“Opportunities of learning are everywhere, even while playing games!”
The three primary activities that form a part of early childhood experiences unless the formal education starts are- Playing, Eating and Sleeping- the only three mindful affairs at least the 90s born can remember, isn’t it!
Play is the leading form of learning, and games are the natural need for children. We all know that games (whether traditional or contemporary) positively influence the upbringing and growth of each individual. And if you as a parent, also trust that play can raise and help a child thrive in unimaginable ways, you’ll easily relate that as childhood is the budding age for growth and learning, playing games can lay the ground for children to learn essential life skills in play-way spirits; whether it is for learning human relations skills, pre-academic skills, healthy humour or it is moral, emotional, physical and mental development in children.
For this simple reason, we as parents want to pass on our favourite childhood games to our offspring. The added benefits of learning through play are many. Read** on to discover how each game finely and secretly models real-world situations and helps children learn how to live and act naturally.
**Our excitement ended up making this blog a long one. If you, too, are excited and can’t wait to try one of these classics, you can enjoy the list of games and the benefits of each game via the creatives we have made with extra effort!
Here are some of the classic childhood games that teach children essential life skills in play-way spirits :
- Musical Chairs
5 people. 4 chairs. Always one chair less than the people playing. As soon as the music stops, everyone rushes to get their seats. Who will be left out?
Musical Chairs is one of the only games that teach children how to talk their way out of arguments. It teaches how to deal with the frustration of failure. Sharpening a child’s auditory skills is another perk. This game works on being happy for others and cheering them on from the sidelines. This game teaches a child how to be a cheerleader not only for others but also for oneself.
Moreover, musical chairs can be played by all age groups.
2. Name, Place, Animal, Thing!
A multiplayer paper-pen game. As the name of this game goes, all you need to do is make four columns on a paper and label the columns Name, Place, Animal, Thing. One of the player commands ‘Start’ and whoever completes the list first commands ‘Stop’. Now, who gets all the four columns (correctly) filled with the instructed letter of the alphabet in a row?
Playing this with your child can have surprising results and definitely increase her concentration levels. Teaching phonics becomes easy; introducing ‘Noun’ to a 5-year young child feels effortless too. Other perks of this game are: vocabulary development for sure happens, but more amazingly, geography and map reading happens too. Eagerness to learn and memorise names of cities, towns to quickly fill the row with correct feeds also ensues, independent thinking, time management, and spelling advancement… all can happen leisurely in play-way spirit.
3. Hide and Seek
A multiplayer game. 1 finder. Who will be caught first?
Hide and Seek is a game of rational thinking and patience. The finder has to think and memorise all the spots where the people could hide. At the same time, the hiders have to look for the best places to hide quietly, without making a sound. Patiently waiting is also an essential part of this game.
In real life hostage situations, the hide and seek game can be re-enacted. This game definitely makes to the list of games that prepare a child to determine and manage undesirable situations.
4. Dumb Charades
A multiplayer game, which can even be played among 2-3 people if the family is a nuclear one.
No materials required. All you do is hum a song or enact a folktale/story you’ve just heard/read together or act out a portion from the documentary series on Netflix you and your family may have watched together. Ask the participants to name the song, or story or documentary! It’s a lot of fun.
The benefits of this game are many; to list a few, here we go. It helps in listening skills, concentration and memory, audio processing of a child, and mindfulness practices.
5. Indoor Hopscotch
A multiplayer game. You can make a Hopscotch board with masking tape on the floor. And then be ready to hop, jump and balance with your little one!
With variations like hopping on the even/odd numbers
or the count down 10 to 1,
or adding numbers and jumping on the resultant number
makes learning numbers fun
How about alphabet hopscotch for letter recognition?
Hoping, jumping, and balancing on one foot helps develop good gross motor muscles and provides exercise that children (and we!) need staying indoors.
Psst! Gross motor movements keep everybody sane! Not only can Hopscotch keep the child physically strengthened, but also can help them learn numbers and letter recognition on a hop. It also supports decision making, positive relationship, self-regulation, patience and turn-taking skills.
28 properties. 3-8 players. Two dice. 1 board. Who will be the richest in the end?
Monopoly (also known as a Business Game) is a contemporary game based on strategy and tactical skills, which helps a child with financial literacy, the most important in building 21st-century life skills. It is never early for a child to have financial skills and budgeting knowledge. It sharpens the mind of the young ones and teaches them monetary control. The feeling of being organised and having complete control of your assets is what Monopoly promotes.
Currently, Monopoly has 1144 versions, fictional and real editions included. It is a must-have game.
7. Table Tennis
2 people. 1 table. 1 ball. Who will miss the shot first?
Table Tennis is an Olympic sport practised in schools and colleges, too. This indoor sport mainly focuses on hand-to-eye coordination and impulses. Being cautious and focusing on the ball are some of the other perks that later can be used. It helps fasten your impulses and to withdraw from the jump-away-from-the-ball-coming-towards-you impulse that people generally have.
Playing this with your child can have surprising results and definitely increase his concentration levels.
8. Rock! Paper! Scissors!
A simple and interesting hand game usually played between two individuals in which the participants simultaneously outstretches one of the three shapes- rock (a closed fist), paper (a flat hand), scissors (we all know how! Victory sign with index and middle finger making a ‘V’ shape). The possible outcomes are only two: a draw or one of the participant wins.
This simple game helps in consciousness, concentration and control of the mind, identifying patterns and predicting the future behaviour of the player. For adults, this game can be 5 minutes’ de-stressor between work intervals.
11 people in 2 teams each. 2 goal nets. 1 ball. Who will land a goal first?
Football is one of the leading sports worldwide, which is making parents put their child into this rapidly growing field. Teamwork and sportsmanship are two of the main reasons why football makes it to this list.
The intricate art of hand-to-leg coordination and anticipating your teammate’s move at any given time makes the players alert 24/7. Not only does it physically strengthen the child, but it also makes her learn how to play and dribble a ball to perfection.
10. A – Z Gratitude Game (our featured and most talked-about game)
Gratitude journaling and mindfulness practices help everyone sail well and bounce back, especially when the going gets tough.
So, here’s a little about the game. Read the full blog here.
Name an object or a toy that begins with each letter of the English Alphabet: Starting from A till Z, ask the child to look around for all the toys, favourite and not so favourite objects/things/items present in and around the house. Sort of treasure hunt!
‘A – Z Gratitude Game’ helps your child look for his long unattended toys, re-connect with the things she/he has, feel grateful for the things he already has. This game also aids in vocabulary development in young children.
Children are at home during the pandemic, and a child’s mental health is more important than academics at the moment, is what I feel. And what better than learning in play-way spirits for children can happen because we know learning opportunities are everywhere, even while playing games!
While many of the above games teach patience, perseverance, self-regulation and turn-taking, some games from the above list also teach about other facets of real-life secretly. And most of the games mentioned above can have variations and extensions and can be made age-appropriate.
Virtues and morals are essential for social skills development, helping a person act duly according to the situation. Aside from reading moral stories, these games form an integral part of the learning process, assisting children bond with peers and adults in a better way at the same time teaching them life skills.
Mentally and physically strengthening our young ones is one of the first steps to parenting. Inculcating values for life in children in their early life stages helps them later in life.
Pandemic has come as a gift of time when it comes to spending priceless bonding time with family members. Bonding over playtime is an activity that all age groups enjoy. So, why not make the most of this time to cherish it forever and re-experience the childhood days with children in a whole new episode.
So jet-set-go, grab a pen and paper, note down the games you can plan with your child next time they ask you to play, unless it is an outdoor game ‘Football’, if you have a spacious backyard, then why wait, go ahead!
Help them learn and grow into well-rounded human beings.
Thank you for reading, and have a happy, playful parenting!