7 Fun Games and Activities for 10-Year-Olds
The big double digits… who could forget the pride they felt when they turned 10? Age 10 is a big time in your kid’s life, so prepared to help them make the most of it.
When it comes to ideal games for your 10-year-old, remember that companionship is a big deal in your child’s life at this age. Whereas 9-year-olds are often a bit more reserved, 10-year-olds are developing new social skills and interests. It is a time of transition, as child development and early learning specialist Stacy Benge, M.S. explains, “from spending time with family to more of a focus on peer connections.”
For this reason, group games are a great fit for your 10-year-old.
“Friendly ten-year-olds do well with most games, but they love ones where the whole gang is involved,” explains Eileen Kennedy Moore, PhD, author of the parenting course Raising Emotionally and Socially Healthy Kids.
At the same time, 10-year-olds, like 9-year-olds, are also looking for more complexity in their play. Part of the complexity might come from what the kids add or change in a given game. Dr. Kwame Brown, founder of Move Theory, reminds us that as kids become ready for more complex games, it can be fun to “collaborate to change complex rules and add to games.” Co-creating games engages kids on multiple levels, and allows them to adapt the games to their interests.
Here are seven activities and games to consider for your 10-year-old.
“Family game nights are very fun for this age,” says Kennedy-Moore. Pictionary, which requires a lot of interaction as families race to guess what others are drawing, is simple and a lot of fun. While it doesn’t have the same complexity as other games for this group, the basic format can easily be adjusted by you and your child.
It’s similar in structure to Pictionary, but it requires its own skill set. Rather than drawing, players must use non-verbal body language to convey a word or phrase. As with Pictionary, its rules can be added to for extra challenges and fun.
Qwirkle is another great option for family game night. A highly awarded game, Qwirkle involves players laying down tiles in sequences that follow a specific shape or color.
- Uno Attack
Uno Attack is a great variation on classic Uno for your 10-year-old. The random variations introduced with the mechanic card launcher create a more challenging situation that your 10-year-old must constantly adapt to.
- Apples to Apples, Jr.
Apples to Apples requires players to make connections between their noun cards and the adjective card played by a judge. Convincing the judge that your card is the best fit makes Apples to Apples a highly engaging game, and one that requires complex argumentation skills if you’re going to win!
Jenga is as simple as it is fun. Pulling out pieces offers a rush of excitement, while the threat of a collapsing tower creates a competitive atmosphere. Your 10-year-old is ready for this nail-biter!
- Buzzword, Junior
Language and conversation define this game—your 10-year-old will race to answer the clue cards with the buzzword. As a team-based game, Buzzword also offers an added layer of companionship and team-building that some of the other games listed here do not.
Tiffany Smith is the director of content and publicity at William Woods University. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And, as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite.