Games are more than fun: they can be played to accomplish many goals. Games can help children get acquainted easily and enjoy being together. Games can meet the needs of the whole group and individuals at the same time. For example, games give children a chance to:
• Be active and noisy
• Learn teamwork and fair play
• Learn to win, loose or draw good – naturedly
• Be both a leader and a follower
Games can present new information or skill in an attractive way. Games can help children appreciate diversity. Games help children learn the importance of cooperation.
Basic Rules of Thumb for Good Game Leadership
1. Keep the game snappy and vigorous.
2. ALWAYS end the game BEFORE it goes dead.
3. Select the game with the abilities of the group in mind.
4. Know the game your self before trying to teach it.
5. Make sure that everyone understands the basic rules of the game, however, teach only the minimum essentials.
6. Have all your game equipment ready and be sure the play area is safe and adequate.
7. Get the attention of the group before trying to explain the game. Explain the game with the children near you. Yelling to the outfield or shouting about the noise of a group will only result in confusion and a sore throat.
8. Get the play started as soon as possible. Refine later.
9. Alternate high activity games with quieter games.
10. Stress cooperative games.
Remember, you are teaching individuals…not just a game. Decisions must be fair and rules must be enforced.
You’ve heard it before but it is most important aspect of playing a game: “It’s not who wins or loses that really counts, but how the game was played.”
A game period should be well-planned, just like anything else you do in a camp setting. Nothing will kill a game faster than poor planning.