There’s a world of cooperative games out there. There are cooperative board games for kids from 3 years to teens (e.g. Snail’s Pace Race to Choices); board games for mixed ages (e.g. Save the Whales); and board games for adults (e.g. Untrivia). Family Pastimes even makes a cooperative board game about RV travel specifically for senior citizens! I search the world for great cooperative board games, and bring them to you…all wrapped up in recycled packaging of course!
For free games that don’t require any materials at all check the Fun and Free tab on my website CooperativeGames.com.
There are some fantastic books on cooperative games too. For example, Cooperative Games and Sports by Terry Orlick is marvelous. Terry Orlick, by the way knows what he’s talking about when it comes to cooperative games. He’s aCanadian Professor of Education. He was inventing cooperative games for PE—and documenting their benefits—beginning in the 1980’s. His books are full of active games that help kids strive to do their personal best in PE rather than strain to beat their classmates. Wonderful stuff! You can look for cooperative PE games on the Web and you’ll get quite a few ideas. For example, go to http://www.cwu.edu/~jefferis/unitplans/cooperativegames/index.html
And then there’s another genre of cooperative games—cooperative games that facilitate group dynamics. Some of these games are great ice breakers. Some are useful for focusing a restless class. Others build trust. Cooperative games that enhance group dynamics and build trust are used in classrooms, at camps, in corporations and other workplaces, in activist groups, and yes, even at parties. One New Year’s Eve, I played “Therapist” among a woosey group of revelers. It was silly and fun and got everybody laughing.
There are instructions on how to play all kinds of cooperative games in my upcoming book Cooperative Play, Antidote to Excess Competition. I am working on it now, gathering and testing great games to bring to you soon! For a sneak peek, you can download Part I for free as an illustrated e-book. Enjoy!