What do you remember from childhood? I remember a literal closet full of games stacked on top of games, stacked on top of more games. Before the days of devices and DVRs, my sister and I would pull out Clue or Life and entertain ourselves for hours.
Play is vital for the brain’s growth and development. Why not engage our kids in game play so they can learn, grow, and have fun all at once. Here are a few games I have found useful in my office.
Teaching kids to slow down, pay attention, and think through choices. Reflect what your child is doing. Ex: I see you’re just blocking all my moves, I wonder what would happen if you work on your own plan while paying attention to my moves.
Chutes and Ladders
Working with kids who are sore losers. This game can be SO frustrating, it provides many great opportunities to work with low frustration tolerance and sore losing. During this game it is helpful to reflect your own frustrations or disappointments while also noting the positives of the game as well. Ex: Aw man, I got another chute, how frustrating. I’m glad I got that ladder earlier.
Wonderful for slowing down, making thoughtful decisions, being mindful in action. In order to be successful at this game you need to make a purposeful choice, then move mindfully to pull your stick out. I like to let my clients pull out a stick carelessly (as many of them will) and then prompt them on their next turn to slow down and look closely at the game as they do it. The difference is remarkable. This can lead to other conversations about the benefits of slowing down and making mindful choices.
Similar to Kerplunk are Yeti in My Spaghetti and Honeybee Tree. I use the Honey Bee game in my office and it is a client favorite!
Another game that promotes mindful movement and choices.
Wonderful for creativity and self expression. This game can be difficult, so it also helps children persist despite the challenges and feel a sense of accomplishment.
There are so many more games out there, enjoy looking… and mostly, enjoy playing with your kids. I know they’ll enjoy playing with you!