My friend Clara was looking forward to the winter break. They had no plans to go anywhere for a vacation. This was a good time to explore family fun games. So my friend went on an optimistic shopping spree and came home with 4 board games. Each of them had rave reviews and each of them promised hours of fun and laughter.
But that is not what happened. They fought over the rules, they argued about small things, and quite often the family fun time ended in disaster management!
What went wrong?
Here are seven ways to make the most of family games.
1. Start early:
Introduce the concept of family games to your children when they are 5 years old. At that age they are adaptable. They are eager to play with you. Word games, what animal am I thinking of, do what I am doing now, are games that trigger their imagination. Anything will send them into peels of laughter…. Which is Family Fun!
2. Buy board games:
Board games come with a definite set of rules. They are colorful and made for specific age groups. Build up a good stack of board games and soon you will have family favorites. You will have games that you love, games that make you groan, games that you never ever win, games that you can never finish!! All adding to happy family memories.
3. Fix the time:
Pull out a family board game at a fixed time for a fixed period everyday. Make it a daily event say after dinner, or soon after kids finish homework. Set the timer so that everyone agrees that game time is for 20 minutes only! Generally kids are so enthused with the game that even after you have played for an hour and you are exhausted, they grumble and say ‘you never play with us’ and this naturally starts lectures about gratitude and studies! And ends in sulky tears. So fix the time.
4. No sermons:
Family Game time is not a time for ‘’Teaching”. If the child makes mistakes while playing, its OK, that is how they learn. Focus on the fun element. The purpose of Family Game time is bonding and making happy memories. It is also a time when you have your child in one place and in captured attention. It is tempting to quiz your child about school grades, or about practice for extra-curricular events, or about whether their room is clean. Be determined, and avoid such conversation completely.
5. Be flexible:
Unless you are training your child to compete in competitions in that game, you could be relaxed about the rules. Modify rules to suit the family. Be inclusive. Accommodate elders in the family and the younger kids in the family, into the game being played and modify the rules so that everyone has a fair chance to participate and win.
6. Stepping over comfort zones:
Some games may make you look silly. Some games may be hilarious right from the word GO! Perhaps you do not feel happy acting out scenes for Charades? Perhaps you are no good at bending and twisting while playing Twister? Perhaps you hate it that you always lose in Checkers? Be prepared to get out of your own comfort zones. Yes your family will laugh while you struggle to play. But in the process you are teaching your children that to win/lose are part of life. And that it is ok to laugh at ourselves!
7. Activity is not game:
You could involve your children in home activities. You could bake a cake together. You could work in the garden. You could paint, or polish, or organize shelves, or fix a meal. But while such activity can be fun, it is not to be confused with family game time. A child does not see activity as game. They are two distinct events in a child’s mind. So while activity is good, do keep aside a few minutes of the day for Family Game time.
Games encourage you to open up. Family game time increases family friendship and makes way for greater communication and trust.
For some fascinating Family Fun Games buy this book!
If you wish to explore the world of family games do buy this book. It has an amazing selection of ten-minute games that require no preparation.
76 Little Games – Ratna Rao
available on AMAZON and FLIPKART
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ratna Rao is a highly respected and admired teacher who has devoted over 30 years to the field of education. Her love of teaching began with her days as an English teacher, where she introduced unconventional strategies to keep her students engaged. Her interest in technology led her to a career in online education developing digital content that transformed how curriculum was taught to children. The exciting world of using technology to create teaching/learning tools was fascinating. After a long tenure she launched herself into the world of Teacher Training. As a freelancer she has travelled and conducted Teacher Training sessions in various k-12 schools and undergrad schools for teachers and students in different cities. She is also a qualified counselor from Banjara Academy. She enjoys helping teachers overcome everyday challenges in managing classrooms. A trusted advisor, motivational coach and innovative educator, she is a source of inspiration to everyone around her.
A mom, a grand-mom, a teacher and a storyteller who enjoys a frequent cup of hot tea and adores the smell of wet earth. She experiments with acrylics and oils, and is happy to gift away paintings to anyone who wants them. Kids in the age group 5 to 15 are like sponges soaking in the world around them. She writes for them, their teachers and their families.
Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the guest blogger and the views/opinions expressed belong solely to the original blogger and this does not necessarily represent the views and opinions expressed in this website. Book image is provided by the Author.