Who doesn’t like games? And fortunately, there have always been numerous benefits to games. Still more fortunately, parents have nowadays come to realize how important games are in terms of both entertainment and education. It is mainly through playing that kids learn new things and figure out fundamental skills they need in order to succeed in life.
However, not all games are equal in terms of gain; we argue group games provide even more comprehensive benefits than single-player games, but why? Here are some major benefits group games can offer.
They engage kids in social interactions
And everything that comes with interactions.
Whether it’s to talk to other players or to celebrate a win, group games always involve much social interaction. Reading dialogues in a story or hearing about how to behave in front of other people can only get you so far; it’s through real interactions with others that you acquire the nuances of social life. What better social interactions for a kid than those group games can offer?
The social interactions group games offer are not routine. Routine interactions require minimum effort and, consequently, minimum learning. (Like many interactions they have with you daily regarding eating, doing chores, kindly bringing you that pen, etc.) We know children’s brains are constantly learning and adapting; let’s encourage them to use this quality to the fullest and learn as much as possible. Through social interactions, several other skills emerge. Namely teamwork, cooperation, empathy, and self-maintenance.
They help develop teamwork
Which remains an essential skill in life
Developing their teamwork skills gives children a head start at school and later in the workplace. (Sometimes under the title “collaboration”, it has been on the list of top in-demand soft skills for quite some time, and no-one expects it to get off that list anytime soon.)
The essence of teamwork is implemented in many group games. (One might even argue that these are the more fun games to play!) Teamwork is also not just one whole skill; it’s a combination of getting along with other people, communicating with them, complementing their performance and letting them complement yours, dividing up tasks for a quicker win, creating a workflow, synergizing for a common goal, and quite a number of other skills.
Keep in mind that all of these skills are quite important and also quite sure to come up later in life. Learning them all can take much valuable time; so, the sooner our kids can get started on these, the more successful they will be in the future.
They help reinforce learning
Without getting as boring as teaching
Group games can help learning in two rather indirect ways: through social interactions and through built-in game mechanisms.
We have already argued social interactions are essential and abundantly found in group games. Let us now emphasize that much knowledge can only be used and evaluated in interaction with others. Take the simple lesson of “be kind to others”, or other manners, that you might teach your kid. One surefire way for your kid to realize why they should be kind is to try it on other people. (For example, “George was upset when I was rude to him.” This could easily be followed by “Maybe everyone gets upset when I’m rude to them.”)
Games’ mechanisms are important, too. Many are not designed to teach, but still feature challenges that require thinking and creativity. It goes without saying that group games, since they have to do with other people, are more complex and more challenging.
They keep children active
And help develop their motor skills
Most group games provide consistent physical challenges that let children channel their endless energy into a fun and productive activity. When they try to catch each other in tag or stay still as they hide in hide and seek, kids are working on developing their gross motor skills.
Such group games can also help spark a lifetime healthy relationship with physical activity and sports, and lay the foundation for an active life.
They help keep the gloom away
Which has been too near
Many of us have come to touch on depression and internal crises. (Kids and adults alike, with kids being more susceptible.) There have always been many propositions and plans on how to keep sane and go through everything. The problem is, while we adults might be able to go hiking alone and spend some time by ourselves to clear our heads and feel better, our kids are probably not able to be alone that long. Kids aren’t as mindful of their thoughts and feelings, and much of the time they need external help.
Group games are always great external help; and they go against single-player games in this case, which makes them even better. As discussed at length, group games put kids in contact with each other, and help their minds wander to realms outside of solitude and gloom in any form.
Group games have invaluable benefits that can’t be found in solitary play or many other activities. They can teach kids the specifics of life in a society, and help them to become better citizens. They get kids started on the first steps of teamwork, a much-needed skill in adulthood. They provide a perfect opportunity for kids to put their learnings into action. If they require physical activity, they will provide a healthy outlet for releasing energy, and help kids maintain a fitter lifestyle in the future. And finally, they are one of the greatest strategies to help kids cope with the pandemic.
Thinking of a daycare to provide your kid with all these benefits? Consider Clever. We provide 24/7 care featuring play-based tasks, free play, and much more. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any and all questions.