at top)
($28.99 for three figurines at Amazon)
Massively popular with kids this age, Funko POP! figurines are such a cool, on-trend, yet super affordable, birthday gift. We love this timely trio, but there are so many others too, so you can find their favorite from film, TV, music, or pop culture.
($289.99 at Amazon)
All those guitar heroes can learn how to really rock with this terrific starter kit starring a short-scale Stratocaster guitar and a Fender amp. In fact it’s got everything you need, including a free trial of Fender Play online lessons — all designed for smaller hands, from ages 8 to about 14. Of course all rocking out should be done before bedtime, of course.
($19.43 at Amazon)
This middle-grade box set of graphic novels includes the Newbury Medal and Coretta Scott King award-winning New Kid and its follow-up Class Act by Jerry Craft. Great books for kids who can identify with feeling like the odd one out in school.
Of course any book makes a terrific birthday gift for 8 year olds — check out our complete list of all the best award-winning children’s books of the year for inspiration.
($55 for 10-pack at Amazon)
For kids who love dress-up (or, ahem, cosplay as it’s called on TikTok), we like sticking with non-toxic cosmetics that won’t harm that sensitive skin, and Ella + Mila are never tested on animals, are vegan, and are safe for kids.
($27.95 at Kiwi Crate)
Eight year olds love will get a kick out of this build-your-own robot that sets up dominos so they can knock them down. A super fun and unique gift that you can be sure they don’t already own. Only downfall? The robot doesn’t clean up the dominos afterward.
($21.95 at Brave New World Designs)
Kids today are more aware. idealistic, and empowered — support their hopes and dreams with a shirt that shows you’re committed to a better world for them too. This shirt, from one of our very favorite mom-run small businesses on Etsy, comes in 9 colors and proceeds help to support fantastic causes. In this case, 20% goes directly to Americares.
($58.95 at Amazon)
Whether they are competitive, goal-driven, or even couch potatoes, kids will get a lot out of the Fitbit Ace 3 activity tracker (without paying Apple Watch prices!) Water resistant to 50m, it can take a dip in the pool, and can hold a charge for days and days. Kids can even challenge family members to step competitions if they have their own Fitbit watch.
($48.49 at Amazon)
Starlux has created a super fun, high-powered way to get kids of all ages burning off energy — a twist on the classic game of Capture the Flag. The box includes enough supplies to play with a small group of besties or a party of 20.
($49.99 for seven/$6.50+ each, at Natural Beauty Escape)
Forces of good, your favorite Marvel heroes are here to rescue us from stinky 8 year olds by hiding out in brightly colored, yummy-smelling bath bombs. (Really, there’s a surprise Minifig inside!)
Are the more into Luke and Leia than Hulk and Captain America? Check out the Star Wars-inspired bath bombs for your young Padawan.
($17 and up, Amazon)
Whether they love the over-the-top antics of Mario and friends in Super Mario World + Bowser’s Fury or would rather journey back to the early days of Pokémon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a new game for their Nintendo Switch makes a super cool birthday gift for an 8 year old . You might also check this post featuring some of our own families’ favorite Nintendo switch games that are perfect gifts for 8 year olds.
And, if they don’t already have a Switch? Well, that makes a great gift too!