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Intergenerational Play Rocks

quote about what makes a family

Thanksgiving Gatherings

Everyone benefits from purposeful intergenerational relationships. The gathering of family and friends to share a meal at Thanksgiving traditionally involves multiple generations. What better time to share activities that nurture connections among different age groups?

 PlayopolisToys serves the citizens of play. Those children and adults who delight in entertaining themselves with engaging activities. That’s what play is. Younger and older citizens having fun together forms bonds that enrich everyone involved. Opportunities abound. Take a walk. Share stories, Read a favorite book aloud. Create something. Play a board game, preferably a non-competitive one. Or go on a treasure hunt while sitting together on the sofa.

Cooperative Games Foster Teamwork

Cooperative games require players to work together toward a common goal. By putting aside competition and working cooperatively,   everyone comes away with positive feelings. Non-readers and readers. Preschoolers and high schoolers. Parents and grandparents can enjoy playing a game together. Team work leads everyone to success. Moreover no one leaves the game gloating or feeling like a loser. 

Megana Hosein, a mother of four, is enthusiastic about the value of cooperative board games. She “loves how board games encourage interacting and thinking with children in a way that is rarely explored in our busy lives. I am always amazed to hear what they have to say about solving dilemmas within the game. This taps into greater topics of conversation that might otherwise have gone unrealized. Furthermore my children can easily make new friends over the commonality and cooperation in a board game, both with peers and adults. Truly a gentle way to introduce social rules. And simultaneously focus the active child while drawing out the shy one.” Consider cooperative games for those times when kids of different ages and  abilities as well as kids and adults want to play together.

Thwart Stink Bugs

Ever thought about hiding bugs under a rug before stink bugs show up and stink up the place? That’s the  challenges players face with Snug As A Bug in A Rug. One of more than two dozen fun-for-all-to-play cooperative games by Peaceable Kingdom.

With three levels of play, these skills-building games grow as players become more proficient. Create a team to solve these problems. Two players will do, but there’s room for more. Designed to be played in 15 minutes, these games offer a quick solution to the challenge of keeping the peace before and after Thanksgiving dinner.

Search for Treasure

Find It games, theme-based treasure hunts in a cylinder, invite intergenerational searches.  Both offer cooperative and competitive ways to play. Think of  Wildlife, Dinosaurs, Mythical Creatures, or anything that elicits the comment Eww Gross.

For those who thrive on challenges,  Mythical Creatures is the ultimate Find It for intergenerational play. After all, two heads are better than one, and the more heads, the merrier the conversation, especially in intergenerational play.

Mythical Creatures requires knowledge of folk tales and supernatural beings from around the world. Keep a dictionary or Wikipedia handy while going down the list. Otherwise, when you see the word hippocampus, you might think of the region of our brain thought responsible for emotions and memory. Although that’s true, you’d be missing a chance to identify one of the fish-tailed horses of Greek Mythology. The beauty of Mythical Creatures is the chance to find out who’s who and what’s what, then check each off the list. While concentrating on finding out about the Jersey Devil, a kraken, or a troll or taking note of the similarities and differences between a hippocampus and a manticore, you’re happily learning, making memories and nurturing relationships.

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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On Teaching Financial Responsibility

How did you learn what you know about personal finance? Do you remember your parents teaching you how to manage money? Did they tell you, as I recall mine telling me, that “money doesn’t grow on trees”? We knew that. None of us had ever seen a money tree after all. Still, more than likely we did not understand where money came from.

Somehow we learned that people work, earn wages, and spend that money to meet their needs and support their families. Growing up with a deep understanding of the difference between needs and wants is fundamental to learning money management. When we truly understand that difference, figuring out how to live within a budget and how to save money make sense. Staying on budget and saving take diligence, and the unexpected challenges our resolve. That’s why the sooner we begin learning, the better.

Many parents teach the importance of “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” by assigning chores and paying allowances based on the completion of those duties. In this scenario, assigning monetary value to each task makes the relationship between work accomplished and money earned clearer and reduces misunderstanding of the consequences of failing to do what’s expected.

Others believe that children, as members of the family, need to share in household chores. Assigning tasks in age appropriate ways allows children to learn life skills and teaches responsibility, teamwork, and cooperation. “Many hands make light – or at least lighter – work,” and we all need to contribute to the process.

Staying upbeat and making a game of the chores takes the sting out of doing what everyone would likely rather not have to do. We’ve all heard the expression “whistle while you work.” Try that. Hum. Sing. Skip from task to task.

Some families set a timer and everyone focuses on accomplishing tasks as quickly as possible. When time’s up, everyone stops working and moves on to something else  – perhaps a solitary pleasure or a family activity. One person may curl up with a book. Another may prefer a walk around the block. Actually the entire family could gather round and listen as someone reads aloud, then everyone could head outdoors and explore the neighborhood. Working and playing together are natural partners.

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play

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The Benefits of Cooperation – by Alfie Kohn

When the dog days of summer are upon us …

what  better way to spend our time than playing a game with your family and friends? We at PlayopolisToys value cooperative games that people of different ages and abilities can play together, each making his or her best contribution. We recognize the inherent value of collaboration, cooperation, and inclusion. When we “play well with others” we demonstrate emotional and social maturity.

In No Contest, the Case Against Competition, Alfie Kohn offers compelling arguments for laying aside our competitive spirits and embracing cooperation. He counters the fact that “we are encouraged to pit ourselves against one another and taught that competition is a prod to productivity, a builder of character, and an unavoidable part of human nature,” with the observation that “any win/lose structure is psychologically destructive and poisonous to our relationships.”

Embrace the benefits of acceptance, inclusion, and participation, of mutual respect and  of working together toward a mutual goal. Imagine giving encouragement, receiving support, and feeling safe and trusted in an open, honest environment. Everyone contributes, building confidence and a sense of self-worth. Everyone relaxes, increasing out enjoyment of the game. After all, if what we’re doing isn’t fun, we’re not playing. Joy in the process is a keystone of play.

PlayopolisToys – for the diverse needs of the citizens of play