In Spark, our session 7 project time theme is Games and Strategy. Why games? First and foremost, games are fun. And who couldn’t use a little boost in excitement, laughter, and joy at the start of this summer?
But games provide so much more than that. When kids roll a pair of dice, they are getting real-life practice with numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, and even probability. While they hopscotch down the sidewalk, they help solidify their spatial abilities and gross motor skills. When they imagine they are frolicking through Candy Land, they get practice strategizing, keeping track of hazards, and following the sequence of play. A simple game of Scrabble Jr. has them reading, writing, and communicating verbally.
Countless other games help heroes solve problems, make predictions, use logic and reasoning, and understand that actions have consequences. They also hone the ability to set goals, recall the rules, and follow them.
Many of these skills are essential for getting heroes ready to enter the elementary studio: exhibiting self-control, waiting their turn, and being able to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time. Each game is a prime opportunity to practice winning and losing gracefully. That last one is particularly tough, even for us adults!
Throughout all these games, we are developing life skills of collaboration and teamwork, perseverance, and creativity. For our final project, the heroes get to create their own game!
The benefits of games are unending, but this might be enough for now. Sometimes what matters most is watching our kids lose themselves in the pure joy of it all. What fun it is to play together!