Nine year olds are a weird bunch. They’re still kids, but they’re close enough to pre-teen territory that finding them the perfect Christmas gift can be seriously tricky. So allow us. No matter what your child — or niece or nephew, or grandchild, or godchild — is into right now, we’ve found something to suit. Speed racers, book-lovers, mess-makers and game-players of all kinds; budding scientists, beginner magicians and curious minds are all catered to, so read on for inspiration, and find the gift that’s sure to score you points with your favourite nine year old.
This beast of a remote-control car takes our top spot with its ruggedness, readiness and sporty looks. With suspension and shock-absorption to rival those of a real car, it stands up to even rough racing, and it’s all ready to run as soon as it’s out of the box, no set-up needed. While fast, it’s very easy to control no matter what direction you’re sending it in, so everyone can have a go, even less confident drivers. A high-quality buy that’s sure to delight.
Inspire a new generation of Potterheads with this beautifully presented gift set of all seven books in the series. Featuring wonderful new-edition illustrated covers from Jonny Duddle, the very sight of them is sure to inspire a sense of magic, and they’ll look fabulous on their bookshelf too. No matter whether you adore the wizarding world, or can’t tell your bowtruckle from your blast-ended skrewt, these books are a wonderful journey for kids and parents to embark on together.
These grammar-challenging board games make learning the intricacies of the English language fun — trust us, it is possible! — by teaching and testing clauses, connectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives, and apostrophes across six games. Kids are far more likely to respond to the interactivity of spotting sentence changes and seeing what differences they make than to learning by rote, and let’s face it: it’s way more fun for parents too! A great educational gift that’ll inspire them towards thoughtful and creative writing.
Simple, but enormously fun, the time-honoured tradition of beating the buzzer is still going strong in the slightly anxiety-inducing Time Shock. Look for the individual pieces to fit the cutouts, and put them all into their correct place before the timer runs out and sends them flying all over the place. It comes with a handy storage tray to keep all those little pieces in check, and best of all? No batteries.
For curious kids, this immensely giftable globe is sure to be a hit. By day, it’s an Earth globe showing country boundaries, natural features such as lakes and rivers, and capital cities. By night, its clever light sensor automatically darkens the globe and reveals a glow-in-the-dark map of the night sky with labelled constellations. A beautiful and useful gift for budding geographers and astronomers.
While people all over the globe dedicate their lives to learning every move in the chess Grandmaster’s handbook, you might be surprised that it hardly takes any time at all to learn the basics, meaning you’ll be set up and ready to play in a flash. With pieces for playing chess or draughts, this attractive wooden set will provide hours of competitive fun, and a great bonding exercise for you and your future Kasparov.
Getting into the art of magic can be a little on the pricey side, so this helpful book, which teaches a huge range of magic tricks using just everyday objects, is an excellent way in without spending a fortune. Your child can learn everything from mind-reading to making things disappear, and even tricks for confident performing, all with stuff you have lying around the house. Gives them everything they need to impress at the next family do for a very reasonable price.
We’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like making a mess, or one who doesn’t like experiments, for that matter. Indulge their mad scientist tendencies, and your own, with this Experimake kit from famous purveyors of slime Nickelodeon. They can make slimy snakes, goo, multiplying slime balls and even snot — gross, but very good fun, with a good few immersive science lessons packed in along the way.
Check out our guide to the best Christmas gifts for 8 year olds here.