Ages : 4 to 10 years
Behavior with age:
The major thing with age was that the kids transitioned from mechanical toys and board games toward video games. They swap games at school and use up all their free time playing video games at home or with friends.
The younger kid likes to play with the older kid but the older kid only plays with the younger kid when he/she has nothing else to do. This is true for most males and a few females.
There is a general protective instinct and a teaching instinct in the older kids. They use their younger siblings as “subjects” during their play. Essentially, a hierarchy of command is established.
The older kids seem to be getting on well in games that REQUIRE collaboration. A few gravitate toward exploring other options.
The types of games and methods of play is greatly affected by the immediate environment where they play. Be it the football field or the sandbox, when it snows, they HAVE to sled.
We observed constructive as well as destructive behavior. Kids seem to like to construct things and once they have finished with the particular venture, they seem to gravitate toward destroying it when in a group. This is not the case when they are alone, some like to admire their work when they are alone and often try to get an adult to notice and admire their work.
Amazingly, this is seasonal too. Seasonal in the sense that every time a new sensation, cartoon or movie comes out, they get totally engrossed in it. Action figures, dolls, board games, video games, even games they make up have rules made up from the present attraction.
We also noticed that kids don’t stick to the same toy for more than a weeks time, even though they go back to the old toys when they don’t have anything new to explore. This usually results in playing with a combination of toys (old and new).
This was the most obvious fact in older kids. The concept of male and female is instilled early even though the kids themselves don’t realize until they cross the age of 6 or 7. Girls play with dolls, boys play with cars seemed a universal truth. This further goes on to everything from clothes they put on to the plates they eat from. The parents identify this in most cases and the room decor changes significantly based on the sex of the kids occupying the room.
Older boys liked to run and bounce while the girls preferred to sit tight and play with their dolls and kitchen sets. The preference of colors was evident though Black and at times white seemed to be a universal favorite.
Boys liked loud noises.
We had some really interesting insight from parents as well. They was this general agreement that kids get bored easily. Also, they wanted toys that are easy to put back together once they are broken.
Some said the kids had one favorite toy which they wouldn’t part with. Be it the old train set or the teddy bear, there always is a favorite.
This is what we heard parents say most, “My kids usually just plays video games”. “They come straight from school and plop down in front of the PS3”