When I was a kid, gym was my least favorite class. I was the smallest in class and the most unathletic kid of everyone. I can never forget the feeling of lining up for kickball and always being picked last. It’s a feeling of unworthiness and that undesirability hurts deep. If only they had chosen a less competitive game like fun games to play in parks.
As parents, your job is to love your kids and try to provide the best for them. I don’t want my kids to ever experience that feeling of being a “loser” and not belonging because of their physical build or lack of athletic abilities. Competition shouldn’t be a negative thing that exhausts a child and makes them feel frustrated. That’s why it’s so exciting that there are noncompetitive games out there they can play.
There is a great feeling of playing with your friends and working together for a single goal. The end of the game doesn’t have to mean there are winners and losers. Everyone can be a winner.
Playtime is important for kids and it affects their physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. So getting them to engage in cooperative activities is fun, entertaining, and good for their self-confidence.
Cooperative games are a fun activity for kids at birthday parties, summer camps, schools, or any kind of gathering. If you want to get your child to participate in cooperative activities, we have a few options:
- Scavenger Hunt – Hosting a scavenger hunt is such a fun activity. You choose a theme and some clues. All the kids work together to move from one clue to the next. You could make it an indoor or outdoor activity. Then, choose a group prize that everyone can share!
- The Telephone Game – This is a popular kids’ game and has been for generations. Have all the children stand in a line. The first player creates a secret message that they whisper to the next person in line. Then, the second person whispers the message to the third person, and so on. You keep it going until the last person in line receives the message. That person announces the message they heard. It’s hilarious to hear how different the last message can be from the first message.
- The Balloon Game – Blow up balloons and let the children bat them around the room. All the running around is a great way for kids to burn off energy.
- Freeze Dance – Get some fun music that the kids love. Tell them to spread out in the room. When the music starts, the kids dance, dance, dance. When the music stops, the kids must freeze where they are, no matter their position. It’s really entertaining to see the poses they freeze in. Then, the music starts again and it repeats.
Board games are a great way for kids to spend time with friends while secretly teaching them some life skills. Many board games are competitive, but here are some noncompetitive games to choose from.
- Race to the Treasure – This board game teaches the value of working together as a team. This is perfect for ages 4 and up. Players strive to reach the treasure before the ogres do. It’s a game where everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everybody has fun!
- Outfoxed – This is like a version of Clue for young kids (ages 5 and up). Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing. A fox has stolen it, and you have to work together with the clues to figure it out before he escapes into the foxhole. It’s a great deduction game to play with kids that teaches basic logic and tests memory. It’s definitely a fun cooperative game for two to four players. It’s a lighthearted, kid-friendly mystery.
- Quick Cups Board Game – This speed-stacking game is a fun team game for kids ages 6 and up. You flip over the deck of 24 picture cards, then race to stack your cups in the sequence shown on the card. Then, ring the bell when you are done! It’s a fast-paced game that is a blast for the whole group.
Cooperative games cultivate emotional development, shared decision-making, positive self-esteem, and creative problem-solving. Plus, they develop a sense of community in a non-stressful play environment. So, let’s teach kids that it’s not about winning or losing — it’s about if you had fun trying. Noncompetitive games teach kids to have communication, kindness, and respect that will help them succeed later in life.
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