20 perfect gifts for the 8-year-olds (and over) in your life

The older kids get, the harder it can be to find them holiday gifts that make their eyes sparkle. But fear not. While they may have us bested when it comes to celebrity YouTube star knowledge, you have an advantage: #TeamMotherly. Our editors have combed through the internet looking for THE BEST recommendations for toys and gifts, which ensures you get to hang on to #coolmom status.

Here are the best gifts for the older cool kids in your life.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 instant camera

fujiilm_instax

With the nostalgia of the Instant camera's from our childhoods and the modern updates like a selfie mirror, the FujiFilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera is sure to be a hit with your big kid (that you'll have fun playing with too).

$49.85

Umbra Hangit photo display

umbra_hangit_display

The perfect gift to pair with the camera. Give them a place to (neatly) display all of the photos they take and add instant fun to any space.

$18.03

Love Bubby tee-shirt

love_bubby

I'm only a little jealous that I got this for my daughter and not myself. The Love Bubby shirts are super high-quality, unique, and I love that they encourage my daughter to stand up for what she believes in.

$28

GoldieBlox scratch art projector

goldiblox_joann

The STEM pioneers at GoldiBlox have created the ultimate kits for your artistic scientist. Motherly's co-founder and CEO Jill Koziol got to try one out with her kiddos. The verdict? "Super fun, easy, with a great mix of science and crafts with fun." There are lots of kits to choose from, though we are particularly excited about the GoldieBlox Scratch Art Projector.

$24.99

Ravensburger Gravitrax starter set marble run + STEM toy

gravitrax

Speaking of STEM, this interactive track system that allows your curious and inventive kid to design and build their own race tracks. They'll learn about gravity, magnetism and kinetics, and have a blast doing it.

$59.95

Tea Collection dress

tea collection dress

If your child loves to twirl around or needs a more dressy outfit in their wardrobe, we adore the dresses at Tea Collection. They're high-quality, machine-washable and the brand gives back 10% of profits to The Global Fund for Children—win-win.

$49.50

Amazing Origami

amazing_origami

Amazing Origami: Traditional Japanese Folding Papers and Projects comes with everything your artist needs to get started on the ancient tradition of origami, no matter what their previous experience is. They'll get instructions and project guides, and tons of gorgeous paper so they can start folding immediately.

$16.86

Watercolor United States of America scratch off map

scratch_off_map

Are you a road-tripping family? Let your child keep track of all the adventures with this map. Can you get all 50?

$19.99

LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier

amusement_pier_lego

The LEGO Friends Heartlake City Amusement Pier is one of 2019's hottest toys, and we can see why. Your child will spend hours constructing its ghost ship, swing carousel, ticket kiosk and snack stall, and then many more playing with the final product.

$129.95

African elephant adoption kit

elephant_adoption_kit

Inspire your little change-maker by gifting them an African Elephant Adoption Kit. They'll get a Soft plush animal, formal adoption certificate, full-color photo of the species, fascinating information about the animal, and best of all, the knowledge that they've contributed to a cause they can be proud of.

$55

Monopoly 'Stranger Things' edition

stranger_things_monopoly

If Stranger Things has taken over your home, this will be a huge hit (and is another gift that you'll enjoy playing with, too).

$19.99

L.O.L. Surprise! O.M.G. Crystal Star fashion doll

omg_doll

L.O.L dolls have a new cool big sister. The one is fun, pretty and trending hard, so grab one before they fly off the shelves!

$49.88

Little Free Library kit

little_free_library

We've been seeing these popping up all over our town, and we could not be more on board. The Little Free Library Kit is a DIY book-sharing movement that allows your child to construct a book-hut, and then share and receive free books from friends and neighbors. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

$329

Darice 120-Piece deluxe art set

art_set

The set is huge and has everything you little artist needs to create masterpieces all day long: markers, crayons, color pencils, oil pastels, watercolor paints, and so much more.

$10.85

Lynx faux fur bean bag chair

bean_bag_chair

As stylish as it is comfortable, you'll love that its cover is machine-washable, and they'll love sitting in it reading for hours.

$268

Rebel gift box

If you haven't yet experienced the Rebel Girls Books, you are both in for a real treat. It shares 200 stories of marvelous women that are sure to leave everyone who reads them inspired and hopeful.

$65

The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid

atlas_obscura

Give the gift of adventure, in book form! The atlas transports the reader to 100 of the most surprising, mysterious and weird-but-true places on earth with tons of facts and stunning images.

$13.27

Pick-A-Pom ribbed beanie

Leave it to Anthropologie to make your kid want to wear a winter hat. With interchangeable pom-poms that snap on to the top, your child can design something totally unique (that will keep them warm and toasty).

$38

Blank comic book

comic_book

Let their creativity blossom with the Blank Comic Book. It contains 100 plank pages ready to be filled with the hilarious and daring adventures of your child's next comic.

$5.99

JIMU Robot competitive Series: Champbot kit

champbot

Motherly CEO and Co-founder, Jill Koziol, tried this out with her daughter, and loved it! "The directions were interactive and helped her to problem solve. It was a great family activity and she was so proud of what she had built; and she loved operating the robot once it had charged. I love that there are different parts to it so there are wins along the way but also a requirement to keep with it, supporting a growth mindset and building resilience.

"This is fabulous for any budding engineers and especially Lego lovers that are ready to take it to the next level!"

$129.99

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$79.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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Can you believe it's already time to start decorating for the holidays? And this year, Target is making it easier than ever to create inviting holiday spaces that are still neat, organized and clutter-free. Whether your style is whimsical, traditional or rustic, there are plenty of neutral creams, frosty whites and touches of evergreen that will take you through the holidays and well into the new year with style.

This holiday also marks the 3-year anniversary of the launch of Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand with Magnolia line. The collection features nearly 300 new pieces from gifting and décor to entertaining. Oh, and this season they have faux Christmas trees!

Ready to create your own modern winter wonderland at home? Grab our favorite minimalist piece:

Joy wire Christmas wreath

Joy wire Christmas wreath

The word "Joy" isn't a holiday classic for nothing—it's sure to bring lots of smiles and laughs to any home. And when it's atop the garland in this festive wreath, it's an instant pick-me-up. Plus, for an extra twist: This comes pre-strung with white LED bulbs for a little light to brighten dark spaces.

$45

Mini cable-knit stocking

Mini cable-knit stocking

This stocking brings simplistic holiday cheer to just about any living space. This mini size is perfect for little ones or if you just want stockings that don't take up too much space.

$4

Faux white pine garland

Faux white pine garland

Bring the outdoors indoors with a garland that can be framed around your door. Or add holiday spirit to your table runner with a garland centerpiece. We love how realistic this one looks for such an affordable price.

$24.99

Whitewash advent calendar

Whitewash advent calendar

Let's be honest, advent calendars are nice, but some have gone a bit overboard in how complicated they are. But not this one. The cutout shape of a tree features rows of numbers, while a roaming wreath moves the countdown along. Simple, yet chic.

$20

Round tree skirt

Round tree skirt

No tree is complete without a beautiful tree skirt. This striped one is a must-have for a farmhouse-inspired atmosphere. Even better if you want a splash of rustic charm that matches your other holiday décor.

$39.99

Mini marquee star wall sign

Mini marquee star wall sign

Brighten up your living room with this attention-grabbing statement piece. Hang the star sign on your entryway wall to help welcome guests, or place it on your mantel, shelf or end table alongside other accents to add touches of holiday cheer in a minimalist way.

$8

Ceramic house decorative figurine

Ceramic house decorative figurine

This tiny house with windows, door and a chimney lends realistic, whimsical appeal, but the solid ceramic design allows it to be used from season to season. Place a small light inside to light up your mantle when standard candles won't suffice.

$8

Wood garland

Wood garland

Sometimes less is more! Upgrade your staircase or tree with this simplistic wooded garland. Pair with fresh cedar and grapevine twigs to create a striking focal point on your home.

$12.99

Joy wall decor

Joy wall decor

Create holiday cheer in a small way by adding holiday wall art that sparks a bit of joy.

For a refined look, the decor offers a hardwood frame and the sawtooth back allows for easy display on tiny spaces that need a touch of holiday spirit.

$9.99

Stocking holder

Stocking holder

Minimalists will rejoice for this multi-tasking stocking holder—acting as both festive signage and a holder for multiple stockings. It's simple, charming and will look great on your mantle for years to come.

$29.99
Holiday Shopping Guides

Do you feel it?

That little spark ✨ in the air that only comes around this time of year is starting to buzz and pop around us. There's nothing quite like the joy and excitement that comes with counting down to the holidays—especially with your kids who think last Christmas was forever ago.

And what better way to count down to Christmas than with an Advent calendar? We've rounded up our favorites that you can use year after year, mama.

House advent calendar

It's perfectly neutral to go with any type of holiday decor, but is made to bring a spark of magic and fun as your kids rush each morning to find out what's inside the tiny drawers.

$55.30

Advent calendar wreath

This has to be the most unique advent calendar we've ever seen. We love everything about it: The simple metal hoop, the greenery and the 24 kraft boxes that can be filled with goodies for both adults and kids. It's so pretty, we might even leave it up past Christmas!

$35

Countdown to Christmas advent calendar

We love that you can fill this one with your own treats that can change as your kids grow. And it doesn't have to be sweets. It can be filled with stickers, little toys, handmade goodies and more.

$38

Modern farmhouse Christmas countdown

No treats required for this simple, beautiful sign.

$34.95

Metal advent calendar

This sleek metal sign comes with 25 small muslin bags and 30 cards you can tuck into each one. The cards have an activity or kind gesture you and your kids can do to celebrate the season.

$40

Ernie and Irene llama advent calendar

Add a touch of whimsy and coziness with this sweet calendar featuring a knit llama.

$128

DIY advent calendar kit

For the crafty mamas in the group, this sweet kit has everything you and your family need to create your advent calendar together. Once you've assembled all the houses, you can fill it with whatever treats your family will love.

$36

Customizable advent calendar

This sweet and modern fabric calendar can be customized with your family name or cherished holiday phrase. It also comes with a set of 24 activity cards you can pop into each pocket.

$107

Clever Creations traditional wooden Christmas advent calendar

Clever Creations Traditional Wooden Christmas Advent Calendar

This beautiful calendar is a showpiece. It lights up to create a cozy and festive scene.

$43

Light-up stacking house glitter advent calendar

Enjoy a tower of pre-lit cottages that will light up your home each day leading up to Christmas.

$149

My Kindness advent calendar

My Kindness Advent Calendar

The holidays are all about giving—and that doesn't stop with just material items. We can give in the form of kindness every single day, and this calendar helps us do just that.

$75

Blue and gray Christmas socks advent calendar garland

We love the twist on a traditional calendar with this sweet garland of 24 stockings.

$29.69

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One of my favorite things to do is spoil my niece and nephews and this especially rings true during the holidays. Parents can give practical gifts, grandparents can give sweet presents, but aunts and uncles have the pleasure of just focusing on gifting items that are pure fun. After all, we don't have to go home with that loud drum set and hear banging for hours. 😉

My littles' age ranges from 1 to 10-years old so I have to be strategic when it comes to gift giving. The toddler obsesses over surprise toys, but I really have to nail the cool factor for the oldest. (I've learned it really does get harder to find the perfect present as they get older). So I've been doing my research to ensure they'll actually use these presents year-round.

Here are some of the items on my short list this year:

Kids sports jersey

kids yankees jersey

My oldest nephew is really starting to enjoy sports and while I can't fly him to a Yankees game just yet (I'm working on getting permission, don't worry) this is the next best thing. He can wear it at home to watch games or sport it to school because it's machine-washable.

$39.99

Makeup kit

girls makeup

If there's anything I know my niece loves, it's unicorns and makeup. This set has bright colors, actual brushes and even nail polish. And I know mama will feel good that it's non-toxic and water-based so it'll wash off with no problem.

$15.99

Blanquil weighted blanket

kids weighted blanket

I didn't believe in the weighted blanket craze until I tried it myself. Spoiler alert: It really does help with sleep. So when I saw that they made mini versions for kids, I was sold. It's only 7 pounds and oh-so-soft, making it the perfect blanket to cuddle up with for nap time.

$109

Movie gift card

amc movie gift card

I love taking the older two kids out on adventures and one of their favorite things is going to grab food and see a movie. I'd pair this gift card with a note letting them know they can choose to redeem it whenever they want. Plus, they get to pick where we eat. (Almost always McDonalds, but I'll take it).

$25

Hape pound + tap bench

hape hit bench

The baby (okay, he's technically a year-and-half old now) loves to explore and figure things out. This bench will let him toss balls, hit the keyboard and make music—keeping him entertained for more than just a few minutes and helping him develop fine motor skills. Win-win-win!

$25.90

X-box bundle

xbox bundle

The 10-year-old can be hard to impress, but lucky for him his birthday falls in December too so I always splurge a little more on him. This bundle includes the Xbox One console, wireless controller, 1-month trial of Game Pass and Live Gold and Lego Speed Champions add-on. Mama will love the family settings it features and I'll officially be the coolest aunt of the year.

$299

Season pass to a theme park

season pass

Every summer, the kids love going to Carowinds, a theme and water park in their area. So, gifting them a whole season is something I know they'll use (and it's a gift for mama, too).

$90

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If you're still shopping for the school-age kids in your life, don't sweat. We've got you, mama! Whether you're looking for toys for your nieces and nephews or searching for gifts for your own little ones, we can help. Motherly's editors have been keeping track of the products that were hits in our own households so that we can pass them on to you.

Here are 21 gifts our older kiddos are loving right now, from clothes to crafts to toys:

eeBoo Never Forget a Face memory matching game

I never forget a face game

Memory games are a favorite at any age, but especially in this age's wheelhouse. Kids will love to test their memory skills as they match the bright, smiling faces of people from across the globe.

$18.95

Slumberkins

Each animal comes with a backstory that helps deal with a difficult emotion a child might encounter, like gratitidue, self-esteem or family changes or loss—making these a gift a child will adore and one mama feels good about, too. Prices vary.

$36

Osmo genius kit

osmo kit

Osmo is seriously magic! This game system transforms your iPad into a hands-on learning tool that fosters creativity and problem-solving skills through hands-on play. We so wish this was a thing when we were kids.

$99.99

The Nightmare Before Christmas Operation skill game 

The Nightmare Before Christmas Operation skill game

If your child has trouble picking up small things, try leaving this board game at under the tree. Your little one will think they are playing operation but really they are having some occupational therapy. It's a short enough game that even young kids are able to maintain attention and focus through everyone's turn. Super fun for fans of Jack Skellington.

$43.99

Pictionary air

Mattel Games Pictionary Air

Another awesome board game, Pictionary Air combines new tech and old fashioned family game night by letting kids draw on the air instead of on a big piece of paper. Using the special pen and an app, the fam can see exactly what you are drawing, combining augmented reality with creativity in the best way. So cool.

$16.88

Insect Lore butterfly farm 

butterfly farm

If your little one is obsessed with nature, this butterfly farm will be a the gift that keeps on giving. My 4-year-old and I had the best time raising and releasing butterflies this past spring. This is an experience gift that truly lasts, with little lift needed to maintain and raise the butterflies. Basically, it's my new go-to gift for preschoolers.

$27.99

Learning Resources microscope

Learning resources microscope

This is the perfect hands-on toy perfect for little STEM lovers. This microscope is durable enough to withstand kid's rough hands, but technical enough to feel like an awesome grown up toy.

$28.82

Cubcoats

cub coats

Cubcoats are super cute as toys and as clothing—yep, you read that right. This is a hoodie that folds up into a stuffed animal you child can take anywhere. Bonus points for being machine-washable, ethically made and having tons of character and animal options to choose from.

$33.75

Melissa & Doug Ice Cream Cone play set

Melissa & Doug Ice Cream

Melissa and Doug toys never disappoint and this magnetic ice cream play set is no exception. I cannot believe how many hours of play this set inspired. My kid is running an ice cream shop 24/7. Sometimes they ask me to be the customer, other times I'm on scoop duty. The magnetic scoops provide just the right amount of magic to make this set one of the most-played items in our toy box.

$28.31

Hanna Andersson pajamas

Hanna Anderson

We love these comfy pajamas. They are perfect for Christmas morning or any day of the year. And of course Hanna Anderson had matching adult sizes so the whole family can have a PJ party (or a great photo op).

$38.40

Parkland Little Monster backpack 

Parkland Little Monster Backpack

Parkland's Little Monster Backpack is sure to be a favorite (and maybe even a little motivation to get back into the school groove when the holiday break ends). Our little tester son loved getting a present he could show off at school. The backpack's fun ears and print were a big hit and the bag is big enough to carry everything he needs, but small enough for a Kindergartener to tote around.

$29.99

Pluffle

Pluffle

We love how many hours of play we can get out of one tube of Pluffle. It's the perfect tabletop activity and way less messy than slime. Kids can make anything with it and have fun watching it morph into different shapes without asking to wash their hands all the time. Win-win!

$31.41

Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashable heroes

Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashables

We love these Marvel potato heads because they allow kids to create their dream superhero however they choose. Our occupational therapist recommended these and when you combine this classic toy with the Marvel franchise, you have a winner for any superhero-obsessed child.

$47.65

Nugget couch 

Nugget couch

It's a couch. It's a fort. It's the perfect piece of furniture for the playroom. The Nugget is a convertible couch made of four foam pieces and it is the only piece of furniture the kids are allowed to jump on. Need we say more?

$229

Play Doh

Play Doh

You can do wrong with this classic that encourages your little one to create anything their imagination wants to. There is something super exciting about opening a giant box of rainbow Play-Doh.

$24.99

A kids book about...

We love how this book series tackles topics our kids are interested in (or that we want them to be interested in) in an age-appropriate way. Whether you're trying to teach your kids about creativity, money, or harder topics like racism, 'A kids book about' series can help. Bonus: the books are absolutely beautiful.

$25

BRIO classic deluxe railway set

This minimalist toy is a classic for a reason. It allows for independent play but also encourages cooperation and imagination, two things we value in our household.

$46.79

iTouch PlayZoom smartwatch for kids

This is a cute gift for a child who might be obsessed with their parent's smart watch. It lets them take pictures, videos, play games and tell time. It also comes in a bunch of super adorable prints (cats! camo!) and helps any big kid feel like they got something extra special

$29.99

VertiPlay STEM marble run

If you're looking for a new toy but short on floor space, may we recommend this awesome version of marble run that lives on your wall? It's a totally modular STEM toy that will have any little excited to see the marble zoom, bounce and slide down its ramps and curves. We've seen both 4-year-olds and 10-year-olds be super into this, so we love that it can grow with your child.

$89

PAW Patrol deluxe kids art table

​This is as multifunctional as a toy can get. It's part dry erase board, part bookshelf and part toy bin. Plus your ​Paw Patrol​ lovin' kid is going to adore seeing all their favorite pups daily in their playroom. It's a great piece for encouraging your kiddo's creativity and independent play.

$59.99

Wooden toy treehouse

This one is an investment gift for sure, but we can see it being the perfect group gift for a set of kids or a super special present if you're aiming to choose only one thing for your kiddo. Joanna Gaines can design anything, even treehouses apparently. Now our only question is—can she design one of these for our backyard?

$119.99

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