We have often asked ourselves, “Is it worth playing games with our young children?” At nearly three and four and a half, you would think that they would get the hang of it by now!
Sometimes the game ends in tears – either one or the other does not want to take turns, does not want to follow the rules or throws the dice underneath the sofa and when one loses, all hell breaks loose. They declare that the world is not fair and the cards or pieces of the game end up being ceremonially distributed all over the floor. The parents (as usual) end up picking up the pieces.
Despite this furore, we continue to put games firmly on our family past times list. Playing games is a way for us to spend quality time as a family.
The kind of games that we are referring to here are games like snap, happy family’s, memory and so on where either cards are dealt or a dice is rolled and you need two or more participants that need to take turns and the game finishes with a clear winner. There is a whole variety of interesting games for children as young as two years old on the market today.
There are some really great reasons for making time to play games with your children:
- Teaching children to concentrate and accept rules. As a parent, you need to explain clearly to your child the rules and play and then endeavour to make them stick to it (Good Luck!). This is harder to do in the early days, but it does get easier. This is a particularly good skill for per school children.
- Enhancing skills like: counting, colour recognition, memory, sounds, letters and words and learning to win and lose.
- Learning to wait and take turns. Your child will be demonstrating that they can be patient. This is particularly tricky for younger children (around age 2+), who often declare that it is their turn again and again and will start to throw a tantrum if they don’t get their own way. The answer is to preserve and it will pay off. Explain to your child when it will be their turn again and keep the game running in order.
- Helping your child to communicate in a clear and concise manner. Games that require your child to explain a position are excellent for building confidence and increasing your child’s ability to explain things to a group of people.
- Spending more time together as a family unit. In playing games together, you will be encouraging the family unit to spend sociable time together and it is a great cost effective way to spend an afternoon or for when the weather is less conducive. It will also bond the family together, creating precious memories of family favourites that will be treasured and pasted down through the generations over the years.
No reason not to play! There is a wide selection of games for children from age two because we believe in the joy of playing games. It is never too early to start playing games with your children whether they are boys or girls. The joy of teaching your child to play a game and then being able to enjoy playing that game with them is magical. Our Best Wishes!