Want to buy toys for 10-year-olds? Not easy, is it, unless it is your own child! I am always bemused when someone asks me what they should buy their child, giving me age as a guide rather than the child’s interests. We all know that children are so different and yet we still search for ideas by age! I’m not going to talk about gender when choosing toys, games, and gifts as I really believe this isn’t an important factor – the child itself is.
Toys for 10-year-olds are particularly tricky as this is a time that they start to grow out of their old favourites and their interests diverge – it’s a time of change. 10-year-olds are ready for something new in the way they play and in what they want from their toys. I’ve seen it with my own children, my daughter especially. The horses with which she would spend hours arranging and storytelling suddenly disappeared under her bed and she was coding horse games on the pc. Still loved horses but how she ‘played’ with them changed.
It's not just their interests that start to change at around 10 years old – there are some hefty physical and emotional changes going on as well. There are some brilliant books about the body (aimed at all ages) and some great demystifying kits here but something I think is super important for all children is learning how to grow up in this ‘modern’ age. As parents, no matter how understanding of technology we are, we don’t get it really – read this yourself and then pass it on!
Get ready for the mood swings! It can be tumultuous time for your 10-year-old and, for some, it comes with more volatility in their emotions. Playing family games, especially those that call for some strategic thinking, is a great subtle way to get them to chill out a bit. Qwirkle is one of my favourites as it is quick to learn and visually pleasing! Thinking about which tile to put where gives those poor 10-year-old brains a chance to step away from the everyday noise. You’ll be surprised how games like this lead to some really in-depth conversations about life, the universe and everything!
This is a great age to get into coding – 10-year-olds are pretty good at navigating their way around tech and giving them the opportunity to build a game or programme is brilliant. I love Scratch, a block-based visual programming language and website to which most children have access at school. Star Wars Coding Projects really appeal to most young coders and this step-by-step guide is spot-on. The software is free to download and there is nothing wrong with a bit of screen time once in a while! Once they have got to grips with the idea of programming, there are plenty of kits and toys around – have a look here.
For your 10-year-olds who love a bit of creative expression, Djeco has some amazing kits. If you have a nature loving child, this 3D ‘poster’ is awesome – it looks so effective up on the wall and is an hour or so of well spent creative time! This is an age where some children worry about trying something new in case it is too hard, or something goes wrong – with a step-by-step kit there is an element of security for your child. This Watercolour Workshop kit is another example of a gentle introduction to a new skill – taking the fear away.
I found the time my daughter struggled most at this age was bedtime when all the day's worries would come rushing to the fore. Having never needed a night light before, we found that something soothing in the room really helped her get that much needed sleep. This globe has an illuminated star map - what a wonderful way to drift off!
by Allie White, educational consultant to BrightMinds
As a parent and former-teacher, Allie has a hands-on approach to home learning, believing that the best learning is done together in a relaxed environment.
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