Scary Mommy

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October 16, 2019 Updated June 29, 2020

If you’re having trouble picking out the right gifts for the 9 year olds in your life, you’re probably in good company. “Nine-year-olds are more independent than they’ve ever been,” explains Claire S. Green, President of Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit dedicated to finding quality media and toys. Nine-year-olds can be difficult to predict (but impossible not to love!) “Take advantage of the time you have until they’re captured by aliens and whisked off to Planet Adolescence,” Green advises.

Nine is the age when kids begin to customize their things and themselves. Green explains that, although they’re often ready to belong to a social group or school club, they’ll come running home to loving arms if things go awry. “They may focus on a specific interest longer and with more intensity, but their loyalty to those interests may give you whiplash,” Green says. In addition to teasing their brains with puzzles, 9 year olds are also learning that not everything is black and white and, as a result, they develop more social awareness at that age. “Nurture their blossoming empathy,” Green urges. She also says this may be the right time to have them start taking care of a pet — but start with a goldfish just to be safe!

With all these recommendations in mind, Scary Mommy has curated the best gifts and toys for the 9-year-old boy or girl in your life. (Please note that Green has not endorsed any of the specific products listed in this guide; they are entirely the selections of the Scary Mommy team and have not been reviewed or approved by Green.)

.O.L. Surprise Hairgoals Doll

Got an L.O.L. collector at home? They’ll love this Makeover series of dolls that each come inside their own hairspray can container which transforms into a salon chair, display case, doll stand, and purse. Collect all 12 characters — 10 dolls with real hair and 2 rare glitterati.

$15.99 $15.99 AT AMAZON

Shopkins Family 16 Piece Mini Pack

These miniature collectible pack of Shopkins contains super-cute family food characters. Each 16-piece pack includes 8 Shopkins and 8 family mini packs. Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of that means — your kid will.


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.O.L. Surprise Hairgoals Doll
Shopkins Family 16 Piece Mini Pack