Not quite a kid, not quite a tween, it can be hard to figure out what toys and gifts to get 9-year-old boys for their birthdays or holidays. At this age, they're definitely looking for something a little more sophisticated: Toys with a tech component, especially STEM toys, coding sets and other educational toys, continue to be popular for this age group. They're able to put together more elaborate building sets, take on bigger DIY projects or learn board games for kids with more complicated rules. But give them something too adult or too complex, and they'll throw it on the pile and never pick it up again.
To help walk that fine line, the Good Housekeeping Institute spends the year researching toys and gifts for kids. The Parenting and Pets Lab keeps track of trends and new toy releases, then tests a selection of the hottest items to make sure they're safe and well constructed. Then the items have to pass the hardest test of all: kids. Children actually play with them and give their feedback. With all that in mind, these are the best toys and gifts for 9-year-old boys in 2022.
Best Overall Gift for 9-Year-Old BoysZero Gravity Laser Race Car Air Hogs Read More
Best Affordable Drone for KidsGravitor Air Hogs Read More
Unusual Gift for 9-Year-Old BoysSmartphone Controlled Paper Airplanes Conversion Kit PowerUp Read More
Cool Educational Toy for 9-Year-Old BoysDino Dig VR Abacus Brands Read More
Best STEM Gift for 9-Year-Old BoysSphero Mini Sphero Read More
Many of these are former or current Good Housekeeping Toy Award Winners, while others are bestsellers and editors picks. Any 9-year-old boy would be lucky to receive anything off this list.
Before including our favorite picks in an article, the Good Housekeeping Institute does rigorous toy testing to ensure we're recommending only the best. Many of our choices come from our yearly Toy Awards, where we test each item based on the following criteria:
✔️Safety: Our engineers and analysts make sure that each toy reaches all safety standards. They also assess things like pinch points and make sure toys won’t shatter into small pieces to pose a potential choking hazard.
✔️Ease of Use: We look at each toy to evaluate how simple it is to assemble, how well it’s constructed and how durable it is during play.
✔️Kid Approval: Aside from testing each toy for skill-building attributes, like how well it develops social-emotional skills, all our final decisions come from more than 100 children, ages 1 to 15, who assess the fun factor!
Much of the toy testing for this article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's chief technologist and director of engineering, with the help of Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor. For more than 15 years, Rachel has put her training in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics to work by researching, testing and writing about parenting products. Plus, as a mom to three kids under 5, she has plenty of first-hand experience.
Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting, from the postpartum years through the empty nests, since 2015, and she's pitched in with Good Housekeeping's toy coverage since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors.
Looking for more great gifts for kids? Let the experts do all the hard work for you! The Good Housekeeping Institute's Parenting Lab has expert-tested, kid-approved picks for the best toys and gifts for kids of every age, including:
- Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds
- Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds
- Best Gifts for Toddlers
- Best Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers
- Best Gifts for 3-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 3-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 4-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 4-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 5-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 5-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 6-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 6-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 7-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 7-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 8-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 8-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 9-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 9-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 10-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 10-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 11-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 11-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for Tween Girls
- Best Gifts for Boys
- Best Gifts for 12-Year-Olds
- Best Gifts for 13-Year-Old Boys
- Best Gifts for 13-Year-Old Girls
- Best Gifts for 14-Year-Olds
- Best Gifts for Teen Girls
- Best Gifts for Teen Boys
- Best Stocking Stuffers for Teens