Educational Toys for Older School Age Children

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Edging their way toward the teenage years, older school-age children have frequently developed strong interests and bonding friendships. Their school and social activities can become more fraught with disappointments and emotional lows. Just wait until high school! Now is the time to make sure that creative self-expression of some kind is a coping resource your child can depend on. Encourage him or her to write/sing/draw/paint/sculpt/mold feelings that are difficult to verbalize, and should your child honor you by sharing these feelings with you, never, never condemn or belittle. The most important toys for children from this age on are those that allow their minds to grow and their imaginations to flourish.


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PLAY FOR OLDER SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN

During the later years in elementary school when children are 9 to 12, they can do many things. They stay interested in activities long enough to complete them. They can finish a monopoly game or complete a leather craft project. They enjoy collections and craft projects. They read adventure and mystery stories.

These children are able to spend longer periods of time alone, reading, knitting, putting a puzzle together, or just daydreaming. They often act on their ideas and put together elaborate experiments and inventions that may or may not work.

Children at this age are enthusiastic about team games and sports, especially if they win. Their feelings also are more intense, and losing or being chosen last on a team can be a sad and emotional experience. What their friends think of them is important.

During the last years before junior high school, girls will begin to show an interest in boys, usually in teasing, playful ways. However, most of their fun time will be spent in groups of the same sex. Slumber parties and movies are fun things to do together.

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Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Lagoni, L. S., Martin, D. H., Maslin-Cole, C., Cook, A., MacIsaac, K., Parrill, G., Bigner, J., Coker, E., & Sheie, S. (1989). Good times with music and rhythm. In *Good times with child care* (pp. 206-221). Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.