When nine- and 10-year-old children decide they are bored, you could hand them a mop and bucket and steer them to the dirty kitchen floor. Since that won't go over well, parents can guide lethargic children toward traditional board games, physical activity games, games they have to build or trivia games that develop memory skills.
Other People Are Reading
Today's children are so geared toward electronic activities that a board game may just seem retro enough for them to enjoy. Everyone has a closet shelf with games like Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Yahtzee, Clue and Battleship gathering dust. Nine- and 10-year-olds are at the perfect age to be introduced to these classic games that build problem solving, reasoning and math skills. If you don't have old games, take them to the toy store and have them wander the board game aisles, allowing each child to choose one game.
Bottle bowling is perfect if you've got antsy kids who need to burn off energy. All you need are up to ten empty two-liter soda bottles (perhaps you could raid your neighbour's recycle bin) and several balls about the size of tennis balls. Line the bottles up in a straight row. Divide the children into equal teams, one team on either side of the bottles at a distance. Each team will try to knock down as many bottles as possible in a set period of time. Have an adult be the timer or use a kitchen timer with a loud bell. The team to knock the most balls down wins that round. The team that wins "best out of five" is named the champion.
A variation on this game is to have an equal number of clear and green (or any other colour) bottles, with each team being assigned to knock down one colour. Penalties can be assessed for knocking down the wrong bottle.
You can also line up the bottles in the traditional "V" bowling formation and, using slightly larger balls, hold a bowling tournament.
Children will find half the fun of this game is creating it themselves. With a few basic materials found around the house, they can build their own billiard table. They will need a shoebox, a box lid slightly larger than the shoebox, tape, four small paper cups, green felt, gum balls or like-sized marbles, a pipe cleaner and unsharpened wooden pencils.
Turning the box upside down, tape the paper cups on the outside at each of the four corners. Cut a 1-1/2-inch slit at each corner of the box lid and set it on top of the box. Bend the flaps created by the slit into the paper cups. Glue green felt onto the lid. Fashion the pipe cleaner into a triangle "rack" and have the players rack up the gum balls or marbles. Using the pencils as cues, have them play by their own rules or regular billiards rules.
Harry Potter Trivia
If the children are Harry Potter fans, KidsReads.com has a Harry Potter trivia game online. The books are broken down into ten-chapter sections, with ten questions for each section. First, print out the questions. Nominate an "emcee" to ask the questions (this can be a parent or a child). Give each child a bell or some kind of noise maker which they can sound if they know the answer. The child with the most points after ten questions wins.
This game works for any children's book. Search the Internet for "children's book trivia" sites, or create your own questions.
- 20 of the funniest online reviews ever
- 14 Biggest lies people tell in online dating sites
- Hilarious things Google thinks you're trying to search for