Sharing can be a real sore spot for kids, and even some adults I know. I can recall scores of times saying to my daughter, “I know that’s yours, Sweet pea, but your friend would really like you to share.” Or, “Wouldn’t it be nice to share that with your cousin?” Or, in moments of exasperation, “You need to share that, or I’m taking it away.” That last one usually resulted in anger, tears, a reluctant acquiescence punctuated with an exclamation of “fine!”, or a combination.
Reflecting back on that time, I think it’s important to remember that it is natural for kids to grow attached to their favorite things, from treats to toys. They just need our help learning how and when to share. Games are great for beginning the process. For example, there were plenty of play dates where our young daughter and her friends would have issues around sharing toys. If they couldn’t resolve it on their own, we would ask her to get a game out to play with her friends.
This worked nearly every time. Unlike most things that get shared, a game is more fun to play with other people. So, that makes them fairly easy to share. And, when a child introduces a favorite game to others, she gets to show off her knowledge and skills by showing others how to play. This is great for building communication and mastery skills, as well as empathy and confidence.
While I definitely didn’t do this every time, it’s great to tell your kid how much you like how he or she shared a game, or a favorite toy, cookies or anything that matters to them. With a little encouragement and support, they will eventually become professional sharers.
Find your child’s next favorite game they’ll want to share with their friends at SimplyFun.
About the Author
For over 20 years, Matt Brown has been leading high-performing teams to develop vibrant business cultures, invent and launch high-impact branded platforms, and turn around underperforming brands and businesses. Matt consults with Fortune 500 and early stage companies, usually working with the C-suite. He also co-founded a couple of companies including big BOING, an integrated strategy, innovation and development company that partnered with Kraft, Disney, Coca Cola, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Learning Curve and others to invent, design and launch (or completely overhaul) major domestic and international brands.
It’s Play it Forward at SimplyFun, a month-long event we hold each year to provide our Playologists and party hosts with the opportunity to make a difference directly in their local communities.
We know that play is an essential party of a child’s life. In fact, the right of every child to experience play has even been recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Still, many children don’t have access to play activities that inspire curiosity and develop a love of learning the way board game play does. So at SimplyFun we want to do something about that.
The way Play it Forward works is for a customer to host a SimplyFun party during the month of February. Based on the total party sales the host may pick a defined dollar amount of games from our line to give to a charitable organization in their local community. SimplyFun ships the donation directly to the organization with information regarding the host’s gift at no charge to the host, making it easy and simple to make a difference.
SimplyFun’s Playologist community believes that it is not enough to just occupy a space in today’s world. We all need to do more. So if SimplyFun can provide a way to share the joy of learning through play while directly benefiting local groups in need then we are going to take that challenge on, because in the end it is a win all the way around…for our hosts, for our Playologists but most importantly for the kids and families who receive our games.
Want to get involved? Contact your Playologist today. Don’t have one? We can help with that! Connect with a Playologist.
2017 is a new year with new adventures. How do you plan to make 2017 different? How do you plan to make a difference in your family’s life? What about in your life? Playologist Builder, Karen Hagerty, is recommitting herself to her SimplyFun business in the new year. Below, she shares her goals for her business and her family.
Interested in becoming a SimplyFun Playologist builder? Join us!
SimplyFun Playologist, Karen Hagerty, lives in Waterford, CT with her husband, Drew and three sons, Orrie (11), Caleb (9) and Treyt n (5). After 25 years in Early Childhood Education, and 7 years of being a stay at home mom, becoming a Playologist was a simple choice to make sure their lives are filled with lots of laughter, love, music, and family.
Erase the boredom and spark your child’s interest in learning.
It’s not unusual for a child to either lose their interest or not be interested in learning at all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ignite that interest.
It’s always the perfect time to start getting your child excited to learn. With the right methods, your child will be eager to absorb knowledge and try out new skills.
The more time you spend igniting a child’s interest now, the easier it’ll be for them to learn as they get older.
Uncover Their Interests
Children of all ages and even adults learn better when the topic is something they’re interested in. For instance, a kid that loves basketball would learn math better if basketball and math were tied together versus just trying to get a child to memorize math concepts via flashcards or a book.
The first step to igniting a passion for learning is to tie education to something the child already loves. If they have a favorite cartoon character, educational games involving the character gets them excited and they’ll have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning.
Make Learning Less Obvious
Structured learning is necessary sometimes, but it can also be extremely boring. Interactive or playful learning works much better. For instance, adults attending iPadpalooza didn’t exactly pay attention to dull lectures, but they learned about technology concepts through a fun race filled with playful challenges.
The same approach works for children. For instance, teach them reading skills by playing a game together that involves reading silly jokes off a card or ask them to read you a bedtime story instead of you reading to them.
Sometimes children, especially school-aged children, lose their interest in learning because every mistake seems to lead to lasting consequences or feedback comes too late to make a difference. With free play and games, mistakes don’t matter. Instead, they’re learning opportunities. A child feels safe learning and wants to try again to do better.
As children build confidence through play-based learning, they retain their interest in learning in other ways as well.
Focus On Having Fun
Learning should be fun. Ignite your child’s interest in learning this year by focusing on letting a child learn naturally through games, free play and their natural interests. Don’t try to force the issue. Your child will learn, but they’ll be more interested if they enjoy the process.
Focus, planning, patience and a good pencil grip are important skills that kids build in this colorful, eye-catching game that made the top of the list. The challenge of using a pincher tool to carefully remove the lizards off the Dreaming Dragon is fun that kids want to experience over and over again. This is why Dreaming Dragon has become a favorite in many homes.
Winner of the Parent’s Choice Silver Honor Award.
63 dogs in this game…63! Imagine being a kid and opening a game with over 5 dozen adorable dogs. It’s no wonder why this is number 2. Kids love the challenge of matching and collecting as many “man’s best friends” as possible without getting caught by the dog catcher. In the process they’re learning math, like counting, multiplication and predicting. Oh, and just setting the dogs up is half the fun! This award winning game has become a multi-year best seller.
Be(e) alert! No really, you need to be alert in this award winning game that challenges kids to remember which hive their colorful bee is hiding under. Speaking of the hives, kids love picking them up and sliding them around. They’re pretty much the stars in this game.
“Bee Alert is the most popular game at our house. We have a pretty large game collection, and this has been our favorite ever since we received it. We play it almost daily!” Brittany Clark, Mom, Wife, Busy Life
Kids build quick thinking and acting skills in this fast paced game. It also only makes sense that this game made the list, because fast = fun.
What’s a great way to teach kids early physics concepts? Competition and the challenge to keep something from falling, of course. This also makes for irresistible, hilarious family fun. And this is what makes Kilter a best seller year after year. It’s also the recipient of the prestigious Oppenheim Best Toy Award.
Kids love threading the berries onto their strings. While they’re doing this, they’re learning counting and building fine motor skills. Plus, this game integrates concepts of left to right and give and take. That’s a pretty hefty amount of skills for young learners. No wonder this made the top 10 list.
It’s like Scrabble, but with math. Kids get to build equations and practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. And it’s more than just game play. Check out what this mom did to help her kids with their math homework:
“When my girls were learning Algebra, it wasn’t quite making sense on paper, so we broke out our Sumology game. Being able to manipulate the tiles and move the numbers around brought it to life and allowed them to totally get it. I love Simply Fun, it’s so dual purpose.”
When competition is fierce, kids are more than willing to put their quick thinking math skills into action. That’s what makes this math-focused game a top seller for parents. It’s learning math without realizing you’re learning math.
Kids learn colors, shapes and counting up to 50 in this fun matching game. You’re never too old for Digger’s Garden Match because it’s fun for any age. That’s why parents and families have been drawn to this top seller for years.
Our top ten list rounds out with another fun color and shape matching game. This one, however, adds the element of a fast pace, which kids love. And, there’s no taking turns in this game.