Fun ideas: age 9-11

Your child will still enjoy playing games but you may need to initiate them as there are often so many other demands on their time (their friends!). Here are some that are fun but challenging, and which will help with language, reading and writing.

Top ten games and activities:

1. Word games

  • Encourage them to make up their own crossword puzzles or word searches for friends and family to develop vocabulary and dictionary skills. Bananagrams is great for this too.
  • Play the Headline Game; use stories to make up headlines and then vote for the best, e.g. Girl dressed in Red stalked by Wolf (guess the story).
  • Play around with anagrams to help with patterns and spelling, e.g. make as many words as you can out of Constantinople (1697 apparently!).

2. Board games

  • Play games that play around with definitions and bluff definitions to encourage interest in word meanings and origins, e.g. Absolute Balderdash or Call My Bluff.
  • Play games such as Taboo to encourage clarity, fluency and expression without ever saying the obvious descriptive words.
  • Scrabble is a classic spelling game – guaranteed to get the family talking – or shouting!

3. Screen games

  • Don’t forget that games like karaoke require on-screen reading (and performance) which children usually love to play with friends and family.
  • Setting up games, such as on the Wii, involve reading and understanding instructions, so make sure that your child can do this for themselves (although they normally teach us).
  • Many downloadable eBooks include end of book activities and quizzes, which will be fun to complete and help with understanding.

4. Write about it

  • Encourage book blogging and taking part in readers’ book sites, e.g. adding reviews to Amazon.
  • Children may like to keep a Favourite Book journal which can have lists of titles, quotations, pictures and sketches to encourage children to look back at what they’ve read.
  • Get involved in planning a holiday schedule (making a list of books to read, entering book review competitions, planning day trips and so on).

5. Reading together

  • Keep your eyes open for book awards and read the shortlists together to decide which title you would choose and why. It may encourage your child to want to read it too.
  • If you have younger children then encourage your 9–11 year old to read to and with them.
  • Talk to your child about the articles in your local free newspaper or even take out a subscription to the children’s newspaper, First Times for example.

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