Best Educational Toys for 8-Year-Olds [2020]

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When you’re choosing a toy for an eight-year-old you want to find the right balance of fun and educational benefit. Kids want something that’s cool to play with and parents want a toy that promotes learning. Luckily, there’s plenty of options on the market that will keep both parties happy! 

Our favorite educational toy for an eight-year-old is the 4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model. This model comes with detachable internal organs and bones your little zoologists will enjoy taking out and putting back together. It gets top place not only for its educational potential and attention to detail but also for its unique take on exploring anatomy.

Our Top Picks for the Best Educational Toys for 8-Year-Olds

Our Top Picks
Best Overall
Giraffe Anatomical Model 4D Vision Excellent Assembly Toy Parent-Child Interactive Toy Improve Hands-On Ability
Best for Budding Builders
STEM Architecture Set: Eiffel Tower and Sydney Bridge
Budget Option
zhenleisier Children Science Bar Ring Horseshoe Compass Magnet Car Kit Experiment Tools Educational Kids Toy Gift
Name
4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model
Discovering STEM Architecture Set
Magnet Kit
Features
A quality model with detachable parts so kids can learn all about the inside workings of a gentle giant!
An expensive option, but a quality kit with huge learning opportunities for future engineers, architects and builders.
A simple kit that will provide hours of educational fun for a budget price.
Best Overall
Our Top Picks
Giraffe Anatomical Model 4D Vision Excellent Assembly Toy Parent-Child Interactive Toy Improve Hands-On Ability
Name
4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model
Features
A quality model with detachable parts so kids can learn all about the inside workings of a gentle giant!
More Info
Best for Budding Builders
Our Top Picks
STEM Architecture Set: Eiffel Tower and Sydney Bridge
Name
Discovering STEM Architecture Set
Features
An expensive option, but a quality kit with huge learning opportunities for future engineers, architects and builders.
More Info
Budget Option
Our Top Picks
zhenleisier Children Science Bar Ring Horseshoe Compass Magnet Car Kit Experiment Tools Educational Kids Toy Gift
Name
Magnet Kit
Features
A simple kit that will provide hours of educational fun for a budget price.
More Info

Best Overall – Shuai 4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model

Best Overall
4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model
4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model
A quality model with detachable parts so kids can learn all about the inside workings of a gentle giant.

I like this toy not just for its educational value, but also for its unique take on anatomy. I’ve seen plenty of models of human anatomy, but I love the idea of looking at the inside of a giraffe!

The 4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model has 27 detachable parts your kids can pull apart and put back together (there is an assembly guide so they can get everything in the right place!). Your budding zoologist or veterinarian will find out all about a giraffe’s internal organs and bones and how they all fit together and do their job. Putting the model together takes a bit of work and is perfect for developing fine motor skills.

This model might seem a little on the expensive side but rest assured it is very well made. There’s a lot of attention to detail and all the parts feel like good quality. The hand-painted pieces snap-fit together well so your model stays in place and there is a display platform to show off your work when you’re done.

If giraffes are not your thing, there are other animals in the same range including a shark, pig, frog, dog, cat, chicken and horse! 

Best for Budding Builders – Engino Discovering STEM Architecture Set

Best for Budding Builders
Discovering STEM Architecture Set
Discovering STEM Architecture Set
An expensive option, but a quality kit with huge learning opportunities for future engineers, architects, and builders.

This kit is perfect if your child loves to design, build and create. The Discovering STEM Architecture Set has everything they’ll need to build their own house or pyramid or even a model of the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Parents will love the accompanying learning manual which provides a history of some of the world’s most famous structures and explains the main principles of architecture. Keep your little engineers busy as they learn all about everything from trusses to weight distribution to triangulation! All up there are 11 models to build or they can come up with their own creations.

The set is a little pricey but it is really good quality. It comes with more than 1000 pieces and the finished models are large in size (the Eiffel Tower is 59” tall!). The learning manual is an added bonus and very well suited for children of this age (color photos and simple written activities). The included instructions are clear and easy to follow with full-color photos.

If your child prefers technology, they can download an app to their smart device and access 3D interactive instructions or try out other designs. Overall, it’s a really good kit for learning and fun!

Best Budget Option – Zhenleisier Science Magnet Kit for Children

Best Budget Option
Science Magnet Kit for Children
Science Magnet Kit for Children
A simple kit that will provide hours of educational fun for a budget price.

Sometimes the simple ideas are often the best and this is certainly the case with this Science Magnet Kit for Children for kids. Pick it up for a bargain price and your kids will be entertained for hours while they learn all about magnetism. I think this is one of those toys children will come back to time and time again so you will definitely get your money’s worth from this kit.

It includes magnetic cars, bar magnets, ring magnets, a horseshoe magnet and other pieces you could use in science experiments like a bag of iron powder, a compass, and a rubber ring. It also comes with a plastic box to store it all in, which parents will appreciate!

The opportunities for hands-on learning are endless here. A quick search of the internet will show you plenty of magnet activities, experiments, and games you could use this kit for. You could also incorporate items you have around the home to find out if they are magnetic or not.

The simplicity of the magnet kit encourages independent play, but parents could also involve themselves to prompt kids to question what they’re finding out about magnets. The kit does include small pieces so you might want to watch very young children with it. 

Best for Developing Writing Skills – Arnie Lightning Blank Comic Book for Kids

Best for Developing Writing Skills
Blank Comic Book for Kids
Blank Comic Book for Kids
A great project for young writers and illustrators (even reluctant writers will want a go!)

If your child is the creative type with a story to tell, the Blank Comic Book for Kids is perfect for them! It’s also great for reluctant writers – many kids who don’t enjoy the writing process are more likely to have a go when their task is based more on illustrations than words.

This product allows kids to create their very own comic book with their own storyline, characters, and illustrations. The book is a blank canvas for your little author. Whether they’re into superheroes, monsters, animals or regular humans, they can let their imagination flow as they fill the comic strips with their own ideas.

The book has 15 different action layouts and the template helps to guide their story along (they range from three to six panels per page). It’s quite a large-sized book so their artwork can really shine and with 100 pages they can make their story as detailed as they like (there’s room for more than one story if they choose).

It’s good quality paper and a glossy cover so kids will really feel like they’ve made an awesome product. This book could be a project they work on over time or make it a collaborative effort if you have more than one comic book illustrator in the house!

Best for Artists – Kid Made Modern Rainbow Weaving Kit

Best for Artists
Rainbow Weaving Kit
Rainbow Weaving Kit
Let your kids get creative while they work on their fine motor skills!

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It’s the age-old art of weaving, but with a modern twist! The Kid Made Modern Rainbow Weaving Kit has everything your child needs to make a beautiful, unique creation.

Each kit comes with plywood squares to house their design, a range of colorful transparent strips to weave together and some cord to hang the finished product. The strips fit nicely in the grooves of the plywood frame and there’s a little hole to thread the cord through. It’s a simple idea, but well thought out and I think kids will really enjoy the process. If they’ve never done weaving before, it’s a great introduction to the art form!

The kit keeps things simple, so this is an activity that kids could do on their own.  There are enough supplies so the whole family can get involved. Not only will your little artists get to be creative, but they will also practice their fine motor skills.

There’s learning involved too – the weaving strips are transparent so they’ll experiment with color mixing. The finished designs are really quite impressive. The transparent weavings have an almost stained glass window effect so they’d be great to hang by a window or anywhere where the sun can filter through. You and your kids will definitely have fun with this kit!

What to Consider when Buying an Educational Toy

Age Appropriateness

Finding the best educational toys for elementary students means choosing a toy that is age-appropriate. The product needs to be relevant for their knowledge, skill level, and maturity. If you choose a toy that is too young for your child, they’ll lose interest very quickly. Likewise, if the toy is too old for them they may find it too challenging and lose interest fast. Find a product that they can use now and in the immediate future (you don’t want them to grow out of it too quickly!).

If you’re not sure what level they’re at, look at what other toys are holding their interest and use them as a guide.

Relevance to your Child’s Interests

There are so many learning toys for eight-year-olds on the market, so make sure the toy you purchase is something your child is going to be interested in. Are they creative and artistic or do they prefer to follow instructions to the letter? Do they love to design and build things or do they have a strong interest in the natural world? Maybe music is their thing? Or writing?

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Whatever your kid is into, there will be a toy out there to fuel their passion. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with trying different types of products or looking at something outside of their comfort zone. You never know what interests they may have that they just haven’t discovered yet!

Quality and Price

When you’re shopping for kids, you need to think about how much you’re paying and what you’re paying for. Kids’ interests change quickly, so don’t spend a lot of money on something that might end up at the back of the cupboard before long. However, you also don’t want to pay for something that might break or fall apart after only a few uses. When you buy something cheap, you often get what you pay for.

There are some products you might decide are worth spending a little more on, but other times, you might be better off purchasing the budget option. You don’t always need to break the bank to get a toy your kids will really enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good educational toy?

mother and daughter talking about educational toys for 8-year-olds

A good educational toy is anything that teaches your child something. Usually, when we think of educational toys, we think of things like chemistry sets or robotic kits. But an educational toy might be something that teaches your child social skills like sharing or taking turns. Or it might be something that helps with fine motor skills or physical mobility. It can also be a toy that teaches life skills like pots and pans or a cash register. Education means different things to all kids so choose a toy that will best benefit your child.

Do all toys need to be educational?

No! Sometimes a toy is just for fun and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Remember though, that kids will often be learning from playing with toys without you even realizing it. Children may look like they’re just having fun, but they’re probably working on their creativity or analytical skills. Pretend play is great for learning social skills and building with blocks is great for problem-solving. There’s always lots of learning going on under the surface, so don’t stress too much about whether a toy is educational enough.

Are educational toys expensive?

Not necessarily. Some educational toys are definitely on the pricey side, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best product for your child. Simple toys can be just as effective. Often, the price will depend on the technology used and the quality of the product. So before you open your wallet, think about what you’re hoping to achieve with the product you’ve chosen. There might be a cheaper (and better) option out there.

Jodie Magrath

Last update on 2020-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API