How is it that I have a nine-year-old who is about to turn ten? I know, it sounds cliche. But I blinked, and it happened. My other son will be nine in a few months. So, what do you get your nine-, ten-, and eleven-year-old other than sporting equipment, bath bombs, and video games? I found some incredible toys for nine-year-olds (and older!) that will help make your gift-giving feel more doable. And remember, age is simply a guide.
We spent a year of toy testing “big kid” toys, along with attending the NY Toy Fair this September to make this toy list top-notch. I feel confident that this toys for 9+ list will guide your holiday gift-giving.
Big kids still know how to play.
I will shout this from the rooftop. Nine-year-olds know how to play, and as parents, we must be intentional about carving unstructured downtime for them to do so.
I like to joke that my big kids are either wrestling or reading. But as I type this toy list, my six-, eight-, and nine-year-old are building a magnetic tile ball maze. However, it took some time for them to work out the kinks.
Remember what I like to refer to from early childhood expert Teacher Tom? It takes 15 minutes to figure out what to play, 15 to work out the kinks (arguments, discussions), and finally, we get to the 15 minutes of deep play that typically lasts much longer.
We need at least 45 minutes of dedicated time for children to have time to play. And with sports, after-school activities, and homework, finding the time isn’t as easy. This excellent article highlights why play is encouraged for all ages. (Yep, us too!) Start by picking an unstructured day a week, allowing children to remember how much they enjoy playing with timeless toys.
What makes a good toy for a nine-year-old?
Good toys for nine-year-olds and big kids are toys that reflect their interests. This is when we can take traditional timeless toys such as Lego, magnetic tiles, and art enthusiasm to another level. Spoiler: they also do not have to be expensive! This list includes many items with a lower price point but a high potential for endless play. (And yep, I have toy storage solutions too!)
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Toys for nine-year-olds (and older!)
This strategy game makes a fun toy for nine-year-olds and older. It comes with a 48-page puzzle book to take on the go or play at home.
Be still, my bracelet-loving heart. This kit will end up on one of my boy’s holiday piles so we can chat and make bracelets together over break. (manifesting.)
My tween nieces love taking pictures with their Instax camera. An excellent choice for a child who enjoys taking pictures with friends and doesn’t yet have a phone.
My big kid recently built this Lego set, and it’s pretty cool! The ship opens and closes. My boys admire and also play with it.
My oldest felt like he did the most fantastic thing (he did!) after putting together this Nano Gauntlet all by himself. He built a shelf with my husband and displayed it proudly in this room.
This is a beautiful LEGO set suggested for ages nine and up. If you have a Disney-loving child, this will be well-loved!
Next-level pens help elevate your doodler’s drawings—a beautiful set of markers for mature kids.
This 3D Doodler Pen is pretty cool! It makes a great art toy to sit and chat with your big kid after school as you cook dinner.
If your child got into the air-dry clay, this is their next art supply to introduce a pottery wheel. Everything you need is included.
What are toys for a 9-11-year-old list without a nod to Squishmallows? Add to cart.
This award-winning innovative fidget toy is super compact and easy to throw in a kid’s backpack for travel to keep them distracted and stimulated anywhere.
My boys LOVE playing when the sun goes down. This Capture the Flag Glow in the Dark set takes running to the next level.
I was introduced to Oursmarted at the New York Toy Fair. This interactive game is for 2 to 24 players and adjusts difficulty based on each player’s age. Bring this LIVE family game show right to your living room!
This is a high-paced game to test how quickly you can create an object that matches the card in the center. The trick is you can only use the letters you have in front of you. It’s a fun way to get your big kid laughing!
Give your scooter a makeover for ages 6-12 with this epic design. The folds and the wheels light up—the perfect ride to their next playdate.
I saw this kit at the NY Toy Fair, and it had my preteen heart. A great nontoy for nine-year-olds +.
I have reservations about marbles in our home, but I am becoming more open to the idea now that the boys are getting older. This is a great track to get started when you feel ready.
Another epic marble run option is this super puzzle, where you can make your own or race with a friend.
Gift your artist this gorgeous set of colored pencils and leave them feeling grown up after the holidays.
This outdoor math game is a fun outdoor toy for big kids and adults. Be the first to knock down your pins and get 50 points to win!
I got this set for my oldest last Christmas, and this friendship bracelet is one that many children enjoy. However, I will say this friendship bracelet kit is for kids who like to pay close attention to details. It is tricky to get the rhythm down at first. If you have a child who can focus well to create, this is their gift!
These are so sweet in person! Pick from elephants, hedgehogs, Leo, whales, sharks, tigers, unicorns, and much more.