Today, I’m welcoming Susan to the blog to talk about activity ideas for 8 – 12 year olds. Susan has a daughter right in the middle of this age group so I asked her to give me her 10 top ideas for keeping these kids busy (without breaking the bank!).
Guest Post: Susan (from reclining sofas)
10 activity Ideas for Children Aged 8 to 12
The following comprises a list of ten great activity ideas for keeping, the sometimes insatiable, 8 to 12 year old age group busy without breaking the bank.
Abstract in the minds of some but something of a no-brainer to others, cooking is one of the unique activities that every household has 24 hour access to and can provide huge amounts of fun for zero extra cost. After all, you will be cooking meals anyway, so why not add something of a fun element to them and get the kids involved? Believe me, add a drop of blue food colouring to a bowl of mashed potato and you’ll always have them begging to get involved.
Kids this age love adventure! A walk may not be all that exciting but a hike through the wilderness, or perhaps a nature trail, makes the walk something entirely different altogether. Try and tailor the purpose the walk to your kid’s taste.
These days, musical instruments are incredibly easy and affordable to come by and have something of huge bonus in that they last a lifetime. Find out in advance what instrument your kids think is the most cool and look into picking one up from a second hand sale, eBay or classified ad in the local newspaper. It won’t cost you much at all and could grow into a wonderful talent.
Modern museums are a veritable adventure playgrounds that have to be seen to be believed. Find out where your nearest modern museums are go exploring.
Getting your kids involved in photography used to be an expensive endeavor, but that has all changed along with technology. Digital cameras allow infinite numbers of images to be take and retaken without any expense, with only those selected to be printed on any home computer. Encouraging an interest in photography can grow into a lifelong skill.
6. Computer Time
While most would steer their kids’ attention away from the computer, there are wonderful educational and social games that can be downloaded entirely for free. Check out the credentials of the games online and select a good selection to try out on your tribe. Kids can also write stories, create posters and do presentations. Computer time can be a good thing.
The Book Cook Free Resource Links is a great place to start for literacy based resources.
7. Treasure Hunt
Perhaps suited more for the younger end of the spectrum, setting up a treasure hunt has the potential to offer hours of fun for literally zero expense. The idea is simple – just script a number of clues as elaborate as you like and position them across an area of your choosing. Ensure each clue points to the next and construct an intricate web of hints and clues, eventually leading to a reward – even a lollipop will do!
Now this is certainly not a suggestion to practice near soft furnishings or anything valuable, but if you have the space and are not concerned with a little mess, consider suggesting a little messy art. Here are some ideas: finger painting, paint throwing, balloon painting, portrait painting, canvas painting.
9. Earning Money
The odds are, kids this age are keen to earn a little extra pocket money – so why not provide them with the chance? Put them in charge of even the most minor of tasks to begin building a level of responsibility that will almost certainly be built in for life.
Okay, so this may be an extension of cooking, but it is likely that baking will hold much more appeal for many kids. They may take a little persuasion to get involved at first, but let them get a little messy with some melted chocolate and marshmallows and you may just have trouble fending them off next time!