Learning toys for 8 year olds (Middle Childhood)

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8 years is an exciting age for kids because it is considered a middle childhood period and children develop more skills on the emotional, social, language, intelligence and physical side. They can also start experimenting early signs of puberty and with all these changes is important to have the right tools and information to help them grow safe and sound.

Reading online you can find lots of things your 8 years old should be able to do, yet it is important to remember each child is unique and faces unique challenges and situations every day.

While books and school will largely help your girl or boy develop skills on the social, physical and academic, you can also use educative toys as tools to help them approach topics they might find challenging or intimidating.

Because 8 year olds are becoming more smart everyday, the range of learning toys available for them is vast and there are amazing tools at prices you would not believe. The good thing about these toys is they help children develop more than the academics.

Many of these toys are designed to have fun with others, and therefore the social and emotional skills are covered as well.


The best educational toys for 8 year olds

What skills should 8 years old girls and boys develop?

Your 8 years old daughter or son are experiencing some important changes in at least 3 aspects of their life: Social, academic and physIcal. While te milestones I’m about to describe her are mere guidelines, it would be nice your kid is able to do hit these.

The toys on this page can help to develop these skills as well.

Motor and Locomotor – Hand-eye coordination

Kids grow everyday and this is something they notice right away. They will find new challenges that have to do with movements of their body and the coordination of these, especially the hand-eye coordination which is key for life.

There are many physical milestones you can find online or hear from doctors and pediatricians, yet most of them have to do with coordination and the hand-eye coordination is very important.

Sports, arts and other classes can help with this, yet there is always a component of competition that works best for some than for others. In my case as an adult, I’ve always enjoyed being able to take time time to practice and master a skill, and as a kid this was no different.

I feared the competition and the urgency it comes with and I was never able to perform well in school at first. It was only when I was given some time to practice movements that I was able to perform well and even become proficient at something.

For an 8 years old kid, these can be quite frustrating, so a good way to remove both the frustration and the intimidating part of any challenge is to approach these motor and locomotor coordination challenges with toys.

A simple puzzle is perfect to practice hand-eye coordination and concentration. Not to mention patience and strategic thinking.

Other kits are more complex and can be great tools, and since they are perceived as toys, all the complexity and intimidating parts are removed.

Anything that has to do with build or put pieces together can help your kid develop hand-eye coordination, yet I would suggest to start small and with a low budget item such a 2D puzzle and escalate from there.

Emotional and Social

Teamwork is a great developer. It forces you to listen to others, to consider other points of view and to fit your ideas and desires with those from people you don’t know.

Kids can be reluctant to share or to participate with others. They may feel intimidated or simply shy about approaching other kids and start socializing.

At the same time, this is not the case for everyone, so other kids will blend well socially while others will need a bit of a push to do this.

Again, as a child I had issues socializing with others because I was shy, yet seeing other kids interacting made me think something was wrong with me. It was until my youth that I was able to overcome this and function as part of a society.

Just for the record, I now have a 2 years old daughter and she is the most social person I know, so I’m glad she is not like me in that regard.

And actually, when I finally decided to overcome my shyness, I quickly learned that nothing was wrong with me and that people actually enjoyed my company. I began to love socializing and making friends, and since then my life has been easier.

If you have a child that may be more like the writer of this post and not like his daughter, and you’d like to help her or him to take that step and socialize better with others, then educative toy kits can also help.

For this I recommend these sets where kids have to interact with others. Things like big Lego, Meccano projects or marble runs.

I would recommend these to be as big as possible or with enough parts to give more room for collaboration. This way kids can divide tasks and contribute individually to create something bigger. And just so you know, bigger doesn’t mean more expensive.

Puzzles with lots of pieces may not do the trick here because these tend to be complex and 8 year olds may find these above their skill level, which could lead to frustration and we don’t want this.

This is why construction sets are your best choice.

Intelligence, language and academic skills

Probably this is what most people think science kits and educational toys are designed to help with, and while this is true, you can see these are great to work on many aspects of children development.

It is obvious that academic, language and intelligence skills can be hard to develop for kids. In this case, kids with 8 years of age can use some toys as well to help them make progress with simple but important milestones.

Things like counting by 2s or 5s, knowing the days of the week and the months of the year, advance their reading capabilities and being able to do basic math addition and subtraction operations with one digit are great goals for your 8 years old. Challenging as well yet very exciting at the same time.

In this case, toys for 8 year olds that have to do with reading cards or grouping objects in pairs are perfect choices here. A calendar with lots of colors is also helpful for these.

Reading a analog clock might be a stretch goal here but a digital clock is very possible.

Last comments: Toys are great tools to help with 8 years old kids development

The most important part of this is to understand that a kid (and many adults as well) is work in progress. We should allow her and him to understand the world as it comes and provide help and support when needed.

I was lucky enough to have people around me that guided me and allowed me to do this, and these toys were great tools for doing this.

This is why as an adult I endorse the use of these gadgets, and as a parent I’ve been able to testify how my daughter enjoys having fun and learning with sets like these, and as an engineer I know the power these tools have to facilitate challenging topics to kids.

I hope you find these as useful and entertaining as I have.