The Best Toys for 9-Year-Olds to Keep Them Engaged

Puzzles, books, games, and more top our list for sparking interests and fun

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Verywell Family / Amelia Manley

Nine-year-old kids are a wonderful mix of imagination, energy, and developing interests. Kids this age enjoy some solo play, imaginative exploration, and depending on the kid, may focus more on outdoor activities and sports, arts and crafts, or something else entirely. Since most 9-year-olds can read and may have some distinct areas of interest, you can often narrow down gifts based on their favorite characters or activities. 

Reviewed & Approved

The Exploding Kittens LLC Card Game is fast moving, silly, and fun, and designed for groups of two to five players. For open-ended play, we recommend the Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set.

While it’s fun to give children toys that meet their interests, you can also challenge them to play with other toys. Just be sure to consider age recommendations so the toy isn't too overwhelming (or seem too young and childish—they're almost tweens, after all). We carefully considered design, toy safety, value, and age recommendations when reviewing products.

Here are our favorite toys for the 9-year-old in your life.

Exploding Kittens Card Game

4.9
Exploding Kittens Card Game

Amazon

The Exploding Kittens Card Game earned a top spot on our list because the whole family can enjoy this unique and fun game. Fast moving, silly, and fun, this game is perfect for groups of two to five players. A simple concept full of kittens, explosions, and laser beams, it’ll take just two minutes for your group to learn to play the game. A somewhat irreverent choice, this is best for kids who appreciate odd humor. 

What Our Editors Say

"My 9-year-old son and I love playing board games and card games and this is one of our favorites. I love that it is pretty easy to learn and actually entertaining for me and him. The playtime is about 15 minutes or less and my son can use age-appropriate strategy skills to figure out how to win." -Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

Paint By Stickers: Under the Sea

5
Paint By Stickers: Under the Sea

Courtesy of Workman Publishing

Great for kids when they need some quiet time or a solo project, the paint-by sticker books offer simple satisfaction while working on number recognition, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. Each sturdy cardstock page is perforated, so it’s easy to tear out and hang up. If sea creatures don't appeal to you, choose from a wide variety of themes.

Magna-Tiles 100-Piece Clear Colors Set

4.8
Magna-Tiles Clear Colors

Courtesy of Amazon

Magna Tiles are amazingly creative magnetic blocks that can provide hours of open-ended play. This set of 100 pieces is perfect alone or as an addition to other sets. Safe, durable, and built to last for years, they are pricey, but worth the investment.

ThinkFun Gravity Maze

Gravity Maze

Thinkfun

A fun and challenging single-player game, Gravity Maze is a logic puzzle, marble run, and STEM toy combined into one. With over 60 challenges from beginner to expert, the game progresses as your kid excels. The game grid, 10+ pieces, and three marbles are easy to store and fun to play.

Just Like Me Box Subscription

Just Like Me Box Subscription

Courtesy of Just Like Me

Build a love of learning with a focus on diversity with the gift of a Just Like Me subscription box. Choose your time frame from one month to a full year and your kiddo will love receiving their very own package full of age-appropriate books plus book-related swag.

A simple survey helps get you started to find the right books for your child.

Rainbow Loom The Original

rainbow-loom
Courtesy of Amazon.

Equipped with a loom, hook, and 600 rubber bands, this kit from Rainbow Loom includes everything needed to make about two dozen bracelets. While there is a little bit of a learning curve for the rubber band loom, there are many video tutorials available online if the included instructions don’t give enough detail. In no time at all, this toy will turn into dozens of cute, functional bracelets.

Tech Deck Skate Park Creator

Tech Deck Skate Park Creator

Amazon

Set up a mini skate park with TechDeck’s skate park creator. The set includes a stair, rail, ledge, and ramps. Use the included fingerboard or add in others to learn and progress your tricks.

Cool alone or with a friend, these mini sets are loads of fun.

FOM Mania Fomilator

Fom Mania Fomilator

Fom

Turn your backyard into a foam-filled battlefield with these blasters from FOM. Simply pour the foam concentrate into the blaster, add water, and start playing. With a touch of the trigger, kids can blast thick, fluffy foam at up to 15 feet. Grab a few blasters for a new take on laser tag, or add in some food coloring for a colorful explosion. Purchase the foam concentrate on its own for additional hours of fun.

Fat Brain Toys Hey Clay Aliens

Fat Brain Toys Hey Clay Aliens

Courtesy of Fat Brain Toys

Jumpstart artistic play while encouraging fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, and creativity with this Hey Clay set. Included are 18 cans of high-quality clay and access to an interactive app that provides step-by-step 3D instructions that’ll walk your artist through the creation of six alien creatures. If aliens aren’t your thing, choose from a wide variety of themed sets.

Kids Against Maturity Card Game

Kids Against Maturity Card Game

Kids Against Maturity

If your family likes a bit of gross-out humor, this game is lots of laughs. Easy to play and fun for a crowd, it’s like a kid version of Cards Against Humanity. The set comes with 600 question and answer cards that fit neatly in the portable-friendly box. Keep in mind that this game is all about poop humor and age-appropriate potty banter.

Raddish Kids Monthly Kit

Raddish Kids Monthly Kit

Courtesy of Raddish Kids

Kids who like to cook, or eat, will enjoy a membership to Raddish Kids. The monthly subscription service comes with three themed recipes, a kitchen tool, culinary skills lessons, table topic conversation starters, and more.

Food is not included, but that allows families to shop together and prepare meals at a convenient time. Select monthly increments up to a full year.

Looney Tunes Toon Squad Space Jam Sweatshirt

Looney Tunes Toon Squad Space Jam Sweatshirt

Courtesy of Looney Tunes

Space Jam fans will love getting cozy in their very own ToonSquad hoodie. The sweatshirt features all the Toon Squad crew and is available in a range of sizes from small to 3XL, so there’s a fit for everyone.

Slackers Ninjaline Intro Kit

Slackers Ninjaline Intro Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids can train like a ninja with this intro slackline kit that includes everything you need to transform your backyard into an amazing obstacle course. Easy to set up, the line stretches to 36 feet and includes seven obstacles. Increase or decrease the distance between obstacles to change the skill level.

Harry Potter Crafting Wizardry Book

Harry Potter Crafting Wizardry Book

Amazon

Crafty kids will channel the wizarding world of Harry Potter into their own homes with a book that features more than 25 crafting activities. Step-by-step photo instructions walk kids through the activities that range in skill level from easy to advanced, so there’s fun for every level.

Sprinkled throughout the book are fun facts, behind-the-scenes looks, and much more.

BeyBlade Burst Rise Hypersphere Brink Battle Set

BeyBlade Burst Rise Hypersphere Brink Battle Set

Walmart

BeyBlade let it rip! These fast-moving interchangeable tops are a blast to battle. The set includes one stadium, two launchers, and two BeyBlades. If that means nothing to you, ask a 9-year-old for more info!

Franklin Sports Playground Ball

Franklin Sports Playground Ball

Amazon

Give a kid a big playground ball and get ready for the action. Fun to kick, bounce, lob, toss or play with, this playground ball will spark joy wherever your 9-year-old is.

Spikeball Game Set

Spikeball Game Set

Amazon

Fun to play at the beach, park, backyard, or anywhere else outdoors, this four-person active game is quick to pick up and fun to play. The only drawback is it does require four players, so choose this for a kid with a neighborhood crew, a bunch of siblings, or who regularly plays with other kids.

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Charms Class

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Charms Class

Amazon

Suitable for ages 8 and up, LEGO fans will have fun building their own LEGO brick Hogwarts book. The book opens to reveal a spell casting lesson, taken right from the Harry Potter movies. If this is a hit, there’s a whole series of LEGO playbooks to add to the collection.

Nerf Dino Squad Rex Rampage Blaster

Nerf Dino Squad Rex Rampage Blaster

Courtesy of Nerf

For families that approve of NERF gun fun, this blaster is loads of fun since it can fire up to 10 darts in a row. It does require 4 AA batteries, which are not included, so add the batteries to your shopping list too.

Skillmatics Marvel Card Game : Guess in 10

Skillmatics Marvel Card Game : Guess in 10

Skillmatics

Spoil the superhero-obsessed 9-year-old in your life with this fast-paced card game designed to test Marvel knowledge. Players take turns asking up to 10 questions to guess the mystery character on the card. They can break off into teams or play with two people going back and forth.

Even if you don't guess the character, you learn awesome trivia about your favorite heroes and villains, guaranteeing a great time each round. Even better, this game easily slips into a purse or backpack for playing in the card, on a picnic, or on the go.

pindaloo Skill Game

pindaloo Skill Game

pindaloo

In between homework or during commercial breaks, pindaloo is the perfect solo game to get your body and mind moving for even just a few minutes. The juggling game tests your hand eye coordination as you watch the yellow balls go in and out of the yellow tube, without it falling on the floor. Take turns with other family members to see who can last the longest. The pindaloo game comes with stands to hold the two balls and the whole set is easy to travel with and take on the go. There's even an option with LED balls to play in the dark.

Cra-Z-Art Nickelodeon Super Scented Glitter Slime Studio

nickelodeon-slime-kit

Courtesy of Walmart

Making your own slime at home often involves a huge mess and a ton of wasted ingredients. This slime maker from Cra-Z-Art and Nickelodeon simplify the process. With everything you need to make gooey slime, kids simply turn the handle after adding all of their ingredients and watch their squishy creation emerge. The instructions are easy to follow, and all of the ingredients can easily be replenished from any local supermarket. Add in glitter and essentials oils for a sparkly, scented slime that's completely unique.

Rummikub Game

Rummikub

 Courtesy of Target

A wonderful family game that’s a mix of skill and luck, Rummikub is easy, fast-paced, and suitable for two to four players. While they’re having fun, the game reinforces skills like sequencing, pattern recognition, and planning.

Kid Made Modern Trading Card Kit

Kid Made Modern Trading Card Kit

 Courtesy of Kohl's

Fans of collectible cards will have a blast creating their very own trading cards using this creative kit. Kids will be able to make 36 of their own cards. The set includes the cards, 12 gel pens, 3 foil sleeves, and a sticker sheet.

An amazing splurge of a gift, a Nintendo Switch is a versatile gaming device that can be played solo or with a group and used handheld or on a television screen. Multi-player gaming over wifi is a snap and there are tons of games available for all age ranges. When it’s time for bed, don’t be surprised if Mom or Dad snags the Switch.

eeBoo This Land Is Your Land USA Puzzle

eeBoo This Land Is Your Land USA Puzzle

Courtesy of eeBoo

Make learning about geography fun with this colorful and beautifully made 100-piece puzzle of the United States. Highly rated, the puzzle is just challenging enough for kids to do alone and features beautiful landscapes and landmarks to reinforce their geography lessons.

Insect Lore Butterfly Garden With Live Cup Of Caterpillars

Insect Lore Butterfly Garden With Live Cup Of Caterpillars

Courtesy of Amazon

The kit provides a window into the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. It is delivered with live caterpillars, food, a chrysalis station, and a reusable mesh habitat. The process will fascinate the whole family - just be sure that you’ll be around for the approximately 3 weeks it takes to raise the caterpillars into ready-to-release butterflies.

K'NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster

K'NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Little thrill seekers will love building their very own amusement park rides with this roller coaster building set from K’NEX. With more than 430 pieces, it allows kids to build huge roller coasters as tall as 2.5 feet high. Color-coded instructions come with the set to build one coaster, while online directions are available to build another. Glow-in-the-dark tracks make for ultra cool thrills when the lights go down, too.

Not only will kids have a blast building the coasters, but they’ll be building on important STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills as they play. Once the thrill rides are built, they can send the air-propelled, motorized coaster car (included) soaring around the tracks.

Razor Jetts Heel Wheels

Razor Jetts Heel Wheels

Courtesy of Amazon

Get your kids up off the couch and out the door with these fun Heel Wheels from Razor Jetts. Simply strap them onto the heels of any shoes, and off they go. For an extra cool kick, they also come with spark pads that leave a shimmering pop of flames in their dust. Kids can zip and zap around the neighborhood or local park with ease and look oh so cool while doing so.

Adults can even give them a whirl as they fit shoe sizes from youth 12 to adult 12 and will support up to 250 pounds. Note that the spark pads are removable and refills are sold separately.

MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set

 MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set

MasterChef Junior

Budding chefs will love this set of cooking essentials from MasterChef Junior. The kit comes with an apron, cutting board, mixing bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoon, spatula, spoon and tongs that are all actually usable. For inspiration, look to the three included recipe cards. Once your 9-year-old fins his rhythm in the kitchen, he can write his own recipe on the included blank card. Collect other MasterChef Junior sets based on baking, pizza making, and more.

Toysmith Magnetic Dart Board

Toysmith Magnetic Dart Board

Toysmith

A toy that blends seamlessly into your 9-year-old's bedroom decor ensures they can enjoy it every single day in their own space. This realistic dartboard hangs easily on the wall without damage and comes with magnetic darts for a safer alternative to the traditional game.

Micro Kickboard Cruiser

Micro Kickboard - Cruiser

Micro

This long-lasting scooter makes the perfect gift for active 9-year-old boys who want a new way to get around the neighborhood. Micro Kickboard prioritizes a smooth ride with their lightweight yet sturdy scooters. Thanks to its weight capacity of 220 pounds, this pick can follow your 9-year-old as they grow and learn new skills. When not in use, this scooter folds in half for easily bringing to the park or to a friend's house. If your child is just transitioning to a two-wheel scooter, this pick provides easy balance and support as they race through the streets.

Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit 12-in-1 Science STEM Robot Kit

Lucky Doug Solar Robot Kit 12-in-1 Science STEM

Courtesy of Amazon

With over 200 pieces and 12 builds included, your 9-year-old boy is guaranteed to have hours of fun creating their own robots with his STEM-based kit. Once assembled, the bots run on solar power, which mean no batteries or charging required! Kids can watch their robot crawl and roll as long as the sun is out.

After all of the 12 robots are built, disassembly is easy so kids can start all over again and use their imagination to create even more innovative and completely customizable bots. Perfect for independent play or for fostering collaboration with friends and siblings, this fun and challenging set secretly teaches young ones about scientific concepts as they imagine and create.

V.I.P. Epoch Air Remote Control Car

remote-control-car

Courtesy of Amazon 

Crazy adventure awaits with the EpochAir Remote Control Car that literally takes fun to new heights. Not only can it do amazing tricks and turns on the ground, but it can climb walls, windows, and even drive on the ceiling.

An infrared remote control lets kids send the car racing forward, backward, and in 360-degree spins. Lights make for fun nighttime driving, too. It’s all the action of a traditional remote control car, with amplified add-ons that make it super cool.

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

bluetooth microphone

BONAOK

This microphone lets 9-year-olds sing any songs they can access via Bluetooth, i.e. songs saved on an SD card, or dramatic Disney instrumentals on YouTube perfect for birthday party venues. Kids can also toggle the echo control, mic volume, or music volume with the simple push of a knob.

Gamewright Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring

Gamewright Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring

Courtesy of Amazon

For a board game that’s anything but boring, there’s Dragonwood from Gamewright. Full of mythical creatures, adventure, and enchantment, it’s designed for up to four players and is fun for the whole family.

The objective: To capture creatures and enchantments by rolling dice, collecting cards, and strategizing the best moves. Along the way, you’ll encounter angry ogres, giggling goblins, and other creatures that you must stomp, shriek at, or strike. It comes with 108 cards, six customized dice, and easy-to-follow instructions. Winning requires a good mix of strategy and luck.

Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket

Stomp Rocket Ultra, 4 Rockets

 Courtesy of Walmart

This classic toy has been delighting kids of all ages since its invention in the early 1990s. To make this rocket shoot into the air, simply stomp on the base as hard as you can. The harder you stomp, the higher your rocket flies. Your 9-year-old can spend hours seeing how high they can soar their rocket and practice the perfect stomp. Parents, caregivers, and siblings can try out their stomp as well with this warm weather staple toy that never goes out of style.

National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit

4.5
National Geographic Mega Fossil Dig Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Travel back in time with this fossil excavation kit from National Geographic. Each kit comes with 15 fossils to discover and identify using the included tools: a chisel, brush, and magnifying glass. Becoming a paleontologist will require some patience from your 9-year-old, but the end result is definitely worth it. With the 16-page educational guide, kids and adults alike can learn more about dinosaurs, fossils, and archeology for an educational toy that goes beyond just the activity.

OUTREE Kids Pod Swing Seat Hammock

kid's hamock

OUTREE 

Kids can pop in and out of this swing seat, which is made of cotton-canvas that's warm and breathable. It's a great little swing to relax or cool off in by herself, and it can easily be taken down and stored away when not in use. The set provides hardware, so you can screw it onto wooden furnishings, indoors or outdoors.

Ravensburger Pusheen Purrfect Pick Card Game

Pusheen Purrfect Pick Card Game

Ravensburger

Whether or not your 9-year-old is familiar with Pusheen, this game is the purrfect activity for cat lovers. It includes a Pusheen figure game piece, cute, illustrated game cards, and a double-sided game board for a fun free gameplay sleepover experience. Your 9-year-old girl and their friends or family can take turns collecting essentials and stars until someone wins the game.

Lego Technic Jeep Wrangler

LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler

Amazon

This Lego set is a great choice for an expert 9-year-old builder or one just starting out with Lego building. The awesome design comes with distinct Jeep Wrangler features, including round headlights, a spare tire on the back, and foldable backseats.

While Lego sets offer a fun challenge for all levels, 9-year-olds may need help from an adult to complete this build, making this a great collaborative activity. The challenge will add to the feeling of success once the Jeep is complete and ready to display or disassemble and build all over again.

Diggin DodgeTag Game Set

Diggin DodgeTag Game Set

Amazon

Keep 9-year-olds active in a safe way with this alternative to the classic gym class game of dodgeball. While dodgeball is a fun action-packed game, it can often lead to injury or upset. This safer option has all of the thrill of the game without the hard rubber balls.

Kids wear mesh vests with a target on their chest that opponents try to hit with soft and safe balls. Perfect for playing together with friends or family members of various aged, Diggin DodgeTag is a great choice for outdoor play.

eKids Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker

eKids Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker

Courtesy of Amazon

Kids can jam out to their tunes Star Wars style with this cool Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker. It will connect with any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a tablet or iPhone, and also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack if they want to plug in. The coolest part, though, is that it’s equipped with lights that glow for cool in-the-dark action, perfect for a makeshift nightlight or awesome addition to a Star Wars birthday party.

KiwiCo Doodle Crate

KiwiCo Doodle Crate

For kids who love creating new things, look into KiwiCo's subscription service specifically tailored to crafters. Every month, your 9-year-old receives everything they need for fun and inspiring art projects. Additionally, the box includes art and design techniques to go off of, an instructional booklet, and video tutorials to make the whole process seamless. You can even purchase the products individually to ensure he likes the brand first before committing to a subscription.

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit

Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit

Klutz

Help your child build a new skill with this book from Klutz all about paper airplanes. Learn to fold 10 different designs of paper planes with the helpful instructions and high-quality paper. The paper features custom designs that make the folding easily as kids learn more about the art involved and how to fly them. Soon enough, all of the paper in your house will turn into fun and engaging airplanes. Get the whole family involved to see who can fly their creation the farthest.

Londji Discover The World Puzzle

Londji Discover The World Puzzle

Londji

Puzzles challenge your mind and act as a great bonding activity for the whole family. This one from Londji features a map of the world that your 9-year-old can create using the 200 pieces. After they complete the puzzle, they then search for famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and more. As they build and search, they learn about geography, iconic landmarks, and different cultures, for an educational and engaging experience.

Caliber Games TowerBall

Caliber Games TowerBall

Caliber Games

Lawn games are a great way to get the whole family together for summer parties or backyard barbecues. This one from Caliber Games will have your 9-year-old hooked (and even the adults in the family as well). Players take turns tossing balls into the four-sided tower to earn points. Play as individual or in groups for large parties.

The best part—this game collapses for easy storage in a convenient carrying case, perfect for bringing to the part or the beach. The sturdy weather-proofed materials are guaranteed to last for years to come, which helps justify the high price tag.

Pokémon Assorted Cards

Pokémon Assorted Cards

Pokémon

Whether your 9-year-old loves all things Pokémon or is just starting out as a trainer, a pack of assorted cards make the perfect toy. In this set, your child receives 50 assorted cards, doubling as a surprise toy that adds to the excitement when opening. With this many cards, your kiddo can trade with friends, start a collection, or battle other Pokémon. Be sure to grab a box or card organizer as well to keep the new collection safe. This is a great starter option or the perfect addition to an ongoing assortment.

ThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game

ThinkFun Rush Hour Traffic Jam Logic Game

Courtesy of Amazon

As the fitting name suggests, ThinkFun's Rush Hour is the perfect mind game to play when sitting in traffic or killing time hands-free. The one person game involves 40 challenges based around clearing a path for one car to get through the others. Nine-year-olds challenge their critical thinking skills and patience level as they try new things, inevitably fail a few times, and try again. Parents and caregivers love this pick for a battery-free activity that gets harder and harder as they go for hours of challenging fun.

Klutz Make Clay Charms Kit

Klutz Make Clay Charms Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

The Klutz Make Clay Charms Kit is a nice combination of a hands-on activity and a cute keepsake. The kit includes a charm bracelet, a rainbow of modeling clay, a shaping tool, finishing glaze, and a collection of cute charms you can make using Klutz’s guidance. Or, free-thinking children can let their creative juices run wild and make their own unique designs.

Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

Crayola

Kids don't need out-of-this-world drawing abilities to enjoy this Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad. It features a soft LED light that lets your 9-year-old better see the sketches she's tracing. The set comes with 20 tracing paper sheets and colored pencils, but note that you can use your own computer paper at home in case you run out.

Razor A Kick Scooter

Razor® A Scooter

Courtesy of Target

The Razor A Scooter will take her from point A to point B in no time at all. It's available in five different colors and has adjustable-height handlebars, making it the perfect ride for any 9-year-old girl. For parents concerned about storage, the scooter features a compact folding design. Despite costing less than $30, people find the construction and quality of components on this scooter to be excellent.

Funko Pop! Hamilton: Peggy Schuyler Collectible Vinyl Figure

Broadway: Hamilton - Peggy Schuyler Collectible Vinyl Figure

Funko Pop! 

Only musical lovers will appreciate these Funko Pop! figures, which come in a series of Hamilton characters, including Peggy Schuyler. Each vinyl figure measures up to 4 inches tall and can be displayed freely on any shelf or side table.

Final Verdict

Picking the right toy for a 9-year-old can be tricky, but it’s hard to go wrong with the expensive but worth it Magna Tiles, especially if they have younger siblings that will enjoy them too. For a more affordable can’t-go-wrong option, a Franklin Sports playground ball is always useful and fun.

How We Selected the Best Toys for 9-Year-Olds

We studied the features and designs of more than 70 products on the market to determine the best toys for 9-year-olds. We researched reviews from customers and competitors, while also considering design, size, features, ease of use, age recommendations, and value when deciding our picks. Additionally, we monitored shopping trends to bring you the best, and most up-to-date, offerings on toys for 9-year-olds.

What to Look for in Toys for 9-Year-Olds

Interests

Because 9-year-olds have a multitude of diverse interests, the best way to ensure your gift is well-received is to find out what the recipient is into. Whether they prefer board games, sports, or crafts, there's a toy out there that they're absolutely going to love. Don't be afraid to try a gift your 9-year-old hasn't asked for, in which case the true gift is expanding their horizons.

Age-Appropriateness

Check the toy or game box for age-appropriate recommendations. When in doubt, keep in mind that kids this age tend to appreciate arts and crafts, outdoor activities, imaginative exploration, and playing independently. These almost-tweens won't appreciate a gift that's aimed at littler kids, so err on the side of maturity and challenge if you can.

Educational

There are so many great ways to have fun and learn something new that your 9-year old may not even realize they're learning and playing at the same time. Look for a kit that allows your kiddo to learn or practice a new skill. You can also find a toy tailored to their favorite subject in school, such as a STEM kit for those who love science or math. Outdoor toys are another great way to teach about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Budget

Even the most perfect gift won't be quite right if it doesn't fit into your budget. The 9-year-old in your life will appreciate a present that piques their interest no matter how much it cost, and reasonably priced options abound.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What skills are 9-year-olds learning?

    At school, 9-year-olds hone their ability to research and report back on a wide range of subjects, express themselves intelligibly, and work cooperatively in groups. Their math curriculum is getting serious, with complex problems that involve word problems, fractions, multiplication, division, and data charting. 

  • How do I choose the best toy for my child?

    The easiest way to ensure you get a gift your child loves is to ask them to make a wish list. Otherwise, observe what they like playing with or subtly ask what toys they liked most the last time they went to a friend’s house. If you choose a gift that aligns with your child’s interests in crafts, sports, or a particular book or TV character, you’ll likely get it right.

  • When I buy new toys, should we get rid of some of the older toys?

    Many families abide by the one-in-one-out rule. If your playroom or child's bedroom is crowded or clutter prohibits your children from finding toys they actually want to play with, consider asking them to choose some toys they’re willing to part with and whether they’d prefer to donate or sell them. 

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, a 7-year-old son, and a 3-year-old daughter. Her kids are super active, so she’s always looking for toys that get them outside and playing for as long as possible. She’s found that chalk, scooters, and stomp rockets are perfect for one-size-fits-all fun.

More Toys and Gifts for Kids

When it comes to toys and gifts for kids, our team has you covered. The Verywell Family team of editors (who are parents or have nieces and nephews of their own) have tested, gifted, and personally recommend every item we feature. Find more of our top gift and toy picks for every age and stage here: