Play Well, Play Fair, Have Fun!

Activity 63 – Sportsmanship! Time to Start

Age Range – Preschool and Up

Areas Being Developed – Social Skills and competition… all at one time!

Store-bought games have a place. Many are quite good for some old-fashioned family fun. Lotto is probably the simplest. There is also dominoes, many versions of concentration, various board games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, and Bingo. Simple card games like War, Go Fish, and Old Maid can be fun too. Maybe you also know about the old-time paper game called Squares in which you each take turns connecting dots on a grid as you try to make actual squares. Choose with your child and then begin. Be sure to offer as much help as is necessary for your child’s level of play.

Because games involve competition, this is a good time to talk about winning and losing. You can explain about skill and how it takes practice to learn how to play a game and to get better at it. You can also teach about luck and the role it plays in most games. Here are some fun sentences to repeat as you play.

  • It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

– Adapted from Make Your Own Preschool Games: A Personalized Play and Learn Program by Sally Goldberg, pp. 106 – 107


You cannot play a game by yourself. You need someone to play with you. If you end up being the one who selects the game, start by saying something like, “Would you like to play ___ with me?” If your child is the one, be sure to explain that he or she should say something like that to you. At the end of the game, see who remembers to say first something like, “Thank you for playing with me.”

A Bouquet of Positive Feelings!

Tender loving care is what life is about. Today, one day after the very important Earth Day, I refer you once again to our Earth Day post. Please continue to benefit from its message all year long.


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