- The most important thing about cooperative games is that they are fun!
- The second most important thing is that they are inclusive: No one is ever eliminated from a cooperative game.
- The third most important thing about cooperative games is that they are based on cooperation rather than competition. So cooperative games let players experience the joy and productivity of cooperation. This builds cooperation and communication skills, self confidence, and joyful, peaceful relationships.
Cooperative games exist for ages 3-103. And there are cooperative games of many kinds, from circle games to PE games to board games to online games. CooperativeGames.com supplies educators, families, organizations and everyone else as many great cooperative games as we can find. We post lots of free ones. We also have a shop where you can purchase cooperative board games and playthings. We are developing programs for schools based on cooperative play as well. We’re a small business and we are 100% dedicated to cooperative play. Here are three active cooperative games for kids ages 4 to 7. Give them a try and let us know how you liked them! You can leave comments to this blog, check us out on facebook or contact us through CooperativeGames.com. http://cooperativegames.com/
Cooperative Game for Kids Ages 4-7 #1: Beanbag Freeze
Materials: One beanbag for each student
Time Estimate: 10 minutes
Number of Players: Any
Object of the Game: To move around with a beanbag on one’s head and help those who have dropped their beanbags
Skills: Cooperation; Large motor skills; Balance
Game Category: Active physical game; Party game
To Play: This game can be played inside or outdoors. It encourages children to help one another as well as to cooperate. To begin, give each child a beanbag and ask her to balance it on the top of her head. With beanbags in place, the kids move slowly about the play area. They can walk or move in any silly or fun way they please.
Now ask the children to pick up the pace and move more actively—hopping, skipping, moving backwards, turning, stopping and starting, all while balancing their beanbags on their heads.
If a child loses his beanbag, he is frozen until another child picks it up and places it back on his head. If the helper also loses his beanbag, he, too, is frozen until another friend comes to thaw them both by replacing their beanbags. (Very young children can hold the beanbags in place on their heads while they help their friends.) Be sure to tell the children that the point of the game is to help their friends by replacing fallen beanbags so that everybody can stay in the game. The game is over when everyone has thawed or everyone is frozen or everyone is tired. Follow-up questions may include:
Did you get to help a friend?
How did helping someone make you feel?
How did you feel when someone else helped you?
Did we manage to keep everyone in the game most of the time?
Cooperative Game for Kids Ages 4-7 #2: Here and There and Everywhere
Materials: None needed
Time Estimate: 5 minutes
Number of Players: 4 or more
Object of the Game: To practice counting while moving
Skills: Cooperation; Large motor skills; Critical thinking
Game Category: Active physical game; Academic Game (math)
To Play: Players run or skip around play area, singing, “Here and There and Everywhere.” When you are ready, say, “Freeze” and call out a number; for example, say, “Freeze Four”. Kids freeze and touch four body parts to the floor; for example, two feet and two hands. When everyone has had a chance to do this, call “Melt.” Students resume running or skipping around, singing, “Here and There and Everywhere” until you call out another “Freeze” command with a number. Count as high as you want, remembering that kids have twenty fingers and toes that can all be counted!
Try having the kids pair up when you call “Freeze” to allow for larger numbers. Another variation is to say that each foot and hand counts as one body part. This works best for very young children who cannot count to numbers past ten.
Cooperative Game for Kids Ages 4-7 #3: Balloon Bop
Materials: One balloon for each group of 3 to 5 students.
Time Estimate: 20 minutes
Number of Players: 8 or more
Object of the Game: To keep a balloon in the air
Skills: Cooperation; Large motor skills
Game Category: Active physical game; Party game
To Play: Divide a large group into small groups of 3 to 5. Give each group one inflated balloon. Children hold hands and form a circle. The goal is to keep the balloon aloft by batting it while still holding hands. If the balloon touches the ground, the group can no longer use their hands to bat the balloon. Every time the balloon touches the ground, the group loses a body part they can use to bat the ball: elbows, heads, shoulders, feet, and so on. The game is over when the group has no more body parts left that can be used to keep the ball in the air!
Variation: For extra challenge, ask each group to move the balloon across the classroom while they keep it in the air.
Enjoy the Win-Win Way–Cooperative Play–Throughout Your Day!