Cooperative Games for Kids: Why Cooperation Beats Competition in Childhood Games & Play by Lark Sontag

Cooperative Games for Kids: Why Cooperation Beats Competition in Childhood Games & Play

Many children don’t like to lose when playing childhood games, and it’s not because they didn’t win. It’s because in order to win you have to be a little mean, and when you lose you have to be OK with people being a little mean to you or you’re a bad sport. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are a few cooperative games to play with kids:

Cooperative Musical Chairs: The object is everyone getting a seat, even as chairs are taken away. Children have to work with others, share space, get a buddy to share a chair, and the introverts have to help or the game is over.

Hula Hoop Challenge: The objective is everyone being able to fit in a hoop. Start with five hula hoops (or more or less depending on the number of children). The music starts and the children walk around the hoops. When the music stops every child gets in a hoop – they can share a hoop and one foot in the hoop counts.

Keep It Up (Keep Up the Balloon): The objective is keeping the balloon in the air. You hold hands in a circle and use your body parts to keep the balloon up in the air.

Remember, they are just games. Let’s work together so that children can win by being kind and working together.

What do you think about kids losing at games? Do you let your kids win?

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Hula Hoops $10 & Up
Balloons $5 & Up
Board Games $6 & Up

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Donna John
Interested in your thoughts on this, Mike Prochaska . Love your game ideas, Lark Sontag . Musical chairs was always a favorite of mine growing up.
Lark Sontag
Thank you for commenting. I have actually played these games, so they work and children think they are fun, though they often explain this is not how you're supposed to play, well one child usually does, initially, in kid and adult world there is always that one
Lark Sontag
I always find this a challenging conversation (kind of funny as our society is in interesting times, that this is challenging in my but there are two schools of thoughts on this as you know. My neighbor preschool teacher when I was a "wee teacher" was very into competition and cleaning and the students and parents LOVED her. She said it built character. My class was very different and the students and parents LOVED me too, because I thought my method also built character, but it's all about the child, the community, etc...this was be an amazing debate, talk, etc....
Mike Prochaska
This awesome ! I love this ides
Lark Sontag
Try it at a party and film (video) it, that would be great, normalize cooperative musical chairs.
Elisa Schmitz
What a great perspective! Thank you for sharing, Lark Sontag !

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