Development for 9-12 year olds

Tweens learn to see the ‘big picture’ and how they fit into it

Pre-teens develop views about their world and can enjoy expressing their ideas!! They'll test your boundaries and your debating skills so you might want to prepare a little. Here are some good websites to help you along: Kiwifamilies and Kidspot.

Your tween may want to be more independent. Small steady steps build everyone's confidence so start with something they've done many times with you e.g, going to the local library or playground with friends. Good communication is important so be clear about -

  • what the activity is (and isn't)
  • when they need to be home
  • where they are going
  • who they are going with (do check with other parents)
  • how they will get there and back, and
  • talk through some strategies for when things go wrong

Indoor activities for 9-12

Crafts  Build a scrapbook together at Scrapbook Central, 5 Bouverie St, Petone ph 04 939 5127
Make a dazzling necklace or ring at Village Beads 129 Jackson St, Petone ph 04 566 3240
Cupcakes & tea 

Enjoy a high tea with dad, mum or grandparent at Sweet Pea, 259 Jackson St Petone ph 04  589 7755

 Have a go decorating your own cupcakes at Cupcake Sweeties, 221 Waiwhetu Road, Fairfeild ph 04 577 2962
Cinemas Event Cinema at Westfield in Lower Hutt, or The Lighthouse in Petone
Dowse Art Museum  Visit the Dowse for inspirational exhibits 
Library Visit a Bookaholics session for some fun with other like minded kids:
Naenae Library, Tuesday second week of each month, 4:00pm 
Wainuiomata Library, Tuesday second week of each month, 4:00pm
War Memorial Library, Wednesday second week of each month, 4:00pm 
Eastbourne Library, Thursday second week of each month, 4:00pm 
Upper Hutt Library homework help
Go shopping  Head to Westfield Queensgate for some mall time 
Swimming pools  Organise a group of friends to go together and have some fun at your local pool
Lower Hutt pools 
Upper Hutt H2O XStream
Roller skating Upper Hutt Roller Skating Club offers sessions for casual skaters
Laser Strike and Strike Tenpin 399 Hutt Road. Loads of fun but it might be best to book as it can be busy. Join their club to get discounts or check out their specials page. 

Outdoor activities for 9-12 year olds in the Hutt

Bike and BMX trails Head out with a picnic and ride along the Hutt River Trail
Hutt ValleyThunderbolts BMX
Here's all the info you need to plan your BMX adventure Mountain bike track grading guide.
For extra information read Wainuiomata Bike TrailsAkatarawa Bike Trails,  Jubilee Park (lots of steps!), Belmont Regional Park
Skateboarding Check out this website for a list of skateparks in the Wellington area There are skateparks in Avalon Park, Petone Rec Ground, Maidstone Max, Melling Skate Park on Pharazyn Street, Lower Hutt. There's a fab skatepark in Levin (get your parents to take you!)
Adventure playgrounds Maidstone Max in Upper Hutt
Adrenalin forest in Porirua - take an adult!
Check out your local playgrounds
Tramping  Check out for a track near you
Camping Check out your parks and reserves for a good camping spot near you 
Water activities  Kayaking down the Hutt River, Days Bay (you can hire kayaks at Days Bay Boatshed, Eastbourne) or Petone
Rafting or tube riding in Kaitoke river
Sailing @ Heretaunga Boat Club, Petone and Muritai Yacht Club Eastbourne
Fishing @ Petone Wharf, Days Bay Wharf, Hutt River
Paintball Tag Paintball opposite Pomare Train Station ph 0800 824 927 email
Thunderball Adventure Games Paintball based in Manor Park email ph 0800 48 48 63 
Rock climbing  Baring Head Boulders at Wainuiomata 
Hangdog Indoor rock climbing 
Disc Golfing  Disc golfing @ Harcourt Park
Horse Riding  Coastal Views Horse Treks in Wainuiomata 

Check out our clubs page to see if there's something new you'd like to try. If you've done something exciting then get in touch and share it with us!

Classes and clubs for Hutt children aged 9-12 years

Dee Club Art After School, The Dowse Art Museum

Fun and inspiring after school workshops. Create your own artworks by experimenting with 2D and 3D techniques. Sessions use a variety of approaches to art-making and explore a theme relating to The Dowse exhibition programme. Please email Jolie Degaia:  if you are interested in sessions for 2014. Time: 3.30–5pm | $120 per child.

Y Cheer Dance
For girls and boys aged 9-12 years. Come and have lots of fun learning a range of energetic dance and cheerleading moves. Wednesday 4.30 - 5.15pm at YMCA Upper Hutt Gym, Somme Rd, Trentham $8 per session (casual fee). Term discounts available. Ph Melissa 027 7045993 or 568 3252 ext 804 or email

There are LOADS more! Go to the classes and clubs page

Upcoming courses

The Parenting Place is Kiwi inspired and offers families advice and Toolbox Parent education courses.

The Toolbox courses are run regularly in the Hutt Valley by trained, local parents.  They are designed to inspire, equip and encourage you in your parenting journey. See what the middle years toolbox covers.

  • Parenting the Middle Years (6-12 years) - is a course running regularly throughout the year. See their website for details and look out for local courses - or contact them directly to find out when their next local course is running.
  • Building Awesome Whānau (0-12 years) Whether you are already a super-parent or struggling a bit, this Toolbox will give you lots of good ideas. No tests, no judgement, no boring bits…just lots of fun and useful stuff - see what the course covers

“I came to the course because I felt that my 3 year old was driving me insane and I wasn’t enjoying my role as a parent. I wanted an instant magic solution. What I got was so much better – understanding, coping strategies, tools, direction. Now just a few weeks later I can turn situations around, am investing in my children, am more positive and actually enjoying my parenting more. It has united my husband and I and given us a common direction with fantastic results in our family.”

To find out more about how the Parenting Place can help you, contact the local coordinator, Natalie Alabaster on 04 934 8483, or email

Go to the support page for more information on The Parenting Place.


9-12 year-olds start caring about their appearance

Especially in winter, it's all too easy to hang around indoors

The Hutt River doesn't get old. And it's a great way to get them off the TV or computer - for free! ...

... Failing that, you might like to fuel their interest in identifying New Zealand's insects or birds. It's a fun research project and you'll learn heaps too!