Cooperative play creates a situation where kids are required to work together to complete a certain objective. This in turn instills vital skills such as listening, communicating, sharing, problem solving, and collaborating, all of which set the standard for social success into adulthood.
Getting kids to engage in cooperative play, however, is no easy task since sharing is not natural to children. It’s something that needs to be learned repeatedly before it sinks in. If you do not want your child to miss out on the benefits of cooperative play, then read on to pick up some ideas!
1. Building Blocks
Blocks are a great choice for cooperative play. They force children to share, take turns assembling blocks, and negotiate or brainstorm how to build a certain structure. With blocks however, the presence of an adult is needed to settle disagreements and ensure that each kid has a chance to implement his or her idea.
2. Board Games
Not only are board games fun, most of them are specifically designed to encourage cooperative play skills where play requires 2 or more teams. Board games are also competitive as play results in wins for some and loss for others. As a result, playmates learn how to think fast on their feet and work together to advance in the game.
While puzzles are designed for independent play, pairing up kids and asking them to work on a single puzzle can help them build their cooperative play skills. Go for large-sized (floor) puzzles like the one above, as they require more teamwork and provide more play & fun at the same time.
4. Kid Walkie-Talkies
Although simple in design, walkie-talkies are quite effective at encouraging children to play together. Since the toy requires at least 2 people to use, kids will be left with no choice but to come up with games that need the participation of two or more players.
5. Swing N Slide Play Sets
Swing N slide sets are not much fun when used by just one kid. This makes them a perfect choice for instilling cooperative play since they create an opportunity for children to work cooperatively. Placing several children on a play set teaches them how to take turns on swings and slides, negotiate space, and communicate with each other. Through this form of play, the children then learn about the rules of playing together.
The list is endless as more and more toy manufacturers are creating games that inspire cooperation and cultivate sharing. Such toys are worth investing in as your child gets to develop important life skills while having fun.