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There are games for everybody, games to suit our every mood. Silly games, thinking games, games of chance, games of skill, word games, memory games, matching games, trivia games, group games and solitary games...and each has its own merits.

Good games help to impart the skills of co-operation, competition, strategy and sportsmanship. They are useful as a pleasurable activity to exercise matching colors and shapes, counting spaces, memory, reasoning and planning ahead, as well as attention to detail. They also help a child understand that rules are necessary and helpful. Many games encourage group play and provide experience in winning and losing.

A growing number of co-operative games are available on the market. Parents may wish to consider these games for variety or as an alternative especially suitable for young players just learning to enjoy game play. You can adapt the rules of many games for preschoolers to a co-operative approach.

When selecting a game for a child or group of children, remember that it should be fun to play, yet challenging enough to be intriguing for the intended age group. Rules should be clear and easy to follow. Don't be afraid to establish house rules to accommodate younger or less skilled players, or shorter playing time. The game board should be durable and uncluttered, and the playing pieces should be of a suitable size and weight. Fad games based on the latest popular licensed characters rarely have any lasting interest. On the other hand, a well-conceived game may become a classic and be enjoyed for years to come.



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