Around this age, the amount of space you have available really becomes an issue. They can run faster for longer, kick and throw further, and crave independence.
In this fifth instalment into our outdoor toys for all ages series, we look at toys to encourage outdoor fun for 9 and 10 year olds.
Liven Up A Walk With Weaponry
If your children have reached the age where a family stroll brings on a barrage of moaning and feet dragging, it might be time to liven things up a bit.
Take your family somewhere quiet, with an arsenal of toy guns and turn your gentle meander into a high energy shootout. You’re outdoors. You’re all moving about. And best of all, everyone’s happy.
For added impact, cap guns really get the excitement levels up.
If you take guns (like Nerf) that fire foam bullets, set some rules about bullet retrieval. Leaving bullets outside is littering, and they could be a danger to local wildlife. Count them all out, then count them back in again before you go home. Can’t find all the bullets? Then retrace your steps. No-one's getting a hot chocolate until every last bullet is accounted for.
Upgrade Your Existing Climbing Frame
If you’ve already got a swing set or climbing frame, you can upgrade the accessories to add a new level of challenge relatively easily. Many of the main manufacturers like Plum and TP Toys sell accessories that can be used instead of a swing. Older children will enjoy twirling on a spinning wheel, or challenging their upper body strength on a trapeze.
A word of caution first though. Check the weight guidelines for your play equipment against your child’s weight. Ten year olds come in all shapes and sizes. Just because the swing is usually suitable for a 10 year old, doesn’t mean it is suitable for your ten year old.
Keep Them Close With A Go Kart
Remember when your child was little and you could let them ride their bike while you walked at a gentle pace alongside.
And then that triumphant day came when they could ride without stabilisers.
And for about 60 seconds you were so happy for them. Then you realised how fast they could ride, and that you would never be able keep up, and you slumped to floor muttering ‘what have I done? What have I done?’ (just me?).
You can get back those laid-back four wheel days with a go-kart. They’ll can put plenty of effort into pedal power, racing round the block like Fernando Alonso, and you can march behind, because no matter how hard they try, they will never get that go-kart to go as fast as a bike.