If you’re shopping for cool birthday gifts for an 8-year-old girl or boy, 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. We’re here to help!
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..
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!
Prices and links are all current as of July, 2021 but are subject to change
($14.99 and up, Amazon)
You say WORLD, I say CUP! With the extraordinary success of the USA Women’s National Soccer Team, 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).
($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, middle-grade book for kids 8-12, plus fun goodies selected by the book’s own author.
Yes you read that right! From the puzzle masters at Ravensburger, come these brand new puzzles that double as Escape Room games. It’s rated 9+ but if you’re going to put it to use for family game night, or as a gift to play with older siblings, it’s great fun.
($299 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, 8 to about 14. Of course all rocking out should be done before bedtime, of course.
($21.95, 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. Plus, it’s from one of our very favorite mom-run small businesses on Etsy, with proceeds helping to support fantastic causes. In this case, 20% goes directly to Americares.
Kids are loving charm bracelets and necklaces all over again, and wee love this fun mini necklace from tween-favorite, Charm-It. Plus they can add charms to it any time, to really make it their own.
(This one $63 on sale, Amazon with lots more available)
The mashup of Snap Circuits and building bricks was a Serious STEM Awards grand prize winner (judged in part by our editor, Liz), so we know it’s a truly amazing gift for kids 8 and up at an amazing price — some kits start at just $20. And they each include a jam-packed book of ideas to help get kids building projects that blink, buzz, and move.
($55 at Watchitude)
Whether they are competitive, goal-driven, or even couch potatoes, kids will get a lot out of this activity watch — without paying Apple Watch prices. So many amazing styles and designs! It’s even waterproof (though more for a shower or 20-second hand-washing session than any serious scuba diving).
($13.99 at Amazon)
Our kids love the original paint your own rocks kit, which inspires random acts of kindness through…well, painted rocks. And the glow-in-the-dark version makes it even more fun, which is why it’s been a best seller since it launched a few years ago. Kids can make them, write positive messages, rainbows, stars, or emojis — then leave them around the neighborhood for others to find. Even in the dark.
($62 on sale at Amazon for paperback; $83 for hardcover)
If your 8-year-old hasn’t yet discovered the joy of Calvin and Hobbes, this should do it. Buy the books individually or splurge on the collectors’ edition box set and be their new favorite gift-giver! It’s turned more than a few reluctant readers into the kids who ask for “just 10 more minutes” to read before lights out.
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.
($25.99 and up, 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!
($49.90 on sale 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.
(About $11/bottle/ at Amazon; $65 for 8-pack)
For kids who love dress-up (or, ahem, cosplay as it’s called on TikTok0 we like sticking with non-toxic cosmetics that won’t harm that sensitive skin
($44.99 for 7, Natural Beauty Escape, or $6.50 for single bath bombs)
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!) See? Bath bombs are not just for girls.
($44.99, or $59.88 for Switch Digital Code, Amazon or Nintendo)
3 years later, this remains one of our kids’ own favorite Nintendo Switch games — there’s a reason it’s a best seller! ignore the ESRB rating for 1-+ (says these parents) if you’re looking for a super cool birthday gift for an 8 year old — this one is so much fun for the whole family.