Certainly one of the many joys of grandparenthood is playing games with the grand kids. Often we’ll play games while the parents are busy preparing meals or tending to younger ones, or taking a rest. We play games still popular from when we were kids and that our children played. And we happily learn new ones, paying attention to the rules so we’re not chastised: “I told you last time how many cards to deal, grandma.”
Games are important to kids’ development. They learn about rules, about being good sports, about the effects of cheating, about what’s fair and what’s not. They negotiate, discuss and plan strategy.
Favorites so far with my grands are Uno and the card game, War. They have a couple board games—Candyland, and Sequences, a game that involves strategy to place markers on four animal squares in a row. They like Twister and are learning chess.
For my grandson’s 6th birthday, I bought Rush Hour, Jr., a game that involves maneuvering an ice cream truck through a grid of plastic cars and trucks snarled in a traffic jam to find an exit. I remember my kids liking the challenges presented.
I picked up Petit Collage Mix & Match Robot Remix, a set of cardboard robot cards, divided into thirds, allowing users to mix and match robot body parts. There’s no real game per se. The children created a game however, applying the methods of a basic concentration memory game. I enjoyed listening to them help and encourage each other, and sat down on the floor to help, only to be quickly shooed away as I wasn’t needed.
Reading the Wall Street Journal about when to allow your child to win at games peeked my interest. The article featured Monopoly, which I look forward to playing when the children can read and understand money. So far, I know I haven’t deliberately let them win, but sometimes I admit I do help them – suggesting moves, etc., to perhaps move the game along. After all, how many rounds of Uno can one play?
So what do you think? Should adults let kids win at games? Why or why not?