When it comes to finding the best toys for 8 year old boys, I always try and make sure that there’s an educational element to them. This age is critical when it comes to instilling positive feelings about education and if you can do so in a way that excites children, it’s a win for everyone involved.
So whether I’m looking for toys for my own children or for a gift for someone else’s, I take the time to sneak in a little learning fun. If you’re hoping to do the same, stick around for my reviews on five of the best gifts for 8 year old boys that will make you a hero in the education realm.
How to Make Education Fun
I’m not a teacher so I wasn’t sure how to bring education into my child’s playtime without simply giving them a book that I knew they would never read. So I came across some great tips at Wahm.com which gave me some great ideas on how I can play a more critical role in my child’s education through play.
Play Educational Games
This was refreshing to me. I thought that education had to be all about books and tests but most children, mine included, benefit greatly from playing games that are focused on not just having a good time but teaching them a thing or two along the way. There are plenty of games that help teach facts without the boredom of lectures.
I love to read but I didn’t when I was a kid. I’ve found that if I set a good example for my children, it helps to open the door for conversations on educational topics.
For example, when I end each night by reading a few chapters of a book, it invites my children to ask what I’m reading and why I’m reading it. This allows me to show them that reading can be fun and educational.
Make it a Competition
I don’t always believe in pitting my children against each other but when it comes to learning, competition is a great way to encourage them. Ask your children to keep track of how many books they read over the summer.
Have a multiplication quiz before dinner. Make it fun and make it easy. You can include incentives but for some children, bragging rights are enough to encourage them to give it their all.
Buy Educational Toys
As parents, we already buy toys for holidays and birthdays. While you want to make your children happy with their gifts, you also have a responsibility for putting quality presents in their hands.
For every fun toy that they receive as a present, make sure they’re receiving an educational one as well. Some playtime can be just for fun but if you provide educational tools for your home, your children will be better set up for success.
TV is Okay
I don’t condone parking your kids in front of the television all day. But when television is monitored, limited, and includes an educational element, it won’t hold your children back in life. As a parent, you have every right to control what your children watch. Giving them time to watch their favorite shows is fine but also provide them with shows that bring learning into the living room.
Ways to Reward Children
I mentioned earlier that incentives can be a great way to reward and encourage children to learn. Many parents assume that just handing over a few dollars here and there is the best way to keep their children focused on their education.
But I’ve found that non-monetary rewards work best. I had a few of my own ideas but I found a great list that gave me a few more. Here are some incentives that I currently use in my home.
More Video Game Time
If my children excel on a test or make progress in a subject we’ve been working on, I give them an extra hour to play on the tablet or on their console.
I’m more than happy to sweep the floor or pick up a few toys as a reward for a great school day. I never let my kids completely off the hook but if they’re putting in extra time for studying, I’ll pick up the slack.
If one of my children has met a big learning goal, I reward them with something really special. Maybe it’s a night at the movies or a special dinner. I’ve also been known to host some great sleepovers for them and their friends.
I don’t reward my children every time they put education first because as far as I’m concerned, it should be the most important part of their life right now no matter what. But I do want them to know that when you work hard, you can be rewarded.
Here’s a video showing how to set up your home if you’re homeschooling. Even if you’re not, there’s some great tips for creating a positive home learning environment.
Activities for 8 Year Old Boys
Best Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys—Top 5 Reviewed
The best toys for 8 year old boys are educational but fun. If approached the right way, it’s not difficult to keep young mind’s excited about learning. If you only choose one, go with the 4M 3-Dimensional Glow-In-The-Dark Solar System. It offers a little of everything for everyone and includes a unique approach to learning. Give it a try!