Title: Great Games for Young Children: Over 100 Games to Develop Self-Confidence, Problem-Solving Skills, and Cooperation
Author: Rae Pica
Publication Year: 2006
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Review: This book has great reviews on Amazon, but I just could not get into it. I think the concept is interesting, but the implementation could use some work. The author’s main idea is that many of the games meant for children are inappropriate, because children do not benefit from inactive or waiting periods and because kids do not like to lose. Therefore she removes the competitive aspects of the games and has children make motions even when it’s not their turn, such as having the kids in the circle playing Duck, Duck, Goose walk in place instead of sitting.
I just think a lot of the games seem really silly. Yes, maybe kids would go for it anyway, but what’s the fun of playing Mother May I? if the mother never gets to say “No, you may not.” Has anyone ever been seriously traumatized by Musical Chairs? In my opinion, it’s valuable for kids to learn to wait and learn to lose (and learn to make reasonable requests of mother). I also thought it was a little off-putting the way each game is labeled with “content areas.” Am I the only one that doesn’t really consider Leap Frog to be a game of math and science?
There are some decent ideas in this book, but I feel like you’d be just as well off from the kids’ point of view with the original, unmodified stand-bys (Duck Duck Goose, Freeze Tag, Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I?, Musical Chairs, Hide-and-Seek, etc.) (Personal Rating: 5/10)