During the summer, the task of keeping school-aged children can quickly become a full-time endeavor. When kids are still small, they can be more energetic, but they will often go along with any games presented by the adults in charge. Here are the backyard activities for 8 year olds kids.
By the time they turn 8 years old, kids will begin to sneer at activities for toddlers and will demand a greater degree of independence when choosing their playsets and playmates. They are also able to climb higher and run faster (even if not for as long), making the task of keeping a kid-friendly backyard a more involved one.
So what does this means for you? That a complete revamp in your entertainment strategy will be in order!
So what are some backyard activities suited for 8 year olds? The answer is a combination of activities that will inspire their imagination, promote physical exercise, and refine their motor skills.
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Table of Contents
Why Should You Encourage Backyard Games?
At this age, children are still boisterous and curious. However, they also tend to have more demanding schedules at school. Once summer rolls around, they will naturally seek out activities that will help them disconnect from the drama of school life.
If left by themselves, many will easily pick up on a new TV series or videogame. This would be a missed opportunity. Getting your kids to spend as many afternoons as possible in the backyard will provide them with new bonding opportunities with their siblings, along with fresh air and some much-needed exercise. This will also teach them how to take risks and how to engage in friendly competition, which are important social skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
What Can 8-Year-Olds Get Up to in a Backyard
The activities listed below can all provide the type of mayhem that 8 year old kids will love. They can also be easily organized in your backyard play area, using the items you already have.
By imaginative play, we mean any chance to engage in role play, to invent stories, or to learn while having fun.
Depending on what is already in your backyard, you can drop a couple of ideas for your kids to run along with. If you already have a tree house, it is likely that they will naturally gravitate towards some version of playing house.
If not, a couple of poles or trees, alongside a clothesline and a curtain, can quickly become a makeshift stage. Here, kids will be able to recreate their favorite show’s biggest plotlines.
Crafts and DIY Projects
Any pieces of cardboard, pebbles, buttons or even old plastic utensils can all become the season’s great work on art. Make sure they also have access to some acrylic paint, nail polish, glitter and colored ribbon and get them creating.
This will help them create anything from a small water wall, to a decorative mosaic or a painted bottle garden.
A small experiment garden
At this age, children will probably not be interested in caring for a rose bush. However, they will still be excited to have a small play space in the dirt. Here, they can get close to bugs, leaves, and mud while learning a few things about botany.
Some days call for a more intensive type of outdoor play. This will be good for your kid’s health and your mental peace: a few hours of running around, at least once a day, will make bedtime and dinnertime a smoother affair.
A makeshift obstacle course
A few twisted pool noodles, a hula hoop, or even an old car tire can all add an extra challenge when turning around. Make sure to arrange all your obstacles along an even line, and intersperse the obstacles that require jumping, crawling, and climbing.
If you already have a prefabricated backyard playground, there’s a good chance that it came with a climbing wall. However, you can make them yourself with a few nails on a wooden plank. You can also glue piles of ice cream sticks along a tree or a wall to create a climbing surface.
Not all types of outdoor activities need to leave your kids panting. These can engage their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Set up a few plastic baskets on top of wooden poles or old broomsticks. Then, instead of simply tossing the Frisbee from hand to hand, try to get your kids to toss them into each basket. Try to space out the different baskets, and assign points to each one to make it more competitive.
A marble race
Marble races are very easy to set up. Just use any old plank, a sheet of stiff cardboard, or even an inclined picnic table to create a quick “race track”. You can also let your kids decorate them, add extra obstacles, and invent backstories for their “racing cars”
Getting your kids to play outdoors is not very difficult, especially when the weather is good. If you are looking for a crowd-friendly alternative that will engage people of many different ages, try a game of Viking chess instead!