Baby sitting guide: games for 8 – 10 year olds

But do 8 – 10 year olds still want to play with the babysitter? Yes, if you can come up with the right games. There are many games for 8 year olds useful for learning to express themselves creatively, to increase self-esteem and to grow curious and open to the new. Finding space for play on busy afternoons for a child of this age isn’t easy, but it’s worth a try.

Which ones do you play at 8 – 10 years old?

To work, games need to be child-friendly, neither too easy nor too difficult. So, to understand how games for 8-year-olds must be, let’s see what children are like at this age.

Between the ages of 8 and 10, boys and girls have a clear idea of ​​what they like and what they don’t like, they feel grown-up and now consider many games and toys to be “small” things. They now have good manual skills (they know how to shuffle a deck of cards well, cut and glue with precision), they know how to stay focused long enough, they wait their turn to throw the dice without getting bored and they are able to understand board games with more rules. complex and requiring you to formulate a strategy.

Proposing a game to children of this age can be a challenge for a babysitter: if you ask an 8 – 10 year old if he wants to play, you may hear no. But if you can find an activity that respects his tastes and inclinations, you can succeed in making him turn off the video game.

What is the use of playing at 8-10 years

Play is still important at this age. For many, it is no longer time to play “let’s do what I was …”, but there is still space to propose creative activities and games useful for:

  • develop creativity, imagining something and building it with your own hands;
  • discover the pleasure of learning: try and try again a magic trick, make a crochet pot holder, learn to play chess. Learning something new helps children to have an open and curious attitude towards life;
  • develop self-esteem: playing the child is in control of what happens, he feels good, experienced and capable;
  • exercise logic and reasoning: through cards and strategy games such as chess, Risk or Nim, children get used to reasoning and experiment with “grown-up” games;
  • get used to the good use of the internet: watching an origami tutorial or learning to program with Frozen teaches you to use the internet in a useful way, as a starting point to discover many creative activities.

The importance of playing with the babysitter

If you babysit an 8 – 10 year old child, you know that children’s truly free time is limited. Between dance, homework, catechism and karate the afternoons go away quickly. Even if you are more a companion than a person to play with, try to create moments of play with the children, look for and propose  games for two , because it will be precious time for them to experience freedom and creativity.

Freedom because with the babysitter, who does not judge them, they will be able to play what they really like: a 9-year-old boy will feel free to string beads to make a necklace if he wants to, a little girl to play with Barbie again. You can also help him, through play, to develop habits and passions that can prove to be important to compensate for the “passive” time they spend in front of video games at this age.

An important tip for making any game work: arrive prepared. When you propose a game or an activity you must already know the rules or the things to do: if the explanation is confused or uncertain or if you propose to build a house and then you realize you don’t have the glue, the enthusiasm will collapse. And then, of course, join the game with enthusiasm!

Activities and games for 8 year olds

What we offer here are activities and games for children aged 8 and up to 10. Not all are suitable for all children, it is up to you to find the ones that best suit “your” children based on their interests and personality. But also to utility: the messy child may need to start a collection to learn to order, and store carefully, for the slightly introverted child it may be useful to create a book where they can express themselves by inventing stories and poems. Suggest different activities and see how the child reacts.

Card games

With cards, there are plenty of game possibilities for 8-year-olds. Playing cards is a game for adults, and at this age many children approach it with curiosity. In addition to the simpler classic games such as Ace pigliatutto, Rubamazzetto, Scopa and the others that we describe in the post on games for 6-year-olds , children can be taught more challenging games, such as Briscola and Scala 40.  And if they get tired of playing, with the cards you can challenge who can build the highest castle.

Table games

Monopoli, Risiko, Scarabeo, Taboo. But also chess or checkers. Many board games begin to become possible and interesting from the age of 8. Children are now able to remember even complex rules, they know how to wait their turn and are able to sit and play for longer. Board games help to exercise concentration and to formulate a strategy, but also to know how to lose and to accept the rules.

Board games can be a great Christmas gift idea for kids . In any case, in many bedrooms you can find long-forgotten board games – take them out and try to play. If there are none, you can build, together with the children, a homemade board with cardboard and build the pieces with plasticine or colored stones. On the internet you will also find ready-to-download and color boards to play some of the most classic games. And with older and more accustomed children to play, you can also invent a whole new game together.

Pen and paper games

Pen and paper can be enough to create games for 8-year-olds that last for hours. If they are bored or tired after afternoon sports, a pen and paper game can be the solution. To make it a bit special, you can use the “playbook” (just a normal squared notebook, with a special label), which you will use whenever you play with pen and paper. 

At 8 years old, games like Names of things and cities, Hangman, Tris or Battaglia Navale are still fine. For the older ones you can try more challenging games, such as Nim, Tic-tac-toe or other strategy games with pen and paper. Even the Mastermind is a game suitable for children of 8 years, very useful to develop the reasoning and logic.

Try the Origami

Colored sheets and a tutorial on youtube are enough to get closer to origami, which can become a real passion. At 8 – 10 years old children have achieved good dexterity and are able to do the first origami experiments on their own. Start with simple things like the swan or the jumping frog and then move on gradually. Origami is one of the most useful games for 8-year-olds because it teaches precision, attention, and carrying out a task with care. All skills also useful for school. After the first swan, you can decide to make an entire collection of animals, to make one for your best friend, one for mom and one for dad.

Loom and crochet

What a satisfaction to make a crochet pot holder all by yourself, to give to mum and dad! Crochet, loom or small knitting works are very suitable for boys and girls at this age. But even just making a pom pom is a great satisfaction, or wool bracelets. Just a ball of cheap wool and then you can build a rectangular frame with a shoe box, or a circular frame with skewer sticks (just type in the right keywords to find photos and tutorials on the Internet).

Starting a collection

Interest in collecting begins at this age. You can propose to start a collection at no cost, starting from the interests of the child: stones of different colors and shapes, dried leaves and flowers, bottle caps, anything that can become the object of a collection. The important thing is to find the right container: a transparent binder, a box with many compartments, labels to describe the object, perhaps a notebook to catalog the pieces. Useful for getting used to keeping in order, collecting, comparing.

Getting closer to model making

Taking advantage of the fact that at this age children are generally good at precision cutting and gluing, building small miniature objects is an activity to propose. Ships, planes or toy cars to build and paint. You can suggest that parents buy a simple model next time and try to build it together. Or start your own modeling project: build houses with toothpicks or cardboard to make the model of a city, build small furniture with cardboard and pieces of fabric.

Try tricks and magic

Magic tricks are a classic interest around age 8, because at this age children have the skill and concentration to try a trick over and over until they get it right. As with board games, we may already have forgotten a box of magic tricks to pull out somewhere. Or you can start by searching youtube for some games with cards, coins, cups and paper balls.

Writing: book, diary and poems

It is not strictly one of the games for 8-year-olds, but writing is an activity that, if proposed in the right way, can become a passion that will accompany a child for life. Starting from his interests, you propose to write together a book of stories, a naturalist’s diary where you can record sightings of birds or insects, or a comic, a cookbook, a collection of poems. A diary of the matches of your favorite team is also good, to practice writing and tie it to pleasant moments, not just at school.


Cook a snack together, or prepare something for mom and dad. Cooking stimulates creativity and being able to make a nice donut makes you feel good, capable and great. But some attention: it is an activity that must be planned beforehand. You have to ask your parents for permission, make sure there are all the ingredients and the time needed to finish the recipe and to fix the kitchen.

Playing with coding

Among the games for 8-year-olds we also talk about coding : you can exploit the passion for video games in a constructive way by bringing the child to the basics of programming ( coding ). A place to start is The Hour of Code , where you can find small programming lessons suitable for different ages, in the form of a game with characters from Disney movies.