Whether it's for a party or just for a day with the girls, finding activities that nine to 11 year olds will enjoy is easier than you might think. According to Lesia Oesterreich, extension human development specialist at Iowa State University, "Friendships and accomplishments are important to older children." Activities that allow them to spend time with friends or feel they've accomplished something, not only gives them what they need developmentally, but they can be fun as well.
Indoor Rock Climbing
If your area has an indoor climbing gym, this can be a great activity for girls. It allows them to test their abilities, boosts their confidence by showing them what they can do and provides exercise. The girls can work together cooperatively, encouraging teamwork and deepening friendships, and they won't feel they're being treated liked "kids." Climbers can wear harnesses to keep them safe while they enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with doing it by themselves.
Scavenger hunts allows girls to apply their skills and minds and they're easier to organise than you might think. All you have to do is make up a list of items, some common and some not so common and then trail your pack of girls through the mall, the woods, the neighbourhood or an amusement park as they take pictures of the items on the list. Scavenger hunts provide exercise and applied critical thinking skills as the girls look for the places they're most likely to find the objects.
Board games at home make a good activity for this age group. The girls be set up in a room by themselves and left to play, talk and enjoy one another's company without feeling as if you're looming over them. "Provide opportunities for older children to play games of strategy," says Oesterreich. "Checkers, chess, and Monopoly are favourites." At this developmental stage, children enjoy planning and organising and often don't want a parent's help. Time with their friends, playing a game and connecting to one another, is exactly what children of this age need.
Pool parties offer opportunities for socialisation, exercise and fun with the family, all in one. Let your group of nine to 11 year olds help you plan the party. They'll be happy to be included when it comes to decorations, invitations and activities, plus they'll enjoy the party even more knowing they had a hand in it. Make sure there is adequate adult pool supervision at all times to keep the party safe.