Virginia Tech® home

SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Youth Ages 9-11



Authors as Published

Jeremy Johnson, Associate Specialist for Volunteer Development for Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech

While young people learn at their own rate and in their own way, they typically share some common characteristics during certain stages of development. It’s important to consider those characteristics as you begin planning learning activities for your club.

Ages 9-11
Characteristics of Age Group Implications for SPIN Clubs
  • Are active and full of energy.
  • Start meetings on time and quickly engage young people in hands-on learning activities.
  • Like group activities; strong need for belonging to a group.
  • Divide members into work groups of two to three that take turns or work together.
  • Like to be with members of own sex.
  • Pair youth into same-sex work groups to help them make positive connections with peers.
  • Have rapidly changing interests.
  • Divide activities into steps to keep their attention. This divides instruction and information into easier to understand “chunks.”
  • Are just beginning to think logically and understand abstract ideas.
  • Provide simple, short directions. Help them see the connection between the steps of a learning activity. Demonstrate key techniques as a model for youth to follow.
  • Want adult approval and have a strong need to be accepted.
  • Provide encouragement and praise as they work. Praise is a powerful motivator.
  • Have a strong need to feel accepted and want individual attention.
  • Provide feedback on each individual’s work or product and avoid comparisons between young people.
  • Admire and imitate older boys and girls.
  • Ask older youth with experience to assist as volunteers for the group.

Adapted with permission from University of Illinois Cooperative Extension
*18 U.S.C. 707

Produced by Communications and Marketing, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2016

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law

Publication Date

September 1, 2022

Cover of SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Youth Ages 9-11

Other resources in:

Other resources by:

Other resources from: