Welcome back to my latest Christmas Gift guide. Last week I brought you my Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide for 3-5yr old girls, this week I will be focussing on 8-10yr old boys. This can be a tricky age to buy for, they’re growing up and may no longer be interested in the toys they used to love. They need things that will challenge them but also allow them to revert back to being silly and letting go and having fun, they’re still kids after all. I’ve tried to cover as many bases (and budgets) as possible with this list so that everyone should be able to find at least a couple of ideas. These products are all either items my son (8) already owns and loves or things I know either he or his friends would love to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
£10 and under
This stuff is amazing. It’s not sticky like a lot of the slime products out there but is instead smooth and very tactile. You can stretch it, roll it up and bounce it or just sit and squash it like a stress ball. You can get loads of different varieties, from Glow in the Dark, to Metallic, to Colour Changing and all in a variety of bright colours. They also come in their own metal tin which you can squash it back into when done playing. My son has four of these now and we all love playing with them. You can get these from The Entertainer for £5 each.
I think almost every kid this age has a fidget toy or two by now but if they’re anything like my son they’ll be more than happy to expand their collection. Zing have a great selection of different fidget toys under the EDP #EveryDayPlay brand. Spinbladez (£9.99) look like a regular fidget spinner but they also light up as they spin and also come with a pin that enables you to attach multiple ones together for the ultimate spinner. Spinzipz (£9.99) are the same as Spinbladez but only have two prongs instead of the normal three. Thumb Chucks (£7.99) are light up balls attached to a length of cord that you flip and roll and perform tricks with. They’re hard to master but great fun and there’s a free app to access tutorials. Metal Chucks (£8.99) are the same as Thumb Chucks but made from metal instead of rubber. Tumblestix (£8.99) can be rolled and flipped on any flat surface and again there are plenty of tricks to learn and master. They also light-up. Klixx (£3.99) bend and click and can be pulled apart and linked to others to make longer of multicoloured chains. They don’t look like anything special but I am actually obsessed my son’s one of these. If you like popping the bubbles on bubble wrap, you’ll love Klixx! Zing Dama (£8.99) is all about hand-eye coordination as you try to flip the ball into one of the three different sized cups on the ring, this one light’s up too.
This great little kit comes with everything your child needs to create some amazing Star Wars inspired pictures and gives step-by-step instructions throughout. There’s space inside for them to try out their creations and being spiral bound it will always remain flat. At the time of writing this was £7.59 on Amazon.
This great book includes detailed and easy to follow instructions to make some fantastic Star Wars origami and the specially designed papers in the back are perforated for easy tear-out. It would be easier to use if it was spiral-bound like the set above, but I still think this makes a great gift for any Star Wars fan. At the time of writing this was £8.66 on Amazon.
My son loves making experiments but whenever we’ve looked at kits in the past the list of obscure so-called ‘household items’ you need to complete them is frankly ridiculous. The Experimake series is completely different. There are loads of different sets to choose from and each one will come with everything you need to make the experiments it advertises on the front. There are additional experiments you can make with extra items, but these really are household items, such as felt tips, candles, vinegar and cooking oil, but again, these aren’t necessary for the main advertised experiments. These sets usually retail at £20 but at the time of writing are on offer at The Entertainer for £10.
This 3D maze is fantastic. You basically have a maze that twists and turns in all directions with obstacles along the way and you have to move the ball through it being careful not to knock it off or let if drop off some of the open edges. I will warn you now, the clue is in the name. This puzzle is incredibly addictive and everyone will be wanting a go. It retails at £14.99 but Amazon have it on offer for £12.89.
This is a nice fun little gift for Christmas that is sure to get a few laughs. This robotic snake slithers along the floor flicking its tongue and it’s eyes move too. You can get this snake in either red or green from Amazon for £16.99.
A great hands on kit for learning more about the human body. The model can be taken apart and explored and an instruction sheet will show them how to put everything back together again. It also comes with an illustrated book to teach them how everything works. This retails at £21.33 but is currently on offer on Amazon for £16.99.
What kid doesn’t love sweets? I love this set as not only do you get a good assortment great sweets, it all comes in a beautiful wooden box with a clasp that that can be reused for so many things. My son has a slight obsession with rocks and gemstones and has placed quite a few on his Christmas list this year. What he doesn’t have though is anything the keep them in. This box will be perfect. It would also be good for storing smaller lego pieces or perhaps lego figures or for storing momentos. This item also comes with a personalised certificate with the child’s name and whatever message you want to write. Ours says Merry Christmas from Santa and the Elves. This box of sweets can be purchased from giftpup.com for £24.99.
My son loves these figures and got loads for Christmas last year and they’re back on his list again for this year. If you’ve never heard of them before, they’re action figures that you can take apart and mix and match their parts to create whole new characters. If your kid isn’t a Star Wars fan you can get Super Hero Mashers as well. This particular set is currently £24.99 on Amazon.
I wrote a review of these great drones last week (read here). This age group are probably starting to outgrow their old Hot Wheels collection but this addition really will extend play for a few more years. The drone can be played with on it’s own or attached to the top of the Hot Wheels car supplied and used to control the car across the floor, over jumps or even on the tracks your kids already owns. At £34.99 from Toys R Us this set is sure to be a hit.
Not only will this great globe teach them about the countries of the world, but when the lights go out the built-in light sensor transforms the globe into an illuminated star map showing the constellations instead. This usually retails at £44.99 but at the time of writing it was on offer on Amazon for £31.34.
My son loves Minecraft and plays a few other games where you can create your own objects and characters in blocks. But what I love about this set is that it gets them away from the screen and doing something physical and creative, but because they can then put that creation into their game it takes on a whole new dimension. They create their own game rooms, characters, terrain, backgrounds, obstacles etc using the board and coloured blocks, then take a photo on the in-app camera and it’s copied into the game in digital form. This retails at £43.99 but at the time of writing was on offer on Amazon for £36.50.
There are number of different Virtual Reality headsets available now but this is the only one I’ve seen that comes with a steering wheel that you can use to steer, accelerate and brake to make the experience feel even more authentic. You simply download the app onto your smartphone, pop it inside the headset and away you go. You’re not limited to the racing game either, the headset is compatible with hundreds of other free VR apps. You can get this one on Amazon for £39.99.
What’s better than a remote control tarantula? Two remote control tarantulas that can battle each other. These great little tarantulas can actually fire at each other using infrared technology and will react when hit. Impact sensors measure each strike and make for a great dual. This pack retails for £49.99 but at the time of writing was on Amazon for £36.69.
If they’re getting bored with regular LEGO it may be time to try out LEGO Technic. This amazing set builds a drag racer with a detailed engine, moving pistons and working steering wheel. You can also rebuild it into a supercharged Dragster, so you’re getting two models in one. This retails for £49.99 on Amazon.
My son has been after a clock for his room for quite a while. He also has a habit of leaving his lamp on during the night. Add in the fact that he finds it harder to get up on these dark mornings and the Lumie Bodyclock seemed to tick every single box. This amazing clock has a sunset and sunrise setting, so he can set the light to whatever brightness he wants when he goes to bed and over the next 30 minutes it will slowly dim until it is off completely. It will then do the reverse in the morning for whatever time you have set it to so that the room gradually gets brighter, mimicking sunrise. He’s been using this light/clock for around a month now and I can’t praise it enough. I love the fact that it’s most definitely a ‘grown-up’ clock but it still offers them the security of a nightlight if they need it but don’t want to admit it now they’re getting older. This particular Bodyclock (they have others in the range) is £59.95 direct from Lumie.
At some point in their lives I think most kids put a telescope down on a wishlist, the problem is, it can be incredibly hard to know what you’re looking at through the lens. This great telescope from the Discovery Channel has solved that problem and won an Apple Design Award in the process. It comes with an adaptor to mount your smartphone onto the telescope and the free app (Star Walk 2) will find and identify stars for you so there is no more guesswork. I think this is an amazing bit of kit and can’t wait to try it out. It retails at £59.99 but at the time of writing is on offer on Amazon for £48.99.
I can’t praise these building planks enough. We bought this set for my son last Christmas and it has been the most played with gift by far. This particular box contains 280 Kapla planks but you can purchase smaller boxes if you’re on a budget or just want to try them out before you commit to the big box. This set really does build their imagination and the creations that you can build can be as simple or as difficult as you like. I wrote a post all about them which will give a better idea of what they are, you can read that here – Kapla: The Best Building Toy Since Lego? At £64.39 on Amazon (at time of writing), they’re certainly not cheap, but we’ve found them to be worth every single penny.
You may associate marble runs with younger kids but this one takes things to another level. The different cubes you use to build the maze have a range of different openings and uses and there are endless designs you can create. On the side of the box there is even a picture of one that has been built in the shape of a fish if they feel like getting artistic. This marble run kit really comes into it’s own though when you add in the stunt pieces where you can have the marbles bouncing off a trampoline into a vortex. We have this kit and M loves creating different mazes and then gets his sister involved putting through as many marbles at a time as they can. This Mega set is available from Argos for £69.99 but there are smaller sets available too.
I’m sure there isn’t a kid out there who wouldn’t love their own smartphone, just as I’m sure every parent wants to hold off on that one for as long as possible. Monqi may well have come up with a solution to bridge the gap. This particular smartphone does all the usual stuff in terms of making phone calls and taking pictures and even has it’s own App Store (the Jungle Store with 150 free apps). However, it has comprehensive parental controls that you could never get with a regular smartphone. Via an app on your own phone, you have full control over downloads, screen time (you can create a schedule) and even contacts. You can have peace of mind that you can contact your child (and they can contact you) when they are out with their friends and can even set geofencing so that you will be alerted if you child leaves or enters a zone you have set. The fact this is the first ever smartphone to be Mumsnet Rated should tell you something. The Monqi smartphone is only available through Carphone Warehouse and retails at £149.99 SIM-free.
Disclaimer – Items with (*) were gifted in exchange for inclusion in this guide but I only accepted items that I would personally choose to buy, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links in accordance with my disclosure policy.