The Best Toys & Gifts for 8-Year-Old Girls

8-year-old girls are a fun age group to shop for — they are creative, imaginative, curious, can play on their own as well as engage in wonderful friendships and group playtime. Today’s 8-year-old girl is interested in hands-on fun ranging from crafting and building to games and puzzles, and dolls, and make-believe.

We asked our pediatrician and our retail specialist to list their favorite toys and gifts for 8-year-olds and here is what they chose:

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Pediatrician’s Picks for the Best Toys & Gifts for 8-Year-Old Girls

Below are some of my favorite toys & gifts owned by my 8-year-old daughter. I made nearly all these purchases in the last few months. 

In searching for entertainment for your child, there are a few things to keep in mind.  The best toys are usually simple and should be suited to your child’s age, ability, skill, and interest level.  Toys and games are a great way to gain new life skills and interests. 

These suggestions focus on creative ways to fill in time using toys and activities with educational elements.  Depending on your child’s comfort with independence, some of these activities may benefit from parental oversight.

#1. Who Was Book Series (for the bookworm)

I know books aren’t exactly toys, but they are a great way to entertain your child and one of the best gifts you can give 8-year-old girls (and other ages too!).  Arguably, reading is the best activity for home learning and is critical to retain knowledge and skills from school.

The “Who Was” collection has over 250 books about influential people, landmarks, and historical events.

The Good: These books are a great way to spark an interest in history and develop reading skills.

The Not-So-Good: No drawbacks, just learning!

Who this is for: These are perfect for the girl who is curious about history.


#2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection (for the reluctant reader)

This book series, which spawned 4 kids’ movies, is immensely popular.  The 15th book in this series is due to be released this fall. 

The Good: Now is a great time to get caught up on the series.

The Not-So Good: Nothing!

Who this is for: These books are great for a child who already enjoyed the movies to get them reading.


#3. Best Year Ever Planner and Journal (for the busy bee)

Best Year Ever
Best Year Ever

This is a bright and fun planner with a journal section dedicated to working on gratitude.

The Good: This is a great introduction to time management skills for your young child.

The Not-So Good: Monthly and weekly calendars and a journal are in the book, but no daily planner.

Who this is for: This is a great gift for a girl with multiple activities to keep her organized.


#4. Acrylic Paint Pens (for the artist)

Crafting is a favorite activity for girls this age.  Coloring books, crayons, markers, and stickers all make great gifts, build creativity, and help improve fine motor skills. 

The Good: These pens are multi-purpose and are great for painting rocks, ceramic, glass, wood, fabric, canvas, and other do-it-yourself projects.

The Not-So Good:  Pens need a lot of shaking to get started.  Paint is not permanent.  For decorating outside items, paint does not seem to be water-resistant. 

Who this is for: These are a great gift for a girl who loves to decorate.


#5. Build Your Own Solar System Set (for the space lover)

This kit is a sneaky way to teach science while engaging your child in building and painting a model solar system.  This kit uses multiple skills including painting, assembling, and sanding. 

The Good:  You can learn science while making this art project.

The Not-So-Good: We had some difficulty attaching the planets to the pegs and sandpaper was not included.  Parent supervision and assistance are likely required.

Who this is for: If you child the Space-X launch, here’s a gift to encourage interest in space.


#6. Make Your Own Soap Kit (for the DIY girl)

Make Your Own Soap Kit
Get the Make Your Own Soap Kit at Amazon

This is another great kit for combining fun with science.  My kids were really excited to make their own soaps to give as gifts to family and friends. 

The Good:  Soaps are easy to make and the results are super cute.  The kids loved choosing the shapes, scents, and colors.

The Not-So-Good:  Some molds were a little bit flimsy.  Bath balms worked fine but were difficult to keep together.

Who this is for: A great gift for a girl who loves using her hands.


#7. Loom Knitting & Pom Pom Maker (for the crafter)

Loom knitting is an easy way to create beautiful hand-made projects for beginners.  Kids can make a variety of hats, scarves, or bags.  My daughter made a beautiful hat (picture) for a newborn friend with little assistance. 

The Good: These brightly colored, sturdy looms are easy to transport for knitting in the car or on a family vacation.  No sharp edges are present on the loom or needle.  The pom pom maker added extra detail to our creation.

The Not-So-Good:  Yarn supplies need to be purchased separately.  Your child will likely need help getting started if they have never used a loom before.  The provided manual was unclear and we needed to google for more specific set-up instructions.  

Who this is for:  This is my pick for making the most amazing home-made gifts.


#8. Chocolate Candy Maker (for the chef)

Cooking teaches kids real-life skills including practicing patience, following instructions, and doing math. 8-year-olds can have fun making (and eating) homemade/ treats.

This easy to use chocolate maker has appropriately sized, child-safe cooking utensils that can be used to make a variety of treats. 

The Good:  Kids will be amazed and empowered by what they can make on their own.  

The Not-So-Good:  Small size means that it doesn’t hold a lot of chocolate at one time.  Stirring and waiting for candies to harden is a little bit time consuming and messy. 

Who this is for: This is a great gift for a girl looking to improve her cooking skills.


#9. Portable Keyboard – (for the musician)

Learning a musical instrument has many benefits including improved memory, coordination, and perseverance.  Music can reduce stress and be an emotional outlet in uncertain times.  

The Good:  Light up keys make learning notes easier.  This keyboard also comes with the Yamaha Education Suite which shows fingering and notes to 100 songs while your child is learning.  The keyboard comes with a USB port which we used to connect to a smartphone.  This keyboard worked well with the Simply Piano app and my kids easily learned reading music.  We were able to download the Simply Piano app for free but were extremely impressed with its use with this keyboard.  We now are subscribers at $120 for the year (or $60 for 3 months).  The keyboard combined with the app has been the purchase which has most entertained during quarantine.

The Not-So-Good: This 61-key piano takes up a lot of room.  The keyboard is moderately priced but does not include an AC adapter.

Who this is for: This is my best buy for a girl this age.  For a girl with any level of interest in music, this is a great investment.


#10. Harry Potter Jigsaw Puzzle 500 pieces (for the puzzler)

Playing with puzzles can support fine motor skills, cognitive development, spatial skills, and math. 

The Good:  Puzzling is a classic kids’ summer activity for a rainy day.  Harry Potter has many popular puzzles, but we liked the colors and the Quidditch fun portrayed in this one.   

The Not-So-Good: 500 pieces are a lot for an 8-year-old and could be frustrating.  This may span several days to complete and needs to be stored in the interim.

Who this is for: For the Harry Potter fan, this is a great way to pass the time.


#11. Travel Battleship (for the traveler)

A classic game that is still fun for today’s kids to play. 

The Good: Battleship is a great game for home or travel.

The Not-So-Good: There are a lot of small game pieces that are easy to lose.

Who this is for: This makes a great gift for siblings on vacation.


#12. Outdoor Chess and Checkers(for the strategist)

Outdoor chess is a game that kids can play while social distancing.  If they aren’t ready for chess, this set can also be easily transformed into a checkers set. 

The Good:  This set comes with a small travel case which makes it easy to transport or store.

The Not-So-Good:  Chess pieces must be assembled from checkers.  Pieces are lightweight and may be difficult to play on a windy day.

Who this is for: This is another great gift for siblings or for parents looking to get their kids outside


#13. Meet Kit: An American Girl Doll (for the nurturer)

Dolls give kids an opportunity for learning through symbolic play.  Pretending through toy characters helps children use stories to imitate, describe, and cope with real-life events and feelings. This imaginary play is a large part of a child’s social and emotional development.

The Good: American Girl dolls have been beloved by families for decades for a reason.  The dolls are beautiful, and the stories give kids a connection to history.  Kit is the American Girl from the Great Depression, teaching great lessons about growing up in difficult times.

The Not-So-Good: Expensive!

Who this is for: This is perfect for the girl who likes playing with dolls.


#14. Squishy (for the girl who needs to keep her hands busy)

Squishy
Get the Squishy at Amazon

The squishy toy fad continues unabated for kids this age. 

The Good: This toy is a great source of stress relief.

The Not-So-Good:  Like most squishies, the material can break down with repeated use.

Who this is for:  Everyone! 


#16. Adjustable Roller Skates (for the girl on the move)

The use of outdoor toys and games supports gross motor development, self-regulation, and peer interaction.  Although at least an hour of cardiac activity is recommended for children daily, many kids struggle to get enough exercise.  Playing outside is a great way to get physical activity. 

These roller skates are easy to adjust as your child grows or to share between siblings. 

The Good:  There is a small button on the skates that expands the skate from size 3 to size 6.

The Not-So-Good: These skates run small, so consider sizing up.

Who this is for:  For a girl who is growing through a growth spurt, the skates will adjust for years of fun.


#17. All-Terrain Scooter (for the biker)

Scooters have a big advantage over bikes in that they are smaller and much easier to transport. They offer an additional way for 8-year-old girls to get the physical activity they need.

The Good:  This scooter can be used on all but the most difficult surfaces and is great to use on the street or at the park.

The Not-So-Good:  This scooter is not for beginners.  An all-terrain scooter is best for kids who have already mastered a basic scooter.

Who this is for:  For a girl who loves being outside, this provides the most versatile outdoor fun.


#18. Pop-up Soccer Nets (for the athlete)

Soccer is another game to support gross motor development, self-regulation, and peer interaction.

The Good:  These are inexpensive nets that fold up small, are easy to store, and are easy to set-up quickly.  

The Not-So-Good:  Great for light use but may not hold up well for heavy use.

Who this is for: This is a great pick for a girl who is wanting to get started with soccer.


#19. Hula Hoop (for the active girl)

The Good:  This hula hoop is made of durable material and can be disassembled to different sizes if needed.

The Not-So-Good:  This item is great for a child, but not usable for an adult.

Who this is for: Any girl who loves dancing or gymnastics, will love this hula hoop.


#20. Flower Growing Kit (for the gardener)

This is a sweet kit to get your child started with gardening. 

The Good:  It comes with 3 different seed types and easy to follow directions.    

The Not-So-Good: Kit comes with paint to decorate the flowerbox, but it isn’t waterproof and washes off easily.

Who this is for: A great gift to get started for a girl interested in growing a garden.


#21. Binoculars and Tripod – (for the explorer) 

Binoculars are a great way to introduce children to astronomy and are a smaller investment than a telescope.  Download the free SkyView Lite app for stargazing with these binoculars.  In this case, the free app was all we needed to explore the night sky. 

The Good:  Binoculars can be attached to tripods for more stability but can also be hand-held.  This pair is also great for sightseeing or bird watching.

The Not-So-Good:  Some smaller kids might find these a little heavy or difficult to use without the tripod.

Who this is for: This is a great gift for a budding astronomer.  This is my pick for the most fun educational gift. 


#22. Projector (for the movie buff)

As a pediatrician, I advise kids that it is important to limit screen time.  However, this is a perfect projector for family outdoor movie nights while camping, at home or on vacation. 

The Good: It’s tiny, portable and cordless.

The Not-So-Good: It needs to be very dark for the screen to be clear, which means kids will need to be up late to watch.  If noisy outdoors, you might need to purchase additional outdoor speakers.

Who this is for: This is an amazing gift for a family looking to have a drive-in movie experience at home.


Shopping Specialist’s Picks for the Best Toys & Gifts for 8-Year-Old Girls

#23. Klutz Clay Charms (for girls who love bling)

The Klutz Clay Charms kit instructs this jewelry lover through every step to create a personalized charm bracelet, a perfect addition for any jewelry box. Offering more than 30 designs and 9 fun clay colors, the jewelry art set allows kids to mold a unique charm using the included shaping tool, ultimately attaching their original designs to a bracelet (pieces included). Also, a detailed picture/instruction book is included which makes it easy for following along.

The good: This make-your-own charms jewelry gift is perfect for the creative hands of an 8-year-old. If your child is looking to fill in an hour or two during the holidays or summertime, this is an excellent activity choice.

The not-so-good: Try to have patience with the included clay. Kids may need assistance kneading it.

Who this is for: Girls who love to show off their bling. If she likes to work with her hands and fancies having a piece of jewelry she is proud to wear, the Klutz Clay Charms set is the right gift.


#24. SmartLab Toys Girls Only! Secret Message Lab (for the Spy Kid)

Whether your 8-year-old has siblings or not, there is something to be said about wanting to have something that’s for your eyes only. The Lab shows girls how to share “secrets” with BFFs, make invisible ink, and send and reveal mysterious messages. Kids quickly catch on to basic coding skills for writing and deciphering secret codes. The 24-page book included with the kit includes science facts and information about how secret messages have been used throughout history

The good: A fun activity for two girlfriends (the Lab is designed as a “girly” kit) hanging out after school or on the weekend.

The not so good: While it is self-described as a “Lab” and does include a book highlighting some of the science behind secret codes, it is science-light.

Who is this for? If she is a fan of spy mysteries like the series Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls, this Secret Message Lab is a clever gift to receive.

#25. Costway 2 piece kids carry-on luggage set (for the jetsetter)

Ideal for an overnight stay with the grandparents or for that first slumber party sleepover, this is an adorable luggage set that includes a suitcase and matching backpack. The trolley suitcase features multi-directional wheels and is designed with telescoping handles. It’s a perfect holiday or birthday party present under $50 that also gives this young traveler a sense of independence.

The good: The luggage set is lightweight, and is easy for kids to use. A good airline carry-on piece.

The not so good: It’s a small piece of luggage – don’t expect to pack more than one night’s worth of items.

Who is this for? She’s been invited for a sleepover at her best friend’s house, she knows exactly which PJ set she wants to wear and which stuffed animal to bring, and is excited to have her own rolling luggage.

#26. Pink with rainbow stars Indoor/Outdoor Sleeping Bag and Pillow Cover (perfect for overnights)

It’s bound to happen – sleepovers! A sleeping bag is a super fun gift to give and get especially at under $35. This one is pretty in pink with a rainbow star printed on the cozy soft fleece inside. The one with the fashion sense will definitely appreciate the accompanying matching fleece pillowcase cover. Sweet dreams.

The good: This sleeping bag has a super cute design, and is machine washable. Plus, it comes with a strap and when all rolled up it’s light enough for her to carry on her own.

The not-so-good: The sleeping bag itself is 66” long and 32” wide, so don’t expect an adult to use this.

Who is this for?: If she is camping outside in the backyard or going to a friend’s birthday party sleepover you want her to feel warm and safe.

#27. GO GLAM Nail Stamper Nail Studio (for lovers of nail polish)

This is a DIY manicure without having to book an appointment at the salon. The at-home nail studio gives girls nail polish base coats and the choice of five nail designs to choose from such as unicorns, cupcakes and flamingos. 

The good: The nail polishes are non-toxic, kid-safe, and quick-drying for the girls who can’t sit still for too long. 

The not so good: Don’t let this nail kit sit in your toy closet too long – stickers are known to dry out.

Who is this for? She loves when Mom treats her to a mani, and already wants a weekly appointment at the nail salon. The nail studio gift has nail art at her fingertips.

#28. Swirl & Style Tie Dye Studio (for the fashion-obsessed)

Tie-dyeing has defined fashion this year. Everyone seems to be wearing their favorite tie-dye tees, tank tops, socks, leggings and so much more, which makes this a must for a birthday party or Christmas gift. The tie-dye studio contains 6 popular tie-dye colors for twelve different creations. It’s really easy to use – you put the dye bottles into a self-sealing valve to dye, spin, and wash all in one.

The good: It’s mess-free with the all-in-one valve where the whole tie-dye process takes place.

The not so good: Very little downside but tie-dye kits are very hot right now so best to stock up on a few for upcoming birthday gift ideas.

Who is this for? She is confident when it comes to playing with color and tie-dyeing is the perfect fashion art for her bold fashion sense. 

#29. Frozen 2 Monopoly Game (“Let it Go”)

Frozen 2 fans can play the fundamentals of the classic board game Monopoly (Junior level) through the eyes of Anna and Elsa. The board is set up as the enchanted forest as young players strive to build villages and castles with the goal of ruling all of the magical lands. The kids will be entranced by the frozen Snowflake, the design on the board and the little metal character game pieces.

The good: A great starter-Monopoly set – kids learn the basics of the classic Monopoly board game which includes decision making, the bank, playing with peers and adults. A really good time for the whole family.

The not so good: At times this board game can be a little boring for the adults.

Who is this for? She has Frozen on the brain, and she’s ready for a more sophisticated board game, which makes the Junior Monopoly Frozen 2 game ever so ideal.

#30. All-Natural Spa Soaps from SmartLab Toys (for “spa” lovers)

The 8-year-old girl is likely to shower on her own. This spa soap gift is ideal for the one who is interested in how things are made and then actually getting to make some cool stuff. She’s going to get her hands “soapy” with the included glycerine (vegetable-based), luxurious soap recipes, molds, and pigments. Provide your own natural ingredients such as epsom salts, aloe vera, jojoba oil, essential oils, rose petals or lavender, etc. and, a little adult help.

The good: She’ll have her very own soap creations for a bath or shower.

The not so good: If you don’t already have the extra ingredients like rose petals, lavender, essentials oils in your home, you will have to go out and buy them, and often it costs more than the value of the set which is $12.99.

Who is this for? Those who love spa time. Plus, this is the one of the best gifts for the girl who has a knack for both following directions and exploring her creativity.

#31. L.O.L. Surprise! Hairgoals Doll (for doll enthusiasts)

The L.O.L. Surprise dolls became the “it” toy to collect, and in 2020 they are still the thing to give and get for 8-year-olds. This brand is so much fun to “unbox” revealing a mystery doll. The 3-inch fashion doll is all about #hairgoals. Featuring a mystery doll with real hair and a mystery disguise, L.O.L. gives you the tools to style your little friend’s hair any way you like. Dip her in water and she’ll change colors.

The good: You really can’t go wrong by gifting L.O.L. Surprise dolls to any girl.

The not so good: How many L.O.L. dolls does she need?

Who is this for? It’s a great birthday gift idea for any 8 year old girl who has a clever imagination and still loves her dolls.

#32. Frozen 2 Anna Elsa Olaf jigsaw puzzle (less screen time!)

Jigsaw puzzles are the gifts that keep on giving. Clever kids love to put together puzzles especially ones with a favorite picture or scene like this one from the Frozen 2 movie. Anna, Elsa and Olaf are about to take off on an adventure as their journey begins in this scene. Zazzle allows the buyer to choose from a variety of puzzling levels starting at 30 pieces.

The good: A jigsaw puzzle challenges kids to think out of the box, imagine and problem solve, while giving them the opportunity to achieve success. These puzzles from Zazzle are available in many different levels.

The not so good: If you there isn’t a lot of room in your home, it might be annoying to use your dining table if you don’t finish the puzzle right away, and dinner is ready.

Who is this for? For the girl who enjoys quiet and focused time alone or with her family.

#33. STEM 2-in-1 Color Chemistry Gift Set by Crayola (for young scientists)

Playing with science is both fun and educational for 8-year-old girls. Crayola does an excellent job in challenging kids to 50 really cool experiments with this gift set. Under $50, you get two color chemistry kits embracing STEAM/STEM learning philosophies. In the Arctic Color Chemistry kit she can make rainbow colored snow, design a snow globe and create frosted Christmas tree decorations.

The good: Perfect for rainy days and stay at home vacation time.

The not so good: Adults should read through instructions because some experiments may need additional items from around the house. Be prepared to run to the store if you don’t have them on hand.

Who is this for? This curious mind is eager to get her hands on making rainbow colored snow and delving into other cool and fun experiments.

#34. Scavenger Hunt for Kids board game (real-life action)

You don’t have to leave your house to play this Scavenger Hunt game. Search and find is the name of the game. Players have 2 minutes to search for silly items like a purple shirt, a funny hat, something that begins with the letter Z and other items around the house. The first player to move his/her pawn across the finish line on the game board is the winner.

The good: On the game board there are spaces for putting things back where they belong in the house. Hooray for the clean-up.

The not so good: Adults might want to set up boundaries in the house during the game so kids don’t get into anything inappropriate.

Who is this for? For the kid who likes to be on the move with a friendly competitive spirit.

#35. Jaxx Bean Bags Cocoon Junior Kids (for the lounger)

Jaxx Bean Bags Cocoon Junior Kids
Get the Jaxx Bean Bags Cocoon Junior Kids at Amazon

Just when your 8-year-old girl can’t sit at her desk another minute, she can take it to the floor on this colorful bean bag floor pillow. Whether she is relaxing with a friend or reading her favorite book series, she will reach for this bean bag floor pad to achieve maximum comfort. The soft microsuede cover is offered in a bunch of different colors including grape, lime and fuchsia, and is machine-washable.

The good: It’s comfortable, made with up-cycled materials and byproducts aka Ecofoam, and big enough for older sibs and parents to use.

The not so good: It’s a bit pricey around $120. It also may be a little on the big side for her at first, but there is room to grow into it for years to come.

Is it for you? Whether she’s Zooming into the classroom or not, the floor bean bag offers her a bit of personal space for chilling out.


#36. Pink Lunch Box Kit (for the girl who eats in style)

Pink Lunch Box Kit
Get the Make Your Own Soap Kit at Amazon

For just under $15, this lunch box has a ton of good features, which makes it convenient for both the parent who is organizing the to-go meal and for the 8-year-old girls who are toting it back and forth from home. The included food thermos (with a spoon) and hot/cold pack are color-matched to the lunch box for excellent organization. Plus, this gift also has a leak-proof and snap-lock food container, foldable water flask, and fun stickers to use for decoration. If you want to up your spend a bit, you can give it together with a water-bottle kit.

The good: It’s a bright pretty pink color lunch set that she won’t lose easily, and the insulated bag is equipped with a pack to either freeze or microwave depending on what’s for lunch.

The not so good: If pink isn’t her color, this is a pass.

Is this for you? At the lunch table, she is the one who appreciates a neat and coordinated lunch presentation, where everything has a place.

#37. Retevis Kids Walkie Talkies (if she’s too young for cellphones)

Walkie talkies can be a lot of fun while playing in the neighborhood, or when the family is together on a vacation. The Retevis kids set is a top-choice for its long range of communication, and it’s easy to use functions and monitor. In a residential area, the voice-operated walkie talkie set reaches about one-half mile to three-quarter mile.

The good: These walkie talkies are durable and the sound quality is clear.

The not so good: Retevis Kids Walkie Talkies do not come with the required 3 AA batteries.

Is this for you? For the kid who is interested in learning 10 codes radio list (google for the list) and who is planning the next neighborhood Scavenger Hunt or Capture the Flag.


There are so many more gifts you can give to 8-year-olds. If your budget is too low for any of the gifts above, consider a pretty hair clip or a simple card game. If your budget is higher, consider something that will get her started with important skills (maybe computer programming?).

In a world that is very much tech-driven and in a time where screens are the way kids seem to be learning and socializing, this gift guide strays from the digital world. These gift ideas encompass the power of playtime through arts & crafts, science experiments, dolls, puzzling and game playing. Each gift selection is carefully curated taking into consideration affordability, the educational component, DIY aspects as well as pure imagination. 8 year old girls want to engage in their playtime and a gift which encourages hands-on and independent thinking is something to keep in mind when shopping.

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