Cooperative Games and Activities for All Ages

by: Sara on 05/07/2019

Today's blog post is from Josette and Ba Luvmour, authors of Everyone Wins - Revised & Updated 3rd Edition: Cooperative Games and Activities for All AgesEveryone Wins is an easy to use, quick reference guide for everyone who cares for and about children, education, and the actualization of social well-being in a diverse range of environments.

For 40 years we have used Cooperative Games and Activities in so many ways. For the players they enrich self-reflection, deepen appreciation of one another’s values and skills, absorb nature through experiential learning, support academic learning, and, of course, enjoy, enjoy,enjoy.

For the facilitators, Cooperative Games and Activities provides superb ways to know each player as unique and to connect to each of their interactions in group dynamics. Through experimenting with various activities they gain a non-invasive diagnostic tool that reveals the child’s developmental moment as well as their capacities in each of their natural intelligence's—logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, verbal-linguistic, musical,interpersonal, and intrapersonal.

For everyone Social-Emotional learning flourishes. The power and skill for nagging issues such as conflict resolution, cliques, and being seen and heard resides in the relationships among all participants, facilitators included. Top down authoritarianism vanishes. Self-knowledge knowledge grows. We are whole, interconnected, and uncover meaning in relationship.All this in play, in relationship-based activities. Learning is spontaneous, emergent.

Here is an example from one of the new games published in the 3rd edition of Everyone Wins.

Social Justice Ideals

Ages 9 to 16
Location: In or Out
Activity Level: 4
Group Size: 6

One player chooses a few others and describes to them a scenario she feels is socially unjust. Together they choreograph the scenario according to the description. Then she directs them to act it out in silence, with each team player contributing to the choreography. There must be movement and feeling.The other students just watch as they are the audience—each small group presents the scenario two times.

Then, the facilitator gives the signal that the audience can now try to guess what is happening. Variations:Give the player creating the scenario the choice of which partner to choose. Ask them to reflect on their experiences while observing. Include their reflections in post-presentation dialogue.

Hints: Facilitator cannot judge any offering no matter what their personal persuasion might be.Using inquiry, allow each of the groups to make their own values clarification.

(Some) of the Learning available in this activity:The age group is carefully chosen. For children between 9 and 13 fairness and justice and supremely important. Children between 13 and 18 organize their lives around self-government and the opportunity to engage and express ideals is a critical nourishment. (You can read much more about this in the appendix to Everyone Wins and on our website www.LuvmourConsulting.com.)

This activity allows children in each developmental stage to interact according to their values and concerns. That is a gift as it is often difficult for these children to be genuinely interested in what one another has to say.

Emotional Intelligence grows through exposure to diverse views of social justice, through the interpersonal interactions, and through in the self-reflection needed to choose which issue to represent and how to do it. The debrief can add deeper meaning to all learning, facilitator’s included.

This activity easily translates to academic pursuits. Simply organize the academics around the participant’s interest in social justice.

Cooperative Games and Activities do so much all at once. They are not teaching; rather they invoke learning through engagement. We cannot imagine who wouldn’t benefit from them.

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