What Do You Buy an 8 1/2 Year Old Boy...

Updated on November 13, 2012
R.M. asks from Evanston, IL
16 answers

What do you buy an 8 1/2 year old boy who is already "over" nerf stuff, legos and transformers?? He loves to read, play video games and build stuff (other than legos, like model kits and that sort of thing) and that is about it!! Video games are expensive so he will probably get ONE but other than that and a couple of board games I have no idea what to get this kid for xmas! My MIL was asking last night and I literally couldn't think of anything :/ He has already had 3 of those little flying helicopters and they always break, and isn't into remote control cars. Help!!

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answers from Chicago on

what about a redbox card so he can RENT games?

or iTunes gift card.... does he have an iPod or music player?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Ditto others on the Hex Bugs, Beyblades, and most of all the books and science kits.

Just one other thing I wanted to throw in there: Target has this whole set of spy toys. Walkie-talkies, binoculars, things like that. I like them b/c they're social toys -- they get boys playing cool games together.

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answers from Spokane on

My 8.5 y/o asked for a telescope, ipod, acoustic guitar and a kindle.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Oh my dear sweet Lord, really? In your first sentence I want to jump up and down and point it out, go, "Ooooh, ooh, pick meeee!".


If you haven't already, start him a library. Make a bookshelf for his room(Got any crafty folk in your family? Good, have them build the bookshelf curio with space in his room in mind). Have someone get a nice Beanbag chair or a skychair if you live in a house--they're really awesome and great on saving spaces. Make custom bookplates--"From the library of: " I just made some of Angry Birds and Dr. Seuss.

Find out what he is currently reading, and have folks get him a book in the series(be on the same page so they all get a different one). Hardbacks of the classics are also a good inexpensive way to start, and they last longer than paperback.

B&N has hardbound volumes of classic fairy tales(much darker than Disney princess versions, though) and books like, "The complete works of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle(which inspired my son's costume choice for Halloween this year), Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles(The Black Cauldron), J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" and C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" are good reads too. Pick a fave book of yours as a kid to add to the collection. Also, have a card with the price of a paperback(usually about $7-10 these days) so that when Scholastic Books in your son's school has their order, he can add to his new library.

Books are forever, they don't break after one use, don't need batteries, will help with his future, are economically sound and ecologically friendly.
BTW, my son has a back wall full of books and his larger toys that are too nice for the toybox.

So yeah, big nerd moment for me. Hope it helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on


My 9 year old son loves, The Android based tablet aimed at kids ages 6 and over, the Nabi. This isn’t the first tablet to be created with children in mind but I’m sort of hoping it will be the last. I just don’t see a need for children’s tablets. Not because I think that tablets provide great value to children, I do, but I just don’t think there needs to be a specific tablet designed just for children. I find the whole thing sort of stupid.

I’m actually considering buying a tablet for my 3 year old but it won’t be from Toys R Us’. I’ll most likely search for a low priced device with access to the Android Market, buy a rubber casing for it and call it a day. My son has been playing apps on my phone since he was under a year old and was able to navigate my tablet when he was two. I know first hand that there are more than enough apps for me to completely customize any Android tablet and turn it into a children’s tablet. Why do I need to spend $200 to get a tablet with a protective rubber casing and a customized user-interface that has a limited number of apps when I can get a real Android tablet for the same price and take advantage of the massive library of kid friendly apps and books?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Xbox Live?

Tickets to your local amusement park?

Rollerblades and a street hockey set? (does he like that stuff?)

A basketball hoop for the front yard?

Cool winter gear? Or a new sled?

Does he like Beyblades? My boys love them...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

My kids (7 and 10), besides asking for video games and Lego, are asking for new bedding (not with characters, they feel they are too old for the Spiderman bedding they currently have), itunes cards, tickets to live theatre (Robert Munch plays), Winnipeg Jets (NHL) shirts, some books from the Scholastic order and stick bugs.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

does he like beyblades? My son is into the nerf disc guns but not the other ones. He loves skylanders not sure if yours is into that but with the new giants out new figures is always an idea and they run about 10-16 bucks. is he into sports?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

chemisty science kit

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Our nine-year-old son is just like that. His interest is video games, period. I was thrilled, then, when we saw an ad for a scooter that lit him up and made him say, "Cool! I want that!" Here's the one:


It's not cheap, but I still thought I'd mention it since our boys sound similar.

P.S. We've had the same problem with the helicopters. Have tried a couple of them and they both were garbage.



answers from Augusta on

erector set.
check the hobby stores for models that work.
my 8 yr old recieved a model of Da Vinci's helicopter for his birthday.
He's also asked for model rockets


answers from Santa Fe on

Monopoly (my 8 year old loves these games!) or Risk
Hex bugs (they have maze things to run through)
Books - check out the Amulet Series, it's very cool.
Foosball table or air hockey (they make tabletop ones that are less expensive)

I took my son to a Target (pick your store) this weekend and let him point at the things that interested him in the boys section. I took a photo of each thing with my phone to remember. Now I have some ideas for the grandparents!



answers from Los Angeles on

It actually sounds like you have some good ideas already - board games, books, a couple of model kits and one great video game would make a really wonderful Christmas!

Does he like puzzles? Those can be a lot of fun at that age, too.

Visit my Discovery Toys page to see some awesome board games for kids this age. My favorites are Number Rings and Wiz Kidz, though we do have a few others that I like a lot for his age group. http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/karenchao



answers from Chicago on

Does he like Beyblades ? They are like tops but really cool . You Can get a set which includes an arena or just individual ones. My son and the kids at recess love them.



answers from Honolulu on

A bike? I know my kids outgrew their bikes last year.

Gift card from a bookstore.


answers from San Diego on

My boys (and daughter for that matter) love Hex Bugs. http://www.hexbug.com/
The boys are 11 & 8 with both of their birthdays coming up soon. My daughter is 3. My husband and I enjoy them as well.
They set up elaborate tracks and race them or come up with all sorts of senarios.
They like to get the starter sets to put in the Toys 4 Tots bins.
They've become a big hit with the neighborhood kids that are all in the same age range as well.

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