1 – 3 years / Toddlers
In this age and stage bracket falls the categories of solitary plays, spectator plays, parallel plays and associative plays. If we look closely, we can find that no cooperation’s are being found during these stages.
4 – 5 years / Pre-schoolers
They like to share and take turns but requires help.
5 - 6 years / Pre-schoolers
Children of this age range cooperate in group plays but not yet ready for team games
6 – 8 years / Middle Childhood
These children tend to play games with rules.
8 – 12 years / Middle Childhood
These children enjoy playing and inventing games with rules.
Q. Assess the value and appropriateness of non-competitive / competitive games and activities.
Ans.Before assessing the value and appropriateness of competitive and non – competitive games and activities, we should first understand the relationship between co-operative behavior activities and non-competitive games and activities and vice versa.
Non-competitive games leads towards a cooperative behavior within a child, in which there will be a no winner and no loser. By being cooperative, sharing and turn taking also emerges which will help children develop important social-emotional skills including self-regulation. As mentioned above that cooperative games do not focuses on winning or losing, therefore every child involved in an activity will be aimed towards achieving a unified goal. Hence, the outcomes will be improving health, fitness and of course enjoyment, learning together and positive sense of attitude is achieved.
Bay-Hintz and Wilson (2005) demonstrated the value of cooperative games in a preschool. Cooperative games were played for thirty-minutes per day in one group, and competitive games were played in the other. Two other groups played cooperative games for part of the study, and competitive games for part of the study. In all conditions where cooperative games were introduced cooperative behavior during free play increased. Cooperative behavior decreased during periods where competitive games were played. The games used in this study included group games like cooperative musical chairs and Family Pastimes games. There are many other popular cooperative board and card games like The Ungame which are used by the therapists to foster communication, promote sharing, interacting and listening.
Both cooperative and non-competitive games facilitate therapy by becoming the place where therapist and client interact with each other. Non-competitive games typically involve more discussion and disclosure, while cooperative games require social skills and effective communication to achieve success.
On the contrary, if we look at the competitive games or the games with rules we’ll find that it helps children to work out social situations, negotiating with their friends to work out what needs to be done. Rules offer an organized structured form of play, helping children's understanding of order and sequence. By playing competitive games, a child develops a ‘can do’ attitude which will eventually leads them to reach their full potential and achieve their best. But we also cannot neglect its disadvantages like as there will be only 1 winner in a competitive game so everyone will be working against each other that is very discouraging and will in the end leads everyone turning people away from playing together. A child establishes superiority over other children.
As an adult we should manage competitiveness among children by making them also learn failure and should learn through failure. Provide them with some activities that will help children develop social skills and learn turn taking and sharing.
Every child is different from one another. Some may be too much competitive and some are not competitive by nature. A balance should be maintained between the two. We should introduce activities to a noncompetitive child which has a competitive element in it. Children with competitive nature should be made aware of the needs of the other children, support and honor other children with positive behavior and feelings.
Appropriateness of competitive and noncompetitive games and activities depends upon which age group we are dealing with. There are different types of game settings for different age groups. For instance, for a child in between 3 -7 years of age, should be engaged in activities that involve dice, timers, spinners, turn taking, sorting and matching where children are thinking about what they need to do like separating the red crayons from the yellow and blues. Games with dice and timers are appropriate for 8+ years of children.
In my opinion, regardless of whichever theory one supports, it is an important thing to remember that a child must feel value for who he/she is rather than just for his/her success or achievements. A child should be made aware that he/she is being valued for trying, for being responsible for his/her actions, intentions and choices and should make and use positive efforts and behavior striving towards success.
Q. Review a selection of appropriate table top games for children.
18 months - 3 years / Early Childhood
Little Bus Jigsaw Puzzle by Orchard Toys
Lovely little jigsaw. The pieces are quite thick and having a picture on both sides is like having 2 puzzle in one. The pictures are quite detailed, so there is plenty to talk about which helps in speech and as well as in eye co-ordination. On the packaging, it says 3+ years but 2+ years children can go for it as my niece loves solving it. Good quality and nice chunky pieces. Really worth buying it.
3 - 5 years / Middle childhood
Penguin Pairs Mini Game by Orchard Toys
It's a great little game to put in your bag to play when you're out and about. The cardboard is very sturdy & strong, with just enough thickness to make them easy to pick up. Game itself as well as educational it is extremely addictive, it alongside a similar toy soon became the most popular to play with at the birthday parties.
5 - 12 years / Late Childhood
Match and Spell Next Steps by Orchard Toys
Excellent product. What makes this product excellent is that it combines learning and having fun at the same time. Great learning aid to improve phonetics skills and blending of letter sounds. I highly recommend this product.
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