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Discover 45 Exciting Gift Ideas for 9-Year-Olds That Will Amaze Them

Looking for Christmas gift ideas for 9-year-old boys or girls? Lucky you! This age group is one of the most enjoyable to shop for. They have so many interests and the products on the market for this age are top-notch. From building sets to DIY kits to STEM toys, there’s something sure to please even the pickiest child. Here are our 45 favorite gift ideas for 9-year-olds. 

45 gift ideas for 9 year olds

Activity Books

Activity books are practical gift ideas that will please both children and parents. They have no batteries, breakable parts, or loud noises and they help kids develop different parts of their brain. What more could you ask for in a gift for a 9-year-old?

In all seriousness, though, if you find one with a theme that resonates with your young recipient, an activity book present is likely to be a hit. Think about their interests such as nature, art, animals, or robotics, and look for a book that lets them learn more about that topic while playing games, doing puzzles, or simply coloring. These types of books are always helpful to have on hand when kids are sitting and waiting anywhere. 

  1. Logic Workbook for Gritty Kids: Kids who enjoy puzzles and games will love this challenging book full of brain teasers. Activities include spatial reasoning challenges, math puzzles, logic problems, and word games. 
  1. Mad Libs: Nine-year-olds are at the perfect age to enjoy Mad Libs, the crazy word game that asks you to fill in missing words on a page to create hilarious, nonsensical stories. This version is all about dogs and includes 21 pup-filled tales. 
  1. Nature Anatomy Activity Book: Nature-loving kids will enjoy this companion activity book to Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy. Readers can practice identifying, drawing, and learning about the parts and pieces of the natural world. Activities include labeling the parts of a tree designing a spider web, and drawing butterflies. 
  1. Robotics Activity Book: This robotics-themed activity book uses games and puzzles to teach kids about robot jobs, machinery, circuitry, coding, and more. If big gifts are your style, you might consider getting the complete series, which includes a coding activity book and an engineering activity book
  1. Ultimate Puzzle Challenge: With more than 125 games and activities, the Ultimate Puzzle Challenge is a massive collection of mind-bending puzzles including word searches, Sudoku, mazes, and logic puzzles. 
  1. Would You Rather Book for Kids: Would You Rather is a fun game where kids have to choose between two equally appealing or off-putting choices. It’s good for a variety of age ranges, making it a great choices for playing as a family with multiple kids. If you want to try it right away, check out these November Would You Rather questions for kids

Animal Toys

Nine-year-olds are at an age where they are still kids but their interests are starting to change. They’re on the cusp of the tween years—and some seem to have already arrived there, perfected eye rolls and all—and they’re slowly starting to grow out of the toys and games that once held their interest so well. 

As parents, this is a time when we can derive great joy from seeing them play with those younger toys a little longer. We know they’ll soon be teenagers and will renounce all things cute and make-believe, so these moments feel just a little more precious. 

Animal toys seem to be a sweet spot for this. In my experience, as a mom of two teen daughters and a 9-year-old daughter, things like Calico Critters and stuffed animals have been some of the remnants of childhood that have persisted the longest. Given that animals give us so much joy as adults, it’s no wonder that our kids’ developing minds manage to hold space for them for so long. It’s only natural. 

Here are our top choices for animal toy gifts for 9-year-olds. 

  1. Animal Upon Animal: This fun family game challenges fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by challenging kids to stack 29 wooden animals on top of each other. Think Jenga without the flat edges. 
  1. Calico Critters: A Calico Critters set provides hours of fun, takes up very little space, and lasts for years. 
  1. Puppy and accessories for 18″ doll: For 9-year-old girls (or boys) who love American Girl dolls or other 18″ collectible dolls, a pet with accessories is the perfect gift to extend her pretend play. 
  1. Schleich Horse Club: This expandable play set includes a horse corral, a mare, and a foal. With fine attention to detail and high-quality pieces, kids will be able to play with this set for a long time. 
  1. Squishmallows: Although these seem like the most basic of toys, kids in the age group can’t seem to get enough of them. Make their day with a super cute squishy collectible like Borsa the Spotted Highland Cow or Reginald the Corgi. 

Need more gift ideas? Check out some of these other gift guides:

Art Supplies

At nine years old, many kids are starting to be ready for higher quality art supplies than younger children use. They can tell the difference between a good quality pen and a bad one and they are learning how to take better care of their things. 

Gifting them nicer quality art supplies is a great way to inspire their interest in art while also signaling to them that you know they are maturing and can handle a little more responsibility. 

  1. Colored pencils: Adult-quality art supplies make thoughtful gifts for pre-teens who are serious about their art. This 72-pencil set of premium pencils contains soft, easy-to-sharpen lead that won’t break or crack. They’re easy to blend and are great for drawing, sketching, and coloring. 
  1. Drawing kit: For 9-year-olds who are just getting into drawing, this comprehensive kit allows them to experiment with different materials as they begin to hone their craft. 
  1. Mandala dotting tools: A mandala dotting kit gives kids the tools they need to paint cool designs on rocks, canvas, terracotta pots, and more. 
  1. Rainbow pencils: These vibrant pencils don’t just draw in single colors, they draw in rainbows. Each pencil contains three or more colors that blend together to create a surprising new pattern with each stroke. 

Board Games

Board games are some of the best gifts because they can be enjoyed by the whole family. Look for ones that will grab your 9-year-old’s interest and that will put them on an even playing field with others, even adults. 

​Then try to make time to play the game with them. Schedule a family games night, make some yummy snacks, and let your Games Master show you how it’s done. 

  1. Blank Slate: Blank Slate is a party game where you predict what other people are thinking. Each player writes down a word to complete a phrase and tries to match with exactly one other person. This is a great game for 9-year-olds to play with a group of friends. 
  1. Clue: This classic game challenges players to successfully nab a suspect in a murder. They have to identify the weapon, the room, and the suspect before anyone else does. This is an exciting game that never goes out of style. 
  1. Outsmarted!: This family game simulates a live family trivia quiz show at home. For kids who like interactive games, this one will be a big hit. Using a phone, tablet, or laptop as a handheld console, players answer questions that are adjusted to their own level. The technological component of this game ensures that it’s never out of date—new questions are added all the time. The Breaking News category is updated daily and is a perfect way to keep kids knowledgeable about current events.  
  1. Ticket to Ride: This exciting board game teaches kids strategy and geography at the same time. A cross-country board game, Ticket to Ride has players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. (Also available in Europe, United Kingdom, Germany, and New York editions to name a few). 
  1. Trekking the National Parks: Winner of the Mensa and Parent’s Choice awards, this game was created by national park enthusiasts who did extensive research to create the game. Similar to Ticket to Ride, Trekking the National Parks is an engaging strategy game that lets kids visit all of the U.S. national parks. 

Building Sets

Nine is also an exciting age because skills have increased a lot and interest is still high. They can do things they weren’t able to even a year or two ago and they’re still really excited to try new things. 

Foster this enthusiasm by giving them semi-complex building sets, such as the ones listed below. These allow them to build really cool projects while also learning about different types of engineering. 

  1. Glowing LED FM Radio: This Circuit Blox set allows kids to build 395 projects including an FM radio with a glowing LED light. 
  1. National Geographic Magnetic Marble Run:  For kids who love imaginative play, this magnetic super puzzle is the perfect toy. With a motorized marble lift, 70 tracks and connectors, 32 trick pieces, 25 marbles, and more, there’s no end to the number of unique pathways kids can design in their marble run. 
  1. Solar Robot: Encourage a love of building and an interest in space exploration with this Build and Learn set. Kids will build six different solar-powered robots. A rechargeable battery is also included.

Card Games

Card games never get old, but there are also lots of newer ones that you can introduce to your kids. Try some of these fun twists on old favorites guaranteed to bring tons of laughs. 

  1. Ecosystem: Learn about ecology will playing this fun game with the whole family. 
  1. Five Crowns: Five Crowns is a fun and entertaining rummy-style card game that appeals to a wide variety of players, from kids to adults. The game is played with a unique double deck featuring five suits—spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds, and stars. As the game progresses round by round, from three cards with 3s wild, to four cards with 4s wild, and so on until the Kings go wild, excitement builds with every draw. Plus, the revolving wild card feature keeps everyone on their toes.
  1. Play Nine: If you have a tween who loves to get the whole family hooked on their latest game, Play Nine: The Card Game of Golf is just the thing. This strategic card game takes the classic game of golf and turns it into an easy-to-learn, fast-paced game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages.
  1. Smug Owls: This is another one of the best gifts if you’re looking for something to bring out at family game night. Create thousands of unique riddles and compete to impress the Smug Owl by coming up with the best answer. Small and portable, this is a great gift idea for kids who are traveling for the holidays or have an upcoming trip. 

DIY Kits

In addition to building, there are many other fun things 9-year-olds love to make. From friendship bracelets to paper airplanes to glitter slime, their creativity is endless. 

Grab one of these kits and give them hours of hands-on activities.

  1. Friendship Bracelet Kit: Young kids ages 8+ can make beautiful friendship bracelets for their friends with this Klutz kit that includes embroidery thread, beads, and a detailed instructional booklet. 
  1. Make Your Own Clay Jewelry: This DIY clay jewelry kit includes 149 pieces in vibrant colors that kids can use to make three bracelets and three necklaces. 
  1. National Geographic Earth Science Kit: This extensive kit includes more than 15 experiments such as dueling water tornadoes, an erupting volcano, and growing a crystal. With so many components and activities, this is a great gift for sharing with siblings. 
  1. Paper Airplanes Kit: This book includes 40 sheets of full-color, flight-ready paper and ten easy-to-fold designs so kids can make and test all different kinds of paper airplanes. 
  1. Sew Mini Animals: If your 9-year-old loves sewing or textile crafts, they’ll love this mini animal kit. It includes small-scale sewing projects with more than 12 animal plushies to stitch and stuff. For a full-size stuffie sewing project, check out Cate and Levi Hoo’s the Maker Owl Sewing Kit
  1. Slime Kit: What’s better than playing with slime? Making your own slime! With Elmer’s Celebration Slime Kit, kids will get five types of glue and slime activators for endless hours of slime-filled joy. 
  1. Solar System Planetarium: This glow-in-dark DIY kit allows kits to build a model of our solar system using 3D plastic planets, glow paint, and rotating arms. 

Lego Sets

​Does anyone ever really grow out of loving LEGO? Once a fan, always a fan, I think. Our visit to the Times Square LEGO Store this past summer, with its rain-soaked line-up of all ages of people, confirms this suspicion.

​Again, 9-year-olds skills in this area are also getting honed and they’re able to take on more challenging projects. Our favorites are the Creator 3-in-1 sets that can be completely transformed into three separate creations as it feels like you’re getting so much more value from them. Here are a few we love.

  1. LEGO Creator Majestic Tiger: This 3-in-1 tiger set is one of my son’s favorite sets—and that’s saying a lot! The tiger is so realistic and solidly built with a movable body, head, jaw, tail, and legs. It even has impressive insides. When kids are done building the tiger, they can also make a koi fish with a posable body and a red panda. 
  1. LEGO Creator Noodle Shop: Creative kids will love building and making up stories for this charming 3-in-1 set. Three businesses can be built with this modular set—a noodle shop, an arcade center,  or a bike shop with a second-floor art studio. The other side has a townhouse that opens up for easy access to spaces on both floors. 
  1. LEGO Creator Space Rollercoaster: With 874 pieces, this massive 3-in-1 Creator LEGO set lets kids build a rollercoaster, a drop tower, and a carousel. Complete with five minifigures and three rollercoaster cards, this whole set is designed to delight tweens for hours. 

Outdoor Activities

If you want to encourage the 9-year-old in your life to spend more time outdoors and less time away from ever-alluring screens, an outdoor activity set might be the way to go. You might spark a new hobby or interest, or give them something that makes being outside just a little bit more interesting than staying indoors. 

  1. Archery Set: For kids who are looking to try something new, a great quality wooden bow and arrow set could be the perfect present. Equipped with flexible rubber tips, the ten arrows in this set are easy and safe for kids to practice with. 
  1. Giant Bubble Wand Kit: This gift will make any family outing or birthday party a great time. With biodegradable bubble solution and giant bubble wands, this giant bubble wand kit inspires kids to leave the screens inside and play outdoors for hours. 
  1. Ninja Obstacle Course: A 50′ slackline with ten obstacles is a great way to help the 9-year-old in your life burn off some extra energy. Made with heavy-duty materials and designed to incorporate a broad range of activities, this unique gift will help the whole family have fun and stay fit together. 

Stem Toys

Finally, STEM toys—those that expose kids to science, technology, engineering, and math topics—are as popular and numerous as ever. Help kids explore both their creative and technical sides with these super cool games and sets. 

  1. Mechanics: Levers, Linkages, and Structures: Kids will learn about levers and linkages in this model building set. Projects include a seesaw, a double-deck bridge, and a parking gate (16 in total). The accompanying interactive 3D app lets children build in virtual reality. 
  1. Prime Climb: For kids who love math, Prime Climb is a game full of educational value.  Nine-year-olds can master multiplication, division, factorization, and prime number concepts by combining different colors. 
  1. Snap Circuits: Snap Circuits is one of those amazing games that both little kids and older kids can enjoy equally. With so many different levels of projects, it’s an educational toy that can grow with your kids, teaching them about electrical engineering while also providing so much fun. 
  1. Solar Power Robots: This stem toy is another cool solar-powered project for kids to put together to produce thirteen different types of robots. Engineering-minded kids will have lots of fun assembling and reassembling the various robots, either alone or with a parent or friend. 
  1. STEM Scavenger Hunt: Big kids will enjoy this STEM-inspired twist on traditional scavenger hunt games. Perfect for playing outdoors or inside, kids will be challenged to find items that match prompts such as “an example of a chemical reaction” or “examples of a simple machine.” 

Need more gift ideas? Check out some of these other gift guides:

Choosing the right toy or game for the child on your list does take a bit of time and effort, but the delight in their eyes when they open their amazing gift makes it worthwhile. Which of these gift ideas for 9-year-olds is a winner for you? Let us know in the comments.