When I was a little kid, I never liked gym class. I was the tiniest and most unathletic kid in the entire class. I will never forget the feeling of lining up for kickball and always being the last one picked. That feeling of unworthiness and undesirability hurt deep. If only they had chosen a less competitive game like the fun games to play at 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. Competition can be very negative, exhausting a child and leading them to frustration and burnout. That’s why I am so thankful for the noncompetitive games they can play.
There is a great feeling of playing with your friends and working together for one goal. There doesn’t have to be winners and losers. Everyone can be a winner.
Playing is so good for kids and 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, and any kind of party. If you want to get your child to participate in cooperative activities, we have a few options:
- Scavenger Hunts – 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 be an indoor or outdoor activity. Then, choose a group prize that everyone can share!
- The Telephone Game – This is such a popular kids’ game. 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 going till the message is received by the last person in line. 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 – Just 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 will love. Tell them to spread out in the room. When the music starts, the kids can dance. When the music stops, the kids should freeze. It’s really entertaining to see the poses they freeze in. Then, the music starts again and it repeats.
- Race to the Treasure – This board game teaches the value of working together as a team. This is perfect for ages 4-5 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 fox hole. 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 from Target 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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