There is no telling when children's games began. Kids have a way of creating their own fun. If, however we were to track down the beginning of the mainstreaming of parent-provided games, it would probably go back to the 1950s, around the time that birthday parties made their way into typical homes. Picking and playing age- and gender-appropriate games can be a fun and exciting way to spend time with young girls.
There are several things to consider when planning games for a 9-year-old girl. These are: Where the games are to be played---in the house, back yard, or an away-from-home location such as a park or school. What are the physical and mental abilities of the girls---reading skills, physical handicaps, shyness or anxiety? How many girls will be participating?
Availability of items
Games can require different items in order to be successful. Outdoor games played in the summer may need a water source, water balloons, wet sponges, jump ropes, balls or towels. Indoor games can necessitate candy, recyclable materials such as empty bottles or newspapers, feathers, or other craft materials. Solitary games may require pens, paper or magazines.
Regardless of age, it is always best to plan for more games than you think you have time for. Some games may last much longer than you planned, while others will be over in a fraction of the time. On average, planning for four or five games per hour of direct play should be sufficient. Also, alternating the energy levels of games (physically active and sedentary) makes for happier girls and parents.
Before beginning play, give specific directions. Allow girls an opportunity to ask questions if necessary. Be prepared to resolve disputes if they should arise, and try to be fair to each child (if more than one). If girls are not enjoying themselves, or games turn out to be too easy or hard, don't hesitate to cut it short. Also try to be aware of any girls that may be left out. Generally, by assigning them a specific job such as judge or team divider will be enough to help them break the ice.
Have a specific time for games to end and be clear about it from the start. The girls will think fondly of their time playing games if you do not overdo it. Going out with a bang will leave them wanting more. Then, if that is the case, just plan more games for next week.
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