Educating the whole student, rather than engaging the rational intellect alone, is a goal of many educators (myself included.) And cooperative games are one of the best vehicles for engaging the whole student—hand, heart and mind—that I’ve seen.
On an intellectual level, Cooperative games pose challenges that take thinking and problem-solving power to solve. Players share ideas and strategies to win together—so mental faculties are fully activated.
Cooperative games engage the heart too. They facilitate sharing, caring and appreciation as participants laugh and play, overcoming obstacles together and achieving little victories. In playing cooperatively, there is joy in togetherness. This is experiential learning that opens the heart.
Cooperative games make for active, sensory learning, too. Many cooperative board games, certainly the ones we feature at our shop CooperativeGames.com, are visually appealing with lots of art and enchanting game pieces. And there are many free cooperative circle games and active PE games that get the body moving too! For example, we offer a free Cooperative Games PE curriculum that accompanies a nominal purchase of the Pocket Disc—a beautiful, fair-trade flying disc. Check the Educator’s Hub and Fun and Free section of CooperativeGames.com for more on active cooperative games for fun and physical play.
So it’s really through hands, hearts and minds that cooperative games work their magic!