It can be hard to come up with fun things to do with your kids, especially as they get older and harder to entertain. Here are 21 different ways you can spend time with your 9-year-old so that you’ll both be having lots of fun!
1. Play a Game Outside
There are lots of games you can play outside with your nine-year-old. You can play sports like basketball or baseball or running games like tag or red light green light. It’s good for your child to run around and get some sun. It can also be a way for you to get some exercise. Playing games outside is healthy and a lot of fun!
2. Play a Board Game
Board games are a lot of fun to play if you need to do something inside. They can be a good way to quietly occupy your child’s time. Some games can also teach children how to creatively problem-solve, and they can be a good way to teach your child how to be a good sport and not get upset if they lose. Just make sure to choose a board game that is age-appropriate.
3. Visit a Planetarium or Aquarium
It’s nice to visit a planetarium or aquarium with your nine-year-old. Not only is it a really cool place for a kid to explore, but it is educational. Your child can learn about space or oceans in an interesting, hands-on way.
Many of these places are designed for kids to keep them interested and occupied while they are also learning. The only downside is that it can be expensive, so it probably isn’t something you can do all the time. However, if you need something fun and educational to do with your nine-year-old one day, going to a planetarium or aquarium is a great choice.
4. Visit the Zoo
The zoo is another cool place to visit. There are a lot of interesting animals to look at and interact with. I used to get so excited to visit the zoo and see all the awesome animals, particularly the monkeys. Zoos also require a lot of walking, which can help your child get some exercise, even if you get exhausted. Zoos can also teach your child a lot about animals and maybe even help them find a new favorite animal.
5. Read a Book Together
Though nine-year-olds can read books by themselves, reading with them is a good way to spend some time with them. You can read more difficult books with them than they can read alone, which will help improve their reading ability.
You can read it out loud and let your child look at the page, or you can have them read it with you there to help with the difficult words or concepts. Reading is a great activity that can help you bond with your child and instill a love of reading.
6. Play Make-Believe
When I was nine, I loved playing make-believe. I would make up a story or scenario, then I would act it out, alone or with family. I pretended to be a ninja, a dragon, and a princess. This was my favorite activity to do as a child. I would spend hours acting out my little stories, imagining what was around me and what happened next. Whenever one of my family members would join me, we would have a blast together. Some of my fondest memories are of playing make-believe with my family.
Not all nine-year-olds will want to do this, but many will absolutely love it. Make sure to let your child take the lead on this so that they can use their imagination. Be willing to go along with what your kid wants you to be. This can help them develop creative skills and learn what kinds of stories they like or dislike.
7. Tell Stories
This activity is similar to playing make-believe, but it is less active and more word-oriented. Listening to your child tell a story is a good way to show them that you are willing to listen to them. It can also help them visualize things better, grasp abstract concepts, and develop language skills.
You can also play storytelling games where you and your child create a story together. You can give them a prompt which they then have to finish. You can also tell a story one line or word at a time, going back and forth. There are a lot of fun ways to tell stories through games.
8. Go for a Bike Ride
Bike rides are a lot of fun! You get to spend time outside in the fresh air, you get exercise, and you can discover new things. Riding around on bikes with your nine-year-old can be a fun way to give them the opportunity to explore. Even just riding around in your neighborhood can give them an opportunity to investigate the world around them, and maybe even meet some new people among your neighbors.
9. Go on a Hike
Another opportunity for nine-year-olds to explore is going on a hike. Hiking is a fun way to see some cool things in nature. They will be able to see some beautiful views and maybe spot some animals. Lots of nine-year-olds have a collection of cool-looking rocks or plants, and a hike is a great way for them to add to that collection.
10. Build a Fort
Building forts was one of the coolest things to do as a nine-year-old. Something about hanging out inside of something I made out of blankets was really exciting. It can be fun to help your nine-year-old build a fort, even if it is too small for you to go inside. Working together with your child, you can produce a really cool fort that your child will love.
Dancing together can be very fun and help you and your child get some exercise. Play some of their favorite songs or expose them to music that you like. There are a lot of physical benefits of dancing, such as improved muscle control and endurance. It can also help them better understand rhythm and melody. Dance can also help your child express themselves in a positive and unique way, and it encourages creativity.
12. Dress Up
Playing dress-up with a child is a lot of fun. Dressing up as someone else is great for a child developmentally, too. It encourages creative thinking, communication, language development, social skills, and testing out new behaviors.
Even if you only have a few clothing items for them to try on, this will help them be more creative with how they use the clothing items. Even just having a few blankets or sheets can encourage dress-up.
Nine-year-olds are more than old enough to help out in the kitchen. Letting them help you cook is a good way to bond with them and allow them to feel like they are pitching in to help. It is also good to teach them some cooking skills early so that they are able to feed themselves as adults. Just be careful when letting them near hot stoves or sharp tools, and try to delegate the simpler tasks while handling the more complicated stuff yourself.
14. Go Out to Eat
It sounds simple, but my siblings and I always loved going out to eat at restaurants. We had fun picking something off the menu, drinking soda, and eating something different than normal.
Some of my best memories are of spending time with my family at restaurants. It can also be a good opportunity for your child to make choices by choosing what they want to eat. Plus, you’re checking eating lunch or dinner off of your list of things to do.
15. Create an Art Project
Art projects are a really great activity for you and your child. Whether it’s painting, gluing, building, or anything else, art projects can bolster creativity. Here are a few art activities you can do:
- Sculpting with clay or Play-doh
- Watercolor painting
- Chalk drawing
16. Visit a Relative
Relatives are really good at spoiling children, so naturally, they are a lot of fun for a child to visit. You nine-year-old can have a blast playing with younger relatives or receiving attention from adults while you get to spend some quality time with family members. It can be a good way to socialize for both you and your child. Spending time with family is very important, and it is a great activity.
17. Go to an Amusement Park
Going to amusement parks is very exciting for a nine-year-old, especially since some nine-year-olds are getting to the point when they are tall enough to ride on the big roller coasters.
An amusement park can be a fun day trip, though it can tire out both your child and you. You should make sure that you come prepared for a long day, with food, plans for breaks, and sunscreen. Amusement parks are exciting, and spending an afternoon at one is a really fun way to spend time with your child.
18. Go to the Theater
Going to see a play or musical is a super fun experience! Spending an evening at the theater is really cool, and it can also be educational and entertaining. This is a great activity to do with a nine-year-old.
Many nine-year-olds are mature enough to not only be able to sit through a theater production and actually enjoy it. Make sure to choose an age-appropriate show that will be entertaining and not too long. Nine-year-olds can generally sit still for around 40 minutes, so a play longer than 80 minutes with an intermission is probably going to be too long. Figure out how long the show is and make a judgment call based on your child’s attention span.
19. Watch a Sports Game
Taking your child to a sports game can be a fun way to bond. The atmosphere of sports games is very lively and exciting, and many nine-year-olds will enjoy watching a game.
However, don’t expect them to want to stay for the whole game. When my dad took my brothers and I to baseball games, we were begging to leave by the fourth inning.
If you are really invested in watching a sports game, bringing your nine-year-old is probably not the best choice. However, sports games can be a great experience for a nine-year-old, and a game may help them get interested in sports, which is a really great interest to have.
20. Play a Video Game
Spending time with your child via screen time is not the best option, but it can still have benefits. Lots of kids enjoy video games, and playing a game with them is a good way to show interest in what they like to do.
Playing a few rounds of a game can help you connect with them and give you an opportunity to work together with them. Many video games will help improve your child’s problem-solving skills, spatial reasoning, and imagination/creativity.
Being good at video games can also help children get to know more about computers, which is a great skill to have nowadays.
21. Watch a Movie
Movies are not the best activity, but enjoying a movie with your child can be a lot of fun. Every once in a while, you can have a movie night, watching a wholesome movie to relax and connect with your child. It is a fun way to spend time with family, and it can create lasting memories.
I can’t remember many specific details about playing tag as a child, but I can rewatch a movie I loved as a child and remember watching it with my family.
There are a lot of fun things to do with a nine-year-old, but the most important part is to be spending time with them. Cultivating a relationship with your child is very important. Enjoy this time that you get to spend with them and watch them learn and grow!