Very often parents are wondering what to make of a 9-year-old kid, who is not a pre-teen yet, but definitely not already a toddler. One of our experts, Dr. George Sachs, a clinical child psychologist with his own practice in Manhattan, says that 9 years is the age when children begin to build real social relationships, as well as friendships. Many of them even start having best friends and very often stay overnight at their friends’ houses. Dr. Sachs adds that fourth graders, while continuing their cognitive development, are able to better concentrate and focus on longer time periods, as well as pursue specific interests. Moreover, at this age kids are capable of learning in a holistic way, and not only learn that different things are either “right” or “wrong”. Together with Dr. Sachs we have prepared a list of 13 books, games, toys, and other gifts for 9-year-olds. Also, check out our gift suggestions for kids of different age groups, including 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, 10-year-olds, and 11-year-olds.
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Best books for 9-year-olds
At the age of nine children can read different books, including fiction and nonfiction. Very often kids begin to read independently by themselves. Dr. Sachs states that at this age children have a better grasp of grammar, their vocabulary is quite broad, and they can formulate much longer sentences as well. The books we suggest is the bestselling series about a boy named Greg. Even though Greg is a middle school student, the stories about him a pretty much attuned to the life of a 9-tear-old fourth grader. These books are an excellent choice. When your kid reads the set and put the books on the shelf afterwards, there is a sense of mastery and a sense of accomplishment. As a parent, you also can use these books as a chance to discuss with your kid some social interactions that can be potentially troubling to him. If there are any conflicts you child is experiencing with his or her friends – that is the perfect time to get involved. You can help your kid to learn the right and most appropriate ways of social interactions with peers.
Sachs recommends the fantasy and adventure series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This is New York Times bestseller, written by Rich Riordan. And, according to Dr. Sachs, this series is one of the favorites among children of the middle-grade age. As he says, there is a character with ADHD. These stories are based on Greek mythology. The five –books set s tells about the adventures of a modern-day kid named Percy, who is 12 years old. Being a demigod and Poseidon’s son, Percy goes head to head with numerous gods and monsters. Besides, this series can provide a smooth introduction to the conversations about puberty. Talk to your kid, explain to them the changes they may experience and help them to feel normal and comfortable about these transitions.
Our next recommendation is Holes, the book written by Louis Sachar in 1998. This book has won the Newbery Medal, by the way. It tells the story of misadventures of a teenage boy, whose name is Stanley Yelnats. As Dr. Sachs says, it’s another excellent choice for 9-year-old children. Even though, some themes described in this book (like justice, forced labor, fate, and history) may seem to be a little advanced, complicated, and hard to perceive for four-graders, they, at the same time, help kids to better understand the surrounding world. While reading this book with their kids, parents can use this opportunity to give and explain them the age-appropriate information about our world. Dr. Sachs advises to give the honest answer to any question your child asks about a new story, or about something they came across earlier in the day, but do not forget that your answers have to be in the framework your children can understand. You can discuss with your kids various feeling that may arise, as well as different ways to be involved to help the world. You can also arrange the movie night to watch the film version of this book.
As Dr. Sachs says, the books written by Judy Blume are always classic and will always be relevant. We recommend this set that consists of five books in the Fudge series. It tells about the frustrations of the Peter Hatcher, a 9-year-old boy, who is dealing with his mischievous younger brother, whose name is Fudge.
Usually, Dr. Sachs recommends graphic novels or anime for those children who do not like to read. Such an approach gets them reading, and that is the most important part. Both city and countryside children will enjoy and appreciate the adventures of a little boy named Pablo. Being the new kid in his school, he gets separated from the rest of his classmates during the trip to New York and the excursion to the Empire State building.
Best games for 9-year-olds
Since children continue to build up their social lives and activities, all kinds of games are a perfect way to encourage and stimulate friendly competition, as well as group play. We recommend trying this classic card game of matching. It will always be a winner and a great choice.
Dr. Sachs remembers that Sorry was the game he played with some children that really surprised him by how it has held up. As he thinks, it is a very simple game that children are able to get right away, therefore, he recommends it.
As Sachs noted, “the classics really nailed it,” and Jenga is no exception.
Apples to Apples is also among Dr. Sachs’ the recommendations, and another brilliant game for 9-year-old children.
Dr. Sachs says, for girls of nine years of age anything that has to do with slime is a big deal. He has no idea why, but almost all girls of this age are totally into slime. They make slime, they play with slime, and they talk about slime. Moreover, if you go on YouTube you will see tons of videos about it with girls of this age doing various things with slime.
As Dr. Sachs states, from the academic point of view children of this age are starting to solve much more advanced math problems, like division and multiplication. He believes that parents cannot go wrong choosing Lego while they are looking for the gift for their children. Lego is a permanent favorite toy in all age groups. Try this 5 in 1 set for robot building, which teaches the basics of programing. The perfect toy to get children to think out of the box.
Best sports for 9-year-olds
Most children have mastered the skills of biking and riding a scooter at a decent level by the age of nine. And, if you want to take their coordination and independence to the next level Dr. Sachs recommends to try skateboarding.
We also suggest to try rollerblading. It is another challenging and more advanced sports for 9-years-olds.