Keeping the attention of 8- to 10-year-old children without video games and television can be a difficult task. However, playing fun games that will peak their interest is sure to prevent boredom and keep them busy. Children at this age are learning social skills, and can benefit from playing games and meeting new friends. With a few inexpensive supplies and items you probably have in your home, you can create free games for them to play.
What Animal Am I?
Write down several animal names on index cards, such as a cow, pig, alligator, bird, horse, chicken and snake. Tape an index card to each player's back so he cannot see it. The players must mingle with other players and ask yes or no questions about their animals. Same questions include "Am I a big animal," "Can I be different colours," "Can you find me on a farm" and "Am I a small animal?" The first player to guess what animal he is wins the game. Keep playing until each player guesses his animal.
Cut the Flour
Play this game outside or on top of several pieces of newspaper, as it can get messy. Press flour tightly into a bowl and flip over on a table. Place a small piece of unwrapped candy on top of the flour mound. Give each player a plastic knife. One at a time a player has to cut a slice of flour off the mound. She can take as big or small a slice as she would like and she can cut it in any direction. The player who makes the piece of candy fall must pick it up using only her teeth and eat it.
Pirate Treasure Hunt
Fill two or three small plastic swimming pools with play sand. Hide several prizes and favours, such as plastic rings, necklaces, plastic gold coins and small plastic toys, in the sand. Give each child a pirate favour bag and have him find as many prizes as he can. The player who finds the most prizes wins a large prize. Each player can keep the toys and prizes he finds as a favours to take home.
Play a game of sweet suckers with small candies, such as M&M's, plastic bowls and straws. Give each child a bowl of candies, an empty bowl and a straw. When you say, "Go," the children have to suck through the straw to pick up the candies and move them to the empty bowl. The child who moves the most candies to the empty bowl in one minute wins the game. Children can only use the straw and cannot use their hands.