How They Play

8 and up

Kids this age enjoy outdoor sports as well as scooters, bicycles, and in-line skates. They acquire adult-like interests, abilities, and hobbies and may display a passion by becoming a collector.

Girls still love doing crafts and writing in diaries, and boys find computer and video games irresistible. “These years are all about doing things that give kids a sense of mastery and competence,” Szymanski says. “With computer and video games, kids can challenge themselves to get a better score than they did the time before,” she says. “They enjoy competing with their friends, and you’ll hear a lot of ‘I got this score—what score did you get?’ ” Kids also like working on longer projects, some of which might take days to complete.

Top toys

  • Computer and video games
  • Craft kits
  • More elaborate science kits
  • Outdoor sporting equipment
  • Intricate construction sets
  • Board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit Junior
  • Model kits

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