What Do Your 8 Year Old Sons (Or Middle Childhood) Do for Play?

Updated on March 11, 2019
A.P. asks from Neenah, WI
9 answers

My son (he is the only child by the way) enjoys playing school because he said he wants to be a teacher some day. He also will act out the characters after he has watched a TV or movie or read a book. He enjoys being outdoors too. He is starting to fall away from his toys. Wondering what other boys his age do that is not related to electronics.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My 8 year old buy likes legos, coloring/drawing sometimes. Sometimes he likes crafts like finger knitting . I wouldn't say he plays with a lot of toys. Sometime he will dig out lincoln logs or building blocks. He will play dolls or stuffed animals with his sister on occasion. He also likes board games and role playing. He like brain puzzles like rubies cube type things

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answers from Boston on

Those are all good activities so I'd say to encourage them.

Mind was into building, using Legos or K'nex or those marble courses (ramps and so on) that can be taken apart and reassembled. Often he combined sets to create elaborate structures - no surprise that he went on to study civil engineering later!

He was also into dinosaurs and stuffed animals, and created zoos and archeological "sites" in his room and playroom.

Inside in bad weather, he did blanket forts and stuff with oversized boxes. Outdoors, he rode bikes and played frisbee and went on nature hikes, finding rocks and pinecones he'd make other stuff out of. He did a lot with neighborhood kids, making up sports and games and riding all over. I encouraged free play and team-building stuff that kids do naturally if adults don't get in the way. We did not over-schedule him with formal activities. At 8, he could choose one thing and we chose one thing (religious school). He alternated between Recreation Dept. basketball and soccer, and took swim lessons in the summer. I think it's important to let kids sample a variety of things without pushing them to be excellent at just one thing. They're not going to play in the NFL or the NBA or go to the Olympics, so it's not about expertise, just being active.

Creativity is important, so if your kid likes drama or community children's chorus, do that. It doesn't have to be sports!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

One year that I kept my nephew for a visit, I innovated something to do for fun. There was a cardboard box that my new refrigerator came in, and it was awaiting disposal, so I turned it into a big toy. Since there was a sloping hill in the backyard, we could get inside of it and roll down to the bottom. My dad used to create competitions
We had so much fun with a simple piece of cardboard, and a lot of laughs. He couldn't get enough of it. I was worn out by the end of the day. Since then, I always bring a big box whenever we have a family get together. On another occasion, I set up a card table in the living room and draped blankets or sheets across it so it was like a tent. They seemed to have a lot of fun with that, too. My dad used to create competitions for us kids like Indian leg wrestling, or who could walk around the block the most times

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answers from Chicago on

Legos, playing with figurines (minecraft, army guys). Drawing. Building. Magnatiles, keva blanks, etc.

What is your son interested in? Mine loves to build. He also enjoys setting up a chess board or a game of risk and playing against himself.

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answers from Norfolk on

Our son was (and still is (he's 20 now)) into Legos a lot.
He loves to build things - and launch rockets.
At 8 yrs old he was making catapult models and launching marshmallows across the living room.
At one point he wanted to be a fireman policeman paleontologist astronaut aircraft carrier builder.
He didn't see any reason why he couldn't do all of that at the same time.

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answers from Portland on

One of mine wanted to be a teacher at that age and played as your son does. It kind of changed around age 8-9.

Then he got into Legos and he would act out scenes with the little people. He went to his room more and played there.

A lot of kids were into xbox etc. and their ipods etc. and sports. So he'd do that with them, and then play Legos at home.

Outside, and with kids over, forts, tree houses, battle scenes (Nerf guns), etc.

Rubix cubes was a phase.

Lego though was the big toy that lasted a long time.

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answers from Santa Fe on

At age 8 my son loved jumping on the trampoline and riding his bike or scooter. He would make ramps to jump over with plywood. He also liked puzzles and playing with nerf guns with friends. My daughter is 9 now...she loves rollerblading, her hover board, using her beading loom, playing the ukelele, her remote control car, any crafts, any sports. At that age they both loved playing Uno, Risk, Settlers of Catan, Blokus, Mancala, and Munchkin.


answers from San Francisco on

My son LOVED his computer and video games and he's now a software engineer, so nothing wrong with that ;-)
At that age he really loved Legos, reading (both comics and regular books, Tin Tin was a favorite) being outside, playing with the dog, making movies with our video camera, and being with his friends (usually playing video games.) I also started teaching him how to cook around that age, which he really liked.



answers from Dallas on

My son is 9 and it pretty similar. He doesn't really play with "toys" except he will still bust out his mini action figures and do battles. It's rather adorable and I don't think many boys his age are still doing that but I'm not sure! :). He loves to play basketball or baseball or football outside. He will play by. himself but likes to play catch with one of us. If we had a trampoline I think he would be all over that too.

With friends my son enjoys doing Nerf guns or laser tag around our house. They do play video games quite a bit at this age (for playdates) but I try and limit that some and encourage them to just play!

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