Gifts for Mechanically Inclined 8- to 9-Year-Old Boys

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When they reach the ages of 8 and 9, many boys begin to take an interest in machines and mechanics. This passion can grow and transform into an academic pursuit and even a career. Fortunately, there are a number of toys designed for mechanically inclined children that can help nurture this interest.

Elenco Electronic AM Radio Kit

Boys using the Elenco radio kid learn to build their own AM radio. Once completed, boys can tune into any AM radio stations along the 520-1650kHz band. The kit is safe, requiring no soldering and includes an illustrated operating manual with clear instructions.


With an Uberpult kit, boys can build their own working model catapult. The basic catapult requires the use of 90 pieces, but the kit comes with an additional 91 pieces that boys can use to customize their design. A lab sheet also suggests additional experiments.

Erector Set - Special Edition Set

An updating on a classic toy, the special edition Erector set allows boys to build up to 25 different models, including a forklift, an excavator, an airplane and a cherry-picker. The kit includes 643 metal and plastic parts, a 6V motor, a storage case and a book of illustrated instructions.

Physics Workshop

The Physics Workshop allows boys to answer basic physics questions such as "Why is a brick heavier than a pencil?" and "How does a car engine make wheels turn?" by building simple models and using them to run experiments. The set contains over 300 building pieces and a color manual.

Build Your Own Radio Controlled Car

Perfect for the boy who is wild about cars, this kit allows kids to build their own radio controlled car that run on an RF frequency. The car comes with a stylish flashing top light and is controlled by remote control with seven functions. The set includes detailed assembly instructions and a training manual. The manufacturer suggests buying two that can be raced.

Newton's Antics

This science kit allows boys to explore force and motion by performing a dozen fun science tricks. The kit includes a grab-bag of cool boy stuff, including balloons, hex nuts, a plastic bottle, ball bearings and marbles, a popsicle stick, nails and a block of wood.

Lego Crazy Action Contraptions

Winner of the National Parenting Publications Honor Award, this set allows boys to build five moving machines using 60 LEGO pieces included inside, plus an additional five using other unincluded pieces. Vehicles include the "Wall Rocket Racer" and the "Annoyomatic."

GeoSafari 10-in-1 Electronic Lab

The GeoSafari Electronic Lab lets young engineers build ten different circuit projects, including a Morse-code telegraph machine, a burglar alarm and a functional radio. Containing step-by-step instructions, the kit is safe, with no tools or soldering required.