dgraab , Parent asks:

What birthday gift(s) would you recommend for a smart, active 8 year old boy?

My nephew's birthday is coming up soon, and I'm looking for gift ideas. He's very athletic, and in previous years I've focused on his sports interests. However, he's also very smart -- good at reading, math and science, and I thought this year, I'd focus on his academic skills instead. What do you suggest as interesting, educational and fun gifts for 8 year old boys?  Thanks!
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Helping my child with school work and home work, Family fun / holiday celebrations
> 60 days ago



Feb 18, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thanks for asking such a great question!
    I have been thinking back to when my son was eight and what he enjoyed.  There are some terrific outdoor items that are fun yet educational.  For example, there are basic elementary rocket launchers, albeit that need adult supervision, however teach much about aeronautics and physics.
    Also, there is a super DVD that teaches geography called TripFlix.  You cannot watch this DVD passively as you need to answer the fun questions to move on. They explore areas in the United States that are not ordinary or on the typical list for travel guides.  I showed this DVD to a group of tweens and they LOVED IT!!  Fun to view with a group of friends, too!  The website is below.  Super great for long trips if the car has a DVD player or for nights in a hotel.
    My personal favorite gift was when my mom gave to my son a basic guitar and keyboard for a gift.  He then took simple lessons (some from  the DVDs provided with the basic instrument kit) and now has a deep love and interest with music.  He also is an awesome guitarist if I may say so!
    Also, do not discount a trip with his family to a fun museum followed by lunch or ice cream!  Sometimes the best gifts don't come in packages.  
    Good luck!
      Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
      Nationally Certified School Psychologist
      Owner of SigningFamilies.com
      Host of Learning and Laughter on http://www.toginet.com
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Feb 17, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member

My son is seven and also pretty "brainy".  He LOVES the marble track I linked to below.  It's great because it comes with a book of instructions to help you build specific tracks but once you've figured out the basics you can build an unlimited number of configurations.  He incorporates furniture, books, etc to make the tracks even more interesting.  Another thing I like is that they include several different kinds of marbles (metal, glass, plastic).  If a track works for one kind of marble it usually won't work for another kind of marble.  My son loves "tweaking" the track to accomodate other marbles (and is learning lots about physics at the same time!).

You should check out the entire list of Education.com A+ Awards (also linked below).  You can't go wrong with any of them.  They've all been thoroughly tested by adult experts and savvy kids.

Happy shopping!

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Additional Answers (1)

Karenmom writes:
What a lucky 8 year old to have such thoughtful family members.  I found this site that you may find interesting, even if it's too late for an idea for his birthday, it may still come in handy for another occasion.

Best wishes!

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