Games are an excellent way for adults to spend quality time with their children. Games also provide a positive framework for children to play with each other. Not only are many games educational, but they also teach children how to interact in positive ways with their peers, according to Parenting Science. What is fun for one child may not be for another, however, so let your child lead the way when it comes to choosing a game to play.
Consider the size of the group of kids before choosing a game to play. Large groups lend themselves to games where teams can be created. Smaller groups can play games such as card or board games. In addition, think about the ages of the children. Young children have a difficult time waiting for their turn and may not be able to sit still long enough to take a turn on a board game. Or, they may not be able to understand the complicated rules of a team game. Let the ages and stages of the children be uppermost in your mind when you are choosing which fun games to play.
There are tremendous benefits to playing fun games with children. Games exercise the body and the mind. They teach team-building skills, compromise and cooperation, according to Parenting Science. Games are also a way to teach children how to lose gracefully and be a good sport. In many cases, conflict will arise during the game, which gives the parent or adult in charge the chance to teach conflict-solving skills. Most of all, games are an ideal way to bring a family or group of children closer together.
Problem-Solving or Strategy Games
Problem-solving and strategy games are best for older children who want a challenge. Create a treasure hunt, complete with complicated clues, for your smartest kids to try to solve. Card games that involve strategy rather than pure luck are also fun for your more cerebral kids, as are classic board games such as checkers and chess. A scavenger hunt is always a favorite with teenagers. Think of items that will be difficult to find without a lot of creative thinking, and then send the kids out with a digital camera to try to take pictures of the items. For example, “a pink cat” may seem impossible, until someone realizes that it could be a stuffed animal.
Active Game Ideas
Active games are the perfect way to get your kids off the couch and into the yard. A simple game of tickle tag will delight small children. Or, set up an obstacle course for the children in the neighborhood. This is especially fun on a hot summer day, when you can include obstacles such as a toddler pool filled with water or an overhead sprinkler. Races are always fun for more competitive children. Put a creative twist on the races by making the kids spin around in a circle several times before they run, or by making them “run” on their hands and knees. Organized group games such as whiffle ball, kickball or kick-the-can will be a hit with girls and boys alike.
Communication Game Ideas
Communication games are an excellent way to build communication skills and are a good choice on a rainy day or for quieter children, shy children or children who do not enjoy active games. Play a game of telephone, where one person whispers a sentence into someone’s ear and then that person whispers the sentence into the next person’s ear, and so on, until the last person in line has to repeat the sentence. Inevitably, it will be garbled, and sometimes it will be quite hilarious. Charades is also a good choice. Choose a kid-friendly theme, such as popular children’s television shows, video game titles or the latest hit songs. Instead of acting out the categories, try drawing them and have your members guess what you are drawing within a certain time period.
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